Few things are as guaranteed to get your cat’s attention as the shaking of the treat bag.
But while it’s obvious that your feline is all about snacking on their treats of choice, what’s the most responsible way to work cat treats into their daily routine? And how many treats should you really be feeding your cat?
Here’s a guide to keeping your cat’s treat rewards sensible and appropriate.
Packaging Isn’t Always The Best Guide
As a starting point for feeding guidelines, I’d suggest scaling down the advice on the package of cat treats.
The brand I use for my own cat recommends feeding ten to twelve cat treats per day — but at two calories per treat, that could be nearly 20 percent of an indoor cat’s recommended calories per day.
None of us, feline or human, should probably be consuming treats and sweets as a fifth of our daily intake. Instead, I settle on around four to five treats.
Change Up The Way You Deliver Treats
It’s cute to have a cat eat treats out of your hand, and the tactic can certainly help with socializing skittish new felines. But I like to think that there should be some work versus reward basis going on when it comes to earning cat treats.
To that end, I like to alternate between throwing individual treats across the apartment floor for the cat to scoot after, and placing in them in one of her treat toys to exercise her little cat brain.
While cats can be finicky about playing with actual cat toys, they’ll interact with most objects if there’s a whiff of a treat inside them.
Pro tip: Use an old egg carton to construct a homemade treat toy.
Another way to help stimulate your cat’s natural hunting and exploring instincts is to place individual treats on top of chairs or furniture. This way, the cat gets a little exercise bump and stimulates their mental faculties before receiving the treat pay off.
That’s smart snacking.
How do you make sure you’re not giving your cat too many treats? Do you have any tips for other cat parents? Let us know in the comments below!