How to Make a Birthday Cake for Your Cat

Celebrate your feline friend with this fishy and festive recipe.

woman hugs kitty while booping on nose

Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura

  • Working Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 - 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 muffin-sized cakes
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $3

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute's 2021 Benchmark Survey of Pet Owners found that 98% of people consider their pets as family members. And what does one do for family members' birthdays? Hopefully, make cake!

Of course, cat cakes are a little different than human cakes—and dog cakes, too, for that matter. They can't eat the same sugar-based treats as we do, and they wouldn't want to. Cats are carnivores, and they lack the taste receptors for sweetness. So, please do not feed regular human cake to your cat, not even for a celebration or in tiny quantities. Instead, you can make a special kitty cake that bypasses the sugar and centers around every feline's favorite—fish.

What You'll Need

  • 3/4 can sustainably sourced tuna or salmon in water
  • 3 tablespoons shredded cheese (choose a hard, not overly processed variety like cheddar, Swiss, or gouda), optional
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg


  1. Mix

    ingredients shot for kitty birthday cake with tuna

    Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura

    Combine fish, cheese, flour, and egg, and mix thoroughly. If necessary, break up your salmon or tuna into small, easy-to-chew pieces.

    Although the recipe calls for all-purpose flour, you can replace it with coconut or rice flour if your cat is on a grain-free diet.

  2. Bake

    overhead shot of kitty cakes cooling

    Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura

    Scoop your batter into two cups of a greased muffin pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in a preheated, 350-degree oven. Use the classic toothpick trick to check whether the cakes are done inside. Allow them to cool completely.

  3. Decorate

    If you'd like to get a little more festive—it is your furry friend's birthday, after all—feel free to top the cake with a gravy "icing" or garnish with a cooked shrimp or a pinch of catnip.

    For a quick fishy gravy, mix half a cup of the liquid from your tuna with two cups of vegetable broth and a tablespoon of coconut oil in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then quickly add a tablespoon of plain sugar-free gelatin. Allow to simmer until a thick gravy forms.

  4. Serve

    orange kitty munches on tuna cake

    Treehugger / Alexandra Cristina Nakamura

    Be sure to let the cakes cool before serving. If your cat has trouble biting into the cake, you can break it up to make it easier for him to bite and chew.

Variation: If you don't have time to bake a cake, there are some easy no-bake options, too. This version does not contain egg, since you should never give raw egg to a cat. Mix canned fish with some chopped cooked chicken and mashed sweet potato (no added butter or cream), then shape into a cake-like form. If it fails to stick together, add 1 teaspoon of rice flour. Your cat will love it.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Why do cats go crazy for fish?

    It's unclear why cats have such a penchant for fish. It could be the strong smell or the high protein content of fish meat, or both. Experts aren't exactly sure.

  • Is canned tuna safe for cats?

    Canned tuna certainly should not make up a major part of your cat's diet—because, of course, mercury poisoning—but a little won't hurt. Make sure that the canned tuna you feed your cat is preserved in water, not oil.

  • Can cats eat cheese?

    Cheese isn't a necessary or even natural part of a feline's regular diet, and sometimes the dairy can disagree with a cat's digestive system. Cats should only have cheese in small amounts, infrequently, as a treat. Hard, mild, not overly processed cheeses are better than soft cheeses. Omit the cheese from kitty cake recipes if your cat is sensitive to it.

Why Pets Matter to Treehugger

At Treehugger, we are advocates of animal welfare, including our pets and other domestic animals. The better we understand our cats, the better we can support and protect their wellbeing. We hope our readers will adopt rescue pets instead of shopping from breeders or pet stores, and will also consider supporting local animal shelters.

View Article Sources
  1. "HABRI Benchmark Survey of U.S. Pet Owners." Human Animal Bond Research Institute. 2021.

View Article Sources
  1. "HABRI Benchmark Survey of U.S. Pet Owners." Human Animal Bond Research Institute. 2021.