I’m shaking things up a little here on Giraffes Can Bake today, today’s yummy treat isn’t for our tummy’s but for our feline friends’! I saw this recipe for Tuna Catnip Kitty Treats on Joy the Baker a few weeks ago and I knew I needed to make them for my baby! It’s Gryff’s birthday (full name: Gryffindor Severus, pictured above… and several times below!) on Saturday – yep, he’s a Valentine’s baby, and I like to spoil him whenever I can. I’m not going to try and pretend I’m not a crazy cat lady, but I also don’t have any shame over it! A fair warning to you here, this is going to be a pretty photo heavy post – I mean, you can’t have too many cute cat photos can you?!
I love Gryff like he was my own child, he is my own child, so he gets birthday presents on his birthday just like any kid – and this year he turns 4 years old! And my sweet 4 year old boy deserves some yummy homemade treats, he’d happily eat birthday cake but I figured these would be a little better for him! Now, people who have met Gryff will probably roll their eyes at me calling him “sweet” because, well, he’s a beast cat! He’s gotten a lot more mellow in his old age, but he’s still a bit feisty – I have quite a few scars from him trying to kill my arms! But he’s a sweet boy when he wants to be – he snuggles me at night (even if he pushes me out of my spot on the bed) and he gives me kisses on command (you guys are now probably realising why I’m single haha). He’s also a greedy boy and he’s technically on a diet, but since he lost 5lb (he used to weigh 17lb!) I’ve become a bit lenient with it. Still, he shouldn’t be having too many treats so he’ll be sharing his birthday treats with the other kitties in the house.
(the above kitty is Piper, she used to belong to my older sister but she didn’t get along too well with my sister’s eldest son so my mum took her in. She’s very sweet to us humans, but the other cats can’t even look at her without being told where to go!)
I know making homemade treats seems like a lot of effort to go through when there’s plenty of store bought treats you can buy that cats love, but these are really simple to make with very few ingredients. They have tuna for protein, an egg and some olive oil for good fats and soft fur, catnip for that extra kick and flour to bind it all together. While cats didn’t evolve to digest gluten most can process it just fine, however if your cat does has a gluten intolerance of course you’ll want to use a gluten free flour (such as oat flour, like Joy uses). And with that you have yummy treats that cats love – I had lure them onto the backdrop with catnip to start with, but once they had a taste of the treats they couldn’t get enough! Because these have egg and tuna in, you’ll want to store them in the fridge.
I can’t help but wonder what is in catnip that just drives cats crazy! I bought a 1oz tup of dried catnip (which ends up being A LOT of catnip) and opened it up last night and I was surrounded by 7 cats instantly, they then spent the night rolling around in it and eating it. I opened it upstairs just for Gryff first of all and at first he looked intrigued and then when he realised it was catnip he came running up with giant eyes and stuck his face in it! Whatever it is, I’m very thankful for it – not only does it make these treats irresistible to the kitties, it provides lots of entertainment for us humans too!
(the above kitty is Elsa, my mum brought her home from her work’s yard after the cat that lives there had kittens. I warned her about bringing home the kitten of a probably feral cat, but it turned out okay because Elsa is the mushiest thing ever!)
I don’t even feel guilty for not sharing a human treat today, because look how happy these kitties are! I’m sure plenty of you have cats you love too, so you can still benefit from this recipe. Maybe one day I’ll make some doggy treats too, for you weird dog people (just kidding, dogs are fine I guess!). I’m gonna bring these along to Fiesta Friday this week too, it’s about time we brought our furry friends along to the party I think!
This recipe does make quite a few treats, I had a second batch in the oven when I took these photos so that’s not even all of them. We have 8 cats here so we shouldn’t have a problem using all these up, but if you only have 1 or 2 you might want to halve the recipe since they’ll only be good for about a week. And while these are very kitty friendly of course, they are still treats and should be given fairly sparingly like you would any other treat – tuna is perfectly safe for cats to eat but only in small quantities due to the small amounts of mercury that may be present. Also, for male cats, too much fish in their diets can cause a build up in the urethra and cause blockages – always makes sure your cats have plenty of fresh water around to keep them hydrated, even if you feed them wet food! A healthy kitty is a happy kitty!
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- 5oz can tuna in water, drained
- 160g flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 heaped tbsp dried catnip
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until the form a dough, dough will be pliable and not too sticky.
- Roll into 1/4 tsp sized balls and place on baking sheet
- Use a cocktail stick or skewer to press a cross into the balls, this ensures even baking.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until dry to touch and slightly browned
- Cool completely before sharing with kitties
- Store in airtight container in fridge for up to 7 days
- Swap out the tuna for canned salmon or cooked, shredded chicken!
- Be sure to use gluten free flour such as oat flour if your cat can't process gluten.