There are many ways to care for our furry feline friends. It is no surprise that affection and a healthy diet can contribute to the longevity of our precious pets. However, as much as we want to pamper our loved ones, treats can negatively contribute to the lifespan of a cat. Finding healthy treats is not always easy. Luckily, there are tons of options to keep our little companions out of the vet’s office.
Here are a few options for keeping your cat healthy while still treating them with the love and praise they deserve:
1. Gluten free cat treats
Did you know that as the level of gluten in your cat’s diet increases so does the chance of them developing obesity, insulin resistance or diabetes? A grain-free diet brings cats closer to their ancestors by eliminating all the processed mumbo jumbo in treats that didn’t exist back in the day when cats lived in the wild. There are “litter-ally” tons of grain-free options in this day and age and, by eliminating grain and artificial preservatives, you can still supply your kitty with the food they need, like their ancestors before them.
2. Weight control cat treats
Having a chubby kitty can be cute, yes, but obesity can shorten the lives of our cats tremendously. Overweight cats can develop hip pain, diabetes, joint pain and arthritis. Because cats get the majority of their nutrients from their food, you must be aware of the types of treats you’re handing out. The best treats are those that have high nutritional value but a low calorie count. Notable brands today understand the toll obesity has taken on our cats’ health and have developed a ton of weight control options.
3. Portion control
Low on cat food and don’t want to run to the store? This, among other things, can lead you to overindulge with treats. More is not the answer! Cat treats should make up 10% of your pet’s diet. Many brands will claim their treats provide a full, well-balanced meal but you should always feed your cat “real” food before adding dessert to the menu. Avoid meal replacement by feeding your cat a balanced meal with sporadic treats so you can closely monitor their food intake. Treats should be supplemental and given for a reward, not for the main dish.
4. Apology cat-cepted
We all make mistakes. We make mistakes that directly affect our cats. We make mistakes, our cats are not prone to forgive us for right away. Treats are the “purr-fect” way to apologize to our grudge-holding companions. Cats may have short-term memory with mundane activities, but activities they associate with negativity will be long held onto. For this reason, don’t shy away from saying sorry in the sweetest way possible – a treat.
Who doesn’t love a homemade goodie? No one. And the best part? Cat owners can see ex-cat-ly what goes into the mix when baking delicious treats. DIY snacks will also keep you from feeding pets “people food,” – one of the culprits that contributes to cholesterol and complications in adulthood. There are so many creative DIY recipes out there and studies show baking a cat treat is, much like cooking for yourself on a night in: it’s therapeutic. Get cookin’ today!