Felines are notorious for being finicky eaters and treats are a great way to break up your cat's routine. Plus, treats are a superior alternative to table scraps-they're more nutritious and lower in calories than anything you could feed your pet off your own plate. Treats can also be used to keep your cat entertained and help her hone her natural hunting skills when hidden in unexpected places.
The most important thing you need to know is that treats should be no more than 10% of your pet's total calorie intake.
Age matters! Cats have different nutritional needs at each life stage and there are treats available that can help you meet those needs. For instance, if you have a senior pet with sensitive teeth, consider soft treats. To support older pets' joints look for treats that contain glucosamine and chondroitin. Or if you have a kitten, smaller treats that are specially formulated with vitamins and minerals for your little one are readily available.
If you're looking to freshen your cat's breath, look for cat treats that contain chlorophyll, a natural breath freshener. To lessen the instance of hairballs, look for treats that contain petrolatum, mineral oil, vegetable oil or an equivalent intestinal lubricant. To reinforce the well-being of her joints, look for treats that contain glucosamine and chondroitin. Many treats are also specifically aimed at weight control and some are fortified with vitamins.
"Of course!" says Debbie McKnight, PetSmart Pet Training Expert. "Depending on your cat's natural inclinations, you could just move the treat over his head and when he looks up for it, he may end up in a sit. If that doesn't work after some tries, see if you notice him sitting back on his haunches while playing or batting at a toy held above him. You may need to lure with a toy if that's the case. When he gets in the sit position, just click and treat."