Last Updated on June 10, 2023 by Dogs Vets
How to Choose Healthy Cat Treats for Your Furry Friend
If you are a cat owner, you probably know how much your feline companion loves treats. But not all treats are created equal, and some can be harmful for your cat’s health.
Here are some tips on how to choose healthy cat treats that will make your kitty happy and healthy.
1. Check the ingredients list.
The first thing you should look at when buying cat treats is the ingredients list. Avoid treats that contain artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or fillers.
These can cause allergic reactions, digestive issues, or other health problems for your cat. Instead, look for treats that contain natural ingredients, such as meat, fish, eggs, cheese, fruits, or vegetables.
These will provide your cat with essential nutrients and antioxidants that support their overall health.
2. Choose treats that are appropriate for your cat’s age and lifestyle.
Different cats have different nutritional needs depending on their age, activity level, and health conditions. For example, kittens need more protein and calories than adult cats, while senior cats may need less fat and more fiber.
Likewise, indoor cats may need fewer calories than outdoor cats, while cats with diabetes or kidney disease may need special diets. Consult your vet about what kind of treats are suitable for your cat’s specific needs.
3. Limit the amount of treats you give your cat.
Treats should not make up more than 10% of your cat’s daily calorie intake, according to experts.
Giving too many treats can lead to obesity, which can increase the risk of diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and other health problems for your cat.
As a general rule, you should not give your cat more than one or two treats per day, and always measure the portion size according to the package instructions.
4. Use treats as a reward or a bonding tool.
Treats can be a great way to train your cat, reinforce good behavior, or show your affection.
You can use treats to teach your cat tricks, such as sit, stay, or come, or to reward them for using the litter box, scratching the post, or grooming themselves.
You can also use treats to bond with your cat by playing with them, petting them, or talking to them while giving them treats. This will help you build a positive relationship with your cat and make them feel loved and appreciated.
5. Try homemade cat treats.
If you want to give your cat something extra special, you can try making your own treats at home. Homemade cat treats can be cheaper, fresher, and healthier than store-bought ones, and you can customize them according to your cat’s preferences and needs.
You can use simple ingredients that you already have in your kitchen, such as chicken, tuna, cheese, eggs, or oatmeal. You can also add some herbs or spices that are safe for cats, such as parsley, mint, or turmeric.
Just make sure you avoid any ingredients that are toxic for cats, such as chocolate, garlic, onion, raisins, grapes, alcohol, salt, or tea.
Here are some easy recipes for homemade cat treats that you can try:
– Tuna and Cheese Bites: Mix one can of tuna (drained), one cup of shredded cheese (cheddar or mozzarella), one egg (beaten), and one cup of whole wheat flour in a large bowl until well combined.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
– Chicken and Oatmeal Cookies: Mix one cup of cooked chicken (shredded), one cup of rolled oats (ground in a blender), one egg (beaten), two tablespoons of vegetable oil,
and one tablespoon of dried catnip (optional) in a large bowl until well combined.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter or a knife.
Place on a greased baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 12 minutes or until crisp.
– Cheese and Egg Muffins: Whisk four eggs in a medium bowl and stir in one cup of shredded cheese (cheddar or mozzarella), one tablespoon of dried parsley (optional), and a pinch of salt (optional).
Spoon the mixture into a greased muffin tin and bake in a preheated oven at 375°F for 15 minutes or until set.
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