Food Treats for Cats

CatChannel expert Jeanne Adlon, professional cat sitter, discusses ways to make treat giving both fun and delectable for your cats.

By Jeanne Adlon | Posted: March 25, 2011, 3:00 a.m. EST

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Q: What do you think about food treats for cats?

JA: Food treats made especially for cats are wonderful. My kitties get them all the time — in fact, they expect it and have me well-trained. Every morning after I come back from walking my dog, Ziggy, I find them all lined up and ready for their morning treats. They all have a look that clearly says, “Hurry up, we’re waiting!”

Once, I got distracted by a phone call and didn’t snap to it. My cat, Muriel, gave me an anxious stare as if to say, “We’re still waiting, what’s taking so long?” Having seen the error of my ways, I quickly handed out their treats — with a few extras.
There are all kinds of hard and soft cat food treats available in all flavors. They range from tartar control and hairball control to healthy and “all natural.” There are even treats in which you can hide cat pills

I call treats candy for cats — the way most cats gobble them down makes one wonder what’s in them. In fact, some cats have been known to tear open a package of treats, so it’s best to keep yours out of reach.

Cats don’t seem to care about the shape or size of treats (at least, that’s what mine have made very clear). Whatever flavor you choose, check the ingredient list and see if it is the first ingredient listed and not down near the bottom. The package should list the number of treats you can give your cats daily.

Treats are great as a reward, as a distraction from inappropriate behavior, as a training tool (good luck, we know how easy that is), or to make them feel special when you introduce a new family member — such as a baby, cat or dog — to them. They are also a terrific way to get senior cats up and moving. Play a game of toss the treat across the floor, and they will get some exercise in as well as a tasty snack.

Have fun with treat giving — your kitties will really thank you. As always, I welcome your stories and comments.

Jeanne’s Tip of the Week: Kitty grass helps cats pass hairballs. It’s a fun treat for cats, and they’ll feel better after eating it, too.

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Reader Comments

Michael    Tampa, FL

4/9/2011 9:27:45 AM

My Starr Socks loves treat so much. However, I have a problem with her. She does not like to be held. But, I love to hold & embrace her.I want her to sleep beside me. What should I do so she will like and love to be cuddled.

Carol    Silver Spring, MD

4/8/2011 1:33:59 PM

Obesity and associated ailments such as diabetes need to be considered when balancing the feeding of treats with the cat's regular diet.

Kim    Washington, DC

4/8/2011 11:08:35 AM

The tips were good but as you stated, "treats are like candy". So with that, I'd like to add that one needs to be careful as to how many treats the pet is getting in a day. Americans are getting fatter and fatter and it's not healthy. It's also not healthy for our pet babies to carry extra weight. I heard that one extra pound on a cat is like 15 extra pounds on us!

Anon    City, CA

4/5/2011 5:48:45 PM

Good article.

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