Tuna Cat Treats
Healthy, Homemade Delight
Interested in making homemade cat treats for a feline companion? We opened our test kitchen to see how easy it is to whip up this tuna cat treat recipe.
The verdict: With only a few ingredients, this recipe is quick and easy to mix.
A couple of cautionary tips: This recipe makes A LOT of treats, as in hundreds. You may consider cutting the recipe in half for your first venture. Also, the recipe may be easy but expect to spend up to an hour in the kitchen shaping the tiny cat treats.
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (add more as needed)
- 1 cup low-sodium canned tuna in oil*
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoons brewer’s yeast†
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Lightly grease a baking sheet or use a silpat liner.
Drain the tuna and reserve the oil in a measuring cup. Add enough vegetable oil to the reserved tuna oil to make ¼ cup total.
*If you can’t find low-sodium canned tuna in oil, buy the low-sodium tuna in water (don’t forget to drain the water from the tuna); adjust your vegetable oil measurement to a ¼ cup.
Combine tuna, vegetable oil, bread crumbs, eggs and brewer’s yeast in a mixing bowl.
This mixture will be crumbly but pliable.
Using a ¼ teaspoon, or your fingers, scoop the tuna mixture and form a small round, or rectangular, shaped treat with your hands, molding together with your fingers so the mixture is solid and condensed. If you don’t do this, the treats will be crumbly after they have been baked.
Drop the treats approximately one inch apart on the baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes. Cool treats before serving to a feline friend.
Why brewer's yeast? This inactive yeast is rich in protein and B vitamins and is used a nutritional supplement. It's a by-product of beer-making, which gives it a slightly bitter flavor. If you want to eliminate the bitterness, you can buy reduced bitterness brewer's yeast or try nutritional yeast, which is made from the same yeast strain but grown on molasses. Brewer's yeast comes powdered (the most potent form), in flakes (best for health shakes), and in tablets and can be found at health food grocery stores.
Substitutes: Nutritional yeast (nuttier flavor, lighter color) or yeast extract.
Note to Cooks
These baked cat treats can be stored in an airtight container for immediate, short-term consumption. Remember: There aren't any preservatives in these treats, so if you bake a large batch, be sure to store the baked goodies in the refrigerator for long-term consumption so they won’t go bad.
One thing to consider: If you don't have the time to spend molding and shaping the entire batch of tuna mixture, you could store any remaining mixture in an airtight container in your fridge for 3 to 5 days or—if you need more time—in your freezer for future use. Make sure you separate the mixture into smaller batches for the freezer and wrap tightly with wax paper and store in an airtight freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.