8 Homemade Cat Food Recipes Your Feline Friend Will Love

Whip up one (or all!) of these DIY cat food recipes at home to provide your kitty with a little variety in their diet.

Updated June 26, 2023
Cat eating out of bowl

Homemade cat food can be a real treat for your pet, especially when you use prime ingredients like real fish, chicken, and beef. The best part is, you don't need to be a gourmet chef to create special entrees. All you need is about half an hour of your time and a few basic ingredients commonly found in most kitchens.

Cat Food Recipes for Tasty Fish Entrees

Learning how to make cat food is fun, and it's very rewarding when your cat finds the food irresistible. Cats love the flavor of fish, so they'll enjoy these entrees. But if they prefer beef or chicken, we have recipes that incorporate these proteins, too. Before you head to the kitchen, speak to your veterinarian about any special dietary needs, allergies, or digestive health concerns to keep your cat's digestive system as healthy and happy as can be.

Need to Know

Keep in mind that cooked meat entrees should be a treat rather than a replacement of your cat's typical diet. Feeding your cat only these recipes can lead to health problems in the long-term.

Mackerel Recipe

If you've never made a homemade meal for your cat, this is a great recipe to start out with. It uses only four ingredients and takes just a few minutes to prepare.

mackerel cat food


  • 1 cup canned mackerel
  • 1 tablespoon oil from canned fish
  • 1 tablespoon organic, brown rice, cooked
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of chicken or beef broth, or water


  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Pulse until blended.
  3. Serve immediately and refrigerate leftovers up to three days.

Sardine Cat Food Recipe

Cats love the smell of sardines, but they like the flavor even better. Don't count on leftovers when you serve this dinner!


  • 1 can sardines in oil31
  • 2 tablespoons of cooked carrot, mashed
  • ⅓ cup cooked oatmeal


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Mash ingredients together and serve.
  3. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, and discard after three days.

Trout Dinner

When Kitty deserves something special, treat them to this tasty trout dinner! Maybe even pop a few treats on top to transform this DIY recipe into a cat-approved birthday "cake."

trout cat food


  • 1 cup cooked trout
  • 1 cooked egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon steamed broccoli, chopped small
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce


  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Pulse until blended and serve.
  3. Store in the refrigerator up to three days.

Salmon Dinner

Salmon is a wonderful source of healthy fish oil, and it's tasty, too. This recipe just might become one of your pet's favorites.

Fast Fact

The omega-3s in salmon can help cats with dry skin, arthritic joints, and even slow the progression of kidney disease.

salmon cat food


  • 1 can salmon
  • 1 tablespoon cooked broccoli, mashed
  • ¼ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon brewer's yeast


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Stir together and serve.
  3. Keep any leftovers refrigerated, and discard after three days.

Easy Homemade Cat Food Recipes for Other Entrees

Other proteins and ingredients also make a great main ingredient for cat foods.

Chicken Dinner

Many cats will choose chicken over other meats. This recipe is simple, and cats love it.


  • 1 cup of cooked chicken (broiled or baked)
  • ¼ cup of steamed broccoli, mashed
  • ¼ cup of steamed carrots, mashed
  • Chicken broth


  1. Place ingredients in a food processor with several tablespoons of chicken broth.
  2. Puree or crumble the ingredients until the mix begins to resemble paté cat food. Add broth as needed to make the mixture smooth, but not soupy.
  3. Let the food cool to room temperature before serving.
chicken cat food

Beef Dinner

If your favorite feline loves beef, this dish is sure to please.


  • 1 cup of ground beef
  • ½ cup of steamed brown rice
  • 6 tablespoons of minced alfalfa sprouts
  • ¾ cup of small curd cottage cheese


  1. Brown and drain the ground beef in a frying pan and then cool completely.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix all four ingredients together and serve.
  3. Refrigerate leftovers up to three days.

Chicken and Tuna Dinner

Chicken and tuna often prove to be an irresistible combination. If your cat is acting finicky about their food, this dinner might encourage their appetite.

chicken and tuna cat food


  • ½ cup cooked chicken
  • 1 can tuna in oil
  • 1 tablespoon cooked carrot, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice


  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor
  2. Pulse until blended and serve.
  3. Refrigerate leftovers, and discard after three days.

Cat Salad

Many cats like greens, but indoor cats usually don't have access to the grass they crave. This special treat should satisfy your cat's craving for something green.


  • ¼ cup grated zucchini
  • ½ cup chopped alfalfa sprouts
  • ⅛ cup chicken or fish stock
  • ⅛ teaspoon of minced catnip for garnish


  1. Combine the first three ingredients in a bowl and toss.
  2. Serve sprinkled with the minced catnip on top.
  3. Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in a refrigerator for up to three days.

How to Make Your Own Cat Food Recipes

Cats have specific nutritional needs, so you'll need to make sure your homemade recipes aren't lacking in any important nutrients. According to the Pet Food Manufacturer's Association, there are 41 essential nutrients that must be in your cat's diet.

Recommended Nutrient Profile

It's vital that you feed them in the correct amounts according to your cat's age and energy level. The American Association of Animal Feed Control Officials publishes guidelines for the nutrient profile for cat food. These are an excellent guide you can use to judge your recipes' contents, including a chart for calculating the caloric requirements based on age and other factors. Essential nutrients that cats need include the following.

  • Protein is a vital part of a cat's diet, as they are obligate carnivores, and too little can lead to amino acid deficiencies.
  • Amino acids, particularly arginine and taurine, which must be derived from the protein in their meals.
  • Fatty acids, such as arachidonic acid and linoleic acid, are necessary and cannot be manufactured by a cat, unlike with dogs.
  • Vitamin A and niacin are essential vitamins that must be taken from dietary sources (and not via supplements).
  • There are 12 essential mineralsfor cats, including calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Because a cat's nutritional needs can have a serious negative effect on their long-term health and proper organ functioning, the safest course is to discuss your recipes with your veterinarian. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine recommends working with a veterinarian certified in animal nutrition to review your cat's meal plan.

Quick Tip

You can search for a Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionist in your area here.

Healthy Homemade Cat Food

Making special treats and meals for your pet is easy, even for newbie cooks. However, it's important to make sure your pet receives balanced nutrition. The best way to do that is to feed a high-quality, commercial diet on a regular basis, and treat your cat to a homemade meal once or twice a week. They'll love the variety, and you'll love making them happy.

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8 Homemade Cat Food Recipes Your Feline Friend Will Love