If you cannot find a store-bought treat that your cat enjoys, consider making your own homemade treats. However, when making treats for your favorite feline, you must take into consideration their dietary needs and be cautious with foods that may be toxic to cats. Combining the right ingredients is essential to making these tasty treats.
Importance of Protein
Cats are carnivores. Their digestive system works best digesting meat. As carnivores, they require two to three times more protein than you do. While your body turns carbohydrates into energy, a cat’s body does not break down carbohydrates as efficiently. Their bodies convert protein into glucose energy. Proteins can be animal-based, such as chicken and tuna, or plant-based, such as soy and vegetables.
When making homemade cat treats, avoid certain foods, as they are toxic to cats. Foods such as chocolate, grapes and raisins are common foods that are toxic. Also avoid seasonings such as garlic, onions, chives and salt. Garlic, onions and chives cause gastrointestinal problems and can decrease red blood cell count in cats. Salt increases thirst and urination and can lead to sodium poisoning in cats.
For simple cat treats, meats like tuna and chicken livers provide a source of protein. For a basic recipe, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine a 6 ounce can of tuna with ¾ cups flour. Mix well. Slowly add water until you create a firm dough consistency. Shape the dough into small cookie-shaped pieces and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes and turn oven off. Leave the pan in the oven until completely cooled. With this recipe, you can replace the tuna with other meat options. If you cat has wheat allergies, replace the flour with rice flour or rolled oats.
Before adding any new treats or foods to your cat’s diet, consult a veterinarian regarding any possible dietary concerns. If your cat suffers from food allergies, substitute other ingredients into your recipe. Remember these are treats and should only be given occasionally. Too many treats can lead to obesity. For a simple treat without any cooking, a small serving of canned tuna or sardines may be enough to put a smile on your cat’s face.
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