Most cat parents would love to bond with their cats after a long day at work or school. In most cases, the bonding time will include giving your cat tasty treats to keep him calm and entertained.
Cats should be given treats moderately because when overdone, they may end up becoming overweight. This can subsequently lead to other secondary feline illnesses.
Herein lies the dilemma of how to show affection to your cat while still maintaining a manageable weight. A report by the pet association found out that slightly over 57% of cats in the US are overweight.
You can maintain your cat’s optimal health by always giving him healthy treats that will not compromise his weight and mobility status.
However, choosing the best cat treats for health reasons may not be a very easy task because cats can be very selective and curious. He may agree on a particular treat brand for some time and later change his taste.
Most treats are loaded with sodium and calories for flavor enhancement. When overindulged, the two can lead to overweight issues or even cause renal and heart disease to your cat. There are many other ingredients used to make treats and this can be a challenge to cats with allergies.
We have healthy treats for cats and you can choose one or two that will take care of the allergies and the dietary limitations that your feline may have.
In this buying guide, we will take a look at the 10 best cat treats in 2021 and give you other valuable information that you need to understand on this subject.
The Benefits of Cat Treats
Apart from being ready food to snack your furchild, treats are useful in many ways and you will soon realize how important it is to have a bunch of them ready in your house.
1. Healthier relationship
Your cat will develop strong affections for you simply because you have made it a habit to give him treats every time you bond. He may not be hungry at the time of giving him some treats, but that goes a long way to show him that you are caring.
2. Used in Training your cat
You can use healthy treats to train your cat on good behavior. Every time he does something good like using the litter box appropriately, you can throw a few treats at him to show that you’re impressed by his actions.
Your furry sibling will slowly associate his good behavior with treats and he will sooner develop them to make a good companion in your house.
3. Good food for your cat
Being small animals, cats do not need the huge chunks of food that other huge pets like dogs may need. Small portions of treats are enough to give your cat food throughout the day. He will get the necessary energy he requires to get him active and satisfied.
4. Offers convenience
You can use an automatic treat dispenser to snack your cat even when you are not at home. This gives you the convenience of feeding your cat while he may be alone at the house.
It ensures that your cat remains well fed during specific times of the day and you won’t run the risk of forgetting to give him food.
5. Used as a food topper
You can use cat treats to flavor pet foods making them sweeter and delicious. This will encourage your cat to eat food that he would have otherwise forfeited. This can be useful especially when your cat is on a particular recovering diet from the vet’s recommendations.
Have a look at the video below from Jackson Galaxy that covers the benefits of cat treats from a different perspective.
Common Types of Cat Treats
There are many types of cat treats that are available and sometimes, it can be hard to know and decide the one you will give your furchild.
1. Raw cat treats
These cat treats are made with raw ingredients which have undergone minimal to no processing. This is best suited for cats with a taste bud for natural food. If you notice your cat likes eating raw food, then he may as well appreciate the raw treat.
2. Freeze-dried cat treats
These cat treats have undergone the freeze-drying process to preserve them for extended shelf life. These treats maintain the smell of your desired flavor and it has the advantage of being tasty and requiring no refrigeration.
This is a good option to consider when going for days-long adventures with your cat.
3. Moist cat treats
If your cat prefers wet-textured foods, then these soft cat treats will appeal to him. They offer a natural feeling and give your cat a tasty experience of wet foods. They can be used as dry food toppers to soften the texture and make it easily edible for kittens.
4. Dental cat treats
Feline dental disease has become common and one way to prevent your furchild from suffering is by taking good care of his teeth.
These types of treats will promote your cat’s dental health by removing tartar and other debris that may be lodged between your teeth.
Dental treats are particularly helpful to cats who prefer a wet food diet. It will help in removing plaque which may lead to gingivitis.
5. Grain cat treats
Some cat treats brands use grains as fillers to increase the volume of their cat treats. If your cat has allergic reactions to grains, then you certainly need to avoid these treats. They are best used for adult cats who have no negative reactions to grains.
How To Choose The Best Cat Treats
You now know the different formulations of cat treats that are available. The next big task is to figure out how to narrow down and get the treats that will appeal most to your kitty. Please have the following issues in consideration before making the final purchase decision of treats.
1. What is in cat treats?
Whenever you are buying cat treats, pay close attention to the ingredients listed on the packet. Always look for the ones with natural ingredients of high quality.
Avoid treats with too much fats, sodium, salt, and calories. Low-quality treats are formulated with too many fillers, colorings, and preservatives which can be detrimental to your cat’s health.
For a great protein source for your kitty, you can get him treats with salmon or chicken ingredients. Cats are carnivores and they chiefly require their nutrients to be supplied in the form of fats and proteins.
Does your cat prefer wet textured food, or can he put up with fry ones? You need to find out your cat’s preference when it comes to the texture of food they like to eat. If he is into wet foods, then moist treats will serve him and vice versa.
How would you want to store your cat’s treats? If they are moist, you certainly need a refrigerator to keep them fresh for a long time. If you do not have good storage for such, then you might want to consider getting dry treats that are much easier to store and use.
Before buying any treats for your cat, make sure you check whether the brand has been approved by the required regulations on pet foods. It is recommended to avoid buying treats from countries that have no regulations on pet foods like China.
Take a moment to check whether the brand you are considering buying has been recalled by the Food and Drug Administration’s Recalls & Withdrawals services.
5. Other benefits
Treats are mainly a source of food for your cats and they love it when tasty and healthy. Other than this, it is important that you consider if there are other benefits you might want to get in the treats you are buying. For instance, dental treats are used to keep your cat’s teeth clean improving his oral health.
Before finding the perfect treat type and brand for your furchild, there are other cat food alternatives that you may want to consider. These alternative options will both provide food for your cat and the recreation that he may require.
Catnip is a natural plant in the mint family that has a nepetalactone odor which is very attractive to cats. It may act as a toy and treat for your cat to keep him entertained.
Your cat will certainly find a catnip toy fun to play with. You can also sprinkle some on the floor for him to find something attractive to snack on. The catnip plant is nutritive to cats and it helps with their digestive system.
2. Cat grass
Cat grass is a natural plant from the wheat family and is therefore similar to oats, barley, and rye. You can plant cat grass in bowls and place them in strategic places within your house.
This will give your cat a natural plant to play with which he can snack on sometimes. You should take caution and avoid the type of plants that are poisonous to cats.
3. Human food
You can moderately use human food to snack your cat every time you need to bond with him.
Cats like eating meat and meat products although you should be careful not to give them too much. Use small portions of his favorite food to snack or reward him for good behavior.
Precaution on certain human foods
There are certain human foods that are not good for cats and can even be toxic when consumed to certain levels.
Feeding your cat these foods may cause him some health problems like vomiting, weight gain, diarrhea, coughing, sneezing, etc.
The following list highlights the foods you should not give your cat:
Alcohol, salt (too much), onions, chives, garlic, shallots, nuts, chocolate, citrus fruits, raw eggs, grapes, raisins.
10 Best Cat Treats In 2021
If you are looking for treats to stock for your automatic treat dispenser, then you need to buy more than one pack. These salmon treats have 24 packets in the package and each packet weighs 1.25 oz. You also get the option to downsize the pack numbers to 12, 6, or 3.
The treats are made with raw ingredients which are freeze-dried for optimum shelf life. This means that your cat will enjoy the fresh aroma he craves with every bite of this treat.
The salmon diet offers your furry feline a high protein source packed with Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acid which are good for brain development.
The formulation does not contain grains, hormones, gluten nor antibiotics. It is appropriate for use by all breeds and ages. You can also snack your dog with these treats.
These treats are packed with appetite stimulants which are meant to encourage your cat to eat enough food. If you have a sick cat who has lost his appetite, give him a few chunks of these treats to boost his appetite as you present his recommended meal to him.
The product has been made in the USA and has undergone all pet-related regulations including approval by the FDA.
Buying in bulk saves on costs.
It has a nice raw freshness.
Can be used by dogs too.
Vey safe and nutritious for cats.
Can easily be mishandled due to bulkiness.
This product weighs 11 ounces and it is a pack of 3. It is good for feeding all cat breeds and sizes to provide a healthy source of proteins. There are plenty of flavors to choose from.
You can get the treats in rabbit, turkey, whitefish, duck, and chicken flavors. Every product is made from raw, frozen ingredients which ensure that your cat gets the nutrients in its natural state as much as possible. If your cat prefers a raw food diet, then this product will serve him well.
The treats are freeze-dried; hence you do not have to worry about providing cool storage conditions. The Northwest natural store makes these treats without using any gluten source, grain, antibiotics or hormones. It is therefore a good option to give your allergic cat.
The savory chewy treats are made with perfect sizes to make them very suitable during training sessions. Use them moderately to reward your furry feline every time he does something worth the praise.
Northwest Naturals products are made in the USA and have passed all required regulations to make them good for pet consumption.
It is good for both kittens and senior cats.
Variety of flavors to choose from.
The small chunks are convenient and easy to scoop.
Can easily form powder when mishandled.
This treat is made with human-grade beef liver, which is a very good source of protein and iron for your furry feline. Beef liver is the sole ingredient used to make this treat. It is minimally processed to retain the freshness that will attract your cat and dried to extend its shelf life.
If you have an overweight cat, then you are probably feeding him with a lot of carbohydrates and sugars. A protein diet will help your cat maintain a healthy weight while supplying him enough energy to get through the day.
You can get this product in a case that contains 4 packs, or just buy a single pack which will be a bit costlier compared to the case price per unit.
These treats are ideal for dogs also and they can be used to help finicky eaters with stomach sensitivity issues. You can use it as a daily snack to give your cat the gratification he requires.
If your furchild is on a portion of prescribed boring pet food, just top it up with this treat and he will be good to go.
The beef liver making these treat chunks has been sourced in the USA. This product is FDA approved, meaning that you now have less to worry about the safety of your cat.
Tasty treats for cats.
Good source of protein and iron.
Can be used for dogs too.
It is a great food topper.
The chunks might be too large for small cats.
The small pieces are fragile.
If your cat adores moist foods, then giving him a similar treat experience will be delightful for him. These treats are made with a combination of tuna, chicken, and juice blends which make a delicious puree.
It has been fortified with vitamin E, B vitamins, potassium, and prebiotics which are good for digestion and maintaining good kidney health.
These treats are packed with ingredients that will support your elderly cat. It is, therefore, suitable for cats of 15 years on average and above. The small wet flakes formulation is very easy for your senior cat to eat without any complications.
You can also use it to reward your cat. Every finicky cat will like the tasty nature of this treat and its ease of consumption.
Contains vitamins E and B’s which are good for senior cats.
Easy for a cat to consume.
It offers a holistic nutrition value.
Has a blend of both tuna and fish.
Might not be too attractive to some cats.
The Applaws tuna loins cat treat has been made with limited ingredients that appeal to cats of all breeds and ages. There are two other flavor varieties which are; tuna and loin multipack.
You can get this product with a case of 12 packets each weighing 1.06 ounces. If you have a cat that loves playing and chewing on toys, then you can get him this tuna loin which can be tossed and eaten later.
Use the product to snack your cat for a balanced diet or reward him for good behavior. It is especially a good product when used to create a bond between two cats. Simply throw one loin to them and see the action as they chase and snatch each other in a friendly battle.
The loin has an amazing size.
It appeals to cats that love fish.
It can be used to bond multiple cats.
The piece can be hard for some kitten to crack.
This is another pet product from Whole Life which is healthy and nutritious to your cat. It is chicken flavored with human-grade ingredients sourced from the USA.
The sole ingredient has been minimally processed to ensure that your furry feline gets the freshness that he craves. The product is then freeze-dried to form tasty crunchy chunks that make all the difference. It is free from preservatives, chemicals, and fillers that may otherwise be dangerous to your cat.
It is a good protein food for your cat and it provides the necessary energy that will push him through the day.
With an approved formulation, this product will work to reduce the stomach sensitivity issues in your feline friend. It is therefore a good product to feed cats who may have different allergies to diverse foods.
These treats will appeal to finicky cats, and you can also use them for training them for good behavior. You can safely use it to feed cats of all breeds and ages without worrying about any complications.
It is a good meal topper.
The chunks are crunchy, soft, and tasty.
Most cats will love it.
The pieces are fragile and can easily form dust.
These chicken cat treats are made with a single ingredient with no additional grains as fillers. The chicken components are well cooked then freeze-dried before packaging.
The chicken offers very low-fat content and is a very good protein source for your furchild. Being a healthy cat treat, your furry sibling will get an improved appetite, better digestion, and a healthy coat.
With no grains in this treat, you won’t have to be worried about allergic issues with your cat. He will also maintain his healthy weight by eating pure proteins in moderation.
This product has a good shelf life which is made possible by freeze-drying. It does not feature any added preservatives nor harmful ingredients.
You can also use these treats to feed your dogs. They are best used for training because of their good taste that gives your cat a good reward.
Cat Man Doo products are made in the USA and have been inspected by the FDA. You can be sure that you are feeding your cat with the right sources for his nutrients.
The treats are of good size
Good for training.
Can easily be grounded to dust when not handled properly.
The temptation cat treats will surely tempt your cat with differently flavored and savory chunks to bite and swallow. If you have a cat that has not settled on one flavor, then you need to buy a variety to keep him happy and chase the treats as always.
The case contains 6 packs which weigh 6.3 ounces each. This product comes with resealable packs which ensure that the remaining treats maintain their freshness for the next bite.
Each treat has been made chunky on the outside and soft on the inside. This gives your cat an amazing experience every time he reaches out to get a hold on one in his mouth.
These treats have 4 flavors which are; Creamy Dairy, Tuna, Shrimpy Shrimp & Turkey Flavor. The case contains each of these flavors. This ensures that your cat is not overwhelmed with one flavor and you can easily switch to add variety for him.
You can also use these treats to reward your cat and motivate him every time he does something worth the praise.
The case contains different flavored treats for variety.
The treat chunks are crunchy and soft.
The case offers value for money.
If your cat doesn’t like one flavor; then it may go to waste.
The SHEBA salmon cat treats take the form of sticks which is different from what most cats are accustomed to. If your cat loves eating seafood, then this salmon treat might be the perfect snack for him. You can also get this brand in tuna and chicken flavors.
This product includes 6 bags of sticks and it features a one-ingredient formulation that is healthy for your cat. The sticks are soft, tender, and tasty. There is no artificial coloring, wheat, grain nor soy in these treats.
Each stick has been packed individually for maximum freshness. Once you open one product, it is advised not to expose the others to air because it might reduce their shelf life.
A stick-shaped treat can be a great option for cats who love playing and toying around with objects. He can now take his stick treat, play with it all along and snack it finally when he wants to rest.
Good for active cats.
The sticks are scored for convenience.
They have good taste.
Can easily be mishandled.
If you have a cat with compromised dental care, then you need to pay close attention to the thing he eats. One of the ways to maintain good feline dental health is by giving him treats that can clean his teeth.
Contrary to the sugary pet foods, these treats can remove plaque and tartar from your cat’s teeth making him healthier and with a nice breath. These treats have a bigger shape than the other products we highlighted on our list.
It features fish-shaped crunchy chunks which encourage your cat to chew instead of just swallowing. This action makes him engage his teeth aggressively giving him a good dental cleanup.
These treats are natural and healthy for cat consumption and they are flavored with catnip which is very attractive to cats. They do not contain sugar, grain, soy, and dairy.
It is, therefore, a good product for cats with allergies and it reduces the health risks that may be associated with intake of a calorie-rich diet.
These treats can also moderately be used to increase the bonding that you need with your cat. Simply give him a scoop to enjoy as you pat him on the back to see how your feline friend is faring on.
One of the best cat treats for dental health.
It has different-sized treat pebbles.
It has a natural catnip smell which is attractive to cats.
Might be hard for smaller cats to chew.
Our list of the 10 best cat treats in 2021 is populated with a variety of flavors that appeals to most cats. It is possible that your cat may not like certain flavors, but that does not mean that the treat brand is bad. Always try different flavors of your chosen cat treats brand until you find the one that your cat will crave.
Thanks for reading through our buying guide. I hope you found a product or two that impressed you. If you have any questions or concerns, please leave them in the comment section below and I will attend to them.