Cat Treats: A Dos And Don’ts Guide For Cat Parents
Cat treats are an important tool when it comes to strengthening the bond with your cat. And while they provide an opportunity for you to share a special moment with your furball, they also offer a few benefits. If used right, they can help with house training, encouraging certain behaviours and teaching tricks. Therefore, treats need not always serve as a means of indulgence or redemption (if you’ve given your furball some medicine or have returned from a long trip).
To make the most of cat treats, and the quality time you spend with your cat, you can keep the following list of dos and don’ts handy…
Find a lean, low-calorie option
When compared to their canine counterparts, pet cats lead a much more sedentary lifestyle. Because vigorous activity is rare, it is important to find a cat treat that is high on protein. It is also beneficial to find treats that have lower calories, preferably lower than 2 kcal per piece.
Use treats during playtime for stimulation
You could try and fasten a treat to the end of a long string, hide a few treats around the house or use teaser toys that allow you to place treats inside them to encourage physical and mental stimulation during playtime.
Pick a nutrient-rich treat
Cat treats can also supplement your cat’s diet when given in proportion. Just make sure to pick a treat that is enriched with vitamins and minerals.
Use scraps from the table
Food fit for you can be harmful and toxic for your cat. A few examples are raisins, grapes, onions, caffeine, chocolate and anything that contains salt or spice. Therefore it is important to pick a treat that is specially formulated for cats and avoid table scraps or human food.
Use treats to pacify
If you notice your cat begging, moaning or ‘meowing’ unnecessarily, do not use treats in an attempt to pacify. Treating your pet for unwanted behaviour will only further encourage it. Instead, you can do the opposite and reward your furball for good behaviour.
Use hard chews for treats
Hard chewy treats or animal and fish bones can weaken your cat’s teeth and cause damage to the stomach and intestines when ingested. Instead, you can opt for small, soft or crunchy treats that are easy to chew, swallow and digest.
While it may be the most pleasing sight to watch your cat’s eyes light up whenever you give the treats a good shake, it is important to remember that treats cannot replace main meals. To ensure your cat remains healthy, always remember to treat in moderation—as per the feeding instructions on the package or your vet’s guidance.