Here Are The Best Healthy Cat Treats
Most cat owners want to show their kitties how much they love them not only with affection but also with treats.
Dr. Kerri Blackburn of River's Edge Animal Hospital, on the other hand, believes cat treats, like human treats, can be laden with calories and sodium to help improve flavor and palatability (especially dental treats).
"This can be difficult when we're trying to lose weight or a cat has a health issue like kidney or cardiac problems."
Fortunately, there are many healthy cat treat options available, so you may pick the right one even if your cat has allergies or dietary limitations.
You can avoid unnecessary calories and possibly improve your cat's nutrition by selecting a treat that he or she enjoys eating but also contains nutritious elements.
Natural ingredients are important when looking for a healthy cat treat, and Wellness Kittles are full of them.
Salmon is the major flavor and component in these crunchy treats, but there are also peas, cranberries, blueberries, flaxseed, and other healthful ingredients.
Wellness Kittles are our top option because they contain vitamins, antioxidants, omega fatty acids, and other nutrients that are important to your cat’s diet.
With only 1.1 calories per treat, they won’t contribute to undesired weight gain. Wellness Kittles are also grain-free, so cats who need to avoid grains won’t have to worry about them.
- Ingredients derived from nature
- Low caloric intake
- Excellent palatability
- Some cats may need to avoid chicken.
These cat treats come in 12-ounce packages, so pampering your cat will cost less than a dollar per ounce.
Other healthful treats cost more than a dollar per ounce and are rarely available in quantities larger than a 2-ounce package.
Blue Buffalo Bursts have a crunchy outer shell and a creamy middle that most cats find tempting, and cat owners like that they are free of wheat, artificial flavors, and preservatives.
Meat is the first component in both flavors of these budget-friendly and healthful treats, so you can rest assured that you’re providing your little carnivore with something nutritious.
- The first ingredient is meat.
- Less than $1 per ounce
- There is no wheat.
- The largest container available is 12 ounces.
- Calories per treat are slightly greater than in other comparable selections.
The Blue Buffalo Company is well-known for its grain-free pet food options, and the Blue Wilderness treats are no exception.
These soft Natural High-Protein cat treats come in four varieties: chicken and turkey, chicken and duck, chicken and trout, and chicken and salmon.
Cats who are accustomed to eating different varieties of canned cat food every day will enjoy this assortment.
These small squares of meaty delight offer only 1.5 calories per treat and are ideal for kittens, adults, and even geriatric cats who may have difficulty eating crunchy treats due to their softness.
- High protein content
- There are no artificial preservatives.
- Texture: soft/moist
- Some cats may not like the shape of their treats.
- Treats may crumble in the bag’s bottom.
Many veterinary hospitals enjoy utilizing this lickable cat treat to distract or attract their patients during surgeries, and cat owners have discovered that they may use it at home as well.
INABA has been making pet products since 1958, but it first sold seafood in 1805, thus the firm has refined this delightful treat made with pureed shrimp.
Churu are wonderful for cats who need to drink more water because they are high in moisture and can be easily placed on top of food to tempt cats who may be refusing to eat. They also do not include any grains.
- Really tasty
- Moisture content is high.
- Contains sustainably harvested seafood
- Contains more calories than other sweets
- The packets cannot be resealed.
While dry snacks are generally better for your cat’s mouth than soft treats,1 some are specifically designed to reduce tartar.
The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) has approved Feline Greenies Dental Treats for tartar management, and they contain no artificial preservatives, flavors, or fillers.
The ingredients are all natural, and the treats contain vitamins and minerals that will benefit your entire cat.
Cat owners report that their feline friends enjoy these treats, and the fact that they are healthful, low in calories, and beneficial to the teeth are added plus.
- VOHC certified
- Ingredients derived from nature
- Low caloric intake
- Wheat is present.
- It has less meat than other treat options.
What to Look for When Purchasing Healthy Cat Treats
Some cat treats do meet the nutritional requirements established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) for cat meals on occasion, but this is not a requirement for treat producers.
“It’s difficult to define what makes cat treats nutritious because they aren’t held to the same standards as cat food.” “Cat meals are designed to suit nutritional needs,” explains Dr. Blackburn.
This indicates that most cat treats are not a replacement for a complete and balanced diet, but it does not imply that there aren’t any healthy treat options.
In cat treats, avoid wheat, artificial preservatives and colors, and high calorie counts.
Cats are carnivores and thrive on a meat-based diet2, so meat should be the first element on the ingredient list unless it is a lickable treat that requires additional water content.
“It’s best to stick as near to your cat’s regular flavor profile as possible,” adds Dr. Blackburn. Look for a reward that contains the same ingredients as the food you give your cat on a regular basis.
This implies that if you don’t give grains or poultry, your treats should be free of these ingredients as well. Choose a fish-based treat if you feed a fish-based food.
This will assist guarantee that your cat enjoys the treats and reduces the possibility of an upset stomach.
“The best course of action,” says Dr. Blackburn, “is to check the calorie count of a treat to ensure you are not overfeeding.”
Many treat packets encourage giving your cat numerous treats every day, but this can quickly mount up in calories and contribute to undesired weight gain in your cat.
Low calorie treats with only one or two calories will reduce the probability of weight gain, but treats should still be limited to 10% of your cat’s diet or less.
Crunchy treats are preferred by certain cats, whereas soft or lickable treats are preferred by others. The shape of the treats can also influence whether or not your cat will eat them.
If your cat is picky yet eats its own food without complaint, consider using ordinary food as rewards. Textured treats may also aid to prevent dental disorders such as gingivitis.
“Treatments designed to manage plaque and enhance oral health are always smart options because dental disease is frequent in cats over the age of one,” Dr. Blackburn says. Soft and lickable treats do not provide the same advantages.
Are freeze-dried cat treats safe to eat?
“Raw goods, even when pressed or dried, have the potential for a large bacterial load that might result in bowel illnesses,” says Dr. Blackburn.
Cooked is preferable.” Bacterial contamination is a big problem, but freeze-dried treats do not include any additional ingredients.
As a result, some cat owners accept the bacterial risks if their cat has a limited number of food options.
Are lickable cat treats safe to eat?
Some lickable cat treats contain artificial flavorings, colors, and preservatives, as well as being rich in calories. Instead of artificial chemicals, look for natural ingredients such as water or broth and added vitamins or minerals.
Limit the amount of food your cat consumes on a daily basis. Lickable cat treats can be a terrific method to enhance water consumption and encourage an anorexic cat to eat, but they can also add unneeded calories to the diet of healthy cats.
How many treats might be harmful to my cat?
According to Dr. Blackburn, “treats should account for no more than 10% of a cat’s total daily calorie intake.”
Consult your veterinarian about how many calories your cat should take each day in order to establish how many treats they can have.
A 10-pound cat should consume 200-220 calories per day, which means it can get up to 180-198 calories from food and 20-22 calories from treats.
The best healthy cat treats on this list from BestForPets (bestforpets.org)were picked following extensive investigation into their components, makers, and other factors.
They are cat-friendly, contain little over one calorie per treat, and even include helpful chemicals.
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