99.9% of the time, this blog is about human food, but today I’m posting a little something special for those of you with feline friends in your lives. Cats need good, homemade food too! Kitty haters need not read on. My boyfriend and I adopted a kitten a few months ago. Her name is Ripley (as in Sigourney the alien killer, not as in ‘Believe it or Not,’) and she’s the best.
I found a recipe for kitty treats online and thought I’d make some tasty homemade morsels just for Ripley, since she has to miss out on all of the other yummy things I bake. They’re super easy to make, so I would definitely encourage all of you cat owners to treat your whiskered friend to something extra special. Also, these are perfect for when you have the itch to bake but can’t justify stuffing yet another Christmas cookie in your face—just bake for your pet instead!
Your cast of characters includes whole wheat flour (you can also use white if your cat can’t have wheat), honey, certified organic catnip, nonfat dry milk, butter, and an egg. Not pictured: milk. Don’t go substituting and adding ingredients willy-nilly here; please make sure that anything you put into these treats is safe for your cat to eat. Here’s a list of human food they shouldn’t eat to get you started. Did you know that milk isn’t actually very good for cats? In these treats, the amount of milk is so miniscule when distributed throughout the tiny treats that it won’t have any adverse effects.
Combine your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Now add your wet ingredients.
Mix up the dough with a spoon or whisk, then get in there with clean hands until you can form a ball with it.
Roll out your dough to about 1/8″ thickness and start cutting out shapes. You can just cut them into squares with a knife, but I had some mini Christmas cookie cutters that I decided to use to make them festive. They’re still pretty big for Ripley, so we broke up the treats a little when feeding them to her.
I dedicate this particular photo to Paisley the Cat, who does a totally awesome and adorable webcomic called Hey Pais! She loves her crunchy star treats, so I bet she’d like these as well. If you’re a cat lover, you totally have to check out the comic. Also, she sells crocheted catnip mice in her Etsy shop—Ripley has two and loves them.
Once you have your shapes cut out, place them on parchment on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. You don’t have to worry about leaving space between them—they don’t have any leavening agents so they won’t rise or spread significantly.
Let them cool completely on a wire rack before feeding to your cat.
Ripley wasn’t too sure about these treats—she didn’t know they were food at first!
We broke them up and put them in her regular food dish, and then she got the picture. She loved the smell of them, but it took her a while to understand that she could eat them! Don’t be surprised if your cat is a little confused having homemade treats for the first time, but they’re definitely worth a little extra effort. They’re super easy and so much cheaper to make than store-bought treats, plus you know exactly what goes into them. You can also play around with them to find a flavor your cat really loves.
Adapted from various internet sources
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons organic catnip
1/3 cup dry milk
1/2 cup milk
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 Tablespoon honey
1 large egg
Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowls. Add wet ingredients and mix to form dough. Roll out, adding more flour if needed, and cut into squares or small shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. Cool completely. Store in airtight container or freeze and thaw as needed.