Many people shy away from raw feeding their cats because they have concerns about the safety of handling raw What Does Gamey Taste Like. An easy and inexpensive method for handling raw meat safely is sanitizing both the meat and the counter top work surface with food grade hydrogen peroxide at a seventeen percent dilution.
Before going further, I want to emphasize that the meat you feed your cat should be the same fresh and certified meat that you buy at the supermarket. Don’t feed them spoiled meat, contaminated meat, or meat that has not been processed according to USDA standards for human consumption.
You will need the following kitchen tools to prepare the raw food for your cats: one or two sharp knives that are flexible enough to slice meat off the bone; a cutting board, either wood or plastic, that is dedicated to meat; a spray-bottle of any size that you find convenient; food grade hydrogen peroxide in a dilute solution of 17%; glass canning jars with reusable lids in the 4 oz size; a bottle brush for cleaning hard to reach areas that can be washed in a dishwasher
Useful but optional kitchen tools the make the preparation of raw food easy are: disposable rubble gloves, and a small meat clever for cutting bones. Last but not least, it is nice to have an electric meat grinder strong enough to grind raw bones.
Thaw frozen meat in the refrigerator; thawing it on a counter top overnight warms the meat to a temperature that opens the door to increased bacterial activity. If you need the meat in a hurry, you can thaw it in a microwave, or drop the meat into a pan of warm water.
If you choose to use rubber gloves, now is the time to put them on. Make a “bath” of one part 17% hydrogen peroxide and four parts water. Soak the meat in this solution for several minutes to destroy surface bacteria. While the meat is soaking, fill a spray bottle with one part dilute hydrogen peroxide (17%) and three parts water.
Remove the meat from the bath and rinse it thoroughly in cool running water, then dry it with paper towels. If you are feeding chunks to your cat, place the meat on the dedicated cutting board. Cut the meat off the bone and then hack it into chunks. Set aside bones, cartilage scraps, and any skin if you plan to make slurry with your grinder. If you are weaning a kitten, feeding sick cat, or transitioning your cat to raw food, then dice the meat fine. Last, if you are making slurry, run skin, bones, organs and some meat chunks through your meat grinder.
Begin your clean up by rinsing the knives in hot water. If blood has congealed on the knife, spray it with your hydrogen peroxide solution and let it sit a few minutes. The peroxide will foam, lifting the blood. Wash the knives in hot soapy water, rinse, dry and then spray the knives with the hydrogen peroxide solution.Let them sit before drying them and putting them away.
If you ground meat, disassemble the meat grinder following the manufacturer instructions. Rise all parts in hot water using a stiff bottle brush to clean meat scraps caught inside the cylinder and the cutting disk. Wash all parts in hot, soapy water, then rinse them, and dry them. Spray all parts with your solution of dilute hydrogen peroxide and let them sit a few minutes before drying.
Clean the cutting board and the counter top workspace with hot soapy water. Dry them with disposable paper towel and then spray the surfaces with hydrogen peroxide.
Food grade hydrogen peroxide is generally sold in a thirty-five percent (35%) solution. However, the government considers hydrogen peroxide in a 35% solution as hazardous material. That not only makes shipping costs prohibitive, it requires special storage facilities in your home. The good news is that food grade hydrogen peroxide at 17% is available from online sellers. That solution is strong enough to sanitize bacteria, and yet be shipped as non-hazardous material stored conveniently under your kitchen sink.