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Your cat will thank you for reading this column, especially if you try some of the recipes. Everyone likes to pamper their pets, yet most folks don’t consider making homemade treats for their cats. “Why not?” ask the Tiggers and Whiskers of the world.
As long as you use nutritious ingredients and then indulge your cat in moderation, you can offer Miss Kitty some home-cooked delicacies. Treats make great rewards after pills are swallowed or as aids in behavior modification. Experts recommend that cat treats make up no more than 10% of the total calories a cat eats, especially since a 2011 study of the APOP (Association for Pet Obesity Prevention) found that over 50% of cats were overweight or obese. Of course, obesity predisposes cats also to certain conditions like diabetes, liver problems and arthritis.
With that cat caveat in mind, and a reminder that we, the owners, control the number of trips to the cookie jar, here are five cat treat recipes. One may appeal to even the finickiest feline: Catnip Crackers (courtesy of Reader’s Digest) Can be prepared in less than 20 minutes. Ingredients: 3/4 cup flour 1/2 cup whole wheat flour 2 tablespoons dried catnip (available at pet shops and in pet aisle at most supermarkets) 1/2 cup yogurt 1 egg 1 tablespoon honey 3 tablespoons vegetable oil Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, mix flours and catnip together. Stir in yogurt, egg, honey and vegetable oil. Press out dough on a floured surface and cut into tiny treats using a cookie cutter or pizza wheel. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for up to three months. Mackerel Cat Treats (courtesy of the Kathleen C.Cailloux Humane Society of Kerrville, Texas) Ingredients: 1/3 cup canned mackerel, drained and crumbled 1 cup whole grain bread crumbs 1 egg, beaten 1 tbsp vegetable oil or bacon grease 1/2 tsp brewer’s yeast (optional) Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a cookie sheet. Mix all ingredients together and then drop 1/4-teaspoon blobs on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for about eight minutes. Cool. Refrigerate in sealed container. Tuna Treats for Cats (courtesy of Houston SPCA) Ingredients: 1 8oz.can tuna in oil 2 cups cornmeal 2 cups flour 3/4 cup water 2/3 cup oil Preheat oven to 350° F and grease a cookie sheet. Mix ingredients just until combined, and on a floured surface, roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut dough into small squares, place squares on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool. Refrigerate in sealed container. Crispy Liver Morsels (courtesy of Petplace.com) Ingredients: 1/2 cup cooked chicken livers 1/4 cup water 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour 1/4 cup cooked carrot, mashed 1 tablespoon soft margarine Preheat oven to 325° F. Place well-done livers in a blender with 1/4 cup water. In a bowl, combine flour and margarine. Add liver mixture and carrots and knead dough into a ball. Roll dough to 1/4-inch thick and cut into one-inch sized pieces. Place cookies on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Makes 12 cookies. Savory Cheese Treats (courtesy of Petplace.com) Ingredients: 3/4 cup white flour 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese 5 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese 1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream 1/4 cup cornmeal Preheat the oven to 350° F. Combine cheeses and yogurt. Add flour and cornmeal. If needed, add a small amount of water to create nice dough. Knead dough into a ball and roll to 1/4 inch. Cut into oneinch sized pieces and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Makes two dozen.
Adoptables at Babylon Town Shelter (631-643- 9270) Lamar St. W. Babylon: All the cats and dogs at the shelter would just love to have a personal chef to spoil them with treats, but first they rather have a home. “Duchess,” this lovely Siamese mix came into the shelter nursing a litter. She is now spayed and waiting for happily ever after. “Prince” the lovable Lab pup in Cage 7, would make a great family dog. More Dogs: “Pork Chop”- Chihuahua; “Peaches”- small Pit mix; “Onyx”- brindle boy.