Cat Food

4 Ways to Offer Treats to Your Cat

Woman holding treat in air, cat standing up to reach it
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When offered in appropriate quantities as a complement to a fully-fortified daily diet, treats can be a very healthy part of your cat’s feeding regimen. Some people give their pets treats as training rewards, others offer them as “just because” snacks throughout the day. Read on to learn about some of the different ways treats can be used to enrich your cat’s life and strengthen the bond you share with your pet. 

1. AS A TOPPER OR MIXER

Using treats as a dry food topper or mixer is an easy way to entice picky felines to enjoy dry food. There may even be added benefits as well, depending on the type of treat you use. For example, liquid treats are a great way to add hydration to your cat’s diet, while freeze-dried meat treats can add a nutritious boost of protein. 

Pros:

  • Liquid treats served as a topper can soften up dry kibble pieces, making it easier to eat for senior cats or those with dental issues. 
  • For cats who don’t drink enough water during the day, liquid treat toppers add some hydration to their diet.

Cons:

  • If you used treats as a topper or mixer too often, they could start to lose interest in plain dry cat food and expect the extra treats every time.
  • Treats that are served mixed in or on top of food still count towards your cat’s daily treat intake. Be sure to keep track to avoid overfeeding!

2. HAND-FED TREATS

If you’re looking for ways to bond with your cat, hand-feeding treats is definitely the way to go! Offering treats by hand is an experience both you and your cat can enjoy. Some treats, like Vitakraft Gourmet Jelly, come perfectly portioned in treat-sized sachets that are designed specifically for hand-feeding.

Pros:

  • Hand-fed treats can be served straight from the packaging. No bowl needed means one less dish to wash!
  • Whether your cat is a new addition or lifelong part of the family, hand-feeding treats is a great bonding experience for humans and cats of all life stages.

Cons:

  • Children may have more difficulty hand-feeding treats to pets. 
  • It can be a bit difficult to hand-feed treats to multiple cats and ensure each cat receives their fair share.

3. SERVED IN A DISH

When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with treats served from a bowl, especially treats that are liquid or semi-solid. For households with multiple cats, multiple treat bowls might be necessary to prevent competition over treats. 

Pros:

  • Offering treats from a dish is easy & simple.
  • A dish can keep its contents contained and better prevent messes from spilled food.

Cons:

  • Cats can get “whisker fatigue” from eating out of certain dishes, which can be distressing for them. To prevent this from happening, use food bowls that are shallow and have a side opening, or even a plate instead.
  • You may want to serve snacks & treats in a separate dish than the one you use for your cat’s daily dry food. 

4. INTERACTIVE TREAT TOYS

Making your cat work a little to get to their treats has a lot of benefits. Not only does it prevent boredom and provide a mentally stimulating activity, it can also give cats some much needed physical exercise as well. There is a wide variety of interactive treat-dispensing toys available for cats, and even some that can be DIY’ed with materials you have around the house.

Pros:

  • Provides mental stimulation, prevents boredom, and can encourage physical activity.
  • Prevents “scarf and barf” by slowing how quickly your cat can get to each treat.

Cons:

  • Most interactive cat treat toys will only work with dry treats.
  • You might need to have more than 1 interactive treat toy if you have multiple cats.

Drop us a line in the comments below on how you use treats with your kitty!