Isn’t there something fulfilling about watching your cat hop around, pupils dilated, paws flailing, maybe drooling slightly – as you withhold the treat for just a moment longer?

It’s those moments of anticipation that make giving treats to my cat so much fun. If you love sharing treats with your cat as much as I do, you know that treat time is a great opportunity to connect with your cat.

Cats are highly food-motivated, and when you offer them an irresistible treat, they’ll be willing to work to get it. If you’re interested in clicker training and dream of a day when your cat will jump through hoops and shake paws on command, it’s essential that you choose a scrumptious treat that your cat is willing to work for.

What to Watch Out For

Just like human treats, there’s a wide range of options available for cats – you’re free to choose between true “junk” treats and those that are great for your cat’s health, but the options presented here are our choice for the healthiest cat treats available.

Since cats are so strongly motivated by food, a treat is often the perfect form of positive reinforcement for desired behaviors.

Using Treats During Training

Treats are an essential component of training your cat to come when called, sit, shake paws, or walk on a leash. While sometimes it’s best to allow your cat to have their space, treats can help to lure them out.

Similarly, even if your cat doesn’t always come to the sound of their name, they’ll usually come running whenever they hear the treat bag shaking.

How to Choose a Treat

To help you select the right treats for your cat, I’ve sketched out a picture of the ideal treat.

The best treats are the ones that don’t just make your cat’s day more fun – they’re good for them. Whether your cat prefers freeze-dried raw treats, soft-baked treats, or crunchy ones, the same rule applies: simple is best. Cats are carnivores and don’t need long ingredient lists to stay healthy.

Ideally, you should choose high-protein treats with no added sugar, grains, or artificial ingredients.

It’s also important that these treats are low-calorie, so that you can feed them daily without worrying about your cat’s weight.

Because all cats have different preferences, You can include treats that are raw, crunchy, or soft. You can even freeze-dry fresh meat as cat treats.

The freeze-drying process simply dehydrates the meat, leaving the texture, structure, and nutritional properties of the chicken intact.

Nom Nom Chicken Jerky 

Cats tend to go nuts over these!

They have a Single-source protein – just one ingredient. No corn, wheat, or soy. No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Just chicken.

These treats feature real chicken as the first in a short list of natural ingredients. As they’re grain-free with no corn, soy, or wheat, these treats are perfect for cats with allergies. Real chicken is the first ingredient. High protein content reflects your cat’s dietary needs.

Cat-Man-Doo Extra Large Dried Bonito Flakes

These treats are made from a combination of chicken, turkey, and wild-caught monkfish.

Here are the benefits:

  • No corn, soy, or wheat
  • Made in the USA
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • Minimally processed freeze-dried raw food
  • Contains fish, which is not a part of your cat’s natural diet
  • Highly appetizing dried fish flakes that can double as a food topper.

These hearty flakes are high in protein, low in fat, and offer beneficial fish oil. Because cats love the smell and taste so much, these flakes are often used as an appetite stimulant and food topper.

Virbac CET Oral Hygiene Chews

These are pea-sized soft treats made with zero grain, gluten, or artificial ingredients. Because they’re so small and soft, they’re perfect for kittens and cats who have difficulty chewing.

Here’s the rundown:

  • Made with real premium chicken
  • No corn, soy, or wheat
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • The soft texture is perfect for cats who have difficulty chewing.
  • Made in the USA
  • Contains starches – not carbohydrate-free

Treat Your Cat With These Healthy Treats

Any treat can make life more fun.

We can use treats to communicate with our cats during training and as a reward for good behavior. Treats help us to distract, calm, and generally help improve our cat’s lives. But not all treats are created equal; and certainly not every treat is a healthy choice for your cat.

Ultimately, it’s all about finding a treat that lights up your cat – one that absolutely thrills them every time they hear the sound of the bag shaking.

Hopefully, this article has brought you closer to finding a nutritious treat that your cat will go nuts over.

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