Every cat deserves a treat, especially as a reward for good behavior. If you’ve had any degree of success training your cat, you’ve started to discover the awesome power of your cat’s favorite ingredients. Suddenly, you posses something spoken of but rarely witnessed - the undivided attention of a cat!
That glorious moment is what keeps so many returning to the pet food aisle on an endless hunt for the newest and greatest cat snacks. These packed foods can be full of chemical flavorings and preservatives to give them a longer shelf life. If you already know which foods your cat responds to, why not craft your own? Today we’ll share some tips for making your own healthy gourmet cat treats from scratch.
Healthy, Cat-Approved Ingredients
Have fun experimenting and make this recipe your own, but be sure to stay away from certain “people foods” which are dangerous for cats. We’ve included a list of some of these off-limits ingredients at the end of the article.
Protein – 1 C
This is the most important one to include. Cooked salmon, chicken, or canned tuna are healthy options.
Flour – 1 Tbsp
Use white or whole wheat flour.
Liquid – 2 Tbsp
Add just enough to make a mix that holds together.
Grain – ¼ C
For added nutrients, try a blend of rolled oats, wheat germ, and cooked rice.
Vegetables – 2-3 Tbsp
Cooked squash, peas, or carrots are cat-pleasers.
Roll your mixture into ½” balls and bake at 350° for 10-20 minutes, and wait for your cat’s glowing review.
Ingredients You Should Never Feed Your Cat
Many foods can cause serious health dangers when ingested by cats. Before you substitute any ingredient, do some research to see if it is safe. Here are a few to watch out for:
Chocolate, coffee, tea, and other forms of caffeine are off-limits for cats, and can cause rapid breathing, muscle tremors, heart arrhythmias, or seizures.
Onions, garlic, fat trimmings, citrus oil, fish bones, rhubarb leaves, and yeast dough can all cause digestive issues of varying severity for your cat.
Mushrooms, macadamia nuts, grapes, and raisins all contain toxins which your cat should never be exposed to.
Raw or undercooked meat poses the same risk of salmonella for cats as it does for humans.
Raw eggs contain an enzyme which makes it harder for cats to absorb a B vitamin responsible for healthy skin and coat growth and should be avoided as well.
The Recipe for DIY Cat Snack Success
Making homemade treats is so affordable that it’s easy to carry out a series of taste tests to find out whether chicken, pork, or liver is truly the key to your cat’s heart. It gives you full control over the quality of the ingredients, and gives your favorite feline new reasons to jump for joy.
Moderation is key, of course. These treats will never replace the balanced meals your cat depends on, but they keep snack time interesting with an endless variety of tastes and textures. Keep a recipe file with your cat’s tasting notes on each recipe you try. Enjoy the process of discovering your cat’s new favorite custom-made treat!