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While a cat may happily lap up a spoonful of yogurt, there’s usually one major problem for our obligate carnivore friends: cats do not possess lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose found in most dairy products and yogurts made from cow milk. This can cause feline digestive upset.
However, some cats can tolerate goat milk because it has a lower lactose content than cow’s milk. When offered occasionally and not as part of your cat’s regular diet (remember: treats are supposed to make up no more than 10% of your cat’s daily caloric intake), goat milk for some cats can be a real treat.
This recipe for cat-friendly fro-yo shares steps with many traditional DIY Instant Pot yogurt recipes. Goat milk is the one big, cat-friendly difference. Once the yogurt is made, you spoon the yogurt into small silicone molds and pop them in the freezer for a cool, fun treat.
Cat-Friendly Frozen Yogurt: Set Up, Prep, and Tips
This recipe uses an Instant Pot. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, don’t fret! You can sub the ingredients into a stove-top method for making yogurt.
Before we get started, let’s run through some options for this recipe:
1. Cat-Formulated Raw Goat Milk
When making my first batch of cat-friendly frozen yogurt, I used Primal brand raw goat milk formulated specifically for cats and dogs. This milk also has added ingredients like turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon. The final yogurt was yellow in color and very runny but froze perfectly fine. My cats love the taste and I love the extra nutritional boost it packs.
2. Human-Grade Goat Milk and Gelatin
I wanted my second batch of cat-friendly frozen yogurt to be one that you and your cat can enjoy together. So, I subbed Primal raw goat milk for pasteurized goat milk from my local grocery store. I also bloomed unflavored gelatin into the milk before fermenting it. The results were a slightly thicker yogurt that is white in color and tangy in taste. This version is the cheaper option and is equally loved by my taste-testing felines.
DIY Goat Milk Fro-Yo Treats for Cats
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 8 hours
- Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: 3 1/4 cup 1x
- 1 tbsp store-bought goat milk yogurt
- 1-quart (32 oz.) Primal Goat Milk or Human-grade goat milk
- 1 tsp unflavored gelatin (optional)
- Disinfect the Instant Pot by rinsing the metal insert with boiling water.
- Boil the milk in the Instant Pot. If you plan to add gelatin to your yogurt to thicken it, set aside 1/4 of milk in a glass measuring cup. Pour the remaining milk into the Instant Pot and lock the lid. Select the “yogurt” setting, pressing until your Instant Pot reads “BOIL.”
- Meanwhile, if you are using unflavored gelatin to thicken your yogurt, add 1 teaspoon of gelatin to the 1/4 cup of milk you set aside. Don’t stir, allow the gelatin to bloom in the milk.
- When the Instant Pot beeps to indicate boiling is complete, measure the temperature of the milk with an instant-read thermometer. If the milk hasn’t reached 180 degrees Fahrenheit, select the sauté setting. Stir occasionally and monitor the milk—it will reach a boil quickly on this setting.
- Once your milk has reached 180 degrees, take it off the heat to cool. To speed up the process, you can place the Instant Pot insert into a large bowl with ice.
- When the milk cools to 120 degrees, add the gelatin milk mix (if using). Continue to cool until the milk reaches 108 degrees.
- When the milk cools to 108 degrees, remove the film on the surface then stir in 1 tablespoon of your yogurt starter.
- Place the insert back into the Instant Pot and lock the lid. Select the yogurt setting until the Instant Pot reads “8:00.” Enjoy eight hours of kitty snuggles and play while your cat-friendly yogurt ferments.
- Let the yogurt cool to room temperature, divvy into silicone molds, and freeze.
- Store-bought yogurt is necessary as a starter. Once you make your own yogurt, you can save a portion as a starter for your next batch. Making yogurt at home reduces the likelihood of additives and sugars in your cat-friendly frozen yogurt.
- Goat milk contains some lactose, which could upset your cat’s stomach. Before giving your cat a whole treat, start with a small taste and monitor for any digestive upset.
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