Trying Cat Food Recipes At Home? Start Here Mix Things Up a Little for Your Picky Eater

Trying Cat Food Recipes At Home? Start Here
expert or vet photo
vet verified Dr. Joseph J. Wakshlag, DVM Associate Professor of Clinical Nutrition

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Ithaca, NY

Are you wondering if your cat would fare better on a home-prepared diet? Not sure where to start? Here is a great recipe you can make at home that might just get your cat running for their next meal.

Do you have a finicky feline who just doesn’t care for the grocery store stuff?  Or maybe you just want to provide some down home love by making cat food recipes yourself?  Although not routinely recommended by vets, going for a home prepared diet for you cat is not too tremendously hard. With some time and commitment, you can make a home prepared meal to see how your furry friend takes to it.

A word of caution: the recipe below is deficient in many essential vitamins and minerals and so it’s not recommended for long term use. In other words, it’s meant as a special “tester” meal for you and your cat to try out some home-cookin’.  Overall this diet is sufficient in protein, fatty acids, calcium, and phosphorus, but there are a lot of other vitamins and minerals that cats need -- which is why you see many chemical-sounding ingredients on a bag or can of cat food; these are very important essential nutrients.  

If you find that your cat takes to this recipe or another you find on the internet, talk to your veterinarian or a board certified veterinary nutritionist to help balance out the diet for long term use. Since nutrition is so complex, you’ll want an expert to help you get all the details right for your specific cat.


  • 3 ounces of cooked dark meat chicken (like thigh meat), deboned
  • ¼ cup of cooked long grain brown rice
  • ½ teaspoon of vegetable oil (Did you know? This is usually soybean oil or a mix of corn and soy.)
  • ¾ teaspoon of feed-grade powdered bone meal (Solgar is a good brand)


First, it’s a good idea to use a kitchen scale to measure out the amounts you will be using.
Shred the chicken and mix it thoroughly with the rice, oil, and bone meal.

TIP: If your cat seems to be picking out the chicken or the rice then you can use a food processor to chop the food finely to mix the ingredients together well. You can also warm the food slightly by placing the meal in the microwave for 10-20 seconds and mixing well, which will help bring out the aroma of your freshly prepared meal. 

How to Feed this Meal

This meal is appropriate for an 8 pound cat. This could be easily scaled up for a larger cat and cut back for a smaller cat.

This meal has about 220 kilocalories and has 40% of the calories from protein, 41 % from fat, and 19% from carbohydrates. This basic diet also contains approximately 2.5 grams of bone meal which helps the diet supply plenty of calcium and phosphorus. (A 1 to 1 ratio of calcium to phosphorus is important since many home prepared diets do not provide enough calcium.)

Modifications: This diet has ample essential fatty acids for coat and skin. Yet, the omega six fatty acid content is high due to the use of chicken as the primary ingredient. To help balance out the omega six to omega three ratios, you can add either ¼ teaspoon of fish oil or utilize a 1000 mg soft gel capsule of fish oil (use scissors to clip the end of the capsule and squeeze the oil into the food). 

If your cat takes to this diet then maybe you are onto something that will help build a stronger bond between you and your cat!

More on Cat Nutrition

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How To Change Cat Food
Cat Not Eating? Discussing Appetite Loss in Cats

This article was written by PetCareRx Consulting Nutritionist Dr. Joe, a board certified veterinary nutritionist and graduate of Cornell University's program for Veterinary Medicine. The information contained, however, is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian.

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