Best Treats for Cats

PetsCats

  • Author Neil Massa
  • Published May 10, 2022
  • Word count 919

Our furry friends are members of the family, so of course, we want to reward them with treats – often whether they’ve done anything to warrant them or not. Cat treats are popular items, ranging from food to catnip, and are available everywhere in many varieties. However, you must understand the nuances of cat treats so you aren’t feeding your pet anything harmful – and so you don’t turn your cat into a choker. From commercial cat treats to homemade treats, we’ll talk about what treats you can feed your cat and the best practices for doing so.

Types of Treats

Cat treats come in several styles. If your cat is a fan of dry food but doesn’t eat wet food, you can get dry treats to keep his palate comfortable and familiar. Inversely, cats that do not prefer dry food can be given wet treats. Some wet treats are in pouches, while others can be served in long, tubular containers.

How often should I feed my cat treats?

Most of the time, cat treats do not provide much nutritional value, if anything at all. They’re simply delicious. But because many cats can develop a taste for them, they may want their treats more than they want their normal food, which can leave them vitamin and nutrient deficient. To combat this, you should make treat-giving a semi-regular occurrence, or use treats as rewards.

Most cats need about 200 calories per day to maintain their weight. If you add too many treats, they’ll start to gain weight, which can be unhealthy for your kitty.

Don’t feed your cat treats every night after dinner or before bed. They may associate the time with the food, which can cause them to beg or meow until they get their treats. Give your cat a few treats two or three times a week, and be sure to keep the bag out of reach – many curious and persistent kitties have gotten into cabinets and onto shelves to tear the bags open and eat until they can’t move!

If you’re trying to train your cat, give them treats after every success. When they give you their paw to shake, when they play dead, or when they stand up and bat at the air, give them the treat – but beware that you accompany the treat with a verbal command, else you’ll end up with cats who perform their tricks without being prompted and expect treats all the time!

Additionally, if you have to put your cat through an unpleasant experience, it’s a good idea to reward them with treats to help calm them down. You can give your cat treats if you just took them to the vet or if they had an operation (but check with your vet first!), clip their nails, bathed them, relocated homes, and more. Cats are creatures of habit, and if there is a disruption in their routine or space, they become anxious or upset. Treats can help take their mind off the change.

Can I give my cat human food as a treat?

You should be aware that some kinds of human food cannot be eaten by cats, and is toxic. Don’t feed your cat snacks like chocolate, grapes, and raisins, and don’t prepare any food for your cat with onions, garlic, or chives.

You can, however, give your cat light helpings of cheese, cooked fish (salmon, tuna, shrimp), cooked meats (chicken and beef, bacon and ham), and the like.

Always consult with your veterinarian to determine what’s safe for your cat to eat.

What are good treats for cats?

The best treats for cats will do more than simply taste great. Some treat manufacturers deliberately add nutrients to benefit the cats. For example, treats made from the organic chicken will provide ample protein for your cat. Some treats will have no preservatives, artificial flavors, artificial colors, or additives, which can promote the overall health of your cat. Others will have a single ingredient, which ensures that your cat isn’t ingesting anything dangerous.

Additionally, treats that promote dental health are very beneficial. These treats are designed to help fight tartar, promote oral health, keep a cat’s teeth strong, and prevent decay. You’ll have to be diligent about the rest of your cat’s diet, though, to ensure that their teeth aren’t suffering too much from other foods.

Is catnip a treat?

cat chewing stick

Cats get into shenanigans with catnip. Photo by

Fernando Vega on Unsplash.

Yes, catnip is a treat! Many cats love to ingest it, lick it, or roll around in it. They’ll veg out and relax, or they’ll become very hyper and dart around, playing with everything in sight. But like all treats, it’s important to not overdo it with catnip. Don’t give it to your cat every day, and don’t use it too much at once. And be sure to keep the container or bag closed and out of reach, or your kitty will try to find a way to steal it!

Real Meat jerky treats (beef, lamb/liver, chicken/venison, fish/venison)

Wild Meadow treats (beef, chicken, duck, turkey)

ORIJEN treats (lamb, tundra, six fish, regional red, original)

INABA Churu treats (chicken by itself or with cheese or crab, or tuna by itself or with salmon)

Vital Essentials treats (Ahi tuna, chicken breast, chicken giblets, chicken hearts, duck liver, minnow, rabbit bites, wild Alaskan salmon)

My Pet Naturally is to bring all-natural, healthy and holistic products to people and their pets (dogs and cats) with an informed and friendly staff, an inviting space, good prices and a true LOVE for the four-legged family members that we consider family. My Pet Naturally has become a neighborhood hangout for pets and their people in West Los Angeles/Santa Monica.

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