“Cheesy” Holiday Cat Treats [Recipe]

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This DIY treat is for all the kitties who can’t keep their paws off the holiday cheese tray.

These simple, four ingredient homemade “cheesy” cat treats are dairy free and made with nutritional yeast for a special taste cats love. They’re made with real, natural ingredients you might already have on hand, and are free of artificial preservatives, artificial flavors, grain, gluten, and any other processed junk your cat doesn’t need.

As with any cat treat, when given in moderation, these cheesy cat cookies won’t bust your cat’s weight management goals. Go ahead, let her lick the spatula!

Janelle Leeson

Throughout history, cats have often been depicted eagerly lapping up a saucer of milk, but the reality is that cats are lactose intolerant. Slip your cat a slice of cheese, and you may find yourself cleaning up after a kitty with an upset stomach. Although hard cheeses like cheddar and Swiss contain less lactose than soft cheese, they still pack a low punch of nutrients for your obligate carnivore.

Good thing these “cheesy” holiday cat treats are dairy free!

This is a special holiday recipe for your cat, but that doesn’t mean these treats lack essential vitamins and minerals. Just four ingredients—and no grain, gluten, or dairy—make up this easy-to-make, all natural treat. They are:

Nutritional Yeast. Instead of cheese, your cat can enjoy the special flavor of a little ingredient called nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that has a salty cheddar cheese flavor (to humans; whatever it tastes like to felines, most cats really like it) and yellow color. Good for human and kitty consumption, nutritional yeast is often used sprinkled on top of cat food to help finicky cats eat; it’s also a source of amino acids and B vitamins.

Egg. Eggs are a great source of protein and fats and are also rich in vitamins A, D, choline, biotin, and essential amino acids for cats. The fat in yolks can also prevent or decrease hairballs in cats. Egg whites contain avidin, a protein that binds with biotin, a B vitamin. According to studies, too much egg white could cause a biotin deficiency in your cat’s diet because the avidin in egg whites binds with the biotin a cat’s body naturally makes, causing a deficiency. So, avoid feeding your floof egg whites without the yolk unless discussed with your vet for other dietary reasons.

Sardines. Sardines are packed full of Omega 3’s and vitamin D. Because they are closer to the bottom of the food chain than other fish such as tuna and salmon, they do not bio-accumulate dangerous metals and other toxins. When buying sardines for cats, look for fresh, frozen, or canned in spring water (not in oil or with salt added).

Pumpkin. A small amount of pure pureed pumpkin is okay as a treat now and again. In fact, pumpkin is low in calories and high in fiber, filling your cat up without wrecking their weight management goals. And, if your cat is experiencing digestive upset (diarrhea or constipation), the soluble and insoluble fiber found in pumpkin can help get things back on track.

Cheesy Holiday Cat Treat ingredients on cutting board

Janelle Leeson

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Baked Holiday Cat Treats

“Cheesy” Holiday Cat Treats

  • Author: Janelle Leeson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 714 individual treats 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Scale

Ingredients

1 whole egg

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1 tablespoon pure, pureed pumpkin

2 sardine filets, canned in spring water

bowl of ingredients

Janelle Leeson

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a pie dish or other small baking dish with parchment paper.
2. Combine the Ingredients. In a small mixing bowl, combine the egg, nutritional yeast, pumpkin puree, and sardine. Avoid adding liquid from the sardine can.
3. Mix all ingredients, breaking up the sardine into small pieces.
4. Pour the mixture into the lined baking dish, spreading it even with a spatula.
5. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until edges have browned and the batter has set. Let cool slightly and cut with your favorite holiday cookie cutter!
6. Serve the treats within a week, refrigerating the leftovers or freezing for later use.

Cat eating holiday treats

Janelle Leeson

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 treat
  • Calories: Approximately 20

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