Candy for your Cat: DIY Cat Treats

diy cat treats
My kitty pop brings all the cats to the yard, and they’re like, 'meow meow meow meow'

If you’re anything like me, you’re obsessed with your cat.
And if your cat is like mine, she knows it.

She also knows when I’ve done something extra special for her, like making her home cooked treats. These kitty lollipops crafted with bone broth, and kitty cookies with a sprinkle of catnip are sure to provide your little one with an extra dash of TLC.

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kitty lollipop
diy cat treat

Kitty Pops

A few months ago, my husband and I watched a live feed of a cat cafe in Japan where patrons purchase kitty lollipops to attract the attention of the many four-legged felines. It was the cutest thing to watch a cat lick a lollipop! In that moment I decided I’d have to make my own version for my cat Luffy.

Through a bit of research on cat lollipops, I found a lot of frozen variations containing yogurt, milk, and chicken broth, and decided that frozen was the way to go for homemade (although I’d like to come up with a non-frozen kind at some point.)
I hit up Amazon.com and ordered a lollipop mold STAT.
The mold turned out to be much larger than I anticipated (that what I get for not reading the details), so my kitty pops are pretty massive for one tiny cat! But, small or large, the results are still very cute.
If you don’t have a lollipop mold, use an ice cube tray and place the cube in a bowl, or hold with a paper towel between your fingers for your kitty to enjoy!

 

Making Broth for Kitties

After one failed attempt at homemade broth (too few bones and too much carelessness– all my water evaporated), and several weeks after receiving my lollipop mold in the mail, Thanksgiving was upon us. I made two large turkey breasts for our friendsgiving, and wound up with 2 carcasses and a bit of meat as well- perfect! Try no. 2 at the broth for kitty pops began, this time with much stronger results.

When it comes to broth for kitties, you can use store bought broth, but make sure it is as low sodium as possible and give it to them very sparingly as they really should not have salt at all. If you are making your own, do not use any salt, onions, or garlic as they are toxic for cats.
For my broth, I used carrots, celery, and turkey bones, and no added salt.

Here is the basic formula for a homemade broth:

  1. Add your vegetables and bones to a pot ( you can also add spare bits of meat, always adds flavor), and cover with 1-2 inches of cold water.
  2. Heat over medium-high, until bubbles just begin to break through the surface of the liquid.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low, and maintain a gentle simmer.
  4. Skim any scum that rises to the surface during the first hour of cooking and discard.
  5. Simmer uncovered for 6-8 hours. Add more liquid throughout to maintain coverage of the bones and vegetables.
  6. Strain into a large bowl or a second pot through a mesh sieve.
  7. Refrigerate or freeze, then remove the layer of fat from the top and discard. (If the broth is for you, you can keep as much of the fat as you like. If it’s for your kitty, try to remove as much as possible.)

A few general notes on on making broth:

  • Do not bring bring the liquid to a boil, as it will cause too much liquid to evaporate.
  • It is important to simmer the liquid uncovered so that the flavor can condense and become richer. It seems weird to pour plain water into your stock to make up for the volume lost to evaporation, but trust me it’s going to be fine. People have been making stock for like 5000000 years, I don’t know why I questioned it the first time!
  • Make sure you have 6-8 hours available before you start cooking. I started mine at 7pm… whoops! You don’t need to watch it like a hawk, just check on it every hour or two to add more liquid.

Fill ‘Er Up

I used a bit of homemade broth and a bit of turkey meat that I pureed in a food processor to fill the pops.
In retrospect, I think your kitty may have an easier time licking at a pop made of only broth, but the meat makes for a dense and long-lasting treat. Your choice! If it’s too long lasting, just pop back in the freezer for next time.

Because my lollipop molds are made for lollipops and not popsicles, I had a bit of leakage into the tray for the stick. If this happens to you it’s no biggie, just rinse the stick with warm water after freezing and it will melt right off. (You can see the broth pooling in the photos below)
To make a full size pop, I filled the molds halfway with turkey puree and broth, added the sticks, and froze for about an hour, then filled up the rest of the mold and froze again. I used the pureed turkey to make a little dam at the tray for the stick to keep the liquid from running.

making frozen cat lollipops
making frozen cat treats

I used trimmed skewers because I didn’t have lollipop sticks. I also used the skewer to mix the broth and turkey puree before freezing.

Once frozen, I wrapped my pops in cellophane and tied with a ribbon for a festive lollipop presentation.
I think these would make such a great gift to kitties of friends as well. Send all your friends home with one for their cat!
I also think plain greek yogurt would make a great kitty pop, but share it with you furry friend sparingly, as most cats are sensitive to dairy.

frozen cat lollipops
broth lollipops for cats

 

Kitty Cookies

The second cat creation I’d like to share with you today is a basic homemade cat treat!
From what I can tell, there are about a billion different recipes for dog treats and one basic recipe for cat treats. What is up with that!
Although I’d like to be a kitty treat pioneer, I’d rather not experiment on my cat. So, I concocted a riff on this one existing recipe to create a cat cookie.

diy cat cookie treats
cooking for your cat

The basic cat treat ingredients seem to be some kind of pureed meat (chicken, turkey, salmon, or tuna), oats, olive oil, egg, and catnip. Spinach is also an option for a vitamin boost. Olive oil isn’t particularly good for cats, but remember these are treats, so feed them to your kitty in moderation. Use a good quality olive oil- the better the quality, the better it is for your cat. Blend it all up in a food processor, and bake it. Easy!

I used a ziplock bag for mess-free dispensing onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and sprinkled with a little extra nip for garnish. They smelled pretty tasty while baking, and my little Luffy got excited sniffing around.

making cat treats at home

(Note: I tried using a piping tip to make them all pretty. It did NOT work. So I just cut the tip off and piped with the plastic bag. No muss, no fuss.)

They’re crumbly and crispy on the outside, and a little tender on the inside. I was a little skeptical initially, but my kitty really enjoyed these!
I think these would be extra good dipped in a bit of plain greek yogurt.

diy cat treats

Let’s make some DIY Cat Treat Magic!

Kitty Pops

Ingredients

  • Homemade broth chicken, turkey, or seafood, or low sodium store bought broth
  • Meat chicken, turkey, salmon, tuna, anything you kitty likes! (Optional)

Instructions

  • In a food processor, blend meat with 1-2 tbsp of broth (or more if needed) until very finely processed.
  • Fill a lollipop mold or ice cube tray with puree and broth and freeze until solid.
  • Let the pop thaw slightly before giving it to your cat to enjoy.

Kitty Cookies

Servings: 25 ish cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (the better the quality, the better for your cat)
  • 1 tbsp catnip
  • 1/2 cup pureed meat (chicken, turkey, salmon, tuna, or whatever you kitty prefers)
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 350 F.
  • In a food processor, process the oats finely until they resembles a flour-like consistency.
  • Add the pureed meat , egg, catnip, and olive oil, and process until well combined.
  • Transfer the mixture to a ziplock bag, and pipe small mounds onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with a bit more catnip if you like.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until dried on top and firm with a slight give. Let your treats cool before giving them to your kitty to munch on!

I made these goodies as a special Holiday season treat for my cat, and I plan to spend many chilly evenings at home in front of our (Netflix) fireplace with a kitty pop.

Enjoy! 

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