Make your own tasty treats for your cat friends

July 18 | Guest post by Patrice

IMG_3787 My kitty friend Link's adoption day is coming up! Despite the fact that sometimes he spills my extra large cup of fresh cold press all over the floor, breaks glasses at 3am, and nearly four and a half hours of my life everyday are spent lint rollering myself or picking cat hair out of my dreads… I made him some treats. Because it's been two years of adventures, cute cat faces, and snuggling.

Sometimes he makes me angry. Like when he burrows into my freshly washed laundry, or when he steals the very last piece of turkey that I was going to put on my sandwich directly from my hands (true story)! But most of the time he just makes me go awwww. And all is forgiven.

Because I am a perfectly sane, really hip, non cat-hoarding, cat lady in training, and because I love everything Joy The Baker puts out… I decided to make my own cat treats. So if you're a cat lady in training like me, or you've got some friends with cute cat kids, make em' some treats!

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Let me start by saying, these are NOT for human consumption… unless you leave out the catnip, or that's just your jam.

Here's what you'll need:

Here's how you make them:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchement paper

IMG_3806Throw all of the ingredients in a food processor fitted with the blade attachement until it comes together. It should be cohesive, and just a little sticky.

IMG_3807If you want to make cute little shapes, dump the dough out on parchement paper on the counter and press with your fingers (or use a rolling pin) to about ¼ inch thickness. If you don't care about the shape you can just pinch off pieces and make little balls (remember these are treats so they shouldn't be too big).

IMG_3816Transfer treats to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes until they are dry to the touch and a little browned. Allow to cool completely before giving them to your cat. Store in an airtight container.

IMG_3814All cats are different in what they like. Link likes sardines so that's what these are made with (use tuna, or chicken if you like). Some cats are really picky eaters and won't like these at all.

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  1. I was just thinking about making treats for my cats, this article is perfect timing. One of my cats has a heart condition and gets a pill twice a day followed by treats, which of course means the other cat gets treats twice a day. It would rock if they would go for home made treats. Thanks for the recipe.
    Just as an aside, catnip is good for people too, it does not have the same effect on people as it does on cats but you can buy catnip tea, it is a bit like camomile and used for relaxation or an upset stomach.

    5 agree
  2. Just for the record, I made tea out of my cat's catnip once. It was minty and tasty.

    These treats look awesome and I'm really excited to try making them! Here's hoping the cats actually go for it.

    4 agree
    • I was going to note that catnip is perfectly safe for human consumption, and does not have the same effects on humans as it does on cats. Catnip tea has a minty flavour, and is soothing/relaxing — it can help humans get to sleep in the evening.

      5 agree
  3. Sounds like you have a lucky kitty!

    Do you think if you used tuna instead that you would have to add some extra oil?

  4. I'm going to have to try this for my allergy ridden cat (Poor thing get scabs all over her if we aren't careful). She LOVES treats, but most commercial treats have Soy – which she can't have. When I know what goes into it, I can make sure it is safe. Thank you! And I am pretty sure my cat thanks you even more…

    1 agrees
    • If you don't always have time to make your own, have you tried the PureBites treats? They're just freezedried meat stuffs. They only have one ingredient, you know what it is, and they're not too calorific. Our cat will do anything for the shrimp ones.

      3 agree
      • I got these for our cat once. Not sure that he really liked them any more than his usual "special crunchies," but I found that the ones we got–white fish, or something like that, were horrifically smelly. Like, leave the room after opening the package because it was so stinky. Since he didn't seem any more interested in them than his other treats (in fact, I think sometimes he may have put off eating them…), I didn't get them again and don't plan to do so. Maybe if I tried the shrimp ones on him…

        1 agrees
        • They do tend to be pretty smelly (at least the shrimp ones, the chicken might be a lot better), but that's part of why our cat loves them. She is totally drawn to smelly fishy stuff. If you're willing to put up with the smell (I find the bags reseal pretty well and wash my hands afterwords) and have a cat who likes such things they work great for training! Especially early in training the smell was great at reinforcing her focus.

          1 agrees
      • Thanks for the info on PureBites! I'll have to look into it as she LOVES treats.

        1 agrees
  5. I love the idea of making treats for our cat, but I'm concerned about some of the ingredients. I have been feeding our cat a grain-free dry food, as I've read that they aren't supposed to eat any kind of grain (It's sort of unnatural for them–not denying that cats will eat them, just whether or not they're good for them. I have heard that my parents' cats have eaten Cheerios, not that I've witnessed it myself.). Any ideas? Comments? Suggestions? Am I worrying too much?

    1 agrees
    • I have similar concerns and feed my Odin grain free food. When it comes to treats I usually choose grain free as well (the PureBites treats mentioned above are the treat of choice in our house). However I sometimes give him treats containing grain, artificial flavors, etc. I figure that because it is a "treat" it is not something he receives all-the-time and therefore won't be the end of the world for him (just what works for us, not necessarily appropriate for every cat).

      That being said I will definitely try this recipe – thanks for sharing! And Patrice, I hope you are surviving the Minneapolis winters! I grew up in Minneapolis and miss the Twin Cities like crazy (recently moved to Denver) but the cold there can be brutal.

      1 agrees
    • Cats can't digest plant matter, so whatever goes in comes out in pretty much the same form. They don't get any nutrients from it, but unless your cat specifically has an allergy to the carbohydrates listed, then it won't hurt them. Grain-free cat food is great because that's what the cat is eating all the time, but a treat here or there isn't going to hurt them, it's just not going to nourish them very much.

      6 agree
    • I feed my cat a largely grain-free diet because it's true that grains are not good for cats. However, my cat has a stomach of steel so some grains (even an entire bowl of kibble with grain) doesn't bother him at all. He'd love these and they won't make him sick, so I'm going to try these! They would also make great gifts for the many kitty-lovers in my life.

      1 agrees
  6. Though I'm unlikely to ever bake these with my current cat who's an overly picky lady, I just smiled at the thought of homemade heart-shaped cat treats 🙂

    4 agree
  7. Oh, jeez. I think I missed the memo that this was being posted. Sorry for being M.I.A for Q&A.

    I do know that catnip is okay for human consumption. This post is a shortened version of the one from my blog (in which there was a clip from My Strange Addiction about a woman who only ate cat treats)

    1 agrees
  8. Does anyone know how long these treats stay shelf stable (not refrigerated/frozen)? I'm interested in making some but would hate to see them go bad quickly.

    1 agrees

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