When to Dish Out Those Kitty Treats And What’s Best
Has your cat trained you to dish out the treats with a flick of her tail and a demanding meow? Unfortunately, many of the kitty treats currently available in pet supply stores contain large amounts of sugar and fat, which can lead to an overweight animal. By opting for nutritionally complete and balanced treats, you can add variety to your pet’s diet without packing on the pounds.
Snack time shouldn’t mean sugar time, so it’s a good idea to read the label on any treat you’re considering. If sugars are high on the ingredients list, it’s best to avoid that product, especially if your pet is obese or diabetic. Most vets recommend low-fat, high-fiber varieties.
Chewable pet vitamins, relatively low in calories, are also a good choice, but make sure to follow the manufacturer’s suggested dosage.
Although some human foods are simply not appropriate for cats, certain table scraps are fine in moderation. Too many treats can cause stomach upsets. Limit the selection to foods such as rice, small bits of string cheese, well-cooked hamburger and skinned chicken breast. Avoid spicy foods and fatty meats, and never give bones to your cat. Absolute no-nos are onions and chocolate, which can be toxic to cats.
You can also try offering fresh fruits and vegetables, which are ideal for overweight cats. Try carrot sticks, apples and cooked green beans. Some felines love fresh melon, corn and cooked broccoli. Why not see if your cat is among this group?
Some cats occasionally love to munch on grass. To avoid chemicals and fertilizers that may be on the grass growing in your garden, you may want to grow your own flats of grass inside. Many pet-supply stores offer kits complete with seeds and soil.
And a few final words of caution – If you are offering treats as part of your cat’s training program, keep the number of rewards during training sessions to a minimum, especially if you are using high-calorie treats. And as a rule of thumb, don’t offer treats right before meals.