Giving is an act of showing love, and a lot of people show love to their cats by giving them lots of treats. Giving them teats in itself is not a bad thing; however, giving them too much can prove problematic.
Humans are not the only mammals burdened with obesity; cats also have their share of obesity problems. A study has shown that the estimated number of cats that are obese or overweight is 57%. Click here to read more about cat obesity and the difference between an obese and an overweight cat.
Hence, caution must be applied when treating your kitties to avoid the risk of obesity and overweight to ensure that they stay healthy. That is why we have written this article to give you healthy tips that you can easily follow as far as feeding your cat with treats is concerned.
How to Recognize a Healthy Cat Treat
Many cat treat products are being manufactured and sold today, and one cannot help but wonder if these snacks are healthy for our feline friends.
While certain treats aren’t good for your pets, most of them are FDA (Food and Drug Administration) registered. This means they are certified as safe for your tabby.
Nevertheless, when it comes to feeding your cats with these treats, the key factor is moderation. It is expected that they do not become your cat’s main meal or form a larger part of its diet. Hence, they are to be given occasionally and not frequently.
When you feed your cat these snacks, ensure that the calorific value doesn’t exceed 10% of your cat’s overall daily intake. Doing this will prevent your cat from taking in too many calories which is the major constituent of these snacks.
Therefore, the rest of your pet’s diet must be very nutritional. You can check https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/ob/search_product.cfm to verify if the cat food you want to purchase is FDA registered.
Understanding the Labels on Cat Treat Products
Cat treats have one of the most confusing labels because they do not list all that is contained inside. You can’t find a calorie count either to determine how much calorie it contains. As a result, most pet parents are left in the dark concerning these products.
To make sense of it all, you can reach out to the manufacturer of the treat to get detailed information about the treat’s content and nutritional value. Another way to understand the label is to ask your veterinarian for advice.
Even if you can’t find other nutrients listed, you can still check to see it if has the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) approval label. This group is responsible for setting manufacturing standards for pet food.
Healthy Tips for Feeding your Cat with Treats
Follow these tips to ensure your tabby remains healthy even when fed with treats…
1. Remember that the key is Moderation
As we stated earlier, when it comes to feeding your kitty with these snacks, you ought to do so in moderation. Nutritionists recommend that treats shouldn’t be given more than thrice a week.
This is something you need to enforce and be disciplined about because your cat might prefer treats over normal food. While that is normal as even humans tend to develop a preference for certain tastes, you must not give in to their demands for their good.
Moreover, when you notice such behavior, you can even cut down on how often you feed them these snacks to reduce their sweet tooth.
2. Give “People Food” in Little Quantities
The foods we eat are not suitable for cats and as such should only be given to our pets occasionally. Cat foods are packed with amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that are necessary for their growth and good health.
People foods you can give your cats include cooked tuna, fish, liver, or chicken. All these should be given in little quantities. If you want to give milk, give just a tablespoon once in a while and ensure that they are specially formulated milk.
3. Keep Away from Toxic Foods
Some foods are toxic to your kitty and they include onions, grapes, raisins, chocolate, raw dough, salt, tea, alcohol, etc. Do not feed these to your pets.
4. Stop Begging
Cats have a unique way of begging that is very difficult to say no to. However, one of the characteristics of being a pet parent is to know when to say no.
Therefore, no matter how cute and adorable they look while trying to beg you to feed them from the table during meals or at their insistence; say no!
5. Pay Extra Care to Overweight Cats
Some owners cut out treats when their tabby gets overweight as they believe the additional calories from the treats are responsible. The truth is this doesn’t accomplish much.
Instead of doing that, let a vet evaluate your pet and then develop a diet plan that is both safe and will ensure gradual weight loss.
6. Use Treats for Fitness and Fun
You can view cat treats as a means of training and exercising your cat’s body and brain. Engage them in agility tricks or exercises using these snacks.
7. Make your own Treats
You can make natural healthy snacks for your cat. All you need to do is to cook small bits of fish, liver, or eggs. This way, you will know what your cat is eating. While you do this, remember tip number 1.
After reading this, we are certain you now know all you need to do to keep your cat healthy even as you feed it with treats.