Instructions for Raw and Cooked
Instructions for cooked on this page are for how to make batches. Because EZComplete contains digestive enzymes (that go to work on cooked meat more rapidly than raw), the texture will change and become softer / mushier (though it makes the nutrition even more easily absorbed). But if you are cooking and want to add the premix at the time of serving to retain more texture, please see this article on how to do that.
Even if your cat is already eating raw or cooked food, please introduce this new food slowly. Please see How to Properly and Slowly Introduce EZComplete to Your Cat.
EZComplete fur Cats balances boneless meat. It is a true meat-completer: do NOT add any organ or source of calcium. This premix is not a "vitamin supplement" and the premix powder cannot be added to foods that are already balanced and complete; that said, food made with EZComplete (once prepared as directed) can be mixed with other balanced foods. EZComplete fur Cats already contains plant-based digestive enzymes and a source of omega 3 (a daily maintenance dose of green lipped mussel powder).
Also please note, whether you are making ground batches or using EZComplete fur Cats to make meals each meal time, to prevent sensitivities or food boredom, we recommend including at least three different animals sources in your diet rotation, though be sure to properly introduce each new protein made with EZComplete slowly and one-at-a-time. Please refer to the FAQs for more information.
Scoop: the small measuring "spoon" included in the bag. The scoop in the bag holds 2.5 grams of premix. The scoop is not equivalent to one-half teaspoon. Not all dry powders have the same moisture content or density. The online converters assume that the volume measure of the product is one gram per cubic centimeter. The EZComplete fur Cats premix powder does not have a density that corresponds to one gram per cubic centimeter.
Cup: A standard measuring cup used in cooking and baking (U.S. measure is 8 ounces if weighing water).
Scant: Refers to not full to the brim - it means "slightly less than." The "scant" half cup is a bit more than scant, however. This is why we encourage the use of a food scale, preferably one that weighs down to at least the 10ths of grams.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING RAW FOOD
The Recipe for Raw Batches
Note: Weighing the premix is more accurate than using a volume measurement.
Two pounds of boneless meat, chunked or ground.
1 ½ cups of water. Adjust water content to your cat’s preference. The water is needed to distribute the premix evenly into the meat and rehydrate the powdered food ingredients.
Scant 1/2 cup of EZComplete fur Cats (do not pack the cup, the powder is measured loose - equivalent to 22 provided scoops of powder).
By weight it requires 1 7/8ths ounce (53.3g) of premix.
One kilogram of boneless meat, chunked or ground
400g of water. Adjust water content to your cat's preference. The water is needed to distribute the premix evenly into the meat and rehydrate the powdered food ingredients.
24 scoops of EZComplete fur Cats.
By weight this is 60g of premix.
To prepare the raw food, simply combine the boneless meat, water, and EZComplete fur Cats premix. Mix / stir the supplement evenly into the meat. Portion and freeze!
To Use EZComplete as a Sprinkle-On / For Individual Raw Meals
- 1.5 ounces (43g) of boneless meat
- One tablespoon of water (this makes gravy if not using ground meat). Adjust the amount of water to the type of meat (ground, small, or large chunks) and your cats' preference. If new to chewing, start with small pieces (thin strips).
- One scoop (provided in the bag) (2.5g) of EZComplete fur Cats
INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING COOKED FOOD
Please note, the decision to cook the meat for your cat's food may have health consequences. Please understand your options prior to determining the method you will use: Raw or Cooked? Which Should I Feed and Why?
*****For Cooked, several very important points!*****
1) When using EZComplete with cooked (boneless) meat, the amount of premix to use is based on the RAW weight of the meat, prior to cooking. If you purchase bone-in meat, it must be de-boned prior to cooking as you need to know its raw weight in order to determine the amount of premix to use to balance the food properly.
2) If cooking the meat, cook only the boneless meat. Add the premix AFTER the meat is cooked and cooled.
3) When making cooked food with EZComplete it is VERY important to use all of the cooking water OR to recover all of the pan drippings to include in the food: important minerals and vitamins are contained in that water and those juices! If you boil, poach, or use a slow cooker, you may not need to add more water, depending on how much water is included with the cooked meat. The water in the recipe is used to make sure the supplement is mixed evenly into the meat and to replace the moisture lost in the freeze drying of food ingredients. If there was sufficient cooking water, there is no need to add more. If your cats like it a bit soupy or with gravy, you can add more.
4) EZComplete premix powder contains plant-based digestive enzymes. Cooked meat might have an altered texture during refrigerator storage. (This does not happen during freezer storage). This makes the nutrition more easily available to your cat, it does not damage the nutrition in any way (in fact, it makes it even more bioavailable). But it can alter the texture by making the meat softer. If your cat does not like the texture change (most don't seem to care), it's best to portion into individual meal-sized amounts for freezer storage once you've prepared the batch. To feed, simply use the rapid-thawing method at meal-time, as directed in the next section (How to Thaw & Serve), below. We also have instructions for how to add the premix powder at the time of feeding when using cooked meat.
Instructions for Cooking the Boneless Meat
Slow Cooker Method - recommended
Add the boneless meat and 1/4 cup of water per pound (1/2 - 3/4 cup of water per kilogram) to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours if you choose to cook the meat to well done. Do not cook on the high setting unless you're in a real bind time-wise. Remember: if cooking for concerns due to bacteria, the meat does not need to be cooked to well done.
Allow the meat to cool, then shred with a fork, chop, cut, shred, or use a food processor to chop/grind to a consistency you (and your cat) like. Using a food processor will increase the chances of texture changes when prepared food is refrigerated.
Use ALL of the water used for cooking the meat when mixing with the supplement once the meat is processed the way you want it, it contains valuable minerals and nutrients.
Baking - please note that we recommend adding water to the bottom of the pan and covering the meat with foil. This is not a dry heat method of cooking and is not comparable to roasting.
If you bake the meat, please remember to retain/recover as much of the pan drippings as possible, these include valuable nutrients.
Recommended method if baking: Use a baking pan with an elevated rack for the boneless meat. Add water to the bottom of the pan; cover the entire thing with foil to retain moisture. This also makes it easier to recover the pan drippings. When the poultry or meat is done, depending on how much water is in the pan, please add up to the 1 ½ cups water (400g per kilogram of meat) to the roasting pan (if needed) to scrape all of the pan drippings to use them in the food. Add this to the mixing bowl when your meat is chopped or shredded OR add it (slowly) to the food processor if pureeing the meat into a smoother consistency. Please note, the finer the grind of the meat, the faster the texture will alter once thawed. If using ground, just add it all to the mixing bowl and add the EZComplete premix. Mix thoroughly.
Baking Instructions: Cook at 350 F (180C) for up to 20 minutes per pound (500g) of boneless meat, depending on the internal temperature you want to target. Cooking temperatures and meat "doneness" are available here. Remember, these guidelines are for humans. All we need to achieve for our pets is cooking the outer layers of the meat, and the meat is best prepared rare (or very rare). Reducing the internal temperature over time (cooking the meat less and less) can be used as a method to transition to raw if desired.
To make "ground" food if you don't have a grinder for the meat, (whether raw or cooked & cooled), cut the boneless meat into small pieces appropriate to the size of your food processor (if cooked, wait until the meat has cooled). Pulse the food processor for a few seconds at a time to chunk/mince/"grind" to your cat's desired consistency. Again, the smoother the food, the faster the texture will change once thawed if cooked through. If the meat is cooked to well done, we recommend simply "shredding" the meat with a fork.
Instructions for Batches Made with Cooked Meat
In a mixing bowl, add the cooked boneless meat and ALL the water from cooking or the recovered pan juices from baking.
ALLOW TO COOL.
Once the meat and water or pan juices have cooled, add the EZComplete fur Cats premix. Mix thoroughly.
You can add more water if your cat prefers the food a little soupier or if it is needed to distribute the premix evenly. For cooked meat, if your cat does not like the texture change that results over time with refrigerator storage (discussed above), you can portion your batch of food made with cooked meat into meal size portions for freezer storage and then use the rapid thawing method at meal time. Use freezer-adequate containers or bags for storage.
Instructions for Individual Meals of Cooked Meat
As the amount of premix to use is based on the amount of the RAW weight of the meat, there are two options:
1) Cook the amount of meat you plan to feed at each meal, or
2) Cook a larger batch of meat and portion to store in the freezer. For instruction on how much EZComplete premix to add to the thawed portion of cooked meat, please see "How to Add EZComplete to Cooked Meats at the Time of Feeding."
Storing the prepared food
Keep frozen until ready for use.
If the food is raw, you can thaw up to two days of prepared food at a time, and serve at meal time.
If the food is made with cooked meat, please be aware of the texture change during thawing and refrigerator storage (because of the plant-based digestive enzymes). This makes the food softer: it also makes the nutrition even more bioavailable to the kitty. Some cats prefer it softer. Others don't. If your kitty doesn't like the texture change, you can either make the batch of food with cooked meat and portion into individual meal sized amounts, then use the rapid thawing method (of placing the container into lukewarm water just prior to feeding) OR you can add the amount of premix powder to balanced the meal at the time of feeding. To add the premix powder to cooked meat at the time of feeding requires advanced planning if cooking more meat than is needed for an individual meal (as the amount of premix powder to use is based on the raw weight of the meat). For instructions on how to calculate the amount of premix powder to add to cooked meat AFTER portioning and thawing, please see "How to Add EZComplete to Cooked Meat at the Time of Feeding."
How to Thaw & Serve the Food
1) Thaw overnight in the refrigerator (recommended for raw food only) OR
2) For rapid thawing, place the plastic bag or container with the frozen food in a bowl of lukewarm water to thaw at meal time. This can be used for food made with EZComplete whether cooked or raw.
Note for Cooked Meat: For cooked food made with EZComplete, as the premix contains digestive enzymes, cooked meat will break down faster during thawing and refrigeration. This does NOT alter the nutritional content (in fact, it makes it even easier to digest), but it will alter the texture the longer the cooked food is stored in the refrigerator.
Caution: Do not thaw at room temperature.
To Serve, we recommend:
- weighing portions with a kitchen scale for accurate serving sizes;
- serving the meal on glass or stainless steel plates or shallow dishes to prevent whisker stress while eating.
- serving the meal at slightly warmer than room temperature at first. To warm thawed food, place the container in a bowl of lukewarm water for a few minutes prior to serving.
Water will separate during thawing and warming. This contains valuable nutrients, so mix the container of food thoroughly before serving.
Feed within half an hour of serving to make sure your cat is eating fresh food!
How Much Food to Feed?
Raw or cooked homemade food has a very high bioavailability and is very easily digestible. The very fine powder of the food ingredients in our premix and the inclusion of digestive enzymes in our product further contribute to your kitty getting the most out of this food. The result is that most cats do not need as much food made with EZComplete as canned food they were eating.
Kittens should be fed as much as they want to eat. Until they are 12 - 14 weeks old, they should be fed many small meals a day. Once they are 12 - 14 weeks old, their stomachs are large enough to be fed at least four meals a day, but they should not be moved to fewer meals until they are 6 to 9 months of age. At about a year, with the guidance of your vet, you can determine how much to feed them daily.
The average adult cat will eat about 4.5 ounces (125g) a day – but how much food a cat needs daily is dependent on age, individual metabolism, activity level, and health.
The typical guideline is that cats eating raw will consume between 2% and 4% of their body weight. Unless a cat is very active (or suffers from a gastrointestinal disease that causes malabsorption), eating 4% is quite unusual. Generally speaking, cats eating raw food will consume between 2% - 3% of their body weight to maintain their current weight. A typical indoor-only (adult) house cat will most often eat close to 2%. Please note we recommend dividing the food needed into three portions, usually fed AM, PM and before bed.
How does this translate into amounts?
An eight pound cat (3.5kg) at 2% will eat about 2.5 ounces (70g) of food a day
(8 pounds X 16 ounces per pound = 128 ounces. 128 ounces X 0.02 = 2.6 ounces).
(3.5 kilograms X 1,000 grams per kilogram = 3,500 grams. 3,500g X 0.02 = 70 grams).
An eight pound cat (3.5kg) at 3% will eat about 4 ounces (105g) of food a day;
An (extremely active) eight pound cat (3.5kg) at 4% will eat about 5 ounces (140g) of food a day.
A ten pound cat (4.5kg) at 2% will eat about 3 ¼ ounces (90g) of food a day;
A ten pound cat (4.5kg) at 3% will eat close to 5 ounces (135g) of food a day;
A (very very active!) ten pound cat (4.5kg) at 4% will eat about 6.5 ounces (180g) of food a day.
A twelve pound cat (5.5kg) at 2% will eat about 4 ounces (110g) a day;
A twelve pound cat (5.5kg) at 3% will eat about 5 ¾ ounces (165g) a day;
A (tremendously active!) twelve pound cat (5.5kg) at 4% will eat about 7.5 ounces (220g) a day.
Find the amount of food that keeps your cat's weight stable. We recommend feeding your cat at 2% and up to 3%. It is best to weigh your cat weekly for the first four to six weeks to monitor whether your cat’s weight is stable, rising, or falling on the amount of food being fed. Adjust the amount of food you are feeding until you find the amount that maintains a stable weight.
If your cat needs to gain weight, once you know the amount of food that keeps your cat's weight stable, you can slowly increase the amount until the target weight is achieved.
If your cat needs to lose weight, once you know the amount of food that keeps your cat's weight stable, you can slowly decrease the amount until the target weight is reached. To understand how to help your cat lose weight on this high protein, high moisture diet, Dr. Lisa Pierson of www.CatInfo.org has a helpful article that discusses how to implement a safe weight loss program for your cat. Of course, we encourage you to work with your vet during any weight loss program for your cat.
How Often Should I Feed My Cat?
At Food Fur Life, we recommend feeding adult cats at least three meals a day. (Kittens should be fed frequently and as much as they want to eat). For adults, divide the total amount of food needed into three meals - they do not need to spaced evenly in terms of feeding times. Most people feed AM, PM and before bed. Why at least three meals?
According to How often should you feed your cat?
"According to the National Research Council’s Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats, feral cats eat about 8 to 12 meals in any given 24 hour period. (1) Their behavior is geared towards small, frequent meals and they spend a great deal of their time actively hunting.
...a carnivore’s digestive physiology has incorporated hunger as an integral part of its healthy workings. Indigestible solids are retained in the stomach until digestion of other food products is completed and it is, in fact, hunger pangs which propel this material forth. If the cat is never allowed to become hungry, the regulation of waste movement is compromised, leading to discomfort, hairball regurgitation and other digestive motility issues.
...as the cat becomes hungry, bile acids in the stomach increase in anticipation of a meal. If this goes on too long or becomes concentrated enough, the cat is likely to become nauseous, provoking what many have termed “hunger pukes”, typically of a clear or foamy consistency. “Too long” varies with the cat, but can be as short as 5 or 6 hours without food. Unfortunately for some cats, this puking can start a spiral of discomfort that will throw a cat off food indefinitely.
...[Also] as Dr. Lisa Pierson notes on her site, CatInfo.org, the frequency of a cat’s meals impacts the PH of her urine. (2) ‘Post-prandial alkaline tide’ refers to the increase in urine alkalinity that follows the ingestion of a large meal, a PH change that can lead to the formation of painful and potentially deadly struvite crystals. Eating smaller, more frequent meals – mimicking their instinctive hunting behavior – naturally helps maintain a cat’s PH in the normal range.
Finally, a study published in the February 2014 issue of the Journal of Animal Science, “Effects of feeding frequency and dietary water content on voluntary physical activity in healthy adult cats,” (3) determined that more frequent meals had a positive impact upon feline activity, making weight loss and maintenance easier… an important fact given the 90% increase in feline obesity cases over the last five years (3)."
In sum, "Feeding at least three scheduled meals a day will go a long way toward keeping your cat’s digestive system healthy, strong, and working at peak efficiency!"
How to Transition
Food changes are always best made slowly, even if your cat is already eating raw. Cats often do not like change: this new food has less smell than other commercial foods, it has a different texture than most cats are used to eating, and a rapid transition can result in an upset stomach. The simple recommendation is to slowly transition to food made with EZComplete fur Cats by adding a little more of the new food while removing an equivalent amount of the old food until all you are feeding is the new diet. But it isn’t always this easy. You may need to experiment with texture, amount of moisture, and temperature. For a more in-depth discussion of transitioning, please read our guide How to Slowly and Properly Introduce EZComplete.
If your cat is still eating kibbles in a free-fed manner, please see our guide, How to Transition to Timed Meals.
Caution: Never attempt to force or starve a cat into eating a new diet. This can cause a life-threatening liver disease (hepatic lipidosis, “fatty liver”).