This recipe for crunchy baked kitty biscuits is the perfect treat for your feline friend – easy and inexpensive to whip up, and probably much healthier and lower in salt than commercial pet treats.
I have to admit, though, that my original recipe for this used tinned tuna. Now, although everything I have read about cats online says that they are addicted to tuna, our cat turns his nose up at it – meaning he ate very few of the first lot of treats I made. So feel free to use tuna if your cat enjoys tuna. Otherwise, use any other meat you have on hand and which your cat will eat – chicken, beef, pork… any will do. Livers, hearts, kidneys, chicken giblets.. or even mixtures of offal & meat.. the choice is yours. Simply grind it up in a food processor or mincer.
I also originally made the biscuits quite large-ish – around the size of a 5c piece – a nickel in the US. With such a tiny mouth, our kitten found them too big and crunchy to tackle. The solution has been to make them tiny – I’m talking the size of a raisin if possible, and no bigger than a sultana.
This recipe makes a medium-sized jar of treats. Halve the recipe if you feel you would like to make them twice as often, for the sake of freshness and variety. This might be a good idea if your cat is like ours, and quickly gets bored with new things.
200g of minced meat, OR one 210g tin of tuna in vegetable oil, drained
flour (wholewheat, plain, rye, atta, spelt, millet, etc. – any will do)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon oil (don’t add if you’re using tinned tuna; either olive, sunflower, grape-seed, or light vegetable oil will do, however nothing too overpoweringly smelly)
We used around 3/4 cup of rye flour when we made these with tinned tuna, however this quantity might vary according to the type of meat you use. What you’re looking for is a mix that is reasonably firm and dry, that will hold its shape. So add as much or as little flour and water as you feel is necessary to achieve this consistency.
- Preheat oven to 160°C.
- Mix meat, flour, parsley and oil together well. If you have used tuna, make sure to break the pieces up well so they are soft and mushy.
- Add water gradually, as is needed to make a firm dough that is easy to mould into a small shape.
- Roll a quarter- to a half-teaspoon-sized amount of the dough between your palms, creating a small round ball. This may seem quite small, but remember that what looks small in human terms is huge in cat terms, and gigantic from a kitten’s perspective!
- Repeat process until all mixture is used, placing each biscuit onto a lightly greased oven tray.
- Bake at 160C for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Turn oven off, though leave tray in until oven has completely cooled. (This will help to dry out the biscuits further, and therefore help the treats keep for longer).
- When biscuits have cooled completely, they are ready to serve. These are handy as an occasional treat and/or an addition to your pet’s everyday dry food.
- Store treats in an air-tight container in the pantry.