I Can Haz: Tuna-flavored Kitty Cookies

I think every pet owner, at some point or another, marvels over how much food their little furballs manage to pack away over the course of a month. I’ve never done a real tally of the grocery bill because I’m sure we’d just be appalled. I think we were going through about $1.20 in canned per day, plus a medium sized bag of kibble every few weeks. I’m currently trying out a few different Finnish brands, but it’s looking like daily canned food consumption will fall around the €1 mark here, too. This is why homemade cat food is probably something I’ll get around to addressing in the near future. But today’s post is about treats.

Treats! We have bags of them lying around everywhere, and you probably do too. Why? Because cats love bribes. Need to clip their nails? Bribe them. Want them to stop hiding under the bed so grandma can pet them? Bribe them. Want them to be quiet so you can get a few more minutes of sleep? You get the picture. But if you consider how much those treats cost and how little you get per bag, you’re probably paying between $20-30 per pound in treats. So I decided to take matters into my own oven mitts.

Here is Coco, our resident feline taste tester, approving the latest batch of tuna cookies to come off the production line. Full of fishy goodness, she thinks!

tunacattreats09

And here they are cooling off in a giant pile, which ended up being divided into three ziploc bags to be distributed to three households’ worth of hungry kitties (and a couple of opportunistic dogs, too). All for the price of one can of tuna, some flour, and a half hour of your time! I looked through a bunch of recipes online, but in the end just decided to go by the seat of my pants with what was available. Want to make some? Read on…

tunacattreats01

Three main ingredients. A can of tuna in water, some corn flour (couldn’t find cornmeal on my first try), and some wheat flour.

tunacattreats02

Mixed it together in the food processor, chopping up and distributing that tuna thoroughly throughout the mixture.

tunacattreats03

Started adding in dribbles of water and a bit of oil until it started looking like dough.

tunacattreats04

The finished dough. Looks rather like bread dough, actually. I might try cutting back on the moisture next time to see if it leads to a crispier product.

tunacattreats05

I spooned the dough in teaspoon-sized dollops onto a baking sheet sheet covered in parchment paper. There was enough for three sheets full.

tunacattreats06

I used a fork (remember to keep it moistened in water so it doesn’t stick to the dough) to make criss cross marks on the cookies and to help flatten them out for more thorough baking.

tunacattreats07

Bake at 350 F (175 C) for between 15-25 minutes, depending on how crisp you want them. Just make sure they’re starting to look golden and are hardening up.

tunacattreats08

Also, the size of these cookies might be a bit too big for some of the daintier eaters around — Coco will readily take a piece and gnaw on it until it’s done, but Misu needs it broken up into pieces for her. So see what preferences your own furballs have and either bake them smaller or just break them up when you’re feeding them.

14 Comments:

  1. I am SO going to be making these! I have no cats myself, but I am the willing minion to several in my neighbourhood.

    • Ha! You’ll probably end up with a nice pile, since they’re small cookies. And kitties *will* swarm over you — I had these bagged on the counter yesterday morning so I could take some with when we visited some cat-owning friends. Coco jumped up, knocked it down, and tried to rip open the bag the minute I left the room and I just barely managed to rescue it in time. So… they got a bag with some teeth marks in it…

      • I never thought I’d be saying this, but I’m having a heck of a time finding cornmeal or cornflower. Yep, in downtown Toronto. None of the grocery stores in my neighbourhood or the next few neighbourhoods over seem to stock it. I will most likely have to peruse the aisles of the health food/organics stores in Kensington Market to find what I’m looking for. I’m going to be cat-sitting four fuzzies next month so I want to have a batch prepped for their approval.

        • It’s funny, I thought I’d have a hard time finding it too. It seems like such an American thing. But there it was sitting on the shelf in a bright yellow box with a picture of corn on the front. Bless the never-ending variety of major supermarkets. The cornmeal probably isn’t necessary — it just adds a bit more texture and flavor to help enhance the cookie. I know a lot of pet foods use cornmeal for that reason. Good luck in finding it and let me know how they turn out!

          • Success! I found the cornmeal today in Kensington Market. I now have all the ingredients, so I will make a batch this week.

          • I made a batch of these tonight and just tested them out on my landlady’s cat, Mr Grey. Being used to a particular brand of store-bought treats, he wasn’t sure about them at first. But once I broke them up into morsel-sized pieces he was quite content to sit himself down and enjoy the feast.

          • Yes, I had to break them up for all the kitties we tried them on, too. Some cats simply won’t get it, because they’re used to all the preservatives and artificial flavor boosters that are in store food. They wouldn’t know natural flavoring if it hit them upside the head. Misu happens to be one of these cats…

          • My landlady’s cats turned out to be fairly ambivalent toward the treats, but my friend’s two cats practically inhaled them. One of the cats didn’t even wait for me to break it up into little bits for her, once she got it in her mouth she was off like a shot with it before anyone could take it away from her!

          • LOL. Yeah, different kitties definitely have different preferences. Probably depending on how much store food (and whether it’s wet or dry) versus how much “real” food they’re given. Coco went for the treats right away, but she’s also a big fan of wet food and anything meat-ish that comes off our plates. Misu wasn’t so enthusiastic about the treats but the only thing she really likes is dry cat kibble. Both of Tommi’s family’s cats went for the treats happily, and they’re more like Coco — “proper cats” I like to call them. You know, they kind that like eating fish and raw meat and try to catch birds 🙂 Pampered housecats that inhale tons of gourmet treats from the store probably won’t be as readily tempted. Hehe.

  2. How much flour did you use for one can of tuna?

    • Hmm. About a cup of each type of flour, I think. You might get more intense tuna flavor if you use less, but I didn’t get any complaints from that ratio.

  3. These look like a must! I’ll bet that my cat would be all over these. I must hunt corn flour for them the next time I’ll shop.

    • Yes, go for it! If your cat likes fish, it’ll be a hit. And hey, if you manage to find some corn meal (coarsely ground corn flour, basically), do let me know… I could only find the finely ground stuff, but we weren’t looking very closely and I’m still getting a feel for what our local markets have on their shelves.

  4. Pingback: Sweet Corn Bread Muffins « Velvet Kerfuffle Kitchen and Garden

Talk to me! Please remember to tick the "Notify me of follow-up comments" box below to receive email notification of replies.

  • Subscribe to Blog