Skip to main content

4 DIY fall recipes you can make for your cat

The arrival of fall means there will be all sorts of delicious foods available in the stores. Cranberries, carrots, turkey, and pumpkin are just a few of those great foods, and even better, they’re often on sale. These foods are highly nutritious for your cat, and they make for great treat ingredients. But rather than buying manufactured cat treats with these ingredients, you can make your cat some tasty treats in your own kitchen. These four homemade fall cat treat recipes all use popular seasonal ingredients. They make tasty, nutritious goodies your cat is sure to love.

White cat eating a treat off of the floor
Dusica Paripovic/Alamy

Pumpkin-and-tuna cat treats

Not only do these pumpkin-and-tuna cat treats have tasty pumpkin in them, but they also have carrots and catnip to make them extra delicious. Pumpkin is a great ingredient to feed your cat, since it provides added fiber and can help treat both diarrhea and constipation.

These treats require minimal preparation, and the tempting tuna flavor makes them appealing to even picky cats. You can leave the catnip out if your kitty isn’t wild about it. When stored in an airtight container, these treats will stay fresh for about a week, giving your cat plenty of time to enjoy them.

Carrot-and-catnip cat treats

These tasty carrot-and-catnip cat treats feature plenty of catnip paired with shredded carrots, making them nutritious and delicious, too. The recipe recommends you use a pizza wheel to easily cut up the treats. This wheel gives you control over treat sizing, so you can make them the purr-fect size for your cat.

Depending on how long you bake the treats for, you can get a chewy or a crunchy texture, so you can customize them to your cat’s preference. They’ll keep for about a week in the fridge, or freeze them to make them last longer.

Salmon-and-sweet-potato cat treats

These salmon-and-sweet-potato cat treats are an easy way to ensure your cat gets plenty of protein in his diet. In fact, these treats are full of quality ingredients that can support your cat’s health. Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which promote a healthy coat and heart. It’s also loaded with nutrients that support your cat’s immune system health.

Just as nutritious as the salmon is the sweet potato. Sweet potato delivers plenty of fiber and antioxidants for digestive and immune system health. While this recipe features a cute fish mold, you can make these treats in the mold of your choice. Plan on freezing them for at least a few hours, and then watch your kitty go crazy over their delicious taste.

Chicken-and-cranberry cat treats

When you’re stocking up on cranberries for Thanksgiving, don’t forget to pick up an extra pack so you can make these fabulous chicken-and-cranberry cat treats. Cranberries can help support urinary health in your cat — just be sure to use only unsweetened cranberries for this recipe.

You can use the chicken that the recipe features or choose another meat that your cat loves, like turkey or beef. Just make sure the meat is cooked thoroughly.

These treats require minimal prep and take only about 15 minutes to bake, so your cat will be feasting on them soon.

Woman feeding a longhaired cat a treat
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Additional tips when cooking for your cat

When you’re preparing any of these recipes, make sure you choose pure ingredients with no additives. For example, if you’re working with canned pumpkin, buy only canned pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling, which has extra spices. These additives could upset your cat’s stomach, and some could even be toxic.

Think about the ideal treat size for your cat. You don’t want treats so big that they’re difficult for your cat to chew, and oversized treats mean you’ll be giving your cat extra calories, too.

When you introduce new treats to your cat, always do this slowly. You may be proud of your new creation, but feeding your cat too many treats can cause an upset stomach. Instead, feed just a few treats per day, and if your cat is prone to an upset stomach, restrict yourself to feeding just one treat per day until you know he’s well adjusted to the change. Sudden dietary changes aren’t healthy for cats, and your treats will count toward this. With careful, gradual introductions, your cat can safely enjoy the treats that you worked so hard to prepare for him.

Editors' Recommendations

Paige Cerulli
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Paige's work has appeared in American Veterinarian, Business Insider, Healthline, and more. When she's not writing, Paige…
Why do cats lick themselves? It goes beyond just cat grooming
This totally normal behavior could mean a few different things
A cat licking his paw while lying in front of a blue background

Cats spend the majority of their time doing one of a few things: eating, resting, grooming, using the litter box, or causing havoc. Their routines can become predictable at times, so it's not even worth a second glance when you catch your cat licking themselves as obviously -- and loudly -- as possible. Cats groom themselves all the time, after all, but when does licking become a bit too much?
Even though cat grooming is completely normal, if it becomes noticeably excessive, your kitty may be licking themselves -- or even licking you -- for another reason. Luckily, we can help you understand why cats lick themselves and how you can tell what may be going on. Here's what you'll want to know and what to look out for.

Is my cat grooming? When licking is normal

Read more
Why do cats open their mouths when they smell? It’s for a really cool reason
The Flehmen response is a little-known reaction in felines that allows them to take in more of their surroundings
A white and tabby cat with their mouth open

Think of the last time you smelled something foul. How did you react? If you're truly made of steel, you may not have reacted at all, but for most people, it's impossible not to flare your nostrils at least. You may have even made a face! All of these reactions are perfectly natural, though humans aren't the only species that reacts to smells, both good and bad. Even your cuddly cat sniffs out the world around them sometimes,
If you've ever noticed your cat reacting to a smell, you're not alone. Some folks have even noticed their cat opening their mouth -- and even sticking out their tongue -- while smelling, but it's not so clear what this means. Is this a reaction to a scent, or is it just a way to get an extra thorough sniff? Whatever it may be, we're here to find out.
Needless to say, you're not alone if you're wondering, "Why do cats open their mouths when they smell?" We've scoured trusted sources to find out, and this is what we know.

Why do cats open their mouths when they smell?
Watching your curious cat open their mouth in a kind of sneer while they get a good sniff of something can raise a lot of questions -- it's understandable. When people do this, it's usually a response to an unpleasant smell, but when cats do this, they're actually trying to get a better understanding of the scent in the air.

Read more
What does it mean when cats purr? It’s more scientific than them just being happy
Cat purring is thought to indicate happiness, but it can have a few different meanings
Black and white cat lying on a cat bed on a sofa

Chances are, you've heard that purring is a sign that a cat is happy. And in many cases, that's true. Cats often purr during activities they enjoy, like being petted in that hard-to-reach spot or settling down for a nap in the sun. However, purring can have different meanings and causes than just indicating happiness.

Scientists are still working to understand this feline behavior fully, and new theories about the reasons behind purring continue to evolve. So, why do cats purr, and what does your cat's purr really mean? New information may be coming out every day, but the information that we already have can help you better understand your cat.

Read more