Everyone loves to give their pets a treat every once in awhile. But these days, we cat parents need to be more mindful than ever about the treats we feed our felines. Right now, potentially toxic cat treats are being sold at big box pet stores. It’s the truth – terrible recalls happen – but it’s up to us to know the source and quality of the treats we give our cats.

A few years back there was a major recall of tainted pet treats that caused thousands of dogs and cats to suffer. Hundreds of pets died from these treats, yet the manufacturer and distributors did not remove these treats from stores until years later. This just goes to show that we can’t always trust that treats available for purchase are safe for our kitties.

Here are some tips for avoiding toxic cat treats:

  1. Be able to read the ingredients and know what they mean. Many commercial cat treats are full of fillers, harmful preservatives and, basically, junk. If you can’t read the ingredient list, don’t buy them.
  2. Avoid treats that have toxic ingredients. BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin, propylene glycol, corn syrups, grains, by-products and menadione are still used in many of the most popular cat treats on the market. These ingredients have been known to cause cancer, kidney disease and liver problems in cats over time – so steer clear of them.
  3. Don’t overfeed treats. Feeding too many treats can result in your cat refusing to eat their food, which can result in an imbalanced diet. Treats should never be used as a food replacement.
  4. Know the source. Every bag of treats should have a phone number listed. If you’re wondering about the quality of ingredients, simply call the manufacturer. Reputable treat companies will be pleased to offer their sourcing and manufacturing information. If they can’t or are unwilling to answer your questions, put the bag down and move along.
  5. Make your own cat treats at home. Having control over the ingredients of your cat treats (and food) is always a good thing. Simply dehydrate or cook small pieces of your feline’s favorite meat and you’ve got cheap, healthy, non-toxic cat treats!

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