Ingredients are vital contents of cat treats and snacks. Unless your cat is on a specific diet, it is imperative that they get the required nutrients. Optimum nutrition will help keep your cat healthy and active. It is also important to feed the cats according to their body weight to avoid obesity and its related health conditions. Here are some nutrients to look for while buying healthy treats for your cats.
Named Protein Sources
Cats are carnivores by design, which makes protein an important ingredient to look for in their treats. Read the label of cat snacks and treats you are looking to buy. The protein source should be specific and not be named just “meat.” This is because not all proteins are beneficial for your cat. Look for specific proteins such as chicken, turkey, salmon, and lamb. While you do this, make sure to consult a vet to discuss if a specific animal protein is beneficial for your cat.
Named Fat Source
Fat sources are also important for your feline friend’s energy levels. Fats together with protein helps in maintaining ideal body weight in cats. The nutrient should be sufficiently present in both cat food and treats. Look for a named fat source instead of just “fats” written on the label. Chicken fat, sunflower oil, and fish fats are usually listed on premium cat treats.
Cats being obligate carnivores should not be fed carbohydrates in their daily diet. This is because their digestive system does not have an enzyme that can process carbohydrates. Feeding these carbohydrates can trigger allergies in cats. So make sure to avoid cat treats and foods that are made with grains such as corn and wheat. However, there are brands that make cat treats made out of specific carbohydrates called as fillers. These fillers are used to hold the other ingredients together in cat treats and other foods and can also be easily processed by a cat’s digestive system. Look for fillers made from green peas, sweet potatoes, and potato starch.
Vitamins and Minerals
These nutrients are essential for the immune system of cats as they aid in their proper growth. Look for vitamin C (calcium ascorbate) and vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) that are usually added as preservatives in cat treats. Steer clear from synthetic preservatives as they can result in health complications in the long run.
Taurine is naturally produced by the human body, but that’s not the case for our feline friends. For cats, the lack of taurine can cause retinal degeneration and certain heart diseases. So, looking for treats that contain taurine is extremely crucial. And this amino acid can be sourced from animal meats like turkey, chicken liver, beef liver and heart, and lamb.