FOOD & TREATS

DIY Cat Treats: 8 Lip-Smacking Homemade Cat Treats

Steve Corelli
Written by Steve Corelli

We all love to pamper our feline companions. Sometimes it can be a new toy, a cat tree, or a scratching post, but you will agree that nothing excites a cat more than a tasty treat. However, for the owners of cats who have allergies or a sensitive stomach, it can be difficult to find commercial grain-free cat treats that are made with wholesome ingredients. But with DIY cat treats recipes, you can now make delicious and healthy cat treats that will surely have your cat licking her chops in anticipation.

Giving your cat treats is a great way of showing her how much you love her. Treats can also work great as a reward for good behavior or stimulus for learning new tricks. And when you are making cat treats at home, you can be sure that the ingredients used are high-quality—which is unfortunately not always the case with commercially manufactured cat treats.

For those of you who are looking into healthier options for your cat, we’ve compiled a list of the tastiest DIY cat treats recipes that will make your cat love you even more. In this article, we will show you how to make a variety of different cat treats that will be hard to resist. Even the pickiest of cats will find them tasty. And because we know that you may not have a lot of free time at hand, we’ve also included recipes that don’t require baking and are quick and easy to make.

Why You Should Always Keep Some Cat Treats Handy

siamese cat eating fish cookies

Many cat owners wonder if a cat with a well-balanced diet has any need for treats. The answer to this question is yes, and that’s why so many veterinarians, cat trainers, and behavioral experts advise cat owners to include the occasional healthy treat into their cat’s diet.

Here are the main reasons why you should treat your cat to a reasonable amount of delicious snacks.

  • Treats supply diversity: If your cat is always eating the same type of food, the occasional treat can bring diversity into her diet. Although it is advisable to keep your cat on the same brand of food to prevent digestive upsets, the occasional treat will introduce her to new flavors and keep her appetite healthy.

  • Treats help with training: Treats are the best training incentive when you are trying to teach your cat commands or tricks. Rewarding your cat with some treats after she completes the given task will serve as positive reinforcement and help her master the desired behavior faster. When you are training a cat, it is important to reward her only when you see results; don’t cave in to her pleading eyes. For more training tips, visit this link.

  • Treats can be a lot of fun: Lots of cats enjoy and love playing with puzzle toys. They are a lot of fun and a great way to stimulate your cat’s mind. They all work on the same principle: a cat needs to solve a problem in order to get access to the treats. If you want to build a DIY food puzzle toy for your cat, visit this link.

  • Token of love: Giving your cat treats is a sign of love and appreciation, and it is a nice way to deepen the bond between you and your cat. But be aware that treats can’t replace quality time spent cuddling, petting, and playing with your cat. They can only be added bonuses to an already happy and fulfilled life.

  • Treats help with stress management: Usually, when a cat is stressed, she stops eating. The best way to make your cat start eating again is to offer her treats that will help with her appetite. Also, for cats who’ve just had surgery or are recovering from some illness, treats can help speed up the healing process and serve as mood elevators.

While treats should be a part of your cat’s diet, you shouldn’t give them to your cat every day. It is recommended that treats make up no more than 10% of your cat’s diet and that you reward your cat only two or three times a week. Overdoing treats can cause disruption to your cat’s regular diet and can also lead to obesity.

DIY Cat Treats Recipes

orange cat smacking lips

With DIY cat treats, you can make them according to your cat’s special needs—which is not the case with commercially manufactured cat treats. With a little effort, you can cater to the needs of an allergic or a lactose intolerant cat and incorporate your cat’s favorite flavors. With DIY cat treats, you can be sure that your cat is getting a healthy reward that is made with fresh and quality ingredients.

Recipe #1: Tuna Crunchers

This is an easy and quick to make DIY cat treat recipe that requires baking and contains whole wheat flour, so take note that it isn’t a grain-free option for allergic cats. To make this delicious snack you will need:

  • 10 ounces of tuna in water

  • 2 tablespoons of catnip

  • 1 egg

  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour

Before you mix all the ingredients together, you will need to preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Slightly beat the egg. When you are done with the egg, you can start adding ingredients one at the time in a larger bowl—stirring them well after each addition.

When it has formed a dough, you need to knead it into a ball and place it on a floured surface. Now you need to stretch the ball of dough until it is ¼ of an inch thick. When that is done, use a knife to make horizontal and vertical notches—just make sure that you don’t cut completely through the dough.

After that, place the dough on an ungreased piece of baking paper and put it in the oven to be baked for 10-13 minutes. When the dough is baked and cooled, break it into smaller bite-sized pieces. Store these tuna treats in the refrigerator and give them to your cat two to three times a week.

Recipe #2: Kitty Delights

tuna for cat

This is also a recipe that contains tuna and flour, but you can choose the type of flour to use when making these tasty treats so it can be a gluten-free recipe. To make these tuna-flavored healthy snacks, you will need:

  • A 5 oz. can of tuna

  • ½ a cup of white cornmeal

  • ½ a cup of flour

  • ½ a cup of water

For this recipe, you will need to preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a bowl to mix all the ingredients together until you get a ball of dough. When your dough is ready, pinch off tiny pieces and roll them into bite-sized balls and place them on an ungreased piece of baking sheet.

Use your hand to flatten the balls—just make sure that they are ¼ of an inch thick. When that is done, place your treats in the oven to bake for 5 minutes and then flip them and bake for an additional 5 minutes. After your treats are done, leave them to cool and store them in an airtight jar in the refrigerator.

Recipe #3: Chewy Cat Treats

With this recipe, you will be able to make 50 pieces of cat treats. Depending on your cat’s palate, you can choose the flavor that she will enjoy best. For this recipe, you will need:

  • 1 egg

  • A 4 oz. jar of chicken and brown rice baby food (or some other flavor that your cat enjoys, you can also use canned cat food)

  • ¼ of a cup of coarsely chopped parsley

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons of water

  • 1 cup of brown rice flour

  • ½ a cup of cooked white or brown rice

Before mixing the ingredients, place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the baking sheets with baking paper and set them aside for later. In a bowl, whisk together the egg with baby food or canned cat food, parsley, olive oil, water, and then add cooked rice and rice flour.

Spread the dough on the baking paper and make a rectangle. Place everything in the oven and let sit for 13-15 minutes. After that, remove the baking sheet and cut the dough into smaller pieces and return them to bake for an additional 8 minutes.

When the treats are cool, you can give your cat one to see what she thinks. Place all of the treats in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator.

Recipe #4: Catnip Crumbles

ground beef for kitty snacks

This is a quick and easy recipe that can be used as an addition to your cat’s regular meals. For this healthy and delicious snack, you will need only 15-20 minutes and these ingredients:

  • 1 pound of ground beef

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 tablespoons of catnip

Before you start, you will need to preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line some baking sheets with baking paper. Use a large bowl to mix all the ingredients by hand then spread the mixture on the baking sheet. Place everything in the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes.

When this tasty treat is baked, drain any excess fat, let it cool, then crumble it. Place the catnip crumbles in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator.

Recipe #5: Organic Spinach and Chicken Treats

spinah in bowl

This cat treat recipe is extremely healthy because all the ingredients are produced naturally. If your cat is not the biggest fan of chicken, you can replace it with salmon, tuna, or other lean meat. For this DIY cat treats, you will need:

  • ½ a pound of steamed organic skinless and boneless chicken thighs

  • 1 cup of fresh organic spinach leaves

  • 1 cup of organic fast cooking oats

  • 1 organic egg

  • 1 tablespoon of catnip

  • ¼ of a cup of flour

Steam the boneless and skinless chicken thighs until they are thoroughly cooked. You can use other types of meat if your cat doesn’t like chicken. When the chicken thighs are done, leave them to cool for 20 minutes and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

When the chicken thighs are cool, place them in a blender with oats, spinach leaves, the egg, and the catnip. Pulse on low until everything has blended together. When that is done, place the mixture in a bowl and add flour. Knead the dough with your hands until everything is mixed together and no longer sticky.

Spread the dough in a rectangular container that is ½ of an inch thick and use a knife or a pizza cutter to cut it into bite-sized pieces. Place treats on a baking paper and let them bake for 20 minutes. When they are done, let them cool completely and offer your cat one to see if she likes them. Store these treats in an airtight container and place them in the refrigerator.

Recipe #6: Crispy Liver Morsels

chicken liver on plate

This chicken liver treat is a real hit amongst felines, and we are sure that your cat won’t be an exception. It is very tasty and easy to make. For this cat treat, you will need:

  • 1/2 of a cup of cooked chicken livers

  • ¼ of a cup of water

  • 1 ¼ cups of whole wheat flour

  • ¼ of a cup of cooked carrots (mashed)

  • 1 tablespoon of soft butter

Start by cooking your chicken livers and carrots and when they are done, preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the cooked livers in a blender and add water. In a bowl, mix flour and butter and then add the liver mixture and some mashed carrots. Start to knead the dough to form it into a ball.

When the dough is ready, roll it out. Make sure it is ¼ of an inch thick. With a knife, cut it into bite-sized pieces. Place the treats on a piece of greased baking paper and put everything in the oven.

Bake for 10 minutes and then let it cool completely before letting your cat test it to see what she thinks. Store these liver treats in an airtight container and place them in the refrigerator.

Recipe #7: Frozen Salmon and Sweet Potato Treats

salmon with dill

For those of you who don’t have time to bake your cat’s treats, we’ve included this recipe for salmon flavored treats that are easy to make. For this healthy DIY cat treat recipe, you will need:

  • 1 can of salmon

  • 1 ½ cups of sweet mashed potato

  • 1 ½ cups of oats

  • ¼ of a cup of parsley

  • A mold to shape the treats

Mix the salmon and the already cooked and mashed sweet potato in a large bowl. Use a fork to break larger pieces of salmon and mix everything together. Place oats and parsley in a blender and pulse them together until they are finely ground. Add it to the mixture in the bowl. Blend everything together and then place it in the mold and keep it in the freezer for 2-3 hours.

Recipe #8: Grain-Free Cat Treats

This is a healthy and tasty treat option for cats who are suffering from allergies. This type of cat snack is easy to make, and you will need:

  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes, mashed

  • ½ a cup of coconut flour

  • 1 egg

  • ½ a cup of coconut oil

  • ¼ of a cup of gelatin powder

  • 1 can of dried tuna or sardines

Firstly, you need to cook the sweet potatoes. When they are done, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Put all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix them all together with a fork. When everything is nicely mixed, pinch pieces of dough to form 1-inch balls and then flatten them with a fork to create cookies.

Place the treats on a piece of baking paper and put them in the oven to bake for 20 minutes. When they are light brown, remove them and let them cool completely before storing them in an airtight container that needs to be kept in the refrigerator.

Wrap Up

cat licking its lips

We all want to pamper our cats. Now you’ve learned some great DIY cat treats recipes that are healthy and can replace the commercial treats that you so often purchase for your feline friend. With these recipes, you will know exactly what your cat is eating and if it is good for her. One other benefit is that you can tailor-make these treats to fulfill your cat’s unique needs and palate and make her very healthy and happy.

Does your cat have a favorite homemade treat? If so, please share the recipe with us in the comment section below. Can’t get to work on the treats because your cat keeps jumping onto the table and bugging you? Check out this article on how to keep her off of the table without offending her sensibilities.

About the author
Steve Corelli
Steve Corelli

Steve Corelli is a Pet Nutrition Expert from Allentown, Pennsylvania. He is the author of many nutritional strategies for different breeds and a member of some Pet Food development teams. His Maine Coon Stephan, as you might guess, is always well-fed.

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