Cat treats can be used to good effect as a reward for your cat when she behaves in the way that you want her to.
Behavior such as using her litter box, using her scratching post or allowing you to take her to the vet without too much of a song and a dance about it.
What is a treat?
If you enjoy supping a glass of champagne each and every day then it is nothing special for you, it is what you have become accustomed to.
Likewise any tasty morsel that you give to your cat every time that she meows and makes big eyes at you.
It's nothing special for kitty if it's what she has become used to.
Often when a cat works to get your attention all she really wants is your affection. It may be a mistake to make the assumption that your cat is yearning for a treat or a tidbit.
Perhaps all that she wants is a little petting or a play session.
Of course, if you have always given her a tasty treat when she has rubbed up against you then you may have conditioned her into begging for a snack.
Try stroking her instead, and if necessary reward her for the petting session with her usual tidbit.
You should be able to dispense with the treat when she is accustomed to, and looks forwards to, the petting.
You don't feed your cat scraps from the table do you? You do! Well, ask yourself if you really should be doing that.
Cats are cats and humans are humans.
Human food really is not a treat for a cat; in fact some human foods can be very bad for cats. You may think that your cat would not eat anything that would cause it harm, this is not necessarily so.
For instance many cats are lactose intolerant but will lap up cow's milk thinking it a tasty treat. But milk will likely cause a lactose intolerant cat stomach problems, including feline diarrhea.
Chocolate is a big no-no as a cat treat (chocolate can be harmful for cats.) So too are onions, garlic and shallots.
Even tuna that is meant for humans should not be fed to cats, tuna is high in polyunsaturated fat and cats that are fed too much tuna could develop yellow fat disease. Tomatoes, raisins, grapes, citrus fruits and some nuts can be bad for cats.
Cured meats, pork, bacon and ham can be perilous for cats because they are rich in fats and very salty. There are many other human foods that should not be fed to felines.
Apart from the foods themselves, think of all the sauces and dressings that we pour onto our food, these are full of spices, salt and gunk that kitty should not have.
Ham, very salty and high in fat. Not a good tidbit to feed a cat.
Other than giving our cats foods that are harmful for them, when we give our cats a 'treat' from our plate we are encouraging them to beg.
You will not want your cat mewing and meowing, and rubbing up against your legs, every time that you sit down to eat. So don't encourage the habit in the first place.
Some cat treats are formulated for keeping kitty's teeth clean, these probably work to some extent but then dry cat food will also help keep teeth clean to an extent.
Best strategy is to regularly clean your cat's teeth. As a second best, use feline teeth cleaning treats between vet cleanings. Hairball formula treats are also available.
If you are feeding your cat her daily requirement in a healthy balanced meal and are also giving her a treat several times a day, it won't be long before you have an overweight cat on your hands.
If you must give your cat tidbits, as a training reward for example, then you may want to cut down her regular food to compensate.
You would not indulge a child with candy bars every time that the child hankered after them, without expecting that child to become very overweight and unhealthy. Same with your cat, make cat treats a rarity, preferably only as a reward for wanted behavior.
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