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Posted on Sat, Dec 24, 2011 : 5:46 a.m.

Healthy homemade cat treats are a cinch and make a great gift

By Lorrie Shaw

Cats are fun creatures, and anyone who shares life with one will tell you that they are in a class all by themselves.

They are everything rolled up into one, but felines have a tendency to be misunderstood, perhaps because, while they are personable, they are different than dogs and tend to socialize with humans on a level that is so unlike their canine counterparts.

With all of the hoopla of the holidays, dogs seem to get a double dose of cheer — usually toys and homemade treats.

Kitties love to get the occasional offering of cat treats, too, and there are plenty on the market that they love. But why should they miss out on the edible goodness that comes from the kitchen?

Homemade cat treats are totally manageable. If you're stumped for a great gift idea for your pet-loving loved ones, you could whip up a batch of these treats in no time, and it's likely that you have the ingredients on hand in your pantry. And if you're like me, you need not have advanced baking skills to pull these off.

With so many gatherings over the next few days, they would even make a cute host gift for households with cats. After they've cooled, you could fill a small jar with these morsels and tie a spiffy ribbon around the lid for pizazz.

Cat Treats

1-1/2 cups cooked chicken or turkey
1 large egg
2 tablespoons low-sodium or homemade chicken broth
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour or oat flour
1 tablespoon dried catnip (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a food processor, whirl together chicken, egg and broth until smooth. Scrape into bowl. Add catnip, cornmeal and 1/2 cup flour, stir until moistened. Cover dough and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Roll out 1/4 inch thickness on lightly floured surface and cut into 1/2 inch triangles or squares. In batches, scatter on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack.

Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Makes about 3 cups.

The frisky feline in this video makes a convincing case that they need treats. If only he or she had opposable thumbs, right?

Lorrie Shaw is lead pets blogger for Catch her daily dog walking and pet sitting adventures or email her directly.