You know how it is: Your cat does those blinking, loving eyes. Pawing at you while you eat. If they could talk, they’d be complimenting your culinary skills.
‘I love the way you’ve combined the colours in your dish, there.’ Tiddles purrs.
You thank Tiddles. You are happy because you’ve been working hard on presentation recently. You’re so happy that Tiddles gets a nice juicy piece of chicken liver to himself.
‘I’d love to eat that,’ Tiddles paws the liver piece back along the floor toward you. ‘But the high amounts of vitamin A in this could well give me osteoporosis. Could I trouble you for some deli meat instead?’
‘You’ve cat to be kitten me right meow.’ You reply.
While the first bit of dialogue is, clearly, a very real and regular occurrence, cats will rarely turn away from what you consider a treat. This can be tricky, because, like humans, there are plenty of edible things that aren’t good for us. This infographic tells you which treats are good for them, which are not, and why.
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Cats: Treats Vs Poison
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Cats: treat vs poison
Let’s face facts – cats are adorable. So who can resist giving theirs a treat?
But before you give in to those big, longing eyes, be sure you know which household foods are fine for a healthy treat and which ones can do more harm than good.
2.5X – Your cat’s intestines are 2.5 times the length of its body.
41 – The number of essential nutrients cats must eat in their food.
20% – Treats should only make up one fifth of your cat’s daily food intake.
An obvious choice, but cats need essential nutrients from meat and commercial cat food. Contains: protein, vital nutrients, fatty acids
Canned fish contains vital protein and fatty acids for your cat’s health, but keep portions small. Contains: protein, Omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, trace metals
Mix things up at dinner time with some moist meats like fresh lamb. The moisture promotes a healthy urinary tract. Contains: water
An occasional bite won’t hurt, but eating dog food can lead to severe malnourishment. Contains: insufficient protein and fatty acids
Liver can cause vitamin A toxicity. This potentially fatal condition causes deformed bones, bone growths on the elbows and spine, and osteoporosis. Contains: vitamin A
Toxins in chocolate, particularly dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate, cause arrhythmia, tremors, seizures, and death. Contains: methylxanthines, theobromine, caffeine
Cats love milk, but their digestive system isn’t so keen. Most cats are lactose intolerant, which means upset tummies and diarrhoea. Contains: lactose
Once cooked, bones splinter more easily which can lead to tearing and choking. The fat in them will stretch your cat’s waistband. Dangers: sharp bits
Raw meat and fish
Aside from food poisoning, enzymes in raw fish destroy thiamine. Deficiency causes serious neurological problems, convulsions and coma. Contains: thiaminase
Onions, garlic and chives
Even a curious lick can spell disaster for your kitty. The allium damages red blood cells and can cause Heinz body anaemia. Contains: thiosulphate, n-propyl disulphide
Grapes and raisins
Toxicities can cause the sudden development of kidney failure within 48 hours of snacking – and researchers still don’t know exactly why. Contains: toxins that can lead to kidney failure
Raw meaty bones
These chewy treats offer a number of healthy benefits, but they’re not without risks:
- Mouth – keeps jaws strong, teeth clean and gums healthy
- Mind – chewing relieves boredom
- Plants – draws attention from other chewable items, like your house plants
- Cracking – large bones or marrow bones can break a cat’s teeth
- Constipation – too much can cause digestive problems for cats
- Choking – there is a high risk of choking or splintering
Treats for training
Use treats as rewards after tasks like claw trimming or bath time to associate those activities with good feelings. Don’t let your cat’s curious appetite get the better of them. Watch what they eat and know what’s right for your little troublemaker.