Like us, cats can’t resist a tasty treat! And why should they? Treats make the world a more exciting place!

But while we all know cats love a treat, you may wonder if they really need them and if treats offer any benefits. If this is you, carry on reading for answers to common questions like ‘when and why - should I give my cat treats?’ and advice on different types of treats available (including our irresistible DREAMIES™ cat treats).

Why should I give my cat treats?

Ok, so technically speaking, cats don’t need treats in their diet. But neither do we, right? Treats simply make life more fun! And when given in moderation, they’re great for helping you build a bond with your cat, rewarding good behaviour, using in training and much more. As long as you keep track of how many treats you’re giving your cat and factor them into a complete and balanced diet, treats are firmly on the menu!

When should I give my cat treats?

If it was down to your cat, they’d be getting treats morning, noon and night. But, as much as they may have you in a furry chokehold, they can’t always have it their way! Moderation is super important when it comes to treating your cat, so avoid tossing them one every minute of the day - regardless of how much they beg!

Treats can be factored into your cat’s daily calorie allowance and given to them at key moments or to simply keep things interesting for them in between meals. You can generally find feeding guidelines on treat packets but check out our article on [how many treats to give your cat] for more advice. Below are a few examples of when to give your cat treats, from bonding time to training.

Bond with your cat with treats

There’s nothing quite like the bond between you and your cat, but as they’re very independent by nature, you may find that bond needs to be earned. While there’s much more to your relationship with them than providing them with food, giving them a treat during a special moment together can go a long way. If you play your cards right, you’ll have a new furry best friend!

This bond is worth doing the leg work for, as your cat will be much happier at home for it, and you’ll benefit from their loving companionship, which you can read more about in our article on [how cats help with wellbeing].

Use treats for training

Consider cat treats a tasty bribe, as there’s no underestimating their value during training time! Whether you’re teaching your cat to use their litter tray, to stay calm in their pet carrier, or even to roll over, the trick is to reward them when they get it right. This is known as positive reinforcement. The more you reward them, the more they’ll learn the behaviour – or at least humour you in return for a tasty treat.

Use treats as rewards

Sometimes your clever kitty cat nails their trained behaviours all by themselves! And this deserves rewarding. Make sure you have a little stash of cat treats at the ready for these moments and, you can also reward things like showing affection, being quiet around your home, interacting nicely with another pet, and just being an all-round good cat.

Bring treats into playtime

Cats love to play as much as they love treats! So, using a combination of the two is the magic formula for coaxing them out of their shell and keeping them stimulated at home. There are a few ways you can do this, one simply being to use treats as encouragement and rewards during play.

Other ideas include hiding treats around the house for your cat to track down using their natural scavenging instincts or tossing treats across the floor for them to pounce on. You can also get various kinds of puzzle toys that release treats - but only once your cat has worked for them! Check our article on [fun games to play with your cat] for more ideas.

When to avoid giving your cat treats

Beware! Giving your cat treats after they do something can reinforce all sorts of behaviours, good and bad! So, if you give them a treat whenever they beg or pester you, you could end up with a bit of a problem on your hands. It’s also best to avoid using treats to calm your cat down, as it can teach them that food is a coping mechanism for stress. Showing them affection or moving them to a calm space is a much better way to help them relax.

What kind of cat treats are there?

Got a picky cat on your hands? Not to worry! There are all sorts of cat treats available to suit different needs, tastes and personalities. For example, there are soft cat treats, crunchy cat treats, meaty cat treats, creamy cat treats and even homemade cat treats. You can also pick from a wide variety of flavours that appeal to different tastes. Learn more about how to pick out your cat’s ideal treats in our article on [what treats are right for your cat].

DREAMIES™ cat treats

The DREAMIES™ cat treats range has something for every taste, including treats with a crunchy outside and delicious soft centre, irresistible creamy treats and mouth-watering meaty treats. They also come in a selection of tempting flavours, such as chicken, tuna, beef and even catnip. Read our article on [what catnip is] to learn more about how you can use it for your cat, including during playtime, exercise and relaxation.

So, while we all know cats love a treat and they’re make things more fun, there are plenty more reasons why to give your cat treats. Be sure to check out our irresistible range of DREAMIES™ treats to find some your furry friend will go crazy for!