Pre-ground rabbit with bones, head, feet, and organs
Several vendors sell the above in 1, 2, and 5 pound (lb) chubs/vacuum-sealed bags. To save on shipping, you can order a large amount. It will arrive in a semi-frozen state, at which point you can open up all the bags, prepare the mix, and then portion out to be frozen in glass canning jars.
If you have a choice, please try and order as close to whole a rabbit as possible as listed above. The exception is fur, which just based on the almost 12 years of experience with list kitties, I'd say is a hit or miss proposition. Many cats including my IBD one Pigpen throw up fur. Some other cats get constipated and when they do evacuate, there is a large quantity of fur in stool. One option is to manually remove some of the fur when you open up the containers of ground rabbit. Another is to buy the mix sans fur, and add your own fiber source as has been done below.
Per 1lb of ground rabbit, add:
- 1 Tbsp (can go up to 2 if your cat is prone to constipation) of ground-up wheat/catgrass or cooked then blended zucchini, squash, or pumpkin
- 1-2 egg yolks (this will also take care of iodine and Vit D to some extent); if you have longhaired cats, I'd go with 2 because the lecithin in yolk helps with hairballs
- 1/8 capsule of Thorne B-Complex Formula #12 (least stinky cat-safe one on the market) OR 1/16 capsule of Jarrow B-Right "Low Odor" (be watchful for signs of nausea with this one)
- Carlson/NOW/Source Naturals Taurine powder, or any capsule brand - at least 1,000mg, even 1,500mg if you want (I err on the side of too much vs too little especially with rabbit)
- Vitamin E - 2 400IU; GNC Natural E 400 100% natural D-alpha capsules (note: no other GNC E is soy-free, just this one) OR Dr. Ron's Unique E OR Carlson Laboratories d-alpha Gems OR Natural Factors Clear Base. These are the only two products forum members have been able to verify are soy-free. Note - there are similar products by the same brands, so diligent label reading is important, as always:)
- Home-made meat broth or water as needed to make it less sticky and easy to mix e.g. 1/2 - 1 cup, can adjust because if mix is bloody won't need as much additional moisture
- 1-2 Tablespoons of animal fat (since rabbit is low in fat compared to a mouse) e.g. from duck, beef, or ghee made from cow/buffalo milk
- *Omega-3 - at feeding time
*I personally prefer to add NOW Krill oil or a combination of anchovy, sardine, and salmon oil. Brands depend on feline bosses' preference, which currently are limited to Nordic Naturals & Carlson's. I add these at feeding time not into the mix because although there's no credible data, I'd rather not take a chance of oxidation. I have the same i.e. oxidative concern with liquid Omega-3, so I tend to avoid them altogether unless I'm feeding a large colony of cats, and know I will use up a bottle in less than a week.
So 1 meal a day, I split either 1 500mg NOW Krill oil or 1,000mg wild salmon oil containing at least 400DHA and 300EPA among my 4 cats.
Ideally you should also include head & feet because with head your cats will get fatty acids and taurine, and with feet, collagen and cartilage.
If you do not include the head in mix, you can add more omega-3 but it's not necessary if your cats get omega-3 from their other meat sources or eat fresh fish once a week.
You can add plain collagen powder or beef (as long as your cats aren't allergic) gelatin powder along with additional water/broth if not ordering the mix with feet included.
Since we do not know the Vit D content of animals (USDA does not include this in their database), and since cats appear to be unable to synthesize it even from direct sunlight (as per a paper by Dr. Morris from UC Davis), you can either add 10-50 IU Vit D daily or include more eggs in your mix.