We're all suckers for our kitties - our fluffy companions are just too irresistible! Unfortunately, too many treats are no good for your kitty’s tummy. Before you give in and get out that treat bag, read about these healthy whole-food options!
Healthy People Food Treats for Cats
Our kittens – and the big chonkers, too – deserve all the love and affection they demand from us. When it’s impossible to say no to the treat begging, try these yummy tricks to give your cat something tasty and nutritious!
Cats are carnivorous little fiends – er, friends – which means our mischievous pals live best on a diet of mostly meat. They should be getting enough protein from their regular food, and if you check your ingredients label and have concerns about fillers and preservatives, please contact the Barkery and Bath to find a better, healthier option for your fluffy kitty. In the meantime, these protein-packed snacks will help support healthy digestive and immune systems.
Try offering small pieces of cooked chicken, turkey, fish, beef or even venison! Be sure to trim fat off the piece first since fat – both cooked and uncooked – can cause severe intestinal upset, which will lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and other unpleasant symptoms. Also check the meat thoroughly and take out an cooked bones as they can splinter easily and injure your sweet feline.
Raw meat and poultry bits are another great treat but some people may not want to deal with the necessary handwashing and thorough clean up that accompanies handling raw meat. There’s nothing quite like cleaning your kitchen counter well only to realize Mr. Whiskers has absconded with the raw meat to another room and is most likely dripping raw meat juice into the carpet. Delightful.
Small raw bones are not only nutritious but excellent for your cat’s teeth and gums! Opt for softer bones from canned salmon or try a raw chicken neck or wing. Always supervise your cat when feeding raw bones, however to avoid any injury or harm to your kitty. Any raw bones from a can should contain no additives or added salt so read the nutrition label closely.
Despite the stereotypical mental image of cats drinking milk, your kitty is most likely lactose intolerant. Most cats do not naturally develop sufficient lactase – the enzyme that breaks down the lactose sugar in dairy products. This lactose intolerance can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Dairy in small portions may be okay depending on your cat, however. Try a small piece of cheese, a small spoon of cottage cheese, or a small dab of yogurt.
Hardboiled eggs are not only acceptable for cats, they’re actually a great source of protein! Cool a hardboiled egg and then slice or mash it up. Don’t add anything else – especially not salt: plain egg is best and most nutritious. If you’re cutting up a hard boiled egg for a salad, consider giving your kitty one of the cooked yolks – yum! You’re the new favorite of the family!
Vegetables and Fruits
While many vegetables and fruits are perfectly safe for kitties to ingest, many cat owners find that their feline friends tend to be somewhat finicky about their food. Cats will vary in what they like or don’t like so try some of these cat-safe fruits and vegetables for your picky baby.
Banana, watermelon (seedless), cantaloupe, and cooked squash are all good options. Try strawberries and blueberries! You can also offer cooked carrot bits, a green bean, or a bit of broccoli. Steamed asparagus is safe for cats but may cause their urine to smell funny – don’t be alarmed if this is the case.
**If your cat demonstrates concerning signs like regularly foul-smelling urine, infrequent urine, or bloody urine, please contact your vet immediately.
People Food to Not Feed Your Cat
Just like with dogs, there are some people foods that are no good for your feline companion. Steer clear of grapes, raisins, chocolate, onions, and tomatoes. It’s also best to avoid feeding your cat peanut butter, bread, crackers or dog food since cats were not made to digest a lot of carbs and preservatives.
**A dog’s diet also should not be based on carbs and preservatives; check your nutrition label and reach out to the experience and friendly helpful folks at the Barkery and Bath!
When To Feed Your Cats Treats
Treats are just that – treats! Even if the foods are safe for your cat to enjoy occasionally, your kitty should not be feasting off of fruits or dairy. Remember to stick to a healthy, nutritious diet for your cat and only serve treats sometimes. Resisting the kitten eyes is hard, but seeing your pet suffer from health issues is much worse.
Treat to Shape Positive Behavior: The best tip is to fed your cat a treat when they do something good instead of something you want them to discontinue. Yelling at your cat is not a good way to discipline them so try some positive reinforcement with an occasional yummy green bean or a bit of nutritious chicken. For example, offer a small slice of boiled egg when your cat uses her scratching post instead of your new couch, or treat your kitty to a blueberry when he comes inside right away when you call.
Treat at a Certain Time: Treat time can be a little something for you and your pet to look forward to! Maybe it’s a midmorning snack for your kitty when you get up for that second cup of coffee while working from home. Cat owners who take medicine or vitamins at a certain time should offer their feline companion a treat at the same time; if you forget to take your meds, guess who will come remind you? Mr. Whiskers with the helpful hint to the rescue!
Your fluffy kitty baby deserves the best so make sure the treats you offer him are healthy, cat-safe, and always in moderation! For more information, just ask the Barkery and Bath; we’re always thrilled to meet a new pet and support our furry family members!