Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: September 6, 2022 by Crystal Uys
You will find a lot of information on feline nutrition on this site, but one aspect I haven’t covered in detail is treats. While treats should always be used judiciously, especially for cats that have a tendency to gain weight or are already overweight, realistically, most cat guardians want to occasionally spoil their feline charges with a special treat. Treats also have their place when it comes to training (and yes, cats can be trained). Since most of us will give our cats treats, it’s important to choose healthy options.
The same thing that applies to food applies to treats as well: cats are obligate carnivores, and as such, do not only not need carbohydrates, but they tend to do poorly on a diet that’s too high in carbs, especially grains.
Your best option: freeze dried all meat treats
Freeze-dried treats come in a large variety of flavors, from chicken, turkey and salmon to beef, venison and shrimp. These treats are pure meat, and very low in calories. They’re great to use inside food puzzle toys.
Human foods that are okay to use as treats
Small quantities of cheese, cooked fish, and eggs are all safe treats if used in moderation. Strange as it may sound, some cats love watermelon or cantaloupe, which are also okay to give in small amounts. Cats should never have onion, garlic, kelp, grapes or raisins, sugary treats, chocolate, and alcoholic or caffeinated drinks, even in small doses.
As for ice cream, a few licks here and there won’t be a problem for most cats.
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Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.