Three Healthy Treats for Happy Cats

While most cats love treats, some brands are better for them than others.

Cat in basket
Cat treats are no different than human treats, and too much of a bad thing can ruin your pet’s teeth and overall health.Buenosia Carol

Cat treats are big business. Just take a look at the offerings from any retailer, whether at a store or online, and you’ll see dozens of different choices. That’s not a bad thing, as variety is the spice of life. However, some products are much more nutritious for your feline companion than others. Consider these factors next time you are shopping for cat treats, as the right treats will make your cat happier and healthier.

Nutrition

TEMPTATIONS Classic Crunchy and Soft Cat Treats, 30 oz.
These cat treats are 100 percent nutritionally balanced for adult cat maintenance.Temptations

While most cats love treats, giving your cat lots of treats is one sure way to make it overweight and less healthy. Veterinarians recommend that cat treats make up no more than 10 percent of the total calories a cat eats each day. Of course, given in moderation, healthy cat treats are actually good for your cat. When giving your cat treats, it’s important to realize that some human foods are toxic to cats. It’s better to give your cat treats specifically made for cats than feeding it table scraps or other human snacks. Raisins, grapes, onions, salt, and tea can all be toxic to felines, so avoid them at all cost. When choosing a treat, read the label to make sure it has plenty of healthy protein and not excessive amounts of fats before making a purchase.

Dental Treats

Feline GREENIES Natural Dental Care Cat Treats 9.75-11 oz
These crunchy cat treats clean teeth, reduce tartar, and serve as a breath freshener.Greenies

Cats can get plaque on their teeth, which is formed by saliva, bacteria, and food particles. If not taken care of, the plaque can quickly turn to tartar—a hard, yellowish deposit on the teeth. Plaque can also cause gingivitis, a gum infection that is the first stage of periodontal disease. Some veterinary experts estimate that as many as 70 percent of cats have periodontal disease by the time they turn two years old. Fortunately, some treats can serve as a teeth cleaning mechanism for cats to help avoid such dental problems. By keeping the plaque cleaned up, dental treats help avoid tartar. When used regularly, some dental treats can help ensure your cat has healthy teeth for years to come.

Flavors

Temptations Treats for Cats Variety Packs, 3 oz. Pouches
This variety pack of cat treats includes four different flavors.Temptations

Since many cats are quite finicky, some won’t just eat any treat you give them. In fact, you can pick the healthiest treat you can find, and if your cat doesn’t like the taste, it is probably going to turn its nose up at it. That’s why getting a treat that tastes good to your cat is important. The best tactic for choosing a treat is to do your research on the nutritional value and choose a couple of different foods that meet your nutrition requirements in a couple of different flavors. Then try both with your cat and see which it likes best. If it doesn’t like either, go back and find a few others that are nutritionally sound. Some companies offer cat treats in flavor variety packs that can keep a cat from becoming bored with the same old treat without buying lots of different kinds of treats.