Homemade Cat Treats

My 11 year old cat Maddy has had a rough year. Last February, this furry, barking ball of energy came into her world and changed everything. She no longer wanted to come downstairs to the main living area and basically lived upstairs. She wanted nothing to do with this new member of the family. Anytime the puppy came upstairs to her domain, she’d jump to higher ground or hide. We built her a nice wide shelf up there where she could hang. She ate, drank and slept there and Oscar the puppy could not reach her. I always wondered when she would finally get used to the fact that he was here to stay and come downstairs to join the family again. 14 months after his arrival, she ventured downstairs. And she never looked back.

I decided I wanted to do something nice for her and bake her some homemade cat treats.

Maddy wondered what took me so long.

She loves tuna so the treats are tuna based – and healthy. There are only 6 ingredients and most of them you probably already have on hand: Canned tuna, cornmeal, wheatgerm, whole wheat flour, egg, and vegetable oil.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees…and I recommend lining your cookie sheet with parchment paper, but that’s optional.

Place these ingredients into a medium-sized mixing bowl:
6 ounces canned tuna, undrained
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup wheatgerm (found near the oatmeal in my grocery store, refrigerate after opening.)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour, plus more if needed
1 egg
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Mix everything together with a fork. If it seems sticky, add more flour a little at a time and mix again — until you can form it into a ball. Place the ball on your cookie sheet and using a rolling pin, flatten the dough into 1/8″ thickness. (This is why it helps to have the parchment paper down on your cookie sheet.) Using a pizza cutter or a knife, slice the dough into 1/2″ wide strips, then cut the strips on a diagonal to make diamond shapes.

Bake for about 12 minutes at 325 degrees, then take the cookie sheet out and separate the treats. Put them back in the oven for up to 5 more minutes so they get crispy throughout. (Baking time will depend on how wet your dough was and how thin you rolled it. You just want them to get golden and slightly crispy.)

Let cool on the cookie sheet. Store treats in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Now Maddy feels as special as Oscar who gets Homemade Dog Treats and Homemade Pupsicles!

I guess some cats can’t be rushed…but she’s worth the wait. :)
~Micha

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28 thoughts on “Homemade Cat Treats

  1. Cats sure like to take their sweet time and do things when they, and only they, are ready. We adopted a sweet bundle of fur one March and in June we adopted #2. #1 was mad about it for months and it took her a long time to go back to the sweet lap cat we had in the short few months she was an “only child”.

  2. Cats should not eat canned tuna for several reasons. Too high in mercury as well as other toxic trace metals. Was told this by several vets including a cat specialist. Also cats become addicted to taste of fish and will strike normal cat food for the taste to canned tuna.

    • You can certainly substitute salmon for the tuna if it’s a concern. The tuna would be too high in mercury if they eat large amounts regularly, but these are treats meant to be given in moderation and not as a source of food. Again, if it’s a concern, just use salmon!

  3. I can’t wait to make these. I ‘ll going to get a siamese kitten soon, and I don’t want to spend a fortune on cat treats.

  4. Cats especially should not be given corn in any shape. It’s extremely difficult for their bodies to digest since they are obligate carnivores and they get no nutrients from it. It’s best if they have a grain free diet actually but at the very least no corn.

    • True cats are carnivores. But in the wild they would eat the stomach contents of their prey which would most likely be grain. Anyhow, I don’t think the amount of grain in ‘treats’ would be detrimental to cats. If you go to the BalanceIT website, it helps you formulate your own healthy cat (and dog) food out of whole meat, poultry, and fish instead of byproducts that are used in commercial foods. BalanceIt is run by a board certified veterinary nutritionist and the menu selection includes several different types of grains (so I don’t think they can be that bad). What is important also is that you don’t just use any old type of vegetable oil. Cats need an oil that is rich in linoleic acid. Regular corn oil is the richest in linoleic acid, but if you can’t find organic corn oil and object to using gmo corn oil, then the next best choice is walnut oil (Spectrum makes it). You can play with their recipe generator at the website below to see what ingredients are most nutritious. https://secure.balanceit.com/recipegenerator_ver4/index.php

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  7. This sounds wonderful!! My two kitty-children Trouble and Tulus are coming up on their 11th and 1st birthdays, respectively. I want something to make their day special!!!

    I actually was very lucky when I adopted Tulus because he and Trouble immediately bonded. Trouble was only mad at me, but boy was he mad!!! It took him 2 months before he would come to me and ask for love.

    P.S. I like that your name is mine but without the “E”… :P

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