If you want your cat to live a long, healthy, and happy life, give your cat healthy treats and snacks.
As you know, cats love treats. They will run around the house when they hear you open the closet. When they see the treat in your hand, the winds between your feet will begin to meow until you give them the treat.
If you give them treats every time they start meowing, that’s not a great thing. It will affect their health like humans, because the treats can result in unhealthy weight gain and serious health problems, including heart problems, diabetes, and osteoarthritis.
However, healthy treats and snacks can help with training and other behavior problems. In this article, we will discuss what healthy treats and snacks for your cat are and how they are beneficial for your cat.
What Makes a Cat Treat Healthy?
Marla J. McGeorge, DVM, an Oregon veterinarian, says, “It’s okay to feed your cat treats, but they should be a tiny part of the diet.”
Many feline nutritionists recommend that healthy snacks and treat not exceed more than 10% of the total calories a cat can eat.
John K.L Ph.D., says that, “Most cat treats add nothing but calories to your cat’s diet.” Try to meet your cat’s caloric needs by feeding them high-quality cat food.
Benefits of healthy Treats and Snacks
Feeding your cat healthy treat and snacks will help your cat live a high-quality life. There are many benefits your kitty will receive from eating high-quality cat treats. Some of them are:
Healthy and increased life span
As you know, the fact that the quality of food can seriously affect your life’s vitality and longevity is the case with cats. Feeding your kitty low nutritional quality treats and snacks overly processed and full of chemicals will put her at greater health risk and a shorter lifespan.
The pet’s appearance says a lot about its health, the appearance of the cat is basically a direct reflection of its overall health. A better-looking pet will feel better because healthier treats and snacks will have a good effect on your cat’s health.
The type of treat you give your cat, whether commercial or homemade, will directly affect its skin, coat, nails, etc. Healthy, organic treats, and snacks contain sources of grains that have super nutritional value. In contrast, most commercial inorganic treats contain chemical additives, artificial flavors, artificial colors, and toxic agents.
These unhealthy snacks and treats can develop rashes, lesions, and open sores on your cat’s fur and the coat will lose its shine, color, and eventually fall off entirely.
Less allergic reactions
While giving your kitty treats and snacks, you will find many ingredients that can cause an allergic reaction to your kitty. Sometimes these reactions are to a single element or to the real treat. Unfortunately, a single component can ruin the whole treat by producing a mild irritant reaction to a life-threatening reaction. If you use organic and healthy treats, there is less chance that your cat will have an allergic reaction.
As you know, cats are excessive groomers and spend most of their time grooming themselves. Excessive grooming often results in hairballs. If you give your cat a high-quality treat containing good quality protein, your kitty will have a silky coat, healthy skin, and will swallow less hair while grooming.
Consistent healthy weight
You are always trying to feed your cat a healthy diet to maintain a healthy weight throughout her life. Don’t interrupt her efforts by giving her unhealthy treats that have no nutritional value.
Healthy snacks and treats are high in nutritional value and will not increase your kitty’s weight. If your cat maintains a healthy weight, she will have excess energy for exercise and other physical activities.
Tips for giving treat and snacks
There are some tips to keep in mind when giving your cats a treat or snack. These tips will help you keep your cat healthy and full of energy.
Always feed in moderation
Cats sometimes behave like children, as if they develop a taste for some treats and then begin to avoid their usual food. That is why always feed your cat treats in moderation, such as no more than two to three times a week.
Don’t give human food
Special cat foods are best for cats because they contain minerals, vitamins, and amino acids necessary to maintain the cat’s excellent health. On the other hand, human foods do not have all the essential vitamins and probiotics, so they must be consumed in minimal quantities. You must give the best vitamins for cats to avoid any deficiencies.
According to veterinarian advice Dr. Chyrle Bonk, “Probiotics contain microorganisms that live in your cat’s digestive tract and improve digestive and immune health. They work by balancing the good bacteria within your feline’s intestines to ensure that your cat stays healthy and happy.”
You can give your cat small bites of chicken, tuna, liver, or fish as an occasional snack, but don’t feed him regularly. You can also provide them with a tablespoon of milk every now and then, but don’t give it to lactose-intolerant cats.
Avoid toxic foods
While looking for healthy treats and snacks, always be careful of toxins in food. You may like to feed your kitty grapes, raisins, onions, salt, and alcohol, but they can be very toxic. So before adding anything to your cat treats, talk to your vet.
Don’t award begging
Don’t give your cat treats at the dinner table or reward her when she begs for treats. Since rewarding begging behavior will induce many behavior problems.
Don’t feed treats to obese cats
As you know, overweight cats are more prone to health problems. So feed your obese cats very carefully. Cat treats and snacks are packed with calories, and these extra calories are bad for your kitty. So, provide them very carefully. Simply cutting out the treats is not an ideal solution. You can consult your vet and develop a healthy and safe diet plan for your kitten to help her lose weight.
Catnip can be used in cat treats and is low in calories. Actually, cats love cat grass and catnip. Cat grass is cereal grass like oats or wheat. It is effortless to grow both at home and can be easily found at a pet store. While feeding your kitten any type of plant, first make sure they are safe for her. Cats generally regurgitate after eating grass, so don’t be alarmed if your cat does this. For such cats, just stick to the catnip.
Use treats for fun activities
Use cat treats in keeping your cat fit and doing fun activities. You can use treats to exercise your cat’s body and brain. Cats can learn a few tricks in the love of treats. These activities are ideal for indoor cats.
Use treats after training and grooming sessions
Cats typically don’t like brushing their teeth, trimming their nails, and taking a medicine dose. You can use treats for doing these activities. Giving treats and petting and praise can play an important role in calming cats that are forced to do something unpleasant.
Don’t replace your love with treats
Cats are adorable animals and have no additional needs to stay happy. They just need a safe home, a healthy diet, and your attention. Anthony Herrig says, “When you’re late for work, and you think about giving your kitty a handful of treats to build the same bond as a hug or a pet. I’m not sure it really works that way.”Basically, it’s the physical contact that your cat likes the most. She likes when you pet her, play with her, and hold her to help a cat bond with you.
Make your own cat treats
Try feeding your cats natural homemade treats because commercial treats are packed with calories. You can provide your kitten with some cooked fish, liver, and eggs. But don’t use them as part of your cats’ daily diet.
Don’t feed them table scraps
A common mistake people make is feeding their cats table scraps. Avoid doing this because every day, human food contains caffeinated beverages, raisins, onions, chocolates, and other toxic things to cats.
Similarly, say this to your whole family because if you are avoiding and not giving these treats to your kitty, it does not mean that your family will start feeding them. This is especially true in the case of children. So, make them understand that they should give treats only when you are there to supervise, as something terrible can happen to them.
Can some treat help with health conditions?
Some healthy cat treats claim to be great for your cat’s teeth by preventing gingivitis and reducing tartar. Certain treats claim to overcome the problem of nutritional deficiencies in cats. Dr. Murray suggests that, “It is always good to contact your veterinarian to recommend a treatment for your cat’s health.”
If you want your cat to live a long, healthy, and happy life, give your cat healthy treats and snacks. Always decide why, what, and when to give your kitten a treat. Also, keep in mind that these treats cannot replace your love, so a scratch behind the ear or a friendly hug can also work as a great treat for them.