Cats, like people, enjoy a good treat every once in a while. Some people choose to only give treats after some sort of good behavior (treats and food in general can be a very large motivational factor when training any animal) like going to the vet, or scratching in the right place, or using the litterbox. Others give their cats treats at random times to surprise and please the cat.

There are dozens of different treats on the market. Some are hard, some are soft, some are purely for taste, while others promote good dental hygiene and other benefits. Try to give your cat different types and brands of treats till you find the ones that your cats love.

Remember that cat treats are generally junk food and should not be given as a staple or as a substitute for a meal. Although some will help reduce tartar or bad-breath they still do not have the nutritional capabilities to be a meal. Also giving too many treats can cause your cat to become overweight. A good rule of thumb is to only give your cat a few treats once or twice a week. You should also try to not reward your cat for begging. So don’t give your cat a treat every time he/she meows, baps you or wants to play. If your cat has become a ‘beggar’ try to not reward that behavior but redirect that energy into some playtime or petting time.

Common treats for cats:

  • Commercially available treats
  • Tuna
  • Shrimp (always make sure any fish product you give your cat is cooked)
  • Moist food
  • Heavy whipping cream or half-n-half
  • A bit of chicken, meat, or fish (always cooked)
  • Iceberg lettuce (about 50% of cats enjoy lettuce and it is a very low calorie treat for overweight cats)