Your relationship with your cat can be improved by treats. If your cat does something you like, reward him or her with cat treats. That way the cat understands the best way to behave, which means treating can reinforce positive behavior. Also, treats can be a great way to praise and bonding with your cat. Remember, cats develop much of their healthy eating habits during the first year of life, so using treats to shape healthy eating is especially effective for a kitten. However, overfeeding treats can be a very bad idea, resulting in obesity, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and more health issues later in life.
Your cat is a member of the family so here’s how to feed and treat your furry feline friend right:
1. Set consistent feeding times
To avoid having your cat eats more than is healthy, don’t leave out food for her or him to nibble on an as-needed basis. It’s better to establish a routine where the cat gets to dig in at the same place and time twice or three times each day.
2. Prevent obesity
If you are not able to feel your cat’s ribs when you hold him or her, it could be a sign of a weight problem. The cause can be a combination of giving too much food to the cat and the cat not exercising enough. You can consult a vet to see if the diet of your cat should be changed. Also, less treats may be in order. Avoiding obesity can help prevent diabetes in your cat. However, cats can also develop diabetes as a result of aging.
3. Wet vs. dry food
There is not a clear favorite between wet and dry food when it comes to health. After all, food that contains all the required nutrients for healthy living will be a good choice regardless of moisture. Wet food has the advantage of having more aroma, which can help cats who have trouble eating reliably to get excited about food. Dry food has the advantage of sometimes being more cost effective.
4. Buy approved cat foods and treats
This volunteer organization of agencies at the local, state, and federal level provide guidelines about what ingredients need to be in pet food and at what levels to adequately meet the dietary needs of the intended consumer. The standards set by this organization do not necessarily correspond to the ideal nutritional content for your individual pet. Still, buying food products approved by the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) is a step in that direction.
5. Avoid people food
Sharing the food you enjoy with your cat can present unforeseen problems. For instance, giving cats dairy such as milk can lead to diarrhea. They are not set up to handle lactose. Chocolate can make them vomit or have trouble breathing. Grapes can give a cat kidney failure. The safest way to make sure your cat gets the nutrition it needs is by using cat food instead of people food; that way you can keep track of the exact ingredients your pet receives.
6. Keep treats healthy
Many cat treats can contain ingredients that aren’t healthy, such as animal fats and artificial colors. Look for low carb options without artificial preservatives. The perfect treat will be high in protein and will appeal to your cat’s particular taste preference.