Cooking the perfect cat food soup—learn what works and what doesn't!
Soup is warm and nurturing comfort food for humans, but cats are also passionate fans of this magic potion! As a versatile liquid cat food, soup offers various benefits to our feline companions. It can be a quick midday snack, complementary food to cat kibble, or a complete meal supporting the nutritional needs of sick cats—soup is a souperfood in many respects!
When making soup for cats, it’s crucial to understand the dos and don'ts of feline nutrition. What’s appetising for humans can trigger gastrointestinal issues in cats, so kitty parents must be careful.
If you are keen on preparing a tasty soup for your feline, we’ll explain how to do it! In this guide, we will:
- Tap into the benefits of giving soup to your cat
- Decipher cat-safe ingredients for making yummy soups
- Evaluate whether one should make feline-friendly soups at home or buy them off the shelf
Soup as cat food—how does it work?
Soups should be complementary food that adds variety to a cat’s meals. You can use them to:
- Increase hydration levels in cats—Cats are prone to getting dehydrated, especially if they are on a dry food diet. Since soup is primarily water, it instantly boosts hydration. On average, a cat weighing 4–5 kg needs 200–250 millilitres of water in a day to prevent:
- Make your cat’s menu versatile—Cats can be notoriously fussy about food, but those used to variety in taste and texture in their diet tend to be more flexible and cooperative. Introducing new flavours with soups is an excellent way to train their palate
- Balance nutritional values—According to vets, you should follow a cat’s natural diet and feed them meals rich in meat, which offer adequate quantities of animal proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. If your cat’s diet is lacking in certain micronutrients, you can use soup as a supplement
- Help sick or recuperating cats—Cats with acute or chronic conditions often have sensitive stomachs and suffer from diarrhoea, vomiting, or loss of appetite Light broth made with chicken or tuna can help aid their digestion and boost their recovery
- Support elderly cats—Cats’ metabolism slows down as they get older, making it harder for them to digest coarse dry food or fleshy raw meat. Wet food and soupy meals are easy on the digestive tract, especially if your cat has dental issues, like missing teeth and sensitive gums, which compromise their ability to chew their food properly
How often can cats have soup?
How about I decide when I want soup? Oh, right! You don’t speak the advanced feline tongue. Bummer.
My cat eats dry food only
If your cat mostly eats dry food, you should add more moisture to their diet by offering them different types of wet food, including soups. You can soften up kitty kibble by pouring jelly food or soup over them. If your cat doesn’t like soggy biscuits, you can also serve the soup separately as an appetiser or a side dish.
You may add soup as a moisture topping to dry food every day as long as you ensure the ingredients don’t cause a nutritional imbalance. Vets usually recommend supplementary commercial wet food for cats on a dry food diet. We think the best solution would be to switch between soup and other wet food items throughout the week.
My cat mostly consumes wet food
If your cat likes their wet food, you shouldn't give them too much soup. Overhydration in cats is as bad as dehydration. Giving excessive amounts of wet food and soup to your cat could create a fluid overload, prompting their kidneys to work harder to filter out the waste.
If your cat is getting enough hydration from wet food, restrict soups to once or twice per week. You can also ration their wet food consumption on soup days to prevent tummy troubles because of overeating.
Which soups would my kitty like?
Let’s check out some soups that can brighten up your cat’s day:
- Clear broth—Cats love light broths. You can make them with chicken or fish stock and add meat, with the tiniest amounts of selected vegetables and herbs that won't hurt your cat's tummy
- Thick soup—Cats can enjoy creamy soups with meat from time to time, although they are not as healthy as clear broth. Cream soups are thickened with greasy or carb-rich ingredients, like milk, cornstarch, or flour, which don't complement your cat's natural dietary needs. Giving too much thick and greasy soup to your cat may lead to weight gain and increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes
- Gravy or pureed soup—This is not a soup per se, but a finely mashed version of whatever you want to feed your cat, sometimes watered down with stock. If you are using the right animal proteins in reasonable portions, pureed soups and gravy can be complete meals for cats. Many cat parents put commercial wet food in a blender to get the puree consistency
A tried-and-tested formula for the purrfect feline-friendly soup—keep it simple!
How to prepare the perfect soup for your cat
What’s good—cat-safe soup ingredients
Cats can safely consume some fruits and vegetables. Here’s a list of items you can use:
- Leafy greens, like spinach, lettuce, kale, cabbage, etc.
- Green beans
- Potatoes and sweet potatoes
- Grains, like corn, oats, and rice
The above items must be used in moderation as cats are essentially hardwired carnivores who have a hard time digesting a lot of vegetable protein at a time. To make soups healthy and palatable for cats, you must also add meat.
Some cats may be repulsed by the pungent sulfurous odour of certain cruciferous veggies, like brussels sprouts. If you notice your cat rejects some vegetables, respect their taste and don’t use them.
What to keep away—the forbidden ingredients
Here’s a detailed list of forbidden ingredients that mustn’t end up in your cat’s soup or their other meals in any form:
- Vegetables from the Allium family, like onions, leeks, garlic, chives, scallions, and shallot, contain disulfides and thiosulphates that are toxic to cats
- Rhubarb leaves and stalks are toxic to cats and can cause major gastrointestinal issues
- Green tomatoes and potatoes can cause neurological damage in felines
- Wild mushrooms can be fatal for cats, so stick to store-bought mushrooms or skip them altogether
- Grapes and raisins trigger rapid kidney failure within a few hours of ingestion
- Nuts contain high levels of oils and fats that can disrupt the feline digestive system. They are also a choking hazard, especially if floating around in soup (certain nuts, like macadamia nuts, are also toxic to cats)
- Raw yeast causes severe bloating and can even turn into alcohol in the feline digestive tract
- Alcohol and caffeinated products aren’t usually added to soups, but you should avoid them in any combination because they cause disorientation, hyperactivity, coma, or even death
Preparing cat food soup for the first time? Try this!
If you are cooking a cat-friendly soup for the first time, you can start with a simple bone broth. All you have to do is this:
- Pick the bones of your (or your cat’s?) choice, but chicken or turkey are the best
- Put the bones in a large pot filled with about two to three litres of water and bring it to a boil
- Let it simmer for four to six hours
- Turn off the heat and let the broth cool down
- Strain out the bones carefully as tiny shards can cause severe internal injuries if ingested
Bone broth can easily last in the freezer for 12 weeks. Don’t panic if it turns to a jelly-like consistency after a while—it’s only natural gelatin, and your cat will love it! The collagen in bone broths helps with:
- Preventing excessive shedding
- Supporting joint health and reducing joint pain in older cats
- Detoxifying liver
- Boosting immunity
- Improving muscle tone
- Accelerating wound healing
Bone broth is also an excellent tummy-filling snack for obese cats on a weight loss diet.
What about soups with meat—what meat can I use?
When choosing the type of meat for the soup, consider your cat’s preferences and protein requirements.
An adult cat needs about 200–300 calories a day, 40%–45% of which should come from proteins—this rounds up to 30–40 grammes of protein depending on the size and activity level of your cat. The table below features the protein values of different kinds of meat:
Protein value (in grams)
Imitation crab meat
Choose the meat after:
- Reviewing your cat’s daily protein intake
- Ensuring they are not allergic to it
Rookie mistakes to avoid—can soups harm cats?
Here are a few helpful tips on what to avoid when making soup for your furry friend:
- Don’t overseason—Salt and seasoning are unnecessary in soups for cats. While a dash of salt won’t harm your cat, too much of it would lead to salt poisoning and dehydration
- Lay off human-grade stock—Since soups for cats need to be low in sodium, using salt-loaded human-grade stock is a bad idea
- Keep carbs to a minimum—Carbs are junk food for cats, so go easy on those potatoes and corn while making a soup for your furry friend
- Cut, cook, and portion vegetables properly—Make sure to chop veggies into bite-sized pieces to prevent accidental choking. You should also cook vegetables till they soften as the cellulose content in undercooked vegetables could lead to digestive stress. Cat soups are all about meat and bones, not veggies
If you have a weaned-off kitten transitioning to solid food, it’s better to skip soups till they gain enough weight. Kittens are prone to diarrhoea caused by new foods or artificial ingredients in the food. Vets recommend introducing soup to kittens in tiny portions only after a couple of months (when they have adjusted to solid food completely).
Don’t share human-grade soup with your cat, no matter how much they beg with their ridiculously cute eyes!
Source: Cindy Chao
Is ready-made cat soup food a good option?
You can find cat soups of different consistencies available in pet stores. They usually come as:
- Ready-to-serve meals packed in pouches
- Dry soup powder
While ready-made soups are convenient, they are inferior to complete wet food. Commercial cat soups in the UK cost about ten times as much as human-grade soups, but they are usually not worth the price! To make matters worse, these products may contain harmful ingredients like:
- Carb-heavy thickening agents
- Iffy preservatives
- Chemical flavour enhancers
Aggressive cooking methods, common in the cat food industry, may also destroy the nutritional value of ready-made soups for cats. If you have to buy a fancy commercial cat soup, opt for products with high-quality, ethically farmed meat and minimum grains or starch.
Should I make soups at home?
In case you have the time, making soup at home is a resourceful solution because you will:
- Know what your cat eats
- Avoid harmful artificial additives
- Preserve the nutritional value of the ingredients with gentle steaming
The good news is that preparing a soup doesn't require constant monitoring. You can easily cook it while setting up your dinner.
As for portions, they will depend on the type of food you use as regular meals. Since soups are rich in moisture, you can adjust the serving size based on the overall moisture content of the complete food you use:
Type of complete food
Nutritionists recommend carb- and grain-free wet food that keeps your feline in peak health and saves you from future vet bills.
Move over cat food soup—Untamed’s pack of wet gravy and jelly food has the taste your cat is looking for!
Image (c) Untamed
Infuse flavour in your cat’s diet with Untamed—we offer the best wet food!
If you are looking for a high-protein wet food that tastes irresistible, give Untamed a try! We offer:
- Complete gravy food with a moisture content of 78%
- Complementary jelly food with a moisture content of 81%
We believe in feeding our precious felines only the best. That’s why all our products are made with fresh human-grade meat acquired from ethical sources only, making them free of hormones, contaminants, and dubious preservatives.
All our recipes are carefully crafted to satisfy the pickiest eaters. Our products:
- Pack the best quality proteins—We keep our recipes free of fillers like grains and of animal derivatives, and we use only the prime cuts of whole meat and organs, naturally rich in taurine and antioxidants. Our food contains twice the average amount of protein used by most manufacturers
- Are gently steamed—We steam-cook our meals to preserve the nutrients and the flavour of the meat. You won’t have to worry about supplementing our products to make them palatable and digestible!
- Use hypoallergenic formulas—If your cat suffers from food allergies and has a sensitive disposition, switch to our hypoallergenic and immune-system-boosting whole meat meals that improve digestion and reduce bouts of regurgitation
- Offer variety—If your cat digs variety in their diet, we’ll give it to them! We offer chicken, ham, duck, tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardine
Our nutritious jelly food is cooked in mouthwatering fish or chicken broth—it’s all the goodness of soup served in gelatinous form. Click on this link to order a personalised taster pack of our top recipes at the best rates!
This is it, human! I won’t fuss no more as long as this keeps comin’!
Image (c) Untamed
Watch your feline flourish with Untamed!
Untamed is suitable for all cats—kittens, adults, and seniors regardless of the breed. Our products also do wonders for weak cats on prescription medication for immunosuppressive illnesses like diabetes. Untamed mimics the natural cat diet to support and boost their immune system.
Our clients have reported the following positive changes after switching to Untamed:
Period on Untamed
● Better digestion
● Less mess in the litter tray
● Spike in energy levels
● Shiny coat and strong whiskers
● No hairballs
● Better muscular strength and agility
Six months and more
● Natural weight management
● Strong immune response
● Almost no seasonal illnesses
● No mood swings
● Happy ageing!
Introvert-friendly shopping—Get warm and cosy with your cat at home and let Untamed deliver their favourite meals to your doorstep!
Image (c) Untamed
Tired of never-ending store aisles? Switch to Untamed’s home deliveries!
Untamed offers an effortless direct-to-doorstep and free delivery system for all our products.
To order your first box of Untamed goodies, you should visit our online cat food store and:
- Complete our TRY NOW quiz to tell us about your cat’s preferences
- Check out the trial meal plan
- Place your order
You will receive your first order within a day. If your cat gives us a paw up, we'll replenish your Untamed stock every month. We use recyclable packaging to protect the environment and leave a minimal carbon footprint.
At Untamed, the client comes first. If you sign up for monthly cat food supplies with us, you can pause, skip, or cancel a delivery as you please—no questions asked.