Reasons to Give Your Cat Tasty Treats

cat eating cat food
source: USA Pet Cover

As cat parents, many of us provide treats to comfort our pets before leaving to work and when we come back. But sometimes, especially after a long day, we might offer a few extra treats. It may be a good way to alleviate the guilt we feel, but if it happens more often, it can cause harm to the feline’s health. When used wisely, cat treats provide a number of health benefits to your cat and help you create a stronger bond with your feline friend. Here are a few reasons why you should use cat food treats the right way.

Reduce Stress

close up picture of kitty eating
source: WebMD

Treats can help reduce stress in cats, especially when they’re injured or in the process of recovering from an illness. Then they get more finicky about eating and offering a tasty treat at such times can help you disguise medications and encourage your cat to start eating again.

Most cats don’t like grooming, brushing, having their ears cleaned, or getting their claws trimmed. Trips to the vet can cause anxiety in many cats, and cat owners know that very well. You can use treats to distract your cat and make these situations more comfortable.

Improve Oral Hygiene

kitty eating food from bowl
source: Pet Food Processing

Brushing your cat’s teeth is not an easy task. However, you can provide better oral health to your cat by giving out dental cat treats. These can reduce plaque and tartar and freshen up your cat’s breath. Cats love them, but remember that dental treats cannot replace regular dental cleanings.

Better Training Results

kitty biting cat food package
source: Purrfect Life

Treat training works for kittens and for adult cats as well. Give her a treat every time she learns something new and use treats as positive reinforcement for good behavior. Treats are the best way to tell your furry friend that jumping off the counter or using the scratching post is the right thing to do. Avoid free-feeding because if the cat’s not hungry, training with treats will not be successful.

Find the Right Cat Treats

cat waiting for treats
source: Purrfect Life

Many cats nowadays suffer from obesity, and that’s the main reason vets advise that no more than 10 percent of your cat’s daily caloric intake should come from treats. There is a variety of cat food treats you can choose from for supplementing your cat’s diet or providing additional nutrition. When selecting the treats, take into account your cat’s weight and special health requirements. Consider your cat’s age too because some of them are not recommended for kittens. Knowing your cat’s needs and the ingredients of the treat will prevent obesity, diabetes and other health problems.

Most likely you’ll have to try a couple of different treats until you find the ones your cat really likes. To make things easier, the following are some of the most popular cat food treats.

Cat Grass – Grown from rye, barley, oat or wheat seeds, cat grass provides essential vitamins and minerals for your cat’s health. Sometimes it can be confused with catnip, which is a member of the mint family. A kitty grass kit contains seeds, soil and a potting container. You’ll just need to provide water and sunlight and let your cat’s organic garden grow.

Dental – As mentioned above, dental treats are beneficial to the feline’s oral health, but besides that, these treats can boost the general health your cat. They offer a balanced blend of nutrients and vitamins and can be found in many different flavors such as catnip, chicken, salmon, tuna and more.

Crunchy & Soft – Cats love these because they have a crunchy outer shell and soft, filled and tasty center. Since they contain no artificial flavours and are affordable, they make a great choice for your purry friend’s needs. You can find crunchy and soft cat treats in a variety of flavours such as beef, chicken, turkey, salmon, seafood and more.

Grain-Free – Same like humans, cats can be diagnosed with allergies, too. Grain-free treats are good for food-sensitive cats and they come in varieties of flavours, mixed in a way that cats find irresistible. The sets are usually made of chicken and fish, chicken and salmon, chicken and lobster, tuna ad caviar, tuna and lobster and more.

Freeze-Dried – When it comes to healthy and long-lasting treats with a number of flavours, these cat treats are the best choice you can make. They combine the nutrition and taste of fresh, raw food and go through a gentle freeze-drying process that preserves the natural nutrients without use of artificial preservatives.

Reasons to Mix Treats with Playtime

person giving star-like treat to cat
source: DIY Network

Since we all know how much cats love treats, you can make it more fun by mixing games and treat time. Shake the treat bag and your cat will come running to you from the most secret place she has.

Put a treat on a piece of string or a teaser toy and let your cat chase it around. Or try simple hide-and-seek games using treats. Offering treats at playtime will make any cat more likely to play, which is important for stimulation and happiness as well. And it’s a lot of fun!

Treat time gets even better with laser beams or other toys that will tap into the cat’s instinctive hunting abilities. Trying to catch an object that simulates hunting prey is any cat’s favourite activity. Cats like challenging tasks and will enjoy the treats offered.

If your cat only sniffs the treat, but doesn’t eat it, don’t let it discourage you. It doesn’t mean your cat’s not having fun. Sometimes the variety of smells can increase your cats’ playfulness and instead of eating the treat, she might decide to play with it for longer or rub her head on it.

Treats are a good way to keep your cat entertained and prevent food boredom. A little variety from time to time is a pleasant surprise and your cat will appreciate it. Just remember to keep the portions small and intermittent so your feline friend can stay in a good shape.