Best Treats for Kittens
Cat owners worldwide know that their cats love treats just as much as any other pet, even if you cannot use them to teach your cat neat tricks like sitting, begging or shaking hands! Treats are a great way to bond and build a good relationship with your kitty and entice it into pet carriers or distract it during grooming.
If you love sharing treats with your furry friend as much as we do, you know that it is a great opportunity to connect with your cat.
Finding the best treats for kittens is not the easiest task though, and you should make sure you choose the right cat treats to help build the best bond with your new kitten early on.
Just like we humans have a huge amount of choice when it comes to treats, so do cats! There are lots of different ones, ranging from junk-food treats to ones, which actually have health benefits and good ingredients. We are going to focus on the healthy ones in this article!
- 1 Why Treat Cats?
- 1.1 Countdown of Top Rated Kitten Treats
- 1.2 2. Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Vital Cat Treats
- 1.3 3. PureBites Chicken Breast Freeze-Dried Treats for Cats
- 1.4 4. Wellness Kittles Crunchy Natural Grain Free Cat Treats
- 1.5 5. Sojos Certified Organic Catnip
- 1.6 6. CATMANDOO Bonito Flakes
- 1.7 7. Cloud Star Grain Free Buddy Biscuits for Cats
- 2 Which Treats Are Good?
Why Treat Cats?
You may be wondering what the point of treating cats is if you can’t teach them tricks. Well, there are a lot of good reasons –
- Positive Reinforcement: Cats are strongly motivated by food and a treat is the very best way to positively reinforce good behaviour such as using the litter tray. Treats are a way for you to let your cat know you approve of their behaviour and it sends the message to the cat to behave like that in future.
- A Grooming Distraction: If you have a kitten who is finding it hard to get used to the grooming process, treats can help distract your kitty from the grooming process – whether it’s nail clipping or brushing – and you get the job done much quicker and your cat stays happy. It is important to know if you are causing your kitty pain when grooming, so read our article on How to Tell if Your Cat is in Pain before doing it.
- To Entice Your Kitty: if your new kitten is feeling a bit shy, treats are a great way to lure him or her out of a hiding spot. Even if a cat does not come running to the sound of a name, they will come running as soon as you get the treat bag out and start hearing it. You can also use treats to make your cat go inside a carrier for a trip to the vets, too!
Countdown of Top Rated Kitten Treats
Because your kitten’s teeth are still developing, we have gone with treats which are small and bite-sized, making it easier to eat and digest. Plus, smaller treats mean you run a smaller risk of over-treating; your cat will have the same response to a treat regardless of size.
So, here we go. This is our complete list of the very best treats for kittens which meet all of the requirements set out above. Why not supplement these treats with the Best Dry Food for Kittens and the Best Wet Cat Food for Kittens, too?
Orijen Tundra Cat Treats are freeze-dried treats which offer the same benefits, almost, as feeding your cat fresh pieces of meat. It has a long shelf life and is a lot more convenient than doing this, but they are one of the least-processed treats available on the market right now. These things pretty much just contain meat and, understandably, cats love them.
All freeze-dried treats are very tasty – this process locks in flavour and the good stuff – and they have a chewy structure which prevents cats from gobbling it down in one go and makes them last longer in the bag. These treats are made with a mix of different animal-based proteins which include goat liver, aectic char, boar liver and venison liver. Organ meats such as liver are packed full of nutrients – more than muscle
Therefore, these treats are very well balanced nutritionally. Physically, they are lightweight nuggets of dried meat which are no bigger than your thumbnail and do not have a pungent smell which will have you gagging over the toilet.
Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Cat Treats are the fishiest treats you can buy and will have your kitten meowing around your feet as soon as the bag is opened. Vital Essentials make some really great cat treats in addition to its minnows blend, such as chicken giblets and ahi tuna.
Although their fishy blends are much more pungent and smelly, they are a brilliant treat for cats and your kitten will literally do anything to get hold of them. This bag only contains whole minnows which have been freeze-dried to lock in freshness. Each minnow is around one inch long, and that is all; nothing has been added to them.
This minnows blend is the least pungent of all their other treats; you won’t get much of a fishy smell unless you stick your nose in the bag but your cat can smell it and will come running straight away.
PureBites Chicken Breast Freeze-Dried Treats for Cats have a super low-calorie content, a meat-rich recipe and all the natural chicken flavour which cats will die for
This is a perfect treat because it is made from high-quality, healthy ingredients. These PureBites treats have been made with 100% chicken breast and that is all. PureBites make other treats too, such as ones made from liver, shrimp and duck. Again, all of these treats use 100% meat or fish and nothing else.
Through a gentle freeze-drying process, the meat is not cooked and the nutritional integrity and flavours are preserved. All PureBites treats are manufactured here in the USA, and are designed to satisfy your cat’s primal need for quality meat.
Made with all-natural ingredients which includes real meat as its primary one, these crunchy cat treats are a healthy and wholesome treat for your kitten. These grain-free treats are available in six different flavours which are rich in protein. There is only a short list of ingredients, so you can be safe in the knowledge that your kitten is only getting the good stuff.
These crunch treats support your cat’s nutrition – they are not junk food – and cats love the meaty flavours on offer. They are backed by a Wellness Guarantee which means you can get your money back if your kitten does not instantly love them! The Duck & Cranberries and Whitefish blends are two of the most popular ones, but we recommend getting all the flavours and mixing them up so your cat gets a new treat each time.
Sojos Certified Organic Catnip is organically grown and harvested by hand, making it a top-quality product which your cat will go nuts for.
Catnip is a herb which is like mint, but has a chemical called nepetalactone which is known for giving cats a natural high, which makes them go absolutely crazy, however, only 75% of cats react to it. Those cats who do react to it begin to demonstrate crazy behaviours such as rolling, sniffing and jumping.
The catnip is certified organic and it is grown without the use or reliance on nasty chemical pesticides. There are no artificial additives either; it is made using dried flowers and leaves at their peak freshness. This allows the treat to maintain its dark green colour, a strong aroma and super powerful chemical effects on cats.
Cat-Man-Doo Bonito Flakes is made from Bonito, which is like tuna – flaky and delicious. This treat is made from simple fish flakes made from dried portions of bonito fish and skin.
This single-ingredient treat has it all: it is super high in a quality protein source and there are no other ingredients beyond this at all. There are no additives, preservatives, fillers or other things chucked into its mix. The flakes are quite tricky to serve in single portions as they are very fragile and flaky.
One way you can give this treat is with food: sprinkle on top of your cat’s food as a reward for good behaviour and you’re good to go.
Cloud Star Grain Free Buddy Biscuits for Cats are small tender cat treats, which are the perfect size for kittens and adult cats alike. These treats are the size of a pea, very soft and made with no gluten or other artificial ingredients.
Which Treats Are Good?
This is something which is not always so obvious from looking at packaging below. To help you, we have made our list below, however, we can go over some of the things which defines a treat as a great cat treat.
Cat treats need to actually taste good, otherwise your cat will just turn his or her nose up at it. It must also be nutritious, otherwise you are feeding your cat junk food which can cause health complications and weight gain; the best treats for kittens do not just provide a treat and make your cat happy but have health benefits too.
Choosing the best treats for kittens which are healthy but tasty at the same time is not easy. There are lots of different treats available on the market: freeze-dried treats; soft-baked treats; crunchy treats; and soft treats. You should experiment with a few to see which one your cat likes most. Chances are, your cat will like them all!
When picking treats, look for ones which are as natural as possible and have no added sugar, grains or artificial ingredients. Avoid treats which have a complex list of ingredients and have been processed.
Our list only includes treats which have been manufactured using the best quality ingredients possible, which have a proven track record of being tasty and enjoyed by cats. We have lots of super nutritious and easy to feed treats for you to choose from.
They are all relatively low in calories too, which means you can feed them daily in addition to food and not worry about feline weight gain. Just make sure that treats stay as treats otherwise the positive points we discussed above will not apply!
Which Products Have Been Excluded?
It is important that any treats are also nutritious as well as tasty. With that in mind, we have ignored lots of treats which could be bad for your cat.
Corn, Soy or Wheat
We have not included any products which contain corn, soy or wheat. A cat’s natural diet is high in protein and a wild cat’s diet would only be raw, pure protein. Therefore, we have not included products which contain common bulking ingredients such as corn, soy or wheat.
A lot of commercial cat treats contain added sweeteners such as sugar or corn syrup. These are totally unnecessary, and they can cause health complications in cats such as diabetes and weight gain. The addition to sugar in treats is widely considered harmful and unnecessary by experts, so we have not included these products on our list.
Kitten treats do need preservatives to stay fresh on the shelf, but many artificial preservatives come with health concerns. There is evidence to suggest that some artificial preservatives can be cancerous in cats, and ingredients such as artificial dyes are wholly unnecessary and only serve to make the treat look nicer. We have opted for treats which do not contain dyes or artificial preservatives.
Meat by products and meat meal are the parts of animals, which are not considered as safe for humans to eat. Although they are safe to eat for your cat, their quality cannot be measured and they are likely to negatively impact cats health in the long-term because it is poor quality protein which is not easily digestible.
Extra sodium in your cat’s diet is not something you need. Extra sodium can dehydrate your kitten which is already a problem if your kitten is eating a dry food diet. Dehydration can lead to kidney stones and urinary problems, so we have kept products high in sodium of off the list.
Although this eliminates a lot of the more popular kitten treats, it has left a list which are nutritious, whole and contain quality ingredients which are beneficial for your kitten’s health, which is crucial whilst your kitten is still in the early stages of growth and development.
The Round Up
Treats are a great addition to your cat’s life and taking a moment to give your kitten a treat is a great way to begin bonding with your kitten early. Treats can also be used to communicate with your kitten, rewarding them for good behaviour and using it for positive reinforcement. Treats are a great way to calm, distract and generally improve your kitten’s life.
Not all treats are equal though – there are plenty of treats available on the market which are pumped full of bad ingredients which can cause health problems in the long-term.
In this article, we have carefully looked at the ingredients of many popular feline treats and compiled our list of the best treats for kittens which you can use as a reference point to help choose the right ones for your individual kitty.
If you choose the right treats for your kitten, you can use them often as a means to reward your kitten without worrying about the possibility of health problems as a result.