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 Name Cals
Daily Company Recommendation 20% of an 8 lb. cat’s diet 20% of a 10 lb. cat’s diet
BLUE Kitty Yums, tasty beef 2 intermittent or supplemental feeding 18 20
BLUE Wilderness, chicken & trout 3 intermittent or supplemental feeding 12 13
Feline Greenies Pill Pockets 3 use to hide pills 12 13
Feline Greenies Dental Treats, tuna 1.25 16 treats daily: 8 lbs.
18 daily: 10 lbs.
29 32
Purina Whisker Lickins’, crunchy & yummy tuna 1.38 8 treats daily: 8 lbs.
10 daily: 10 lbs.
26 29
Meow Mix Irresistables, crunchy tuna/shrimp 1.4 18 treats daily: 8 lbs.
22 daily: 10 lbs.
26 29
Natural Balance Perfect Bites rabbit 1 not to exceed 10% of daily calories 36 40
Pounce Cat Treats, chicken 3 3-6 pieces daily for an 8 lb. cat; 6-9 pieces for 10 lbs. 12 13
Pounce Cat Treats, crunchy tuna 1.5 14-18 for an 8 lb. cat; 22 pieces for 10 lbs. 24 27
Pro Plan Savory Bites, chicken 1.5 up to 10 treats daily 24 27
Purina Whisker Lickins’, chicken 1.89 8 treats daily: 8 lbs.
10 daily: 10 lbs.
19 21
Temptations Treats for Cats 2 up to 15 treats per 10 lbs. 18 20
Wellness Kittles Tasty Crunchy Cat Treats, salmon & cranberries 1.1 not to exceed 10% of daily calories 33 37
Zuke’s Natural Purrz salmon 2.48 one daily 15 16