Your data on MRCVSonline
The nature of the services provided by Vision Media means that we might obtain certain information about you.
Please read our Data Protection and Privacy Policy for details.

In addition, (with your consent) some parts of our website may store a 'cookie' in your browser for the purposes of
functionality or performance monitoring.
Click here to manage your settings.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

Homemade cat food recipes ‘could be harmful’
Many recipes had less than 50 per cent of the recommended allowances of several essential nutrients.
US study finds majority lack essential nutrients 

A new study suggests the majority of homemade cat food recipes found online are unlikely to provide cats with all essential nutrients.

Some recipes even contained potentially toxic ingredients, according to researchers at the University of California, Davis, who examined 114 recipes from online sources and books. Recipes were written by a mixture of vets and non-vets.

Findings show 40 per cent of the recipes did not provide any feeding instructions, while the remainder lacked detail or were unclear. Just 94 per cent supplied enough information for computer nutritional analysis, and of these, none provided all the essential nutrients to meet national guidelines.

Recipes were found to lack nutrients regardless of whether they were written by vets or non-vets, but those authored by vets had fewer deficiencies. Most recipes lacked concentrations of three or more nutrients, with some lacking adequate amounts of up to 19 essential nutrients.

Many recipes had less than 50 per cent of the recommended allowances of several essential nutrients, including choline, iron, zinc, thiamin, vitamin E and manganese. According to researchers, whether or not these diets would be harmful to cats would depend on feeding instructions, how long the cat has been fed the diet, the cat’s health and the level of nutritional deficiency.

Worringly, seven per cent of recipes contained ingredients that are potentially toxic to cats, such as garlic or garlic powder, onions and leeks. Some also called for raw animal products, but did not mention the potential risk of bacterial contamination, while recipes that included bones did not state the importance of grinding them to prevent gastrointestinal tears.

Only five recipes, all written by vets, met all but one of the essential ingredients.

Lead author Jennifer Larson said there was a surge in US cat owners switching to homemade diets after toxic substances were found in commercial pet food imported from China over a decade ago. However, this is thought to be the first time researchers have examined homemade recipes for healthy adult cats.

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

World Bee Day celebrations begin

News Story 1
 Today (20 May) marks the fifth annual World Bee Day, which raises awareness of the importance of bees and pollinators to people and the planet. Observed on the anniversary of pioneering Slovenian beekeeper Anton Jana's birthday, this year's celebration is themed: 'Bee Engaged: Celebrating the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems'.

Organisations and people celebrating the day will raise awareness of the accelerated decline in pollinator diversity, and highlight the importance of sustainable beekeeping systems and a wide variety of bees. Slovenia, the initiator of World Bee Day, will be focusing on teaching young people about the significance of pollinators. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Further avian flu cases confirmed

Three cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 have been confirmed in recent days, bringing the total number of cases in England to 98.

On Thursday, the APHA confirmed two cases of HPAI H5N1 near Redgrave, Mid Suffolk and Market Weston, West Suffolk. A case H5N1 was also confirmed in poultry at a premises near Southwell, Newark and Sherwood, Nottinghamshire.

Protection and surveillance zones are in place around the affected premises. Further details are available at