Curious about baking homemade cat treats? Making homemade cat treats can be a quick, easy and healthy way to show your kitties that you love them. Plus, if you make them from scratch, you’ll know what’s in them. This is important because if you want to keep your felines healthy, ingredients matter.
Ingredients of Homemade Cat Food and Homemade Cat Treats
If you’re planning to make homemade cat treats or homemade cat food, it’s a good idea to talk this over with your veterinarian, to make sure you include ingredients that are healthy and not toxic for your kitty, EcoLife reports. The essential components of homemade cat treats and food are meat, calcium, and carbohydrates.
Animal meat and fats are critical
First of all, you want to make sure you include animal-sourced protein. Ideally, a cat’s diet should consist of 60 to 85 percent protein from meat to get the essential amino acids they need. Those amino acids include taurine (which is the most important), arginine, lysine, cysteine, methionine, and tyrosine. You can find all of this good stuff in chicken, beef, pork, and liver.
Many commercial cat foods supplement their products with taurine to ensure a cat gets the amount it needs. If you decide to make homemade cat treats from scratch, it’ll help to keep this in mind.
Animal fats, on the other hand, provide Omega-3 fatty acids. These are important for maintaining healthy circulatory and urinary systems. Also, they help maintain healthy skin and fur. And of course, they also make homemade cat food tastier.
Kittens need about 35 percent fat in their diets, while adults need about 30 percent.
Just like us, cats do best on a varied diet so don’t feed them strictly liver or fish.
Don’t forget calcium
Calcium and phosphorus are also essential. You should include what’s called the “calcium to phosphorus ratio (Ca:P).” The ratio should be 1.0 to 1.3 parts calcium per one part of phosphorus. It’s probably a good idea to contact your vet for more specifics on this, especially since you’ll most likely need to add calcium to your kitty’s homemade food. Most packaged foods add bone meal to provide extra calcium.
Check the carbs
Be sure to monitor the carbohydrates when makinghomemade cat treats recipes and treats. Just like people, cats can get diabetes. Some diabetic cats do fine on a high-carb diet, while others may not. Again, you’ll need to confer with your vet if your kitty has diabetes. Keep in mind that carbs should make up less than 10 percent of your cat’s diet.
Also, remember, don’t skimp on water. In general, homemade cat food contains 10 to 30 percent water. That’s good news since cats need plenty of fresh water daily.
Homemade cat treats recipes
Let’s start with these homemade cat treat recipes from MustLoveCats. Make sure you always use human-grade ingredients and keep it organic whenever possible. The recipes make between 12 to 18 treats (depending on how large you make them, but they should be about the size of a cookie).
The dough can be refrigerated for up to three days, or frozen for up to three months. Once you bake the treats, they last up to five days. After that, they are too hard for kitty to crunch.
So let’s get started!
- 11/2 cooked chicken, shredded
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/3 cup cornmeal
- 1 tbsp softened margarine
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the chicken and chicken broth. Now add cornmeal, flour and begin kneading the dough into a ball. Grab a rolling pin and roll it flat until it’s 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into one-inch pieces and bake for 20 minutes on a cookie sheet that’s ungreased.
- 3/4 cup shredded or grated cheddar cheese
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
- 1/4 cornmeal
- 5 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all of the ingredients and knead into a ball of dough (you might need to add a little water). Roll the dough flat until it’s 1/4 inch thick. Cut into one-inch pieces and bake for 25 minutes on a greased cookie sheet.
The liver is full of vitamin A, so this is a really healthy treat for cats. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1/2 cup chicken livers (completely cooked)
- 1/4 cup of water
- 11/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup cooked carrots (mashed)
- 1 tbsp of margarine, softened
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine the margarine and the flour in a bowl. Blend the chicken livers and water, then add to the mixture. Roll the dough into balls and cut into pieces. Pop them in the oven for about 12 minutes.
Salmon cat treats
What kitty could possibly object to this tasty snack?
- One 12-ounce can of Salmon with liquid
- One egg
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup instant oatmeal, ground (here’s where your blender comes in handy)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine salmon and egg in a blender until the mixture is smooth. Now, add the oatmeal and blend thoroughly. Spray a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray. Spread the mixture in the pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool, then cut it into small squares. These can also be frozen.
Now here’s one recipe that equals instant homemade cat treats nirvana, thanks to Pawesome Cats.
Tuna heart cat treats
- 150g of canned tuna in oil
- One cup rice flour (or oat flour)
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp dried catnip
- Olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain tuna and combine with rice or oat flour and combine with the egg and catnip in a bowl. Thoroughly mix until ingredients are blended. Only add olive oil as required if the mixture is too dry. Roll the dough into balls that are about a 1/2 inch in size. Place them on a lined biscuit tray (or cookie sheet) and flatten them with a spoon.
To add the heart-shaped pattern you can use a commercial stencil, or improvise by cutting a heart shape out of a raw potato. Lightly press the heart shape into the treats so that it leaves the slightly indented heart-shaped pattern.
Place them in the oven. Bake them until they are lightly brown — about 10 to 12 minutes. When they are cool, place them in an airtight container. You can store these treats in the refrigerator for seven to 10 days.
This video features two adorable cats who are absolutely in love with these treats:
But why stop there? Here’s a recipe for healthy, homemade cat food:
- 1/4 teaspoon olive oil or salmon oil
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.7 grams) of feline vitamin/mineral supplement
- 6 teaspoons (30 grams) of potato, cooked without skin
- 1.8 ounces of carbs (cooked pasta, rice, barley, peas, or oatmeal). If your kitty is diabetic, run this by your vet
- 83 grams (just under three ounces) of cooked animal protein (lamb, whole meat chicken, rabbit, beef, pork, tuna, or salmon)
Combine all of the ingredients (a blender really helps here). This can be refrigerated or frozen.
The video below has more suggestions about cooking for your kitty.
A reminder about tuna in homemade cat treats
A little bit of tuna that’s prepared for people is okay for cats once in a while, but it should never, ever be a steady part of a cat’s diet. Too much tuna can lead to malnutrition because it doesn’t have enough of the critical nutrition your cat needs. A steady diet of tuna can also lead to mercury poisoning. So for the health of your furbaby, please keep this in mind.
The video below also shows you there are foods you shouldn’t ever feed your kitty.
These recipes are fun ways to keep your kitty happy, healthy, and purring right along.