Cat snacks are a terrific way to mix up a cat's day of routine. All-day eating, sunbathing, and napping can make you feel a little down (or so I hear).

In the guise of puzzle feeders and house-wide scavenger hunts, they're also fantastic for amusing your cats. Trying to promote appropriate conduct? Treats. Do you want to teach your cat to follow a lead? Treaaats.

Few people consider the nutritional benefits of a delectable kibble drop because of all the entertaining uses they have. Of course, you respond, snacks aren't designed to be nutritious. But rather than lacking in nutrients, many common treats' contents actually actively hurt our cats. And that, cat treat producers, is so very uncool.

What Qualifies as a Healthy Cat Treat?

According to experts, moderation is essential.

Treats are acceptable to give to your cat, but they "should be a very minimal part of the diet," advises Marla J. McGeorge, DVM, an Oregon veterinarian who primarily treats cats.

How little? Cat treats should make up no more than 10% of the total calories a cat consumes, according to many experts.

That's because, according to McGeorge, most treats only add calories to a cat's diet.

A high-quality, nutritionally balanced cat food should provide your cat with the remaining 90% of its daily caloric needs.

10 Treat Tips for a Healthy Cat

1. Keep moderation in mind. Like people, cats can grow fond of sweets and decide to forego their own diet in favor of their favorite pleasures. For this reason, Susan G. Wynn, DVM, CVA, a veterinary nutritionist in Georgia, advises keeping cat treats interesting by providing them no more than twice or three times per week.
2. With "people food," be cautious. "People food" should only make up a small portion of your cat's diet because cat foods are specially developed to contain the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids a cat needs for good health. You might try eating tiny cheese cubes or cooked tuna, poultry, fish, or liver as an occasional treat. You might occasionally offer your cat a spoonful of milk, but Wynn warns that this could make lactose-intolerant cats throw up.
3. Eat less poisonous food. We may adore raisins, grapes, onions, alcohol, salt, and tea, but cats can be poisoned by these and other typical foods. Before feeding your cat a treat, check with your veterinarian if you're unsure of its safety.
4. Stop begging. Don't give your cat a treat at the dinner table or because it begs you to. Do not encourage begging.
5. Cats who are obese require attention. It cannot be avoided: Cat treats include calories. However, McGeorge claims that simply eliminating treats won't have much of an impact on an overweight cat. She advises seeing a veterinarian to have your cat examined. The physician will create a safe diet plan to assist your cat in losing weight "slowly and cautiously." Hepatic lipidosis, a dangerous liver condition, can develop in overweight cats whose weight is rapidly lost.
6. Turn green. Wynn tells WebMD that catnip makes a great cat treat and is low in calories. The majority of cats adore "cat grass," which is actually a cereal grass like wheat or oats, as well as catnip. Both rewards are simple to cultivate in a bright window, and pet stores also provide dried and fresh greens. Make sure any plant you give your cat is safe for cats at all times. But if your cat regurgitates the cat grass you buy, don't worry; some cats just do it. McGeorge advises sticking with catnip for those kitties. Check the ASPCA website for details on plants hazardous to cats if you're unsure if a plant is safe for cats.
7. Treat cats for entertainment and exercise. By teaching your cat tricks or agility exercises with cat treats, you may help them both mentally and physically. For cats who live indoors only, this may be much more delightful.
8. Make amends with cat snacks. Try rewarding your cat with treats after an unpleasant task, such as claw trimming, tooth brushing, or medication administration. This can help calm a cat who has been made to perform an unpleasant task together with praise and affection.
9. Do not substitute cat treats for affection. Cats only require a decent diet, a secure environment, and affection. When you're pressed for time, it's simple to assume that a handful of goodies would create the same kind of attachment as a stroking or cuddle, but Anthony Herrig, an Oregon engineer who owns four contented cats, argues that this isn't necessarily the case. "Having a reward does not make my kitties any more affectionate. I believe that playing, petting, and holding a cat helps you and the cat bond physically.
10. Make your own healthy cat snacks at home. You may control exactly what is in the goodies your cat consumes by preparing little portions of liver, fish, or eggs. By purchasing organically grown meat, fish, and eggs, you can even make your cat some organic cat treats. But keep in mind that these treats ought to make up a very small portion of your cat's total diet.

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