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04.01.2022

How to cook a cat broth the right way—learn about the safety standards with Untamed

Giving broth to your furry companion is an excellent way to add moisture and nutritional value to their diet, but not every stock is safe for your cat. Sharing with them the flavourful stew you put together for supper won’t do. Whether cooking a bone cat broth or a plain chicken soup, the preparation needs to suit the feline digestive system. The broth or soup your make mustn’t:

In this informative guide, we will give you the lowdown on what nutritionists say about homemade broth. You can get the recipe right after learning about:

We will also look into solutions for making a suitable diet for your cat using homemade soups and different types of commercial cat food.

What are the different types of broth for cats?

Broths for cats aren’t expensive or difficult to make! You can prepare four types of soups for cats:

  1. Poultry broth (chicken broth is the most popular)
  2. Red meat or bone broth
  3. Fish broth
  4. Vegetable broth

The cooking method is pretty similar regardless of the main ingredient, but we'll break down each recipe to avoid confusion.

How to make chicken broth or soup for cats

Most cats love chicken, so a poultry broth is a popular option.

Vets highly recommend giving chicken broth to cats who:

  • Are unwellSick or recuperating cats may have no appetite for regular food but tend to slurp up warm chicken broth easily. This nutrient-dense dish can speed up the recovery
  • Have a sensitive stomach—Feline gastrointestinal disturbances, like diarrhoea, vomiting, and excessive regurgitation, are a nightmare to deal with. If your cat is struggling to keep food down, chicken soup can compensate for the rapid fluid and electrolyte loss
  • Are prone to seasonal illnesses—Cats with a weak immune system are likely to suffer from a common cold in the autumn and winter months. Chicken broth is a natural booster for felines and also helps prevent hypothermia if they’re roaming around

A step-by-step recipe for homemade chicken broth for cats

Follow these steps to impress your cat with a delicious chicken broth:

  1. Getting your ingredients together—You will need chicken in bite-sized chunks for the broth. You can also add organs like raw chicken heart and liver. It’s better to use boneless bits to avoid the risk of choking. You can also add finely chopped feline-friendly vegetables (if your cat doesn’t mind them)
  2. Adding water—Depending on the concentration you want, add four to eight cups of water for every 500 g of meat. If you are using store-bought chicken stock, restrict it to one-third of the total water you use. Vets don’t recommend human-grade chicken stock for cats as it is loaded with sodium, which can contribute to kidney problems and neurological issues in cats
  3. Boiling meat and water—You can use a large pan, a soup kettle, or a Dutch oven to cook the broth. For a clear consistency, it has to simmer for 30 minutes to an hour (ensure that the meat is cooked)
  4. Serving and storing—Don’t serve hot broth to your cat as it can burn their mouth. Let it cool down beforehand. Chicken broths can easily sit in the refrigerator for one to four weeks, but the taste and some nutrients may wither away

The perks of living with a human—The number one ingredient for chicken broth is love!

Source: congerdesign

How is chicken soup (or any soup) different from a broth?

The terms soup and broth may be used interchangeably, but you should be aware of the slight differences between these dishes. We have outlined them in the table below:

Broth

Soup

  1. The consistency is thin and clear (quite close to water)
  2. You only need a few ingredients—like meat, water, and seasoning
  3. Broth is a low-calorie meal because it is carb-free—most homemade broths contain 10–30 calories per serving
  1. The consistency is thicker than broths
  2. More ingredients may be necessary for preparation, including some milk, starchy grains, and veggies, or artificial soup thickeners
  3. Depending on the carbs used, calories in soups may range from 40 to 86 calories per serving

Your cat may like the calorie-packed chicken soup you make, but it’s not an ideal meal or snack for them, especially if they tend to overeat or struggle with weight management. Also, any ingredient besides meat is practically redundant in broths for cats because the feline digestive system is designed to process only meat.

Can cats drink chicken broth? Yes! But avoid a recipe for disaster—are you keeping the bad ingredients out of your cat’s broth?

Source: bluebirdprovisions

No-good ingredients—what shouldn’t go in your cat’s chicken broth?

When cooking broth, soup, or any other food for your cat, avoid the following toxic ingredients:

Unsafe ingredients

Related health risks

Allium vegetables
(onion, chives, leeks, etc.)

●     Stomach cramps

●     Diarrhoea and vomiting

●     Increased heart rate

●     Anaemia

Green tomatoes and potatoes

●     Gastrointestinal issues because of a poisonous alkaloid called solanine

●     Neurological damage

Rhubarb leaves and stalks

●     Stomach upsets

●     Excessive drooling

●     Irritation of the mouth

Wild mushrooms

●     Potential toxicity (although store-bought mushrooms are safe)

Nuts

●     Choking hazard

●     Stomach upsets (due to an overload of fats and oils)

●     Certain nuts, like macadamia nuts, also cause tremors and hypothermia

Grapes and raisins

●     Kidney damage or failure

●     Prolonged diarrhoea, leading to anorexia

Raw yeast

●     Excessive gas

●     Bloating

●     Alcohol poisoning (due to fermentation in the stomach)

Alcohol and chocolate

●     Hyperactivity

●     Tremors and seizures

●     Coma

Can cats have chicken broth every day?

Chicken broth is more of an occasional snack than an everyday meal for cats. How often you will serve it depends on two factors:

  1. Whether your cat gets enough moisture from their regular meals
  2. What their daily calorie intake is

Broth as a moisture supplement

If dry food dominates your cat’s diet, they may struggle to stay hydrated, leading to renal, bowel, or urinary ailments, such as:

If you think your cat is dehydrated, you can serve broth more frequently as a moisture supplement. You can use it to soak biscuits or as a side dish.

Remember that vets don’t recommend an exclusively dry food diet for cats, although it helps maintain dental hygiene. Your cat should have wet food or a combo of both types.

Broth as a calorie supplement

You should factor in your cat’s daily calorie needs to determine how often they can enjoy broths. The table below will give you an estimate of the calorie needs for different adult cats:

Cat

Daily calorie requirement

Outdoor cat

250–400 calories

Indoor cat

180–230 calories

Neutered or spayed cat

180–230 calories

Pregnant cat

280–350 calories
(depending on the stage)

If your cat is experiencing a calorie deficit, nutritionists recommend putting them on a meat-based, high-protein diet rather than a high-carb one. That’s because the feline digestive system is better equipped to harness energy from proteins, while carbs are essentially junk food that increases the risk of heart disease and feline diabetes. Cat broth can help with the calorie intake if you add more meat to it.

Is chicken broth OK for younger cats?

Plain chicken stock should be fine for cats who are still growing. If you have kittens who have started eating solid food, it’s better to serve only a small portion of broth to avoid overstressing their tiny tummies.

Using other meats for broths—how does it work?

If your cat likes variety, you can try other fresh meat and fish (without the bones) or egg whites to make a simple broth. You should pay attention to your cat’s potential allergy triggers, though. It’s rare, but certain cats may develop a meat-specific allergy. Your traditional British beef tea won’t sit well with your cat if consuming beef makes them wheeze!

Safety protocols to follow while making bone broth

While preparing any meat broth is easy, you need to be extra cautious while making a bone broth.

We have simplified the steps for you:

  1. Put the bones in a cooking pot
  2. Add two to three litres of water (mild seasoning is allowed)
  3. Bring the water to a boil
  4. Cook the broth at a low temperature for six to eight hours
  5. Turn off the heat and let the broth cool down
  6. Strain out the bone pieces that broke off—do this carefully as it’s super important for your cat’s safety (swallowed bone pieces can tear or obstruct the digestive organs)
  7. Serve or store the broth as per your needs

Don’t be alarmed if the bone broth turns to jelly after refrigeration—it’s only the gelatin from bone collagen. The collagen-rich bone broth is a superfood that:

  • Detoxifies liver
  • Strengthens muscles and ligaments
  • Improves skin and coat health
  • Prevents excessive shedding
  • Accelerates wound healing
  • Boosts joint health

If you have a senior cat who is losing weight or isn’t too keen on eating solid food because of weak teeth, bone broth will be excellent for them.

Will a plain vegetable broth be a good snack for my cat?

Cats are obligate carnivores who cannot thrive on or particularly enjoy vegan food. The chances of a meat-free vegetable broth being approved by your cat are low. Some cats may accept it, while fussy ones will let out a displeased miaow and walk away.

You should always add some meat to the dish to keep it palatable and add nutritional value. Make sure to cook the veggies well to break down the cellulose content, which is otherwise indigestible to cats.

Some cat parents occasionally add fruits, like strawberries, bananas, or melons, to their feline’s diet. Even though the specified fruit is not bad for your kitty, it adds little to nothing to their nutritional needs.

Snoozing while souping—why do broths take forever to make?

Source: dannyworking

I’m pinched for time—is buying cat broth from stores smart?

Preparing a tailor-made cat broth will be challenging if you don't have time to cook. While the market is filled with complementary cat soups and broths, they can be rather pricey. Many cat parents have complained about ready-made broths being:

  • Too expensive—As per recent research, broths for cats are ten times more expensive than human soups, which is why many cat parents do not buy them
  • Loaded with flavour enhancers—Like most commercial cat food products, ready-made broths may contain taste additives and synthetic colours to compensate for the lack of real meat
  • Full of iffy preservatives—Low-quality preservatives are red flags that will only harm your cat in the long run
  • Packed with carbs—Many broths marketed as “healthy” are prepared with an unhealthy amount of carbs, mostly coming from potato, corn, or rice starch and flour paste

Homemade broths are better than commercial ones because you can control what your cat eats. If you're afraid that it'll take forever to make soup for your cat, try cooking a bigger batch at home and splitting it into daily portions. In case store-bought products are the only solution for you, consider giving quality jelly food to your cat. Jelly food is essentially the gelatinised version of meat chunks cooked in clear soup, so it packs all the goodness of broth and is usually carb-free!

Parenting hacks—No time for broths? Serve them a bowl of their favourite jelly food!!

Image (c) Untamed

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  • Complementary jelly food that can be used as a snack, a mini-meal, or a hydrating side dish to dry food

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Untamed’s toothsome gravy and jelly food will have your cat drooling just like that!

Image (c) Untamed

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We love how you prioritise the health of your precious feline companion—we do too!

Image (c) Untamed

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Period on Untamed

The Untamed effect

One week

●     Less mess in the litter tray

●     Easy digestion

Three to six months

●     Shiny coat

●     No hairballs

●     Increased energy levels

Six months and beyond

●     Improved muscle tone and agility

●     Sharper senses

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