There are a lot of different cat treats available on the market. However, not all of them are healthy for your kitty! Some contain harmful substances, added colors, preservatives, etc. that may have bad side effects.
So, how do you choose the best cat treats?
In this blog post, I will teach you how to buy safe and healthy treats for your kitty and share a few things you should know.
Set a Limit
Giving your cat as many treats as she wants isn’t the best idea.
The thing is that cat treats aren’t as balanced as a meal, which means that the macros on them aren’t ideal. They don’t even have any essential vitamins and minerals. This can lead to weight gain if your kitty snacks on a lot of treats.
Most vets agree that 10% of a cat’s daily calories should come from treats which are fair enough.
Always Consult a Vet
Vets are one the best sources of information when it comes to pet foods and treats.
You never know what your cat can be allergic to. Some kitties also need special diets that restrict the choices of treats you can give to them. You should also check in with the vet if you plan on making your treats.
After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry, agreed?
Corn, Soy, and Wheat are Bad News
Wildcats eat meat, and the only source of fiber in their diet are the contents of the stomach of their prey. While house cats don’t hunt and get everything on a silver platter, their dietary needs are still the same.
Cats and carbs don’t mix.
So, giving your kitty treats that have filler ingredients such as soy, corn, and wheat isn’t doing anything beneficial for your kitty.
Added Sweeteners Aren’t a Good Thing
Many cats treats that you’ll find in stores contain sugar, corn sugar or other added sweetener to enhance the taste. However, these aren’t good for your kitty as they:
- Cause diabetes in cats
- Cats can’t even taste the sweeteners!
So, it is a good idea to steer clear of treats that have sugar listed in their ingredients because diabetes in cats is a horrible disease and you should do everything in your power to prevent it.
On to the next one.
Stay Away From Artificial Flavors, Preservatives, and Dyes
Artificial preservatives help by increasing the shelf life of the treat. However, since the pet food industry is unregulated, some chemicals can wreak havoc on your cat’s system.
Following are some things you must avoid at all costs:
- Artificial preservatives such as BHT and BHA are widely used in most commercial cat treats and even foods, but, evidence to suggests they are carcinogenic to animals
- Glycerin is an extremely common preservative. However, since it derived from petrolatum, the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) spoke about methanol contamination which is a natural possibility
- Artificial dyes are used just to make treats look appealing to cat owners. However, these dyes are suspected to be carcinogens to humans as well as cats. There’s no point in getting treats with dye as your cat won’t even notice it!
Isn’t it awful that cat treats contain such bad ingredients? Let me know how you feel about this in the comments section.
By-products and Meat Meals
The meat meal and meat by-products used to make cat treats are made from parts of the animal carcass such as the bone, viscera, eyes, etc. that are deemed unfit for human consumption.
According to one study, poor quality of meat in a cat’s diet negatively affects the cat’s health. These ingredients have poor nutrients which are highly undesirable.
Avoid Added Sodium
As you may already know, sodium or salt isn’t suitable for cats, and it causes dehydration.
Even without having sodium in their diets, some cats are already prone to dehydration and develop kidney stones, which can be painful. While sodium doesn’t cause more problems, it is still a good idea to avoid it.
You should keep these things in mind when you look for some awesome treats for your kitty or, make some nutritious and delicious cat treats at home!
Would you like me to share some awesome cat treat recipes on the blog? Let me know in the comments!