Most dogs love treats. But did you know that cats like them too? Feeding your cat treats offers ample opportunities to play, bond and learn new things! Here are Pet Food Express’ tips and tricks to feeding your cat treats.
Why give your cats treats
1) Cats are trainable! They benefit from training and stimulation just like dogs do. If you want to see certain behaviors from your cat, using treats as a training reward is both tasty and fun.
2) Treats help with comfort. New furniture, animals or people in your home can make your cat uncomfortable. You may even notice them hiding out when these situations occur. Using treats can help your cat build a positive association with the new item or person. Place or toss the treats near and around the new item. This will allow your cat explore the new item as they eat a tasty snack.
3) Treats encourage exercise. Cats can sleep an average of 15 hours a day, making it easy for them to fall into a sedentary lifestyle. Using treats in combination with toys mimics their primal desire to “hunt, catch and kill.” This gets your cat up and motivated to move around for a delicious reward.
4) Treats clean teeth. Most cats are great about cleaning every inch of themselves, except their teeth. To help your cat out, we recommend feeding them dental treats. Dental treats are not only tasty, but reduce tartar while offering complete nutrition.
How to get your cat to like treats
1) Rethink how you feed your cat. Is your cat grazing off of a bowl of food that’s always available? This is called free-feeding, and we don’t recommend it for a couple reasons. First, when your cat has access to food all day, they will not find treats to be very appetizing, which means your cat misses out on the awesome benefits above. Second, free-feeding can lead to obesity and cause other health problems.
2) Try a different textured treat. Just like with food, cats choose treats by texture. If your cat doesn’t like one texture, try another (and don’t forget to return any treats your cat doesn’t like, even if the bag is open).
How to choose the right treat
Cats are texture and smell oriented when it comes to food. The wont eat what they can’t smell, and if they don’t like the texture – forget it! To find the right fit for your cat, introduce new textures and flavors. Keep what your cat likes, and return the rest! Not sure where to start? Here are a few suggestions:
Nulo Tubes – Great for cats that are fed kibble. Nulo Tubes are high in moisture and come in a variety of flavors. You can feed your cat straight from the tube, or enjoy a bonding moment by letting them eat it right off your fingers!
Fruitables – This option resembles kibble and offers cats that satisfying crunch.
Freeze-Dried – This is a great option that gives your cat a high meat intake, as they are usually made from single proteins.
Bonito Flakes – This option offers your cat a light crunchy snack in the form of flakes.
To find all the different treat options for your cat, stop by your local Pet Food Express location! Your cat will thank you later.