Cats and Cat Treats: When To Say When

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Cat treats can be used to good effect as a reward for your cat when he or she behaves in the way that you want her to.

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Behavior such as using her litter box, using her scratching post or allowing you to take her to the vet without giving you a hard time.

What are treats?

If you enjoy supping a glass of champagne each and every day then it is probably nothing special for you, it is what you have become accustomed to.

Likewise any tasty morsel that you give to your cat every time that she meows or makes big eyes at you.

It’s nothing special for kitty if it’s what he or she has become used to.

Often when a cat tries to get your attention all she really wants is your affection. It might just be a mistake to assume that your cat is yearning for a treat or a tidbit.

Perhaps all that she wants is a little petting or maybe even a play session.

Of course, if you have always given her a tasty treat when she has rubbed up against you then you may have trained her how to beg for a snack.

Try stroking her instead, and if necessary reward her for the petting session with her usual treat.

Table Scraps Are Not Healthy Cat Treats

Hopefully you are not feeding your cat scraps from the table do you?

Cats are cats and human beings are human beings.

Human food really is really not a treat for a cat; in fact some human foods can be very bad for cats. You may think that your cat would not eat anything that would cause it harm, this isn’t necessarily so.

For instance, many cats are lactose intolerant but will lap up cow’s milk thinking it’s a tasty treat. But the milk will likely cause a lactose intolerant cat stomach problems, including feline diarrhea.

Something that tastes good to your cat isn’t necessarily good for your cat. Take for example, anti-freeze. Would taste yummy to your kitty and could potentially kill it.

Chocolate is a huge no-no as a cat treat (chocolate can be harmful for cats.) So too are onions, garlic and shallots.

Even tuna that is meant for humans shouldn’t be fed to cats. Tuna is high in polyunsaturated fat and cats that are fed too much tuna could develop yellow fat disease. Tomatoes, raisins, grapes, citrus fruits and some nuts can be bad for cats, even deadly.

Cured meats, pork, bacon and ham can be perilous for cats because they are too rich in fats and very salty. There are many other human foods that should not be fed to felines.

Apart from the foods themselves, think of all the sauces and dressings that we pour onto our food, these are full of all kinds of spices like salt and gunk that kitty should not have.

Other than giving our cats foods that are harmful for them, when we give our cats a ‘treat’ from our plate we are also encouraging them to beg.

We are sure you don’t want your cat mewing and meowing, and rubbing up against your legs, every time that you sit down to eat, right?

Some cat treats are formulated for keeping kitty’s teeth clean, these probably work to some extent but then dry cat food also helps keep teeth clean to an extent.

Best strategy is to clean your cat’s teeth on a regular basis. As a second best, use feline teeth cleaning treats between vet cleanings. Hairball formula treats are also available now.
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Don’t Treat Your Cat to Gaining More Weight

If you are feeding your cat her daily requirement in a healthy balanced meal and are also giving her a treat several times a day, it won’t be long before you have a very overweight cat on your hands.

If you must give your cat tidbits, as a training reward for example, then you may want to just cut down her regular food to compensate.

You would not indulge a child with candy bars every time that the child asked for them, without expecting that child to become very overweight and unhealthy. Same with your cat, make cat treats a rarity, preferably only as a reward for good behavior.

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