With so many different cat treats available, how can you be sure you’re choosing the right ones? There have been recalls and studies about dangerous ingredients and sometimes we just can’t be 100% sure that we’re getting something safe and healthy. But what about making your own? There are some great, easy treat recipes out there we can make from simple ingredients in our kitchen. Whether you’re looking for meaty treats or catnip treats, any of these cat treat recipes will please your kitty dear. They’ll also be happy to ‘help’ with the cooking once they get a whiff of what you’re up to!
Check out DIY cat treat recipes below, but first, take a look at these safety tips when cooking for cats.
Cooking for Cats Safety Tips
When cooking for cats, always prioritize their safety and health. Here are some key safety tips to keep in mind:
- Understand Feline Nutrition: Cats are obligate carnivores, requiring protein from meat. Ensure any homemade diet includes appropriate amounts of protein, fat, and limited carbohydrates. Consult your veterinarian to understand your cat’s specific dietary needs.
- Avoid Toxic Foods: Several common human foods are toxic to cats, including onions, garlic, chocolate, grapes, raisins, caffeine, alcohol, and xylitol. Always check the safety of ingredients before including them in cat recipes.
- Proper Cooking: Raw meat poses risks of bacteria like salmonella and E. coli. Cook all meat thoroughly to avoid these dangers. Also, avoid using any oils, butter, or seasoning while cooking meat for cats.
- Balanced Diet: Cats need a balanced diet. Feeding them only homemade cat food can lead to nutritional imbalances unless carefully formulated. Consider homemade treats as a supplement to a complete and balanced commercial cat food.
- Small Portions: Treats should only make up a small percentage of a cat’s diet (about 10%). Overfeeding, even with healthy cat treats, can lead to obesity and related health problems.
- Beware of Allergies: Like humans, cats can have allergies. Introduce new foods gradually and watch for signs of allergic reactions, such as itching, digestive upset, or respiratory problems.
- Avoid Bones and Choking Hazards: Cooked bones can splinter and cause choking or injury. Always remove bones from meat, and ensure food pieces are small enough to prevent choking.
- Consultation with a Vet: Before making significant changes to your cat’s diet or if you plan to switch to homemade cat food, consult a veterinarian. They can provide guidance tailored to your cat’s health and nutritional needs.
Remember, each cat is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Monitoring your cat’s health and preferences is key when introducing homemade treats.
5 Easy DIY Cat Treat Recipes
#1 – Chewy Cat Treats for Cats
To celebrate their two year anniversary, Joy Wilson over at Joy the Baker made up a tasty recipe for chewy cat treats. These simple snacks are something your kitty is sure to love!
#2 – Tuna & Catnip Croutons
To follow Joy the Baker’s footsteps, chef Becky Hardin at The Cookie Rookie made some delicious tuna and catnip croutons that her kitty ate right up. Be warned, though, because you probably don’t want these on your salad!
#3 – Organic Spinach & Chicken Cat Treats
Sarah Lipoff shared her fantastic cat treat recipe through Popsugar. Her wonderful creation blended a healthy mix of organic chicken and spinach and are sure to keep your feline friends coming back for more.
#4 – Homemade Organic Cat Treats
Thanks to the folks over at Modern Cat, we’ve brought you this easy recipe for homemade organic cat treats. While the catnip is optional, it’ll likely accent the chicken well in your cat’s mind.
#5 – Homemade Catnip & Honey Cat Treats
If you don’t feel like handling raw meat, here’s a simple, healthy cat treat recipe using whole wheat flour, organic catnip, and honey. Remember, treats should only make up a small portion of your cat’s diet and it’s always best to consult with your vet before introducing new foods to your pet, especially if they have specific dietary needs or sensitivities.
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons organic catnip
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/3 cup water (you may need a bit more or less)
- Optional: 1 egg (for extra protein, if your cat can tolerate eggs)
- Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat flour and organic catnip.
- Add Wet Ingredients: Stir in the honey. If you’re using an egg, beat it lightly and mix it in at this stage. Gradually add water until the mixture forms a dough. The dough should be firm and pliable but not sticky. Adjust with a bit more flour or water as needed.
- Roll Out Dough: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.
- Cut Out Treats: Use a small cookie cutter or a knife to cut the dough into small, bite-sized pieces. Choose any shape your cat will love!
- Bake Treats: Place the treats on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until they are lightly browned and firm.
- Cool Down: Let the treats cool completely on a wire rack before giving them to your cat.
- Storage: Store the treats in an airtight container. They should keep for a few weeks.
- Serving Size: Give these treats sparingly. One or two treats per day is usually enough, depending on the size of your cat and the treats.
Enjoy baking any of these treats for your feline friend! They’re a great way to show some extra love and bond with your kitty.