Cat treats serve to pamper and reward your little cat. They are ideal to delight its palate and are also a sign of affection. That’s why it’s important to choose those low-calorie treats that are nutritionally balanced and won’t harm their diet like weight-control cat treats.
So, in this post we will explain what kind of low-calorie treats you can give to your cat!
Low Calorie Cat Treats
You can give your pet different types of low calorie cat treats, you can buy them or making them yourself, for example:
Commercial treats: you can get different types of natural, quality treats with the nutrients your cat needs, such as cat treats high in protein, low calories, minerals, vitamins, etc.
Natural cat treats high in protein: cats are carnivores and as such, they need much more protein than a human, even their digestive system works better at digesting meat.
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So making your own homemade low-calorie treats can be an excellent option for this, such as:
- Small pieces of meat
- Dried liver (occasionally)
- Cooked chicken chunks
- Cooked vegetables
- Small pieces of fish
- Tuna chunks
Homemade biscuits: with homemade biscuits you can also control the ingredients, quantity and quality. It works very well for cats with allergies or sensitive stomachs.
This usually last 3-4 weeks, when you offer a cookie to your cat, take it out of the fridge 10 minutes before. Make sure your cat’s treats are the right size, easy to chew and swallow.
Note: Not all cat treats are recommended, there are many cats that don’t need extra calories in their diet, either because of general health or because they are overweight. For these cases, you can use the treats that are for weight control for cats, but always consult your veterinarian first.
What Are Benefits of Healthy Low Calorie Treats For Cats?
The best cat treats always try to combine a good taste, a pleasant texture with natural and nutritional ingredients and benefits such as: the care of its skin, teeth, bones, joints, etc.
In addition, treats should not contain any dyes or chemical preservatives. Many treats do not contain totally healthy ingredients for cats, but the best treat really depends on each individual cat.
Some cat treats with certain ingredients have different benefits, here are some general characteristics:
- Meat treats: provide a percentage of protein in their diet, usually consisting of chicken meat, liver or dried beef.
- Treats that support joints: Ingredients such as glucosamine and chondroitin are supplements to relieve common joint problems.
- Treats that benefit the teeth: this helps to clean their teeth by chewing the product constantly, which helps prevent tartar, bad breath and gum inflammation.
- Treats that improve coat: products rich in fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6, to keep a healthy coat.
- Treats that help with furball problems: foods containing malt paste, a product that helps improve cat’s digestion and helps eliminate hairballs when they are grooming.
When is it Advisable to Give Treats to Your Cat?
Treats are not only a supplement to its diet, they’re also a simple and effective way to reinforce positive behavior and the bond with your cat.
- As positive training – If you’re working on training your cat to behave properly, such as not scratching the couch, not knocking over objects, etc. Treats are an excellent option. But you should only give it when it is doing well, like when it is using their toys, coming to your call, etc. Always give it a treat with affection like “good kitty!”
- To create a connection – You decide when to give your cat a prize in this case, it is more to show it affection and pamper it, like when it is behaving well, when there are visitors, when it did something good, etc.
- To calm it down – You can also use them to distract or calm your cat in stressful or uncomfortable situations, such as filing its nails, brushing it or anything else that makes it a bit upset.
WHEN YOU SHOULDN’T GIVE YOUR CAT A TREAT?
- If your cat is overweight, avoid giving it high-calorie treats or rewards.
- Avoid treats that have a lot of added sugar and fat.
- Stay away from treats that do not use high-quality ingredients.
- Never reinforce bad behavior by giving it treats.
- Don’t overindulge in giving it treats all the time, it will get bored or normalized and lose the “reward” effect.
Please note that low calorie treats are no enough to ensure your overweight cat loses weight. Proper nutrition and portions are the key. Find our guide, along with a selection of best cat food for overweight cats.
Weight Control Cat Treats – Calories
Treats are a supplemental part of your cat’s diet, many treats do not have the same nutritional requirements as cat food and should be given in moderation, also be aware to not exceed 10% of your cat’s total recommended daily food intake.
As a general guideline – all vegetable/fruit based treats are always in the lower end when it comes to amount of calories they contain. Treats based on lean meats such as white fish, tuna, chicken or turkey will have similar mount of calories – usually from 10 – 40 kcal per treat (depending on the size of the treat). Calories in cat treats that come from fatty sources, such as salmon will be much higher – actually up to twice as much, depending on the tye of treat.
If your cat is on a prescription diet, check with your veterinarian before introducing any treats. If your cat is skinny, consider feeding it cat food for weight gain.
Low Calore Weight Control Cat Treats FAQ
Avoid giving your cat grapes and raisins, citrus fruits, onion, garlic, potato and tomato. Also avoid chocolate, coffee and tea.
Best would be to avoid supplementing your cat’s diet with too many treats since they only increase total caloric intake. However, you can strategically use treats to help your cat endure longer periods without as much food as it is used to in case you are putting it on a diet. Before any such decision consult a vet.
You can start by reviewing its daily food ration and dividing it into several small meals throughout the day. If your cat is neutered, it’ll need a slightly more specific diet. Don’t give it leftovers when you are eating, and keep the cat away from the table.
Play with it and get it to exercise more, movement will be good for it, start with short sessions and then build up to longer ones step by step. Definitely read our article about best cat food for overweight cats.