Most kitties love treats! They’ll come racing across the house when they hear you shake the can. They’ll wind around your legs and beg greedily until you give in and toss them something good. However, if your cat is getting too many treats, that’s not a good thing. Just like people, a cat who’s overweight can experience a myriad of health problems, including arthritis, diabetes, and heart conditions. Unfortunately, your sweet kitty won’t understand why you’re cutting off her treats. So, how do you give your kitty treats that are delicious, but also healthy and won’t lead to excessive weight gain? And, how many treats are ok?
The Key is Moderation
We’ve all heard that moderation is the key to maintaining a healthy weight, and it’s no different for cats. You don’t have to take away your kitty’s treats entirely, but make sure you’re giving them out the right way, and for the correct reasons.
For example, many cat owners give their cat a treat as soon as they come home from work. But, are you just giving a treat because you feel bad for being gone all day? That’s not a good reason to give your cat a treat! Save the treats for positive reinforcement and give your cat some extra attention when you come home instead.
Giving Cat Treats the Smart Way
Here are five smart ways to give your cat a treat without causing excessive weight gain:
- Cat treats are high in calories, so give her a few pieces of kibble instead. Hand feeding her some kibbles while you give some extra rubs and cuddles will fulfill her need for a treat and attention. Getting something outside her normal feeding time will still seem like a treat to her.
- Cut regular cat treats in half. When you give her smaller pieces, you’re still giving her something special, only with fewer calories.
- Try green treats like cat grass and catnip sometimes. They’re low calorie and cats love them.
- Make your own treats. Browse the internet for some healthy homemade cat treat ideas and make your own low-calorie options.
- Combine treats with playtime so your kitty is getting some exercise to burn off the calories.
Never Give Table Scraps
Please don’t give your cat table scraps. Many human foods, like onions, chocolate, caffeine, raisins, and much more are toxic to your kitty. Everyone in your home should know that human food is off limits to your cat.
Our cats are part of the family and we want them to live healthy, long, happy lives. Remember that goal when you’re giving your kitty her treats. Extra cuddles and pets are often just as good as a treat, and it’s better for both of you.