The best cat treat
Your cat deserves the best -- you know it and she most certainly knows it, too. Finding quality cat treats will show your feline friend that you care and cement your spot as her favorite human.
The following guide will help you to discover more about cat treats and sort the good from the bad. You can also find a handful of our recommendations at the end, such as Temptations' Tasty Chicken Flavor Cat Treats, our number one pick. They're a big hit with most cats and won't break the bank.
Considerations when choosing cat treats
Cat treat types
If you thought there was just one type of treat available for cats, think again. You can pick from many varieties on the market. None are necessarily better than others; it's all based on your cat's preferences, so you may need to try a few before you get it right.
Crunchy cat treats are hard treats, a bit like pieces of kibble. They tend to be affordable and can reduce tartar buildup, but they do contain more carbs than cats really need.
Moist cat treats are semi-dried meaty treats. They tend to be more appealing to picky cats than crunchy treats but go bad more quickly and cost more.
Soft-centered are crunchy on the inside with a soft, flavorful middle, combining some of the best bits of crunch and moist treats. Most cats love them, and they're relatively affordable.
Freeze-dried cat treats are generally made from raw ingredients or a single type of meat. They're pricey but healthy for your cat, and you can be sure they don't contain any nasty additives.
Dental cat treats are specially shaped and designed to help disrupt plaque so that less tartar can build up on your cat's teeth.
It's definitely wise to read the full ingredient list of any treats you're considering before buying. The best quality treats will contain a limited number of ingredients, focusing on fresh meat. Cheap treats, however, are generally full of grains and other sources of carbohydrates, which cats (who are obligate carnivores) need very little of in their diets.
Even if your cat's in good shape now, she won't be for long if she gets too many calories from treats. Low calorie treats with just one or two calories a piece are best for cats who need to maintain their weight. However, high calorie treats are great for cats who need to gain weight.
Cat treats will stay fresher for longer in a resealable container. Main cat treats either come in ziplock foil bags or screw-top hard plastic containers
If you prefer to feed your cat foods that don't contain pesticides, you can find some USDA-certified organic cat treats.
It's best to compare the price of cat treats per ounce, since you can buy them in packages of various sizes. Most cat treats cost between $0.30 and $1 per ounce, but some high-end single-ingredient cat treats can cost as much as $5 per ounce.
Q. Can I train my cats using cat treats?
A. Cats are notoriously hard to train, preferring to do their own thing. However, you're most likely to succeed in teaching your cat tricks or commands by using positive reinforcement techniques -- which basically means plying her with treats when she gets something right.
Q. How many treats can my cat have each day?
A. This depends on the calorie content of the treats, as well as the cat's size and activity levels. Your cat should never get more than 10% of her daily calorie intake from treats. If you're unsure how many calories your cat needs, you can find plenty of online resources to help you figure this out, or you can consult your cat's veterinarian.
Cat treats we recommend
Best of the best: Temptations' Tasty Chicken Flavor Cat Treats
Our take: Delicious crunchy treats with a soft center that most cats go wild for.
What we like: Just two calories per treat. Nutritionally complete and balanced. Tasty chicken flavor.
What we dislike: Some ingredients, such as "meat by-product," are not of the best quality.
Best bang for your buck: Friskies' Party Mix Crunch Beachside Cat Treats
Our take: A good choice if you're looking for affordable cat treats and don't mind a few suspect ingredients.
What we like: Low in calories -- just 1.3 per treat. Cats seem to enjoy the seafood flavor. Great crunchy texture.
What we dislike: Contains artificial colorings.
Choice 3: Whole Life Pet's Healthy Cat Treats
Our take: Sure, they're pricey, but these treats contain nothing but freeze-dried chicken breast -- perfect for a pampered kitty.
What we like: No additives; just chicken. Even picky cats can't resist them. Great for cats with food allergies or intolerances.
What we dislike: Expensive. Best as an occasional treat only.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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