Providing healthy cat treats for your cat is a must if you are looking to maintain your cat on a healthy diet. Even if the regular diet you have your cat on follows guidelines closely, adding unhealthy treats might lead to health issues in the long term. But how do you choose healthy treats? What makes some treats healthy and others unhealthy? Here is everything you need to know and the top choices for treats that will keep your cat healthy.
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Healthy Cat Treats vs Unhealthy Cat Treats
As opposed to a cat's regular diet, treats are meant as a special meal that the cat can enjoy. It can be used when you train your cat to do tricks or simply when you want to pamper your furry companion. To stand out from regular cat food, treats have to be extra tasty.
Like people love the taste of fast food, cats will also respond amazingly to a wide range of unhealthy cat treats. They will certainly enjoy eating them, but they will develop serious health issues because of them.
Unhealthy cat treats have an irresistible flavor because they are high in carbohydrates, artificial additives, and flavor enhancers. Treats that have extra strong smells or very bright colors are the ones you want to stay away from, for your cat's sake. As you may expect, these are also much more affordable than the healthier options on the market.
Keep in mind that investing in a healthy diet for your cat will keep it in good shape for a long time, which not only is the aim of any loving cat owner, but also the more financially-advantageous option because you are actively saving on veterinary bills.
Once you've made up your mind to find the healthiest treats for your cat, you will find out that there are a lot of products to choose from. However, to make the best choice, you need to know what makes cat treats healthy.
Guidelines for Healthy Cat Treats
Cats are carnivores, which means that their metabolism is made to digest meat. The main substances in meat are animal protein, which means that any healthy cat treat must have as much of this as possible. Moreover, for treats to be healthy for your cat, they should have as little carbohydrates in them as possible. Here are the main guidelines for proper cat treats:
- They should be meat-only products
- They should not have additives, flavor enhancers, artificial color elements
- They should be as low as possible on carbohydrates
Keeping these guidelines in mind, here a few suggestions for healthy cat treats that you can choose from:
This is another great option for healthy cat treats made from freeze dried salmon. This process preserves the flavor and nutrition values of the salmon and it eliminates the need for artificial preservatives.This is another great option for healthy cat treats made from freeze dried salmon. Click To Tweet
It also keeps the Omega 3 in a form that can be easily absorbed so that all of its amazing benefits can kick in. From keeping your cat's heart and brain healthy, Omega 3 can make a difference in your cat's diet.
This is one of the elements that make salmon meat a high-quality choice for cat diets. The other essential element is protein quality. Salmon comes with visible benefits, so after a few weeks of Whole Life, you will notice the changes in your cat's fur, which will be richer, shinier, and fuller.
What makes this product stand out is the fact that it is made in small batches. This boosts its quality immensely compared to mass-produced cat treats. Whole Life Pets gets its Wild Alaskan Salmon directly from fishermen and processes it.
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These treats are made from freeze dried wild Alaskan salmon and they are an excellent source of protein for your cat. Click To Tweet
These treats are made from freeze dried wild Alaskan salmon and they are an excellent source of protein for your cat. They are bite-sized salmon cubes that have a natural, but strong flavor. They are 80% protein, 1% fiber, 3%moisture, and 5% fat.
Please note that the fat in Wildside salmon is the fat in the salmon meat, which is actually healthy for your cat. In fact, salmon can have many amazing benefits on your cat's health as it is an amazing source of Omega 3.
Wildside treats are not made from endangered salmon, nor from farmed or genetically-modified salmon, which makes them a high-quality option for your cat on a daily basis.
Only Natural Pet is an excellent choice for healthy cat treats. Their products are made from freeze dried meat and natural ingredients, which is then cut into bite-sized portions. The taste and the nutritional values of the ingredients are safely preserved during the preparation process, which makes these treats burst with flavor.
They are entirely grain free, which means that they fully respect the no-carbs guideline for healthy cat treats. No grains, no gluten, no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors make Only Natural Pet RawNibs a solid choice.c
No grains, no gluten, no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors make Only Natural Pet RawNibs a solid choice. Click To Tweet
Another great advantage is that there are several options to choose from. This is extremely important because it permits you to diversify your cat's diet, but also make sure that it never gets bored with the treats. Your top choices are All Meat Bites, Dried Turkey Liver, and the Crispies.
PureBites cat treats are an excellent low-calorie treat option. With only 2 calories per treat, you can pamper your cat without having to worry that it might make it overweight. While this does not mean that you should overdo it, it gives you access to a lot of flexibility.
You can use these treats for extensive training sessions because they will not overload the cat's diet and you can rest assured that they will remain interested in the strong flavor of these healthy cat treats. PureBites are made from chicken breast only; in fact, this is the only ingredient in this product - freeze dried chicken breast.PureBites are made from chicken breast only; in fact, this is the only ingredient in this product - freeze dried chicken breast. Click To Tweet
As opposed to other treats, PureBites are cut in small pieces, which also enables you to feed the cat more of them. This is yet another reason why they are particularly good to use when you are teaching your cat tricks.
If you want to make things even more interesting, you can alternate treats. PureBites also have high-quality small-sized low-carb treats made from shrimp - https://amzn.to/2J2iwaN. These are also freeze dried to keep that tempting shrimp flavor packed there in the delicious
These treats are made from freeze dried bonito, which is a fish from the tuna family. Like the other products on this list made with the same preparation process, the bonito flakes from Cat-Man-Doo preserve all the raw tastiness and the fantastic nutritional values of the fish.
This is a single-ingredient cat treat. It is 100% bonito meat, which means that you can rest assured that Cat-Man-Doo Dried Bonito Flakes do not have any carbohydrates. Like salmon meat, bonito is an excellent source of high-quality protein, as well as a natural oils including Omega 3, which will improve your cat's urinary tract health, make its fur richer and shinier, and even reduce hairball buildup.This is a single-ingredient cat treat. It is 100% bonito meat, which means that you can rest assured that Cat-Man-Doo Dried Bonito Flakes do not have any carbohydrates. Click To Tweet
This product comes in the shape of flakes, which makes it an interesting treat for your cat. It is very easy to eat and its texture will enrich the taste of the bonito meat.
As a tip, bonito flakes can also be found in Asian supermarkets because they are one of the main ingredients for Japanese miso soup and other specialties. Purchasing it from there will make it much more affordable, so give it a try. But don't forget to read the label thoroughly to make sure that it does not have salt, sugar, or preservatives.
These cat treats from Halo Liv-A-Littles are made from 100% freeze-dried chicken. This
process eliminates the moisture in the meat, leaving a deliciously chewy treat that has the full flavor of the original chicken meat. In fact, this is what sets them apart from products made by dehydration.
These treats can be fed to both dogs and cats precisely because they are entirely natural. They are completely grain-free, which makes them low in carbohydrates, and also low in calories.
This kitty treat is made from dried bonito fish which is cut in very thin file bites. Kitty Kaviar goes all the way to provide the best possible source of bonito fish. It is an all-natural treat that your cat will love because it has a strong fish flavor, a rich texture, and numerous health benefits.It is an all-natural treat that your cat will love because it has a strong fish flavor, a rich texture, and numerous health benefits. Click To Tweet
What makes this product stand out is that it is a great source of taurine, an amino acid which plays a key role in body growth and tissues repair. Cats cannot synthesize taurine themselves, which means that they need it from external sources.
Kitty Kaviar is high in protein (75%), but it is very low in ash (4%) and magnesium (0.95%). Lowering ash and magnesium consumption can prevent urinary tract disease and keep the cat's kidney's healthy.
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Made 100% out of chicken liver, Kitty Kissers are a very tempting choice for healthy cat treats. You can rest assured that there are no chemical additives in them. They are considered They are considered super premium cat treats and they are a good source of iron. Click To Tweetsuper premium cat treats and they are a good source of iron.
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Vital Cat from Vita Essentials is yet another freeze-dried healthy treat for your cat. It is entirely grain-free because it only has one ingredient – the savory meat, which is USA-sourced, made, and packaged. It comes in some appetizing varieties including duck liver, Ahi tuna, chicken, minnows, rabbit, and salmon. By freeze-drying the meat, it keeps all of its valuable nutrients, so Vital Cat is packed with antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and many more. With such an impressive variety of meats to choose from, your cat can enjoy a rich and healthy diet.
Made from dehydrated white fish filets, Wishes from The Honest Kitchen is a high-protein, low-carb treat that your cat will love. It is a single-ingredient treat that your pet will absolutely love. The texture is light and crispy, which makes it irresistible to all kitties. By dehydration, the fish maintains its flavor as well as its nutrients. Wishes are made from wild caught fish, which guarantees the best possible quality for the meat.Made from dehydrated white fish filets, Wishes from The Honest Kitchen is a high-protein, low-carb treat that your cat will love. Click To Tweet
Aside from the options mentioned on this list, there are some homemade versions of healthy cat treats that could try out. What better way of knowing for a fact that there are no preservatives in a cat treat than making it yourself? Among your best options are as follows:
Raw Meat -Freeze-dried products strive to provide the original flavor of meat, but raw meat will always taste much better. You can feed your cat raw meats, provided that you respect the following guidelines strictly:
Do not feed your cat large amounts of raw meat - In spite of your cat's enthusiasm for the most natural treat of all, you must remember to keep raw meat as a delicacy. Feeding a cat too much meat may have some unwanted effects on its metabolism. You must also make sure to check the labels for any meat you buy.
Storing meat could be problematic. You can only feed the cat a small quantity, but you cannot buy so little of it. This means you have to store the rest. Make sure you keep it in the freezer between servings and that you do not refreeze it - this permits bacteria to develop in the meat. Cut the meat in the beginning and store it in small pieces, which you can take out individually.
Boiled/Steamed Meat - An alternative to raw meat is boiled or steamed meat. While the taste is different and the nutritional values are not the same, steaming or boiling the meat is always the safer choice.
Related - DIY Homemade Cat Food
What is your favorite choice for healthy cat treats? What do you feed your cat when you want to pamper it? Do you prefer cat treats you can buy or the home-cooked ones? Leave us your answers in the comments section below.