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Best Cat Treats

Updated December 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 32 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 150 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best cat treats

    Last Updated December 2018

    Every cat owner knows how fun it is to give their cat delicious treats, whether it’s a reward for good behavior or just to spoil their feline friend. In addition to tastiness, many cat treats have nutritional value, and some can target deficiencies or help with specific issues like joint pain or dental care.

    Treats come in different styles ranging from crunchy to chewy to soupy, and the packaging and contents vary as well. More expensive doesn’t always mean healthier, so it’s important to check the ingredients carefully. There are several flavors to choose from, so finding the right cat treats can be confusing, particularly if your kitties have specific dietary or health needs.

    If you’re ready to pick out the best treats for your pet, take a look at our top five picks. To learn more about some important considerations and factors when choosing cat treats, continue reading our shopping guide.

    You can break treats into smaller pieces for younger cats or for using the treats as incentives or rewards.

    Key considerations

    Choosing a type of cat treat is similar to finding the best cat food – you want one with healthy ingredients that will support your cat’s health and complement his diet. A cat treat is a great way to fill any nutritional gaps in the cat food.

    Types of cat treats

    Cat treats come in a range of textures, ingredients, and benefits. Some cats may prefer certain textures or have an easier time eating soft or wet treats. Flavor and texture are two factors that cats tend to be picky about. Finding the right treat for your cat may take some experimentation. If you cat doesn’t like one variety, there are plenty of others to try.

    • Freeze-dried treats usually contain meats like poultry or fish and typically have no other ingredients, just the pure meat that cats love (and need). To serve, simply add the recommended amount of water and reseal the bag to keep the treats fresh.

    • Crunchy treats are a popular and usually affordable choice. These contain a range of ingredients and can be an excellent supplement to any feline diet, though crunchy treats are low in water and may contain carbs.

    • Soft treats contain similar ingredients to crunchy treats while providing a bit more water. These are a good choice for older cats or cats with dental issues.

    • Moist treats tend to have strong flavors and scents, making them a favorite among cats. These typically come in sealed packets and can be added to dry food to entice cats to eat.

    • Dental treats have a texture and ingredients that are designed to combat tartar and dental disease.

    • GI support treats promote healthy digestion with high-protein content
       

    Calories

    No matter the age, weight, or wellness of your cat, it’s important to keep calories in check. Many treats are low in calories, with only one to two calories per treat. Alternatively, if your cat needs to put on some weight, some treats that offer higher calories can be used to supplement your pet’s diet.

    Organic

    Natural or organic ingredients are the best choice for any cat. While many treats claim to be natural or organic, they don’t have to pass the same standards and certifications as human food. Many cat treats are labelled “organic,” but not all treats contain the same percentage of organic ingredients, and some may in fact contain chemicals or ingredients treated with pesticides. Look for treats with 95% to 100% organic ingredients. These are usually accompanied by a “USDA Organic” label.

    Ingredients

    The best way to check for healthy treats is to simply read the ingredients list. Fewer ingredients almost always indicates better quality, and when foods like chicken, fish, or beef are at the top of the list, you know you’re looking at a high-protein treat.

    Since cats are natural carnivores, you want a treat with high protein and meat content. Carbs are difficult for cats to digest, and while grain-free treats are a good option, grains aren’t the only source of carbs. Vegetable ingredients can lead to a high-carb content as well.

    Always avoid treats with vague ingredients such as “meat.” Look for specific ingredients so you know what your cat is eating.

    Great flavor and nutrition

    These tasty chicken-flavored treats come in a convenient plastic tub for freshness and easy access. Cats love the crunchy-outside, soft-inside snacks, and at only two calories each, they can supplement most cats’ diets. Generous 16 ounces of treats will last your kitty a while, too.

    Cat treat features

    In addition to checking the nutritional value, look for fun, flavorful, and long-lasting cat treats.

    Flavor

    You may already have an idea of your cat’s favorite flavors. Some common flavors of cat food and treats include chicken, tuna, shrimp, crab, beef, and turkey. To make sure that your cat likes certain treats, check to see how high up those favorite flavors are on the ingredients list. Just because a treat boasts a specific flavor doesn’t necessarily mean that flavor is an ingredient – tuna treats with high tuna content are more likely to be healthier and be appreciated by your cat.

    Catnip

    Some treats may include (or be made entirely of) catnip, an herb that most cats go crazy for. Catnip is perfectly safe for cats, though large quantities may result in digestive troubles. Look for organic catnip treats to keep your cat safe and healthy.

    Packaging

    It’s important that the cat treats are easy to access and stay fresh. Packaging varies depending on the type of treat because a wet treat is quite different from crunchy bits. Look for treats in packaging that reseals securely, not only to keep treats fresh for longer but also to keep your cat from smelling and possibly breaking into the container. Many wet treats come in individual pouches for easy serving.

    Containers and dispensers

    If your cat is cunning enough to find and tear through plastic or foil pouches, you can use a jar or cat treat holder for easy access and freshness. For something to keep your cat engaged and reward cleverness, specially designed treat dispensers come in the form of toys and gadgets. Some are simply plastic or ceramic containers that cats have to reach into to get to the treats, while others are plastic balls or toys that need to be moved around a bit.

    If you want to check in on your cat when you’re away from home, electronic treat dispensers allow you to see your cat while your pet hears your voice. With a synchronized app, you can dispense treats to give your cat a bit of love from afar.

    EXPERT TIP

    Avoid giving treats when your cat asks for them. Since cats learn from rewards, this might only encourage bad behavior.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    Always store treats according to instructions on the package, and take the “best by” date seriously to protect your cat.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    If you’re concerned about your cat’s hydration, wet treats or treats that require you to add water can help increase your cat’s water intake.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Cat treat prices

    Cat treats range in price based on ingredients and quantity. The best way to get a good deal is to look at the price per ounce.

    Inexpensive

    For $0.25 to $0.40 per ounce, you’ll find crunchy and chewy treats that often have artificial ingredients or preservatives.

    Mid-range

    These treats cost between $0.45 and $0.60 per ounce and often have organic ingredients and come in a range of flavors. In this range, you’ll find all types of cat treats, but they may not be as tasty or healthy as more expensive options.

    Expensive

    Treats that cost $0.65 per ounce and above typically have organic ingredients and appealing flavors. They often target specific issues like hairballs or dental problems.

    Low-calorie seafood flavors

    This easy-seal tub contains 20 ounces of seafood snacks in feline-friendly flavors like tuna, crab, and shrimp, with a crunchy texture that helps to clean your cat’s teeth. The treats do contain some preservatives, but felines generally enjoy these low-priced, flavorful treats.

    Tips

    • Cats respond to positive reinforcement better than punishment. You can train your cat to do things like sit or come by using treats. After giving a command, hold a small bit of treat and wait for the cat to do as asked before giving the treat. Repeat this process a few times in a row to teach your cat quickly.

    • Some human foods are okay to offer as treats every once in a while. Meats, cheese, eggs, and bananas are all safe to offer. These human snacks are no substitute for cat treats designed for feline palates, however. Avoid anything sugary or high in grains.

    • Store treats in a dry place that is difficult for cats to get into. Some wet treats may require refrigeration after opening. Raw treats usually require refrigeration.

    Others products we considered

    There are a few other excellent cat treat options besides our top picks. Since there is no “perfect” cat treat, it might take some experimenting with textures and flavors to find the right one for your cat. We love Iams Proactive Health Daily Cat Treats for supplementing your cat’s diet and reducing hairballs. If you want a different style of treat, INABA Churu Lickable Creamy Purée Cat Treats come in individual tubes and five different flavors for a liquid snack that even picky cats will love. Explore different types of treats to see what your cat enjoys and responds to best.

    Overweight cats can have treats, but take note of the calorie count. Reward exercise with treats when possible.

    FAQ

    Q. How many treats can I give my cat each day?

    A. That depends on the cat’s weight and the rest of her diet. In general, treats should make up no more than 10% of a cat’s diet.

    Q. When should I give my cat treats?

    A. Cats digest best when they eat in small doses, so avoid giving treats around mealtime. Treats can be offered as a reward for good behavior. In some cases, you can mix treats with food to encourage your cat to eat.

    Q. Can I give treats to kittens?

    A. Yes, though you shouldn’t offer solid treats until your kitten is regularly eating solid food. Some treats are designed specifically for kittens.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Peter
      Peter
      Writer

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