5 Ways to Give Cat Treats in a Healthy Way - Part 2

We all love to pamper our pets, lavishing them with treats and affection, and while there can never be too much of a good thing, cat treats are another story. Cats can develop weight problems, just like people do. Did you know that more than 50% cats end up being overweight or obese? Here's how you can treat your feline friend, without contributing to those extra pounds.

What Makes a Cat Treat Healthy?

It is fine to feed your cat treats, but they should be a very small part of their diet---no more than 10% of the calories to their diet. The remaining 90% of your cat's calories should come from nutritionally complete food that can consist of packaged dry or wet food, and also healthy, homemade gravy for cats.

Decoding Cat Treat Labels

Learning what is in packaged cat treats can be a bit of a puzzle. Not all nutrients are listed, there's usually no calorie counts, and not all ingredients can be found even when researching pet food online. So, the best thing to do here, would be to consult your vet for recommendations. It also good if the treats are approved by organisations that set pet food manufacturing standards.

5 Tips for a Healthy Cat

1. Go Green

Catnip makes a fine cat treat, and it’s low-calorie. Most cats love both catnip and "cat grass," which is actually a cereal grass like wheat or oats. Both treats are easy to grow in a sunny window, and you can also find dried and fresh greens online. Always be sure the plant you’re offering your cat is safe for felines. But don’t be alarmed if your cat regurgitates the kitty grass you buy -- some just do that. Stick with catnip for those cats. If you’re not sure a plant is cat-safe, check trusted websites for information on plants toxic to felines. If you think your cat may have eaten a dangerous plant call your vet immediately.

2. Give Cat Treats for Fun and Fitness

Help your cat exercise brain and body by using cat treats to train them in agility exercises or tricks. This can be even more enjoyable for indoor-only cats. This could include homemade cat food gravy or even store-bought formulas.

3. Apologize with Cat Treats

Try giving cat treats after something kitty doesn’t like -- such as claw trimming, tooth brushing, or a dose of medication. Along with praise and petting, this can go a long way toward soothing a feline who’s been forced to do something unpleasant

4. Don’t Use Treats to Replace Love

Cats don’t have many needs: a healthy diet, safe home, loving attention. When you’re short on time, it can be easy to think a handful of treats builds the same bond as a stroke or cuddle, but it doesn’t really work that way. Physical contact like playing, petting, and holding that helps a cat bond with you.

5. Make Your Own Natural Cat Treat

By cooking up small bits of liver, fish, or eggs for your cat, you’ll know exactly what’s in the treats she’s eating. You can even make organic, homemade cat food gravy for kitty by buying meat, fish, and eggs that are certified organic. But remember, these treats should make up only a small part of your cat's overall diet.

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