Like most pet parents, I’m completely freaking out about the cat food shortage going on right now across the country. I managed to find a few cans to hold me over, but my supply is quickly dwindling and there is absolutely NOTHING left on the shelves or online. Along with my two cats, I also care for a feral colony that desperately needs wet food to make it through the harsh winter.
I’m at the point where I’m scouring the internet for homemade wet cat food recipes. I figure I can whip something up to hold us over, then supplement with dry food and vitamin drops until this shortage passes.
Below, I’m sharing some of the best ones that I’ve found so far. Most of them are easy enough for newbie chefs like me to pull off, although there are a few “fancier feasts,” for those who have a bit more time and energy on their hands.
Easy Homemade Wet Cat Food Recipes to Try
I’ll start with some YouTube tutorials since I know a lot of you prefer to learn through a video. I’m more of a “read to learn” type, so I’ll also include links to some of the best wet cat food recipes on other blogs below those. Between the videos and within the links I shared, you’ll find roughly 36 different recipes.
Stay tuned, though. After the recipes, I’ll share some add-ins and supplements that will help keep your kitty healthier on a homemade diet.
FYI, I included affiliate links where products are mentioned. If you buy through them, I get a small fee at no extra cost to you. Thanks!
Quick update: It appears that YouTube embeds are broken all over the internet, so I’m adding a “click here” link for you for now. 😀
1. Easy DIY Homemade Cat Food
This one is a bit long, but they take you on their shopping trip to see exactly what they buy for their homemade cat food. If you just want to see how they make it, skip ahead to about 10 minutes into the video.
2. How to Make Raw Cat Food
Want to feed your cats a raw food diet? This recipe is pretty easy to pull off. If you need full step-by-step instructions, you can find them on the Cat Lady Fitness blog. She recommends using a Vitamix blender, but I think any decent blender would work fine.
3. How to Make Vet-Approved Homemade Healthy Cat Food
This one was actually created by a vet, so you know it’s a good healthy recipe. However, since it’s a branded recipe, you’ll need to buy what they recommend in the video to pull it off. I think you could get away with swapping out their brand of fish oil with something else, though.
4. Bulk Batch Homemade Raw Cat Food from Lucky Ferals
I came across Lucky Feral’s YouTube channel the other day when I was writing about cat birthday cake recipes. I don’t think I’ve ever hit the “subscribe” button so far. Their channel is loaded with ideas for those of us caring for feral colonies. This particular recipe makes 17 lbs of food, so it’s perfect for multiple cat households.
5. A Month’s Worth of Food for $10
If you’re on a super tight budget, this recipe shows you how to make a month’s worth of healthy cat food for just $10, give or take depending on where you live. I recommend going directly to a butcher if you have one in your area, you can often get the ingredients mentioned in the video for a lot cheaper than in a grocery store.
6. Homemade Chicken Cat Food
Not a fan of dealing with raw meat? This recipe uses cooked chicken as the base. FYI, if you don’t think that’s the healthiest way to feed your cat, at least listen to her explanations in the video. She does address the most common comments.
I personally love that the bulk of the video is filmed in real-time. It’s easier to see how she does everything and shows you that you don’t have to spend hours cooking for your cat.
7. 3-Ingredient Cat Food Recipe from The Hungry Cowboy
One commenter pointed out that this recipe is a bit heavy on fiber, but it’s still a good “in a pinch” option or something to serve every few days to help stretch out your limited canned cat food supply.
I had a cat with megacolon and my vet actually recommended increasing her fiber intake. Definitely discuss it with your vet first, but something like this could help do just that.
More wet cat food recipes from other bloggers
As promised, here’s a list of recipes with written-out step-by-step instructions:
- Salmon Cat Food Recipe by Excited Cats (along with a roundup of 9 more recipes to try)
- 5 Easy and Cheap Homemade Cat Food Recipes from Cats People Store (no pictures, so it’s really mobile-friendly)
- Raw ground homemade cat food from Feline Nutrition Foundation
- Vet-created DIY cat food from Naturally Healthy Pets
- Cheap Homemade Cat Food Recipe from Top Dog Tips (yes, it’s a dog blog but it has a lot of cat info, too)
- 12 Easy Cat Food Recipes from The Cat Tribe
Add-Ins & Supplements for Tastier & Heathier Homemade Cat Food
I’m not a vet nor an animal nutritionist. I’ve never even made my own cat food before now. So I’m really worried that I’ll mess something up and rob my cats of some vital nutrients. Then, of course, there’s the fact that Zoe is the pickiest kitty on the planet and may not even like what I make for her.
With that in mind, here are a few mix-ins, toppers, and supplements that you can add to help make your DIY cat food healthier AND tastier. I choose those that are made in the USA or in countries with stricter standards (Iceland, for example, is even stricter than the US when it comes to pet food).
1. 10 In 1 Cat & Dog Multivitamin from Golden Paw
I had a hard time finding a good all-in-one cat multivitamin that was both made AND sourced in the US. A lot of products are manufactured here but with ingredients sourced from undisclosed countries (which is never a good sign). This one ticks both of the boxes AND comes highly recommended.
It’s actually made for both cats and dogs, although the description skews more towards dogs (I’m assuming that’s for keyword purposes, most Amazon descriptions are). Don’t let that scare you away. Check the reviews, cat parents rave about it! It’s a liquid, which makes it really easy to add to your homemade cat food recipes.
2. Zesty Paws Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil
Alex the Fuzz gets very dry skin during the winter because he insists on laying right next to the heater all day. Last year, he actually ended up losing a lot of fur because of it! So I started using Zesty Paws Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil to keep his skin and coat healthier and more moisturized. It REALLY helped.
Since I add it to his regular store-bought canned food, I’ll have no issues doing the same with homemade cat food. It’s not the cheapest salmon oil by a long shot, but it is one of the best in my opinion.
3. Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet Liquid Supplement for Cats
Nordic Naturals is another brand that I use a lot, and not just for my pets (they make some great human supplements, too). Like Zesty Paws, this liquid supplement is rich in Omega-3s. However, in this case, they come from sardines and anchovies.
The major downside is the price. Ounce for ounce, it’s A LOT more expensive than Zesty Paws. It’s worth it, in my opinion, but you have to decide for yourself which one you prefer.
4. Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Meal Topper
Both of my cats and all of my ferals go positively NUTS for this stuff! It really is quite magical. It’s not really a nutritional supplement, although it does add a small boost in that department. Mostly I use it as a flavor booster. With cat food in such a short supply, I have to grab what I can find, even if it’s something that my cats don’t usually love. The Magical Dinner Dust helps make those flavors more appealing to them.
It’s available on both Amazon and Chewy, but only as part of a bundle with Chicken Dinner Morsels Freeze-Dried Raw Food on the latter. So you might want to grab a bag on Amazon first to make sure your cat likes it before committing to a pricier bundle.
5. Fancy Feast Appetizers Oceanfish with a Shrimp Topper
These are a bit pricey for what they are, but like the Magical Dust above, they can help make either homemade food or a flavor that your cats don’t usually enjoy more enticing. If your cats aren’t a fan of the Oceanfish variety, Chewy has a good selection of other flavors. Like all toppers, they don’t add much in the way of nutrition, though.
Hopefully, this cat food shortage will end soon, but I’m not feeling too optimistic about that. I read that Pet Supplies Plus is estimating that their shortages will last until 2023! Ugh!
Making your own homemade cat food isn’t all that difficult, but you definitely have to make sure that you’re giving them a balanced meal with all of the vital nutrients. Since I’m not that confident in my cat nutrition abilities, I would definitely add a supplement.
Have you tried making your own cat food before? What are you doing to deal with this shortage?