Kitty Fish Kibble

Makes 10 to 20 servings

This is an excellent recipe if you have a finicky cat. It uses canned mackerel, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids. It also has an intense smell and flavor, which will entice your cat to eat. If you can't find mackerel, feel free to substitute another canned fish—try salmon, sardines, or whitefish for variety. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups rye flour
1 cup plain wheat germ
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup nonfat dry milk
3 tablespoons parsley flakes
1/2 cup brewer's yeast
1/2 cup dried fish jerky, chopped in a blender (but not pureed)
2 cups dried fish flakes, divided 15 ounce can mackerel
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cod liver oil
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 cup water, or as needed

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray two large cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flours, wheat germ, cornmeal, dry milk, parsley flakes, brewer's yeast,
    chopped fish jerky, and 1 cup of the fish flakes.

3. In another bowl, mash the mackerel into small pieces. Mix in the oils, Thai fish sauce, and 1 cup water. Put the
    mixture in a blender or food processor and puree well.

4. Add the pureed mackerel mixture to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. If the dough is too tough, add
    water as needed to make the dough firm and smooth.

5. Use your hands and a big flat spatula to flatten out the dough on the cookie sheets to a thickness of lA to lA
    inch. Then score it into small pieces with a knife.

6. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup dried fish flakes and bake for 25 minutes or until the kibble is golden brown
    and not doughy when you break a piece open. During the baking process, take a wooden spoon or spatula and
    move the kibble around on the cookie sheet so that it bakes evenly.

7. Turn off the oven, keeping the door closed. Let the kibble dry out in the off oven for at least 4 to 6 hours or
    overnight. The longer you allow your kibble to sit in the oven, the drier and more flavorful it will become, and
    the longer it can be stored.

8. Remove the kibble from the oven. It will still be slightly warm and moist. Let it sit on cooling racks for another
    hour or two until it is completely dry and cool.

A Great Gift!

At holiday time, I make several batches of kibble to give as gifts. I take 6 to 10 cups of kibble and seal it in a vacuum-sealed food storage bag. Then I make a homemade label with the cat's name, the name of the recipe, and the date I made the kibble, along with instructions for using and storing it.

I put it in a small basket lined with tissue paper along with a small homemade scratching post, which I make by taking a dowel rod that is 4 to 6 inches in diameter and 10 inches long and rolling sisal around it. I secure the sisal with either nontoxic glue or staples and, after the glue has dried, glue the post to a base made from a 2 x 2 foot piece of plywood. Once that dries, I set the post bottom side up in the basket with the kibble and wrap with a large bow and gift tag.




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