If you're going to start preparing Kitty's meals yourself, you'll probably become acquainted with bone meal powder, which is cooked bone ground to a fine powder. It provides the same minerals as whole raw bone minus the fat and protein, ensuring she gets sufficient calcium and phosphorus.
It's easy to think about protein for Kitty -- after all, she's a carnivore and will demand meat of some sort. But what of her other nutritional needs? Depending on the recipe, one of the key ingredients she'll need is bone meal powder. Bone meal powder is necessary for Kitty because it provides the right balance of calcium and phosphorous for her, as well as vital trace minerals. She needs that calcium and phosphorus for proper development and maintenance of her musculoskeletal system.
Different brands of bone meal powder will contain different amounts of calcium, phosphorous and other minerals, so the amount you mix into her food will depend on the brand you choose. Read the label carefully and adjust the amount of the bone meal powder according to the recipe you're making. Bone meal powder is used in cat and dog food, but each has its own mineral requirements.
Choosing a bone meal powder isn't as simple as grabbing the first bottle you see on the shelf. It's heavily processed, so you have to be sure it's appropriate for Kitty's consumption. Look for one made from meat bones approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dr. Pitcairn notes in his book to never use bone meal that is sold as a garden supply; it is not for consumption. If your local pet store doesn't carry an appropriate bone meal powder you can find it on the internet.
If you want to cook for Kitty, you can make bone meal powder yourself if you have the right tools. Keep in mind that, because it's not commercially prepared, you'll have no guidance on how much to add to Kitty's food. As well, the shelf life of homemade powder may be shorter than that of commercially prepared powder. You'll need to have equipment that's up to pulverizing bones into a fine powder.
Another option is MCHA, short for microcrystalline hydroxyapatite. Instead of being cooked, MCHA is freeze-dried bone. The Healthy Pets website considers it the highest quality bone replacement product because it's uncooked and preserved in its raw state.
- Central Bucks Animal Hospital: Home-Prepared Diets for Healthy Growing Kittens and Adult Cats
- Strombeck's Home-Prepared Diets for Dogs and Cats: Feeding a Normal Dog or Cat
- Dr. Pitcairn's New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats; Richard H. Pitcairn, D.V.M., Susan Hubble Pitcairn, p. 51
- CatInfo.org: Making Cat Food
- WebMD: Homemade Cat Food and Raw Cat Food
- Holisticat: Homemade Eggshell Powder (ESP) and Bone Meal Powder
- Healthy Pets: Give That Dog (or Cat) a Bone!
- Michael Blann/Lifesize/Getty Images