Break Treats into Smaller Pieces

If you want to compare the calories in treats to the daily calories that your cat requires, this chart can help. It also — as a cautionary note — lists the number of treats it would take to reach the daily 20 percent limit on treats that experts advise. We made the calculations based on a hypothetical 8-pound cat who consumes 180 calories daily and a 10-pound cat who consumes 200 calories daily.

Many manufacturers state their recommendation for daily treats on their packaging. When the information on calories wasn’t included, we asked the companies, and customer service representatives had the information immediately available. In the case of manufacturers’ listing calories in kcals, the metric unit of measurement is essentially the same as calories and we used that.

The message in all the numbers and evocations of tasty treats: Less is more for many cats — break the treats into smaller pieces or go ahead and make it into a game so they are burning a few calories to get those tasty morsels.

While manufacturers are exercising responsibility in their recommendations, we have to do the same and limit treats to our pets, despite their pleas. It’s too easy to reach the 20 percent column in the following chart and risk the health threats to our cats, from cancer to osteoarthritis and diabetes, that accompany obesity.

Treat NameCals
Daily Company Recommendation20% of an 8 lb. cat’s diet20% of a 10 lb. cat’s diet
BLUE Kitty Yums, tasty beef2intermittent or supplemental feeding1820
BLUE Wilderness, chicken & trout3intermittent or supplemental feeding1213
Feline Greenies Pill Pockets3use to hide pills1213
Feline Greenies Dental Treats, tuna1.2516 treats daily: 8 lbs.
18 daily: 10 lbs.
Purina Whisker Lickins’, crunchy & yummy tuna1.388 treats daily: 8 lbs.
10 daily: 10 lbs.
Meow Mix Irresistables, crunchy tuna/shrimp1.418 treats daily: 8 lbs.
22 daily: 10 lbs.
Natural Balance Perfect Bites rabbit1not to exceed 10% of daily calories3640
Pounce Cat Treats, chicken33-6 pieces daily for an 8 lb. cat; 6-9 pieces for 10 lbs.1213
Pounce Cat Treats, crunchy tuna1.514-18 for an 8 lb. cat; 22 pieces for 10 lbs.2427
Pro Plan Savory Bites, chicken1.5up to 10 treats daily2427
Purina Whisker Lickins’, chicken1.898 treats daily: 8 lbs.
10 daily: 10 lbs.
Temptations Treats for Cats2up to 15 treats per 10 lbs.1820
Wellness Kittles Tasty Crunchy Cat Treats, salmon & cranberries1.1not to exceed 10% of daily calories3337
Zuke’s Natural Purrz salmon2.48one daily1516