..: The Raw Diet ..:

We have been feeding a raw diet for ten years and are so pleased with it we don't even feed commercial cat food when we are on vacation. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but once you get the hang of it it's not too bad. There are commercial raw diets available for purchase, but I don't feel comfortable with them.

There is Good News and Bad News

The good news is your cats will have the purest and healthiest diet possible, and it will cost less than a premium commercial food. The bad news is that there is an initial outlay of money for a meat grinder.  A large grinder that will handle leg/thigh quarters will cost about $375 (including shipping). This grinder will still require you to chop up the leg/thigh quarters into 3-4 pieces so they will fit into the throat of the grinder.

My friend has an even larger grinder that does not require you to chop up the leg/thigh quarters. This grinder will cost about twice as much ($650) but it may be worth it to save the preparation time required to pre-chop the chicken. One link to this grinder is here.

The larger grinder will end up paying for itself in the long run, plus it gives you more flexibility in the chicken pieces you can use. In my opinion, the larger grinder is well worth the initial investment.

If y9ou can't afford the larger grinder, here is a link to a less expensive grinder (Tasin TS-108) that reportedly does a decent job, if you are preparing food for just 1-2 cats.



  • 75% chicken leg/thigh quarters.
  • 15% ground beef - We buy beef roasts when they are on sale and grind them into the mix ourselves. Typically use London Broil, Chuck, or Bottom Round cuts of beef.
  • 10% consisting of a combination of beef liver, beef heart, and chicken liver. Make sure to use the blood that may be in the beef heart package because it contains a high concentration of the taurine that cats require in their diet.
Monthly Preparation (takes about 1 to 2 hours)

Meat Grinder
The meat grinder we use was purchased from the Northern Tool & Equipment website. The direct link to the meat grinder item is here.

Use the coarse size cutting plate that comes with your grinder. Grind and thoroughly mix together the meats. The way I try to insure that I have mixed the meats together well is to divide the meat into 6-10 groups, with an equal proportion of chicken leg quarters, beef roast  chunks, beef heart, beef liver, and chicken liver in each group. That is each group would have the same percentage of the various meats as described in the Meats section above. Only take one group of meat out of the refrigerator so that it stays as cold as possible until the grinding is complete and the completed packages can be placed in your freezer.

Grind one group of meat at a time. I’ve found that it works best to start putting a couple pieces of chicken in the grinder, then add the beef, heart and liver pieces, then complete the group grinding with the remaining pieces of chicken. The pieces of chicken that follow the beef, heart and liver helps to push the beef, heart and liver through the grinder.

I then spoon the mixture into quart sized ZipLok bags and stack them in my freezer. Place each group of bags into the freezer immediately, BEFORE starting the next group. You don’t want the meat to be un-refrigerated any longer than necessary.

Repeat the process above for each group of meat.


Miscellaneous Preparation

Sam’s Club sells fresh salmon (without the skin). I cut the salmon into little cubes (about inch square), place the cubes on a cookie sheet, then place the cookie sheet in the freezer for a couple hours (until frozen). Once frozen, take all the salmon cubes from the cookie sheet and place into one or more ZipLok bags and store in the freezer.

I do the same thing with beef cubes (the kind you buy for beef stew).

Each cat gets a beef cube and a salmon cube each day. The chewing action eating these cubes helps to keep their teeth clean.

I also feed canned sardines (packed in oil) once a week. I give one sardine to each cat.


P.S. - Sometimes cooked food is good too!

Carole Bohanan-Uhler
Harford County, Maryland

- Praise God from whom all blessings flow -