We all know how fussy our cats are, especially when it comes to food! Hence, choosing the right treats for them often becomes an ordeal. But, don't worry, we're here to help you with treats that are healthy & meow-worthy!
What to look for when choosing cat treats?
1. Taste & Smell
No matter how exquisite your treat is, if your kitty doesn't like the taste/smell - they ain't eating it! Whilst some cats prefer the taste of chicken, others enjoy fish, hence the best way to determine your cat's preferred taste is to allow them to choose - keep out different flavour treat samples and stick to the ones they themselves pick. This way, you know for sure that they would enjoy the ingredient in any form of treat. Similarly, treats that have a pungent, unappealing odour are often rejected even before tasting. This is commonly seen in household that feed their cats human food as treats.
Cat treats come in a variety of textures - creamy, crunchy, soft, hard, spongy, flaky etc. Like with taste, some cats prefer certain textures to others, and the best way to know which ones the like the most is through a sampling test.
3. Healthy ingredients
For the long run, it is best to choose healthy ingredients as treats. If you're buying store-bought treats, it is best to get ones with minimal ingredients or ones that are 'grain-free', '100% natural', or come with added health benefits like that for digestion, skin health, and/or immunity. If you choose to give your kitty home-made treats, it is best to stick to veggies, fruits, bone broth etc.
4. Ease of consumption
Ease of consumption relies greatly on age - a 2 year old cat can munch down a jerky much faster and with less strain on their jaws as opposed to a 15 year old cat. Before choosing a treat, ensure it is easy to consume and doesn't put much strain on your cat's teeth and jaws.
Your cat might be allergic to certain ingredients in both store-bought and home-made treats, hence, it is best to conduct an allergy test at a veterinary clinic to determine what ingredients are safe for consumption.
6. Calorie count
As much as you want to give them more and more of those scrumptious treats, remember that calorie count has to be factored in when snacking. If you find yourselves treating your kitty more than what's necessary, opt for low-calorie treats.
What can I give my cat as treats?
Jerkies are chewy treats that come in a variety of flavours. They are slow-dried to retain maximum flavour and improve shelf life. Jerkies are amongst the popular choice of cat treats by cat parents worldwide because their impeccable taste, ease of feeding, and health benefits.
2. Bite-sized nibbles
Bite-sized nibbles are power-packed with highly digestible nutrients that are as yummy as they are healthy! Most bite-sized nibbles are soft to chew and are made with natural ingredients, i.e. with no artificial preservatives, flavours or colours.
3. Chew sticks
Chew sticks are healthy treats that primarily serve a particular health benefit, like improved skin and coat, multivitamin, immunity-boosting and so on. Chew sticks are often used by cat parents who have cats that don't like the taste of oral supplements.
Most cats love fruits, but it's important to know which fruits are safe for their consumption -
- Seedless watermelon
Like with fruits, vegetables need to be filtered for safety of consumption. Whilst most cats don't like vegetables because of their bland taste, some enjoy it when added to their meals or to bone broth. Here is a list of veggies you can give your kitty guilt-free -
- Sweet Potato
On hot summer days, a bowlful of curds will help to keep your kitty cool! Curd or Dahi is perfect for fussy eaters, boosts immunity, supports gut health, improves skin health, and is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals.
Contrary to popular belief, an egg can be given as a snack. You can feed your kitty an egg in whichever form they enjoy best - scrambled, boiled, or as an omelette.
8. Creamy treats
Creamy treats are the most popular form of cat treats out there! They're a favourite in every kitty household, even amongst the fussy ones. Creamy treats come in a wide variety of flavour combinations, making it easy for the cat parent to choose more than one. Given their irresistible flavour, creamy treats are often used at veterinary clinic's to help distract the cat. Their sleek stick format makes it easy to consume, feed and store!
9. Dental treats
For cats that hate their teeth brushed, dental treats is the perfect solution! Dental treats are shaped to scrape off excess tartar and prevent build-up of plaque whilst offering irresistible flavour during the chewing.
All cats love yummy treats, especially, if that treat is oozing with irresistible flavour! Cat treats are as important as meals, yet it is important to be mindful of how much you’re feeding them, when you’re feeding them, and how often you’re feeding them.
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