If you're considering learning how to make cat food and getting your cat on a raw diet, there are some things that you should take into consideration. This type of a diet is intended to be much healthier for your cat, but unless it's done right, it can actually do more harm than good.
The first thing to take into account is that you will have to do more than feed your cat scraps of meat. In the wild, cats get their nutrients not just from their prey's muscle (the meat), but also from their organs and bones. So giving your cat chicken breasts or thighs and thinking that's sufficient isn't a good idea; you will have to put supplements like taurine, and vitamin B and vitamin E, and iodized salt into the food.
The second is that it needs to be species-appropriate; small wild cats have small prey, usually along the lines of small rodents and birds. Even fish, which seems so stereotypical of a feline diet, isn't good for them as too much of it destroys thiamine and causes problems. So the best meat for them is going to be along those same lines as their natural prey, like poultry. Remember, it's got to have some fat in it, as well as bone, so boneless, skinless turkey or chicken meat isn't going to work either. Bone-in whole chicken thighs with the skin are good. Pre-ground is not, since it will have a lot more bacteria in it than whole cuts, and it won't have bone in it.
The type of meat you use must be antibiotic and hormone free. Organic is better, but it's pricey. A good place to look for this type of meat at a reasonable price is your local farmers market, since they're made up of independent farmers whose food is a lot less likely to be produced under the conditions that the big commercial farms have. Plus, their need for high profits may be less since they're independent. Lake County, Ill., has many farmers markets you can check out. Click here for info.
Next, you need to consider your supplements. The supplements you can get at your local health and vitamin store are usually sourced from vegetable matter and have a lot of cellulose in the binding agents. These can irritate your cat's GI tract, causing persistent vomiting (which results in dehydration and nutritional deficiencies), loss of appetite, lethargy, and abdominal pain. A good brand to use is Source Naturals, which can be found at iherb.com. Make sure you keep track of how much you have and order more in a timely manner, since you can't just run to your local store and buy more supplements.
You will probably need a good, high-quality meat grinder so that you're able to grind the bones with the meat, though you can use bone meal if you absolutely must. But first, check out different grinders that are intended for grinding meat and bone and see what you find.
The benefits of a raw diet for your cat include more energy throughout the day, a healthier weight, strong bones and organs, better eyesight, and less of an appetite between meals. They also shed a little less, so they get fewer furballs in their stomachs. The benefits for you include less odors from the litter box, softer fur and less shedding, more playtime, and a cat that is healthier overall, so you have fewer vet visits.