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3 Homemade Tuna Cat Treats You Can Make Today: Our Vet’s Recipes

Written by: Dr. Samantha Devine DVM (Veterinarian)

Last Updated on April 3, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Cat looking at owner in the kitchen busy in the refrigerator

3 Homemade Tuna Cat Treats You Can Make Today: Our Vet’s Recipes


Dr. Samantha Devine Photo


Dr. Samantha Devine

Veterinarian, DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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So, you’re looking for a healthier alternative to the packages of cat treats you can pick up in the store? Does your cat love tuna? Let’s look at a few easy ways to prepare tuna for your feline family member.

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Cats and Tuna: Is It Safe?

You might consider making tuna treats for your cat because you feel they’re a healthy option. While tuna is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, some potential problems are associated with it.

Hungry cat sitting next to bowl of food at home kitchen and looking at camera
Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

Pros of Tuna

As mentioned, tuna is full of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids benefit pets and their people by reducing inflammation. Your cat could have the following benefits:

  • Healthier skin
  • Less hair shedding
  • Decreased joint pain

Cons of Feeding Your Cat Tuna

Tuna may contain mercury. You should avoid larger albacore tuna for your cat due to the potential health risk it poses, according to Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

Tuna is also calorically dense, so your cat could become overweight. According to the Animal Medical Center of Chicago, your average 10-pound neutered cat only needs 262 kcal daily.1 The USDA Food Data Central lists a can of light tuna canned in water as having 191 kcal, meaning that one can of tuna is almost your cat’s whole day of calories, but it’s not nutritionally complete. Overweight cats are more at risk for health complications like diabetes and joint disease.

tabby cat eating from metal bowl
Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

The 3 Homemade Tuna Cat Treats

1. Frozen Tuna Ice Cubes – Tuna Cubes Anyone?

Woman Baking with Cat

Frozen Tuna Ice Cubes

This recipe is relatively easy for you to make for your kitty friends.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Freeze Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 22 kcal


  • sealed bag
  • Mixing bowl


  • One can of light tuna packed
  • Water


  • Combine the can of tuna with enough water to make a slurry
  • Pour the tuna into ice cube trays
  • Freeze the mixture until solid
  • Take a cube out and offer it to your cat when they need a refreshing treat
  • Store the ice cubes in a sealed bag in the freezer


Image Credit: ViDI Studio, Shutterstock


Calories: 22kcal
Keyword cat treats, tuna
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

2. Kitschen Cat Tasty Tuna Treats


  • 6 ounces of light chunk canned tuna packed in water
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • One egg
  • Two tablespoons of water
  • Some cornmeal for dusting
Servings: servings depend on how you cut them (I’d recommend bite-sized treats.)
Calories: 1,262 kcal/recipe (calories per serving will depend on the size of treats)


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl to form a soft dough
  • Let the dough rest for 10 minutes
  • Roll out dough on a flat surface covered with a thin layer of cornmeal
  • Cut your dough out using a knife or small cookie cutters
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet
  • Allow to cool
  • Store in an airtight container

Make sure you only offer these as an occasional treat to limit the extra calories your kitty is getting.

high angle view of hungry black and white cat getting fed with treats by young female pet owner
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

3. Crispy Tuna Treats

One of the easiest ways I’ve made crispy treats when I wanted to have them for my cats is to bake canned tuna. You read that right; you can bake canned tuna and break it into smaller, crispy bits.


  • One can of tuna, drained

The advantage of this recipe is that it feeds a complete and balanced AAFCO-approved product. However, you still don’t want to go overboard because you’re feeding this as a treat.


  • Take a can of tuna and drain most of the water
  • Add tuna to a blender and blend until it is close to pate
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Spread the pate onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet
  • Bake until complete dried out
  • Break into small pieces
  • Cool before offering to your cat
  • Store in an airtight container

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Considerations When Giving Your Cat Treats

Percent of Diet

The most essential consideration when giving your cat treats is giving at most 10% of its daily calories as treats. It’s better to give less, especially if your cat is overweight.

Treats are not balanced to meet all your cat’s dietary requirements. They could be higher in carbohydrates or protein than what your cat needs. They might also be missing essential nutrients such as taurine.

Cat paws stand on smart scales that makes bioelectric impedance analysis, BIA, body or weight fat measurement

No Oil

If you’re offering your cat canned tuna, remember it should only be packed in water, not oil. Oil has significantly more calories than what your cat should eat.


Remember that the more variety we offer our cats, the more potential allergens they are exposed to. According to Cornell University, food allergies are the third most common allergy in cats. Some signs of food allergies include:

  • Itchy skin
  • Hair loss (alopecia)
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Beige or cream coloured older cat resting on bed and scratching his ear
Image Credit: Lubo Ivanko, Shutterstock

Formulating Diets for Your Cat

If you’d like to cook for your cat, you should use a recipe formulated by a veterinary nutritionist. Your veterinarian may be able to provide resources but consider using a nutritionist from the American College of Veterinary Nutritionists. is another helpful resource. You can plug in your cat’s profile and ingredients, and the site will generate information about recipe options and how to make it balanced.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I feed my cat canned tuna if I don’t have cat food?

Ideally, you should not feed your cat canned tuna instead of cat food. It is not balanced, so you risk missing key nutrients.

Can I give tuna salad to my cat?

No, you should not give tuna salad to your cat. Some tuna salad is made with onions, which are very toxic to pets. The mayonnaise in tuna salad can also upset your cat’s digestion.

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Remember that tuna is not the best option for your cat, but there are some ways to make it into a treat you offer occasionally. Stick to a well-formulated cat food for their regular feeding and use treats as 10% or less of their daily calories.

Featured Image Credit: DimaBerlin, Shutterstock

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