Cat Treats – The Good and The Bad
12 June, 2012
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If you are a cat owner, you probably like to give your feline friend some cat treats.  But, like cat food, there are so many treats available to you that it can be difficult to decipher what is the best one. It’s not as simple as grabbing a bag from the shelf. You now have options for soft or crunchy, natural brands, tartar control, hairball formulas, joint health, freeze-dried protein treats, and many more.

Treats provide the opportunity for important one-on-one time with your cat and can go a long way toward strengthening your bond. Giving your cat treats before you leave for work and when you return at night can provide a predictable routine that many cats find comforting.

If you understand a treat’s ingredients and what your cat’s needs are, you can provide healthy cat treats for you cat that won’t contribute to obesity or other health problems.

Cat Treat Ingredients

Read the ingredients when choosing a cat treat since some contain ingredients that aren’t particularly healthy for your cat. Some treats have fillers with no nutritional value while others have a high fat content.

If your cat is on a dry food only diet, he or she likely gets more than enough of these ingredients, and you should consider giving her low-fat, high-protein treats instead. These include fish flakes and freeze dried meat or fish treats.

 

Dental Treats

These treats are good for keeping plaque away between dental cleanings. If your cat is on a wet food diet, dental treats can provide a means of reducing gingivitis.

If you’re looking for a treat that will freshen your cat’s breath, select one that contains chlorophyll. If your cat has persistent halitosis, a trip to the vet is in order. It could mean that your cat’s teeth are rotting or that he or she has an underlying condition that requires a vet visit.

Bonita Tuna Flakes

Often referred to as kitty crack (as is catnip), these freeze-dried tuna flakes may have the greatest appeal of any treat on this list. They are a high protein, low fat treat that cats find addictive.  Do be careful as the metals found in tuna can be unhealthy. Generally, fish flakes aren’t a threat because the volume you feed is so low, but cats with histories of urinary tract problems should probably steer clear of them to be safe.

Moderation Is Key

As with any treat, moderation is the key to your cat’s health and keeping your cat thin.  Just as we humans might eat junk food once in a while, nothing can hurt us too much in moderation. Treats are a good, effective way to reward our cats for good behavior.  Just make sure to choose the right treat and don’t overdo it.

 

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