To my children, pets truly are part of the family. It was their idea to make homemade dog treats for our dog, and they wanted to make homemade cat treats for our cats, Penelope and Tiger, too (“to be fair”).
Like the dog treats we made for Daisy, these homemade treats contain coconut oil and other healthy ingredients that cats love. They are simple to make and store really well in the fridge. Our cats don’t even seem to mind if we don’t heat them up before giving them one. 🙂
These treats are part of our Natural Cat Care & Holistic Alternatives we use to keep our furry friends healthy.
Homemade Cat Treats: What You Need
There are really endless ways you could make this recipe and I’d love to hear how you adapt it for your pets in the comments. we used:
- Coconut oil which has lots of healthy fats (I got mine here)
- Coconut flour
- Cooked Sweet potatoes
- Gelatin powder (full of healthy amino acids that are great for their skin, fur and nails) I used this one in bulk because it was less expensive but any gelatin will work
- Tuna (or any canned fish- sardines are great too!)
- Egg- full of good fats and helps treats stick together
I baked these on a baking sheet with natural parchment paper to avoid sticking and stored them in a glass jar in the fridge.
Cat Treat Ingredients
- 2 medium size sweet potatoes, mashed
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup gelatin powder
- 1 can (drained) tuna or sardines
Cat Treat Instructions
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix all ingredient in a medium size bowl.
- Use a fork to mash everything together until evenly mixed and until all large pieces of fish and sweet potato are mashed up.
- Add a little extra coconut flour if needed to get a dough that is roughly the consistency of play dough.
- Roll into 1 inch balls and mash down with a fork to form little “cookies”
- Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Store in the refrigerator for several weeks or in the freezer for several months.
Quality Cat Food
Since writing this post many have asked what cat food we use. I’ve tried different brands over the years and even experimented with making our own. Ultimately, I prefer to leave this in the hands of the experts so we now alternate between a variety of grain-free cat foods (wet, never dry). For the cream of the crop for Fluffy (and convenience for you), check out this awesome cat food delivery service that actually uses real food ingredients.
Ever made homemade treats for your pets? How did they turn out? How will you customize this recipe?
Discussion (43 Comments)
Is there anything that can be used besides gelatin?
I made up some gelatin for my cat the other day hoping he would eat it plain, but no go. Although my roommates kitten did eat it that way. So I blended it with some wet food and he did eat it that way. I’m going to continue doing that until it’s gone, then I think I will try just regular tuna or chicken in a can and see if he will eat it that way. His back legs are stiff when he walks so I’m hoping this helps. I agree with what others are saying about them being obligate carnivore. Especially when you consider the length of the intestines, in carnivores it is very very short so that meat doesn’t putrify in the gut. Ours however, is much much longer, and is meant to allow plenty of time to break down fiberous veggi matter, while meat does tend to sit in our guts too long. With that said, the sweet potatos are vitamin rich, I assume that is why you chose those? Just wondering the choice to go with those? How do your kitties respond? Do they eat the whole treat or just a small bit at a time? I am of the mind that the animal instinctively knows and not to force them to eat anything. My cat will eat the blend I made him, but not a lot at a time.
I am going to try this on my 3 furballs. They love tuna and I’m sure they will love it.
I hope they enjoy it!
I have read the same as Emma about cats being obligate carnivores. Plus my cat will not eat any veggies anyway. LOL.
Hi Katie, these treats look great, I’d love to make a treat for my cats. However, I have read a lot about cat nutrition, and since they are obligate carnivores (unlike dogs) they shouldn’t eat vegetables or carbohydrates for that matter, and should only have a very small percentage of fat in their diets. I have noticed, however, that my cats seem to like coconut oil in small amounts occasionally. Just not so sure about the sweet potato or coconut flour, as they would never be a part of their natural diet. What are your thoughts on this?
Hi, I agree with you about cats being obligate carnivores and not really eating much starch like sweet potato, but it’s not true about cats not needing quality fat (or a very small amount). They need good quality fat in the diet along with protein, as they would eat the whole animal which is their natural diet. I can’t recall the optimal percentages of protein, fat for cats, but it’s 30 – 50% for fat.
I think that lowfat idea for cats might be because dogs can get pancreatitis from excess fat (but my thought is that is due to poor quality, processed fat inflaming the pancreas), and also related to the low fat mindset in general. I would also have some questions about coconut flour for cats. The treats look good with the gelatin and egg, just some concern about coconut flour and too much starch/carb. Best wishes…
Love this but my fur baby hates fish. Could chicken be used?
Marlene, try using turkey for your cat. Turkey has amino acids that cats need and aren’t found in chicken. And most cats like turkey.
I can’t wait to try this recipe for my cats!
I will share this recipe. This seems excellent. I rub coconut oil into their fur for licking. Tuna oil might be a good sub if no coconut oil on hand (the oil from tuna in oil). Another treat is just drying flaked tuna in the oven until desiccated. Give a few flakes as treats. I agree with the above commenter that buying treats in the grocery store is depressing, not real food.
Please be careful about the oil in the tuna. It is often very unhealthy vegetable oil that you wouldn’t want you cat to have. Better to buy the water packed, strain well, then add your own oil.
What a great idea! I’m tired of grabbing the treats at the stores full of all yucky ingredients. I’m gonna go out tomorrow and pick up a few of these ingredients and make them for my fur babies. They deserve the best too!
Ashley – I would definitely get your cat spayed, if for no other reason than she will drive you crazy while she’s in heat. She will also try very hard to get outside while in heat. All of my cats are indoor, but a couple of them have managed to slip outside at some point. Four of my cats were spayed/neutered before 5 months old (some shelters spay as early as 2 months). I mistakenly waited too late to get my last cat spayed, and had to go through a heat cycle. Never again. 🙂
As for vaccinations, I understand how you feel. My cats got their first couple of sets of vaccinations when they were little, but I have refused to vaccinate yearly. Distemper and other shots like feline leukemia might be a good idea, again in case your cat accidentally gets outside. Some vets/boarding places will require a rabies shot at the very least before they will see them. A lot of cities also require that pets have a rabies shot. If you’re really concerned about the vaccinations, you may want to consult with a holistic veterinarian to see what they recommend. Good luck!
What a great idea. All my cats have always loved coconut milk/ cream but not dairy produces as they are an oriental breed, Burmese. The furred one, George says Purrs and Thanks….