Sometimes I envy Bisou. When the alarm goes off at 6 a.m. and it’s time for P and me to wake up and face all the meetings, deadlines and responsibilities adult life brings, my jealously shows. Bisou rises and shines for a quick breakfast and then, because she can, she goes to sleep for as many hours as she pleases. It’s not just about sleep though. Someone makes dinner for her every night and does the dishes. She wakes up looking more gorgeous than I do after getting ready for 40 minutes, with perfect eyeliner and everything. She never has a bad hair day! Of course, being a human has its advantages too, I remind myself. I get to see the world beyond the front door, socialize with other members of my species and enjoy the little things in life that Bisou isn’t able to appreciate. Seasonal eating used to be on the that list of little things. But a while back I started to wonder if Bisou is ever envious of me. She rarely tries to take food off my plate, but she does like to sniff what I’m eating. She eats the same meals day after day, so it would be understandable if she wanted a little variety. Why should people be the only ones to enjoy fresh fruit in the summer, or pumpkins in the fall?
I made Bisou these tiny, cat-friendly doughnut holes so she can get in on the fall pumpkin frenzy we humans are enjoying. I was only able to get a couple pictures of her sitting patiently by her plate of doughnuts before she chowed down on them in a rather unladylike and not very photogenic way, so I think it’s safe to say she’s just as crazy about pumpkin spice as the rest of us. So let’s talk about these doughnuts. The “dough” is a mix of homemade pumpkin purée, chicken and potato starch (a grain-free flour substitute). Instead of the cinnamon and nutmeg you’d find in pumpkin spice doughnuts for people, these are “spiced” with fresh catnip. They’re shaped into a scaled down, doughnut hole shape, rolled in more catnip instead of powdered sugar, and gently baked at a low temperature just until they hold together. Hit the “read more” button for the recipe!
These treats are a cinch to whip up, with just a few ingredients mixed together in a single bowl. They’re more healthy than most of the commercial cat treats out there; they’re free of fillers, additives and preservatives you’ll find in many store bought treats. Plus they’re low fat, grain free and high in protein. Just as importantly, they’re full of delicious, seasonal flavor I hope your kitty will love as much as Bisou does. Bisou is a very picky eater, so her paw print of approval means a lot, but I’d love to hear what you and your cat think of this autumnal treat, too! Share yours with us by tagging #craftsandacat on any of your social media accounts.
- 1/2 cup pumpkin purée, homemade or canned (without additives or spices)*
- 1/2 cup boneless, skinless cooked chicken
- 2 tsp. catnip (we used Tabby James catnip; not sponsored, we are just big fans!)
- 6-8 Tbs. potato starch
- Make your own pumpkin purée by slicing a pumpkin in half and scraping out the seeds. Sprinkle flesh with salt and pierce several times with a fork or knife. Roast sides face down at 400º until soft enough that a fork can easily pierce the flesh. Baking time will vary according to size of the pumpkin; start checking around 20 minutes. Peel the skin off and process in a blender until smooth.
- Preheat oven to 250º Fahrenheit.
- Cut the chicken into small pieces and pulse in a blender or food processor until shredded.
- Stir in the pumpkin purée and catnip.
- Stir in the potato starch one tablespoon at a time, until you're able to handle the dough without it sticking to your hands too much. You might not need the full amount.
- Pinch off mini marshmallow-sized pieces, roll into a ball, and roll in catnip if desired.
- Bake the doughnut holes for five minutes. Let cool before feeding to your kitty. Try cutting them into a few pieces if they are too big for her to eat. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze until you're ready to feed them to your cat.
Hope you’re enjoying the season and all its flavors!