Your kitty gives you lots of love and companionship, so she deserves a treat (or three) now and then. Make sure you feed her something that’s healthy and nutritious as well as tasty.
You know how hard it can be to find a nutritious flavorful treat your finicky feline will enjoy. There are all kinds of cat treats on the market, but you want to be sure you’re giving your kitty the very best, highest quality goodies. That means doing some detective work and buying only premium products. Yes, they’ll cost more, but it’s worth it because they’ll help keep your cat healthy.
- Look for meat-based treats rather than those made primarily from grains. Not only is meat healthier for cats, but it’s also less likely to result in unwanted weight gain. The meat on the ingredient label should be whole and named – i.e. “chicken”, “beef”, “lamb”, etc.
- Avoid treats that are full of additives such as coloring, preservatives and artificial flavors. They may look and smell delicious, but they’re the equivalent of human junk food and not good for your cat.
Making healthy choices
Many premium pet food manufacturers offer healthy natural treats as part of their product lines.
- Freeze-dried treats are a good way to give your cat real meat in a convenient easy-to-feed form. Freeze drying preserves the nutrient value of the raw ingredients because no heat processing is involved. Bravo! is one quality pet food company that offers a line of freeze-dried and dry-roasted all-meat treats in a selection of natural flavors, from chicken and turkey to salmon and beef liver. Only antibiotic-free poultry, fresh fish and grass-fed red meat are used.
- Organ meat is a rich source of nutrients; remember that cats in the wild eat the organs of their prey along with the muscle meat. Onesta Organics uses the hearts of organic domestically-raised free-range chickens and turkeys for their Hearty Treats. “Heart is rich in taurine, which is essential for cats,” says CEO Heidi Junger. “It also includes other important natural and healthful nutrients. Organ meats, including hearts, don’t sell well in the human food industry because few people appreciate their nutritional value enough to make them a part of their diet. Instead of allowing these precious meats to go to waste, we found a solution with these treats. This way, we support both quality poultry growers and the health of our feline friends.”
- Green tripe is made from the stomachs of ruminating animals such as cattle and sheep, complete with their semi-digested contents. It sounds disgusting, but the enzymes in green tripe are good for carnivorous animals such as cats and dogs. Solid Gold’s Petzyme Treats are made from dehydrated green tripe.
- Most cats love fish. Plain Brown Tabby is one company that sells cat treats made with high quality seafood, including freeze-dried shrimp, dried mackerel shavings and even lobster and Alaskan pollock.
- Some treats are formulated to address specific health issues. Zukes Hip Action for Cats from the Only Natural Pet Store is a medicinal treat that contains 50mg glucosamine and 35mg chondroitin sulfate.
- Frozen raw foods that come in nugget form can also make excellent treats for your cat. Steve’s Real Food specializes in high quality raw frozen cat food nuggets made with raw meat, fruit and vegetables. “Our nutrient levels exceed AAFCO levels and we do this with natural vitamins from fresh fruits and veggies,” explains Nicole Lindsley.
- Most cats love nibbling on greens, so cat grass also makes a healthy treat for your feline, especially if she doesn’t go outdoors. Priscilla’s Kitty Grass offers healthy grass that helps aid digestion. “It’s a special blend of grains and helps to promote and assist in the elimination of fur balls,” explains owner Priscilla. “In addition, it helps cats maintain a well-balanced digestive system. It provides a source of vitamins and nutrients, and the high chlorophyll content helps keep blood cells, kidneys and glands filtered to ensure the cat’s circulatory system is cleansed of toxins. Eating cat grass helps offset environmental impurities that our cats are exposed to on a daily basis.”
The next time your cat winds himself around your legs and looks up at you with his big green eyes, give him a treat you know he’ll love – and be comforted by knowing you’re helping him live a long, happy and healthy life.
Onesta Organics, www.onestaorganics.com
Only Natural Pet Store, www.onlynaturalpet.com
Plain Brown Tabby, www.catniptoys.com
Priscilla’s Kitty Grass, www.kittygrass.com
Solid Gold, www.solidgoldhealth.com