Tempting and tasty morsels for discerning felines
Owners around the world know the benefits of healthful treats for cats. Fortunately, there are a wealth of new (or new-ish) yummy products designed specifically for rewarding our feline friends.
Cats thrive on positive reinforcement and keeping treats on hand is the perfect way to train them. A cat has a hunter mindset that operates very well in a reward-based system. You can use treats to entice cats into a carrier, distract them during grooming sessions and even help to offset negative behavior (such as keeping your cat off the counter). Cat treats are perfect for any situation that requires a little feline finesse.
When selecting a treat, be sure you count the calories as part of their regular healthy diet. Feline obesity can result in many serious health and behavioral conditions. For that reason, I’m focusing on treats that taste great, but are naturally low in calories.
Pure Bites offers a selection of premium, freeze-dried treats for your obligate carnivore. I especially love the flavor varieties, such as chicken, salmon, beef liver, shrimp, ocean whitefish, duck, tuna and turkey. Made in the USA, they are also low-calorie (less than 3 calories a nibble) and very high in protein, which is what your cat needs.
A new type of treat that has the added benefit of helping to save the environment is the GoBare River Bites and Fillet Bits with Asian Carp from BareItAll Petfoods . As an invasive species, the Asian carp is wreaking havoc on local U.S. ecosystems. These treats not only help to remove it from our waterways, but provides a delicious and novel U.S.-based cat treats. The fish also has a high percentage of omega 3s. With the slogan, “Saving the environment – one pet at a time,” you know it’s a win-win situation.
The Honest Kitchen manufacturers one of my cat’s favorite treats: Wishes. Made from dehydrated Icelandic haddock, these compressed fish treats have only 1.1 calories each, making them perfect for enticing a cat to do your bidding.
Ciao Churus from Inaba are the most unusual cat treats I’ve seen and my cats can’t get enough. The long, slim packages contain a paste made with real deep-sea—and dolphin-safe— tuna or farm-raised chicken. Grain-free, they can be used as a treat or food topper. You can choose from eight different varieties: Tuna, Tuna with Chicken, Tuna with Salmon, Chicken, Chicken with Scallop, Chicken with Cheese, Chicken with Crab, Chicken with Shrimp. Inaba also offers grilled fillets in tuna and chicken. These perfectly sized hand-cut treats come in a variety of flavored broths, including tuna, chicken, squid, scallop, crab and shrimp.
If your cat isn’t a fan of tuna, Orijen offers 100-percent meat-based treats that will have your cats clawing for more. These freeze-dried treats contain unique combinations of responsibly sourced novelty proteins, including: Regional with Angus beef, Romney lamb, wild boar and Yorkshire pork; Six Fish with wild caught fish (flounder, pacific pilchard, rock sole, rockfish, mackerel and pacific hake) from North Vancouver Island; Original with free-run chicken and turkey and wild-caught monkfish; Grass-Fed Lamb; Wild Boar; and Tundra with wild boar, goat, venison and arctic char.
The cat treat market is exploding with new flavors and healthy new alternatives for cats who love to snack. When selecting a treat, do your best to identify the source of the proteins and don’t be afraid to ask the manufacturer for documentation on how the proteins were sourced. Your cat relies on you to stay healthy.
About the Author: Stacy Mantle is a fulltime freelance writer, bestselling author and founder of PetsWeekly.com. She resides in the deserts of the Southwest with a few dogs, several cats and a very understanding husband.