I adopted Uncle Sil 2 years ago and he has had two urinary blockages since then. I mention the gravity of this situation in greater detail in my cat water fountain article. One of his urinary blockages landed him in emergency surgery. The main culprit was his diet, which has led me to be ever so passionate about sharing my wisdom on the healthiest cat treats with you!
I want to dive even further into this topic and discuss not only what the healthiest cat treats are but also reveal the best cat treats for urinary health. Their are definitely a wide variety of cat treats out there, but a LOT of them are not healthy, in fact they are just the opposite.
Trick or Treat
When people ask me what some unhealthy cat treats are I put it to them like this: If I go buy my kitty Friskies, Whiskers, Fancy Feast and even Greenies that is the cat version of us going to buy Doritos, Fritos, and Jax. Both cat and human treats are actually tricks.
They taste delicious, they are addicting, and craveable, but they are HORRIBLE and unhealthy!
There are at least six of THE SAME unhealthy ingredients that are found in BOTH Doritos and Friskies Cat Treats… Yikes!
You would hope that pet food companies wouldn’t put out poor quality unhealthy food and treats for our four legged friends, but sadly some do. Some of which can cause serious health risks to our cats.
Let the Cat Out of the Bag
Before I touch upon what unhealthy ingredients are found in some cat treats, let’s first take a look at what our kitties are designed to eat based on their ancestral past.
Cats are obligate carnivores. Which means it is essential that they consume a high protein meat diet for means of survival. This goes for the large cat family and domestic cats as well. Cats meet their nutritional needs by consuming meat (raw is truly best) and have a higher protein requirement than many other mammals.
Cats meet their blood glucose requirements from gluconeogenesis, using protein, rather than from the breakdown of carbohydrates. Some carbohydrates used as fillers in unhealthy cat treats are: corn, rice, wheat and barley.
Typically, most dry cat foods and treats contain between 30% – 70% carbohydrates. Felines in the wild do eat some carbohydrates which come from the intestines of their prey, but that figure tends to be less than 5%.
Cats and carbs aren’t a good combo!
If cats don’t get enough protein in their diet to provide them with the energy and nutrients they need as being an obligate carnivore it will start to break down their organs and muscles. I experienced this with my first kitty Mr. Grey, it was unfortunate how misleading the vet was about what food he should be eating.
The food the vet prescribed was loaded with these unhealthy fillers, which left me wondering if the vet truly cared about my cat or was just another doctor pushing scripts!
Hence, I founded The Cat Chronicles and started a Nine Cat Lives Revolution, to ensure you are educated on topics like this because it is vital to your kitty’s health and wellness!
The Unhealthy Cat Treat Breakdown
A good portion of the ingredients found in unhealthy cat treats are not necessary for your kitty nor are they good for your cat to consume.
Rule of thumb, the first ingredient listed in any pet food or treat is what the majority of that product is made up of based on weight. The issue with this is, the weight per ingredient is not revealed so it is hard to tell exactly how much of ingredient #1 makes up the whole equation.
Most pet food companies will list certain meat as the first ingredient, as pet owners we would like to believe that meat is in fact the largest ingredient as it listed as the first ingredient in our cats food. Wishful thinking.
About 70-80 percent of meat is made up of water and the AAFCO allows meat to include its water weight! Here’s the catch, if the water, which provides no nutritional value to the food, is then subtracted from the weight of ingredient #1, the first ingredient is no longer the largest protein source in your cats food.
The second and third proteins are probably the largest ingredients.
Let’s take a look at the breakdown of what less expensive commercial cat treats are made up of.
- Chicken meal and meat by products – What is this mystery meat you ask? It is dry processed clean remaining parts of poultry carcasses that can contain bones, offal, undeveloped eggs and some nutrient-rich organ meats such as lungs, spleen, liver, kidneys, stomach, and intestines. Where’s the beef!?
- Corn gluten meal – This is a carbohydrate/filler and is not meant to be digested by cats. It is a cheap ingredient that will fill your cat up, cause weight gain along with other health problems and is deficient in the essential amino acid’s lysine and tryptophan which your kitty needs for optimal health.
- The Dyes – Low cost commercial cat treats contain: Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, which are contaminated with carcinogens. Brace yourself because these are also found in the human junk food I mentioned above.
- A carcinogen is any substance, radionuclide, or radiation that promotes carcinogenesis, AKA the formation of cancer. This is so tragic to think that human and pet food is loaded with these carcinogens and they are still sold and being consumed daily!
- BHA & BHT – Did you want give your cat a rubber tire to eat as their treat? How about if your cat ate your lipstick or deodorant for lunch? Sounds dangerous right!?
- BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are closely related synthetic antioxidants used as preservatives in lipsticks and moisturizers, among cosmetics, rubber tires, household cleaning products and so much more! You guessed it they are also used as food preservatives in these low grade unhealthy cat treats.
I can’t stomach anymore of this unhealthy cat treat breakdown!
I know one thing for sure, I always read the labels extensively before I serve my King any food or cat treat containing any of this crap! I advise you to do the same.
Healthy Cat Treats – My Top 5 Treats
Their is a solution to every problem out there!
My dear friend Chris used to always say: “Kate, we are either part of the solution or part of the problem” His words stuck with me over the years.
Starting this website was me taking action for all the cats and cat lovers of the world to provide the solution for your cat’s well-being and overall health.
My Top Five Cat Treat Picks:
- BLUE Wilderness Grain Free Soft Moist Cat Treat size: 2 Oz, Blue Buffalo, Chicken & Duck
- Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Boost Mixers Grain Free (Cat Food Toppers, I give a few as treats)
- Wellness Kittles Natural Grain Free Cat Treats
- Orijen Freeze Dried Original Cat Treats
- PureBites Freeze Dried Cat Treat
Cat Treats for Urniary Health – My Top Two Picks
As I mentioned before, my cat Uncle Sil has already had two urinary blockages since I rescued him 2 years ago. Diet was the #1 culprit in both scenarios.
My #1 Pick of cat treats for urinary health is:
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Soft-Moist Grain-Free Cat Treats.
Their brand promise states: Formulated with the Finest Natural Ingredients, Protein-Rich Chicken
NO Chicken (or Poultry) By-Product Meals. NO Corn, Wheat or Soy, NO Artificial Flavors or Preservatives
What makes these particular cat treats for urinary health so great is the moisture in the guaranteed analysis.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Soft-Moist Grain-Free Cat Treats – Chicken or Duck.
Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 25% min, Crude Fat 18% min, Crude Fiber 2% max, Moisture 28% max
My second top pick is:
Simply Nourish Chewy Jerky Bites:
Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein (min) 20.0%, Crude Fat (min) 10.0%, Crude Fiber (max) 1.0%, Moisture (max) 28.0%
The moisture max in low quality commercial cat treats can run around 2-8% moisture (max).
NOT GOOD FOR A CATS URINARY HEALTH!!
Your cat (especially if you have a male cat) will be so thankful you read this this article and took preventative measures for their kitty well-being!
Equip your kitty with nothing but the best and aim for health and success by following these quick tips:
- Have fresh water or a cat fountain readily available to keep the fluids moving and grooving and your cats organs working up to par.
- Read the labels of all cat food and treats, and don’t cut corners!
- Pass this article along to all of your cat lover friends and explain the importance of the awareness and knowledge of the ingredients that they may or may not be feeding their kitty!
You Are What You Eat!
The bottom line is, you are what you eat! Pay attention to the labels on the cat treats that you purchase for your King or Queen, it truly is imperative to their health and well-being!
I would rather pay a little more now for quality cat food and treats, than pay later with various health problems and vet visits. Preventative kitty health care 101!
This is all part of living in the solution and taking action for the good of all nine of your cats lives, because all nine cat lives matter!
Yours in Kitty Health,
Founder of The Cat Chronicles