What size of treat should I serve my cat during training sessions?
Average-sized adult cats should consume 20 to 30 calories per pound of body weight per day. So if you have a seven-pound cat, she needs about 210 calories a day (seven pounds x 30 calories per pound = 210 calories).
Like dogs, cats do love food rewards, but keep the size small, about the size of a pea, and the calories shouldn’t be more than 10 percent of her daily allotment.
Given the pet obesity problem, the last thing you want to do is overfeed her! According to a study reported by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, an estimated 57 percent of cats are overweight or obese.
Here are some tips for creating healthy cat training treats:
Treat tips for a healthy cat:
• Remember moderation. Like people, cats can develop a taste for treats, and they may decide to avoid their own food in favor of the goodies they love.
• Go easy with “people food.” Foods made for cats are formulated to contain the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids a cat needs for good health, so “people food” should be a minimal part of your cat’s diet. Remember also that some things can be great for us, but harmful to them.
• Natural cat treats. By cooking up small bits of liver, fish, or eggs for your cat, you’ll know exactly what’s in the treats she’s eating. You can even make organic cat treats for her by buying meat, fish, and eggs that are certified organic. But again remember, these treats should make up only a small part of your cat’s overall diet.
• Catnip and cat grass Most cats love the low-calorie catnip and cat grass. Cat grass cereal grass like wheat or oats. Both catnip and cat grass are easy to grow in a sunny window, and you can also find dried and fresh greens in pet stores.
• Exercise mind and body: Use cat treats to train yours in agility exercises or tricks. This can be even more enjoyable for indoor-only cats.