Sustainable mix-ins to boost nourishment of your cat’s meals
Got 40 seconds? Watch this mini video (with your cat-child!) for inspiration.
Peterra Kitchen Botanical Bark for Cats
- PREHEAT the oven to 350°F (that’s 175°C).
- LINE an 8-inch (that’s 20.3-centimeter) square baking pan with unbleached parchment paper or a silicone baking mat — or use a silicone baking pan. This is so the bark doesn’t stick to the pan. (HINT: If you use parchment paper, make sure it has "wings" that you can clip to the pan's edges to make spreading the dough into the pan easier.)
- GRAB a medium bowl and pour in the dry mix from the package.
- STIR the dry mix well with 2/3 cup (that’s 156 milliliters) of water until a dough ball is formed. Ideally aim to stir for 2 full minutes. (Tip: See FAQ if you need more guidance.)
- PRESS/SPREAD the dough evenly into the lined baking pan using a flexible silicone spatula, kind of like it’s brownie batter.
- BAKE for 15 minutes. The bark will be firm on the outside with a soft chewy texture. You don’t need to wait for it to rise or turn brown.
- COOL in the pan on a cooling rack. Then, for best results, transfer the bark directly from the parchment paper or silicone mat to the rack to further cool and allow to further dry. (Do not serve hot!)
- CUT the bark into 9 large square slabs — cut 3 crosswise x 3 lengthwise.
- SERVE by cutting or breaking each slab into 8 bark pieces, such as triangles. That means 1 large square slab = bark servings for 8 days. You’ll get a whopping 72 total pieces of bark from one package.
Most kitties have persnickity palates. They’re like animal protein. So a plant-based goodie may seem unusual to them as they take they’re adorable little sniffs. Some cats will take to the bark right away. But most will eat this when it’s broken or crumbled up into their favorite food — ideally moist/canned food.
If you want to try feeding a whole piece of bark to your cat by hand, you might consider topping it — or “frosting” it – with up to 1/2 teaspoon of a scrumptious, kitty-friendly ingredient. Here are some ideas (which don’t necessarily need to be plant-based, by the way!):
- No-salt, no-sugar pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin)
- No-salt, sustainably caught, wild salmon (canned or unseasoned freshly-prepared salmon)
- Their favorite pâté-style canned cat food (hint: chicken & turkey are more sustainable than beef & lamb)
Follow these suggested serving guidelines for feeding the bark to your kitty based on their size:
- 10 pounds or less: 1 piece bark per day
- >10 pounds: 2-3 pieces bark per day
Important: For adult cats only.
You can split the bark serving between meals. And, of course, you can individualize the amount of bark you feed to your cat-child by providing them less than these guidelines suggest. However, it’s not advisable to feed more than these serving guidelines since intended for supplemental feeding only.
*Hint: Jackie (our co-founder) likes to cut each large square of bark into 4 squares, then cuts those 4 squares diagonally in half, to get 8 pieces of bark per large square for her Baby Duke – who likes his bark broken up and mixed into his canned poultry meals.
Store the unopened packaged baking mix can in a cool, dry spot, like in a kitchen pantry away from direct sunlight or heat. Check the “best buy” date on the package and be sure to bake by that date for optimal freshness.
Store the prepared 9 large baked squares in a sealable container for up to:
- 1 day at room temperature.
- 5 days in fridge (though up to 1 week is fine!)
- 6 months in freezer
Ideally, we love storing the bark in earth-friendly containers (which means no plastic and no single-use containers!), such as:
- Mason jars or other sealable glass containers
- Silcone sealable reusable containers, like Stasher® bags
- Airtight stainless steel containers with lids featuring a silicone seal
Nutrition Statement: Intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with questions regarding your pet’s diet.