Health

May 2018 Issue




Low-Calorie Treats for the “Rotund Cat”

Dehydrated meat, catnip, fruits, and vegetables can add variety

antonsov85 | Deposit Photos

Even indoor cats enjoy a little grass now and then.

People love to give their pets treats and pets love to eat them. What’s not to like? The catch is when your cat is on the “round” side and needs to lose some weight. You would still like to reward her for good behavior and possibly use some treats for training. What are good options?

Treats should never be more than 10 percent of your cat’s diet. Start by simply setting aside a portion of your cat’s daily food to use for treats and training. This is easiest to do with kibble. You may even want to try a different flavor of your regular food to make it “special,” and your retailer might have a sample bag for you to try.

If you own a dehydrator, you can consider making some chicken or beef jerky for your cat. Do not use spices; go with straight meat. Use lean cuts to minimize calories and fat. Slice the meat thin and dehydrate it until it is almost brittle, at which point it becomes easy to break into small bite-size treats. Cats love meat, so these are popular treats.

For true low-calorie choices, you can also consider fruits or vegetables, if your cat shows interest:

-Apples (fresh or dehydrated)

-Bananas (fresh or dehydrated)

-Blueberries

-Carrot slices (cooked or fresh)

-Celery

-Cucumbers

-Green beans

-Melon pieces

-Zucchini (cooked or fresh)

You can provide a small amount of catnip. It’s low calorie and provides lots of amusement, too! Many cats also love having a small plot of grass, such as wheat or oats, to chew on.