We must feed our cats highly nutritious meals to keep them healthy and to avoid the development of diet-related conditions like feline obesity and diabetes.
Many commercial cat foods aim to meet basic nutritional requirements, but usually, it is the formulations used in high-end canned varieties that manage to achieve this.
Even then, it is essential always to read nutritional labels, as price does not guarantee quality.
More affordable semi-dried and dried varieties are typically less nutritious.
They are made of poorer quality ingredients, and the drying process, in combination with long storage periods, leads to higher nutrient degradation.
A simple homemade gravy can work wonders to supplement any cat diet by providing high-quality nutrients.
These include fresh animal proteins and fats, dietary fiber, as well as essential minerals and vitamins.
Additionally, gravies have relatively high water content (of up to 80%), and they can contribute significantly to the daily fluid intake of cats that do not drink sufficient water.
On top of being nourishing, homemade gravies are practical as they can be easily modified to create variety within a cat’s diet.
This provides opportunities to spoil our pets and to discover the meals that particularly selective cats prefer.
Besides, mature and poorly cats often have eating challenges due to chewing difficulties or appetite loss.
As a means to avoid dangerous levels of weight loss, nutritionally packed gravies can be provided as a primary food source (under the guidance of a veterinarian).
They are easier to consume and digest, compared to whole foods.
It is essential to understand the dietary requirements and actual nutritional intake of your cat before making any alterations.
This can be best done by reading the nutritional labels on any foods you feed your cat and consulting with a veterinarian certified in animal nutrition.
This way, you can provide a balanced diet that can be modified and remain wholesome.
Another important consideration is understanding that cats are carnivores, and any meal they consume should primarily consist of meat or meat derivatives.
Foods that would not naturally occur in their diet, such as grains and cereals, must be avoided.
Foods that are harmful or life-threatening to them, such as salt, garlic, and grapes, must never be given.
For this recipe, we selected to use chicken as our meat component.
We created a simple but nutrient-packed gravy using three budget-friendly and easily accessible ingredients for the following reasons.
- Small birds evolved with cats as a natural prey, so many cats accept meals containing chicken.
- Chicken meat and bones provide most of the essential nutrients cats require: primarily proteins, fats, minerals like magnesium, and vitamins like niacin.
- The high liquid content in a broth provides hydration, which assists in vital kidney functions necessary to process a high protein diet.
- To provide a meal high in protein that meets feline nutritional requirements.
- Chicken breast is boneless and easy to cook and blend.
- To provide the fiber that aids in digestion.
- To provide essential minerals and vitamins, including vitamin K1, vitamin B6, potassium, and beta carotene.
Easy Chicken Carrot Gravy (makes 5 To 10 Servings Depending On The Consistency)
1 cup chicken broth, cooked and cooled as stated in the recipe that follows.
1 large chicken breast (5-6 oz), chopped and boiled for 20 to 30 minutes, then left to cool.
1 medium carrot (2 oz), chopped and boiled for 5 minutes, then left to cool.
(Optional) After boiling and cooling the chicken, further chop a few pieces of the breast to use as meat chunks for cats that like an additional texture.
Prepare broth, chicken, and carrots, as stated above.
Combine the chicken breast and carrots and blend to a fine paste.
Gradually add broth while continuing to blend until the desired consistency of your cat’s preference is achieved.
Add optional meat chunks and serve.
This recipe makes between 5 to 10 servings based on the consistency achieved.
Additional gravy can be stored in airtight containers in a refrigerator for up to 3 days, which can be thawed out 2hrs before the next meal.
Homemade Chicken Broth:
1 lb chicken scraps (bones, fats, insides)
5 cups of water
Put all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to boil.
Then reduce the heat and let the pot simmer for 2 hours, checking it regularly.
Strain out the chicken scraps and leave the broth to cool.
Use the broth as instructed in the recipe above. Store any extra broth in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Note: This chicken broth on its own can be given as a snack or to moisten up dry cat food.
Vital Points To Remember
To provide our cats with the nourishing diets they require, it is ideal that we know what they are consuming.
This includes inspecting food labels on commercial products, as well as selecting the ingredients that we use for homemade gravies wisely.
Putting effort into understanding the specialized dietary needs of our cats can only make us better pet parents.
By starting with an easy recipe like ours, learning curves can be shortened into manageable volumes.
In time, we can expand on our knowledge of cat diets and our repertoire of recipes.
Seeking advice from qualified nutritional veterinarians can never be overlooked.
However, because nutrient deficiencies can develop in cats on any diet and if they are not treated appropriately, they can cause permanent damage or death.
A good recipe for cat food gravy is something of value to any cat owner, as it offers a cheap and easy way to provide a nutritionally rich diet to any feline companion.
It is satisfying to provide our cats with homemade meals that consist of quality nutrients and lack additives and preservatives that may be harmful.