10 Best Cat Treats in 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

Last Updated on: November 23, 2020

cat treats_shutterstock_Andriy BlokhinIf you just got a new cat or are looking to change brands from your current treats, you may be wondering what the best and most nutritious brand of cat treats is. However, there these quite a long list of companies that make cat treats, and each company may make several varieties.  Choosing the best one can be quite challenging.

We’ve chosen ten of the most popular brands of cat treats to review for you.  Each one has unique pros and cons that will talk about and will also let you know how each stack up nutritionally and alert you to any harmful or questionable ingredients they may contain. We’ve also included a short buyer’s guide where we discuss what makes one cat treat better than the next and what ingredients to look for while you shop.

Join us while we discuss ingredients, protein content, calories per treat, and more to help you make an informed purchase.


A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Temptations Tasty Chicken Flavor Temptations Tasty Chicken Flavor
  • Two calories per treat
  • Contains taurine
  • Fortified with vitamins
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Friskies Party Mix Crunch Original Friskies Party Mix Crunch Original
  • 29% protein
  • Complete and balanced nutrition
  • Helps remove tarter
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Sheba Meaty Tender Sticks Chicken Sheba Meaty Tender Sticks Chicken
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • No chemical preservatives
  • 30% protein
  • Blue Buffalo Wilderness Crunchy Grain-Free Blue Buffalo Wilderness Crunchy Grain-Free
  • Helps clean teeth
  • 28% protein
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Greenies Feline Adult Dental Cat Treats Greenies Feline Adult Dental Cat Treats
  • Helps to keep teeth clean
  • 27% protein
  • Contains taurine
  • The 10 Best Cat Treats – Reviews 2020

    1. Temptations Tasty Chicken Flavor Cat Treats – Best Overall

    Temptations Tasty Chicken Flavor Cat Treats

    Temptations Tasty Chicken Flavor Cat Treats are our choice for the best overall cat treats. It contains a high amount of protein at 28%, which can provide plenty of energy for your cat, helps them develop new muscle, and helps them stay full longer. The crunchy outside texture provides chewing satisfaction and helps to scrub tarter from the teeth, and each treat has a soft inside that your pet will love. Each treat only contains two calories but is packed with vitamins and includes taurine. Taurine is a nutrient only found in animal proteins and is essential for a cat’s vision, and it also helps prevent heart disease and tooth decay.

    The only real downside to Temptations is that they only use meat byproducts and don’t include any whole meat. Meat byproduct is a dried and ground meat that isn’t bad; it’s just not as good as fresh chicken, turkey, beef, or lamb.

    Pros
    • 28% protein
    • Crunchy outside, creamy inside
    • Two calories per treat
    • Contains taurine
    • Fortified with vitamins
    Cons
    • Contains chicken byproduct first ingredient

    2. Friskies Party Mix Crunch Original Cat Treats – Best Value

    Friskies Party Mix Crunch Original Cat Treats

    Friskies Party Mix Crunch Original Cat Treats is our choice as the best cat treats for the money. It has a high protein of 29% and features chicken as its number one ingredient. There are less than two calories in every treat, and it features liver and turkey flavors. It includes complete and balanced nutrition, and its crunchy texture helps remove tartar from your pet’s teeth and helps prevent gum disease.

    The downside to Friskies is that it contains some lower quality ingredients and chemical preservatives that we usually try to avoid.

    Pros
    • Chicken first ingredient
    • 29% protein
    • Less than two calories per treat
    • Features liver and turkey flavors
    • Helps remove tarter
    • Complete and balanced nutrition
    Cons
    • Some questionable ingredients

    3. Sheba Meaty Tender Sticks Chicken Cat Treats – Premium Choice

    Sheba Meaty Tender Sticks Chicken Cat Treats

    Sheba Meaty Tender Sticks Chicken Cat Treats feature high-quality ingredients, like chicken as its first ingredient and pork as the second. It also has the most protein so far with 30%, and it doesn’t contain any corn, wheat, or soy products. It also uses rosemary extract as a preservative instead of chemical preservatives.

    While most of our cats will eat Sheba Meaty Tender Sticks treats quickly, some cats might not like them or find them hard to chew.

    Pros
    • Chicken first ingredient
    • Pork is the second ingredient
    • No chemical preservatives
    • 30% protein
    • No corn, wheat, or soy
    Cons
    • Some cats won’t eat it

    4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Crunchy Grain-Free Cat Treats

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Crunchy Grain-Free Cat Treats

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Crunchy Grain-Free Cat Treats is a nutritious cat food brand that helps clean teeth by scrubbing away tarter. It has chicken listed as its first ingredient, and a cat’s natural diet inspires the formula. It provides your cat with 28% protein and contains no corn, wheat, or soy that can upset your pet’s sensitive digestive system.

    We like Blue Buffalo and the many different brands they have. The only problem we experience with it is that not all of our cays like it, and several will try to hold out for a different treat.

    Pros
    • Helps clean teeth
    • Chicken is the first ingredient
    • 28% protein
    • No corn, wheat, or soy
    Cons
    • Some cats don’t like it

    5. Greenies Feline Adult Dental Cat Treats

    Greenies Feline Adult Dental Cat Treats

    Greenies Feline Adult Dental Cat Treats is a crunchy treat that uses all-natural ingredients and helps keep your pet’s teeth clean. It provides complete and balanced nutrition and delivers 27% protein to help your cat develop strong, healthy muscles. It also contains taurine, an essential element for cats, and there are no harmful chemical preservatives.

    The downside to Greenies is that it doesn’t contain any whole meat and relies entirely on meat byproducts to provide a high protein level. While there is nothing bad about meat-byproduct, we prefer foods with some real meat, especially as the top ingredient.

    Pros
    • Helps to keep teeth clean
    • Complete and balanced nutrition
    • 27% protein
    • Contains taurine
    Cons
    • No whole meat

    6. PureBites Chicken Breast Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Treats

    PureBites Chicken Breast Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Treats

    PureBites Chicken Breast Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Treats features 100% freeze-dried chicken as it’s the only ingredient. The freeze-drying process locks in the nutrients, and it provides your cat with a whopping 74% protein. Freeze drying also removes the need for preservatives, so there are no chemical additives.

    We really like PureBites, but a few issues kept it from ranking higher on the list.  Some of our cats didn’t like it. Though they would play with it and toss It around, they wouldn’t always eat it, so we would find them later under the chair or stove. The quality also seems to change each order, and the chicken is quite crumbly and leaves a good amount of dust in the bag.

    Pros
    • 100% chicken breast
    • 74% protein
    • Freeze-dried to preserve nutrients
    • No preservatives
    Cons
    • Gets dusty
    • Some cats don’t like it
    • Inconsistent quality

    7. Purina Fancy Feast Purely Natural Treats

    Purina Fancy Feast Purely Natural Treats

    Purina Fancy Feast Purely Natural Treats is another brand that provides your pet with a nutritious, single ingredient treat. It’s a variety pack that features chicken, salmon, and tuna, to prevent your cats from becoming bored with the same treat each time, and it increases the likelihood of finding one your pet likes. It guarantees a minimum of 20% protein, and the single ingredient contains no harmful chemical preservatives. The single-portion packets make sure you don’t over-portion.

    The downside to Purina Fancy Feast is that it is quite expensive, and the single-serve packets make tons of waste. We also noticed that the quality would vary from package to package.

    Pros
    • Three varieties
    • 20% min. protein
    • No chemical preservatives
    • Easy to portion
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Individually packaged
    • Quality varies

    8. Hartz Delectables Squeeze Up Lickable Cat Treats

    Hartz Delectables Squeeze Up Lickable Cat Treats

    Hartz Delectables Squeeze Up Lickable Cat Treats is a squeezable treat that features chicken and tuna as it’s top ingredients. It provides plenty of moisture to help keep your cat hydrated, and there are no chemical preservatives or artificial colors. The squeeze-out packet is also nice for spending some quality time with your cat during treat time. Hartz’s downside is that it has a relatively low protein level at 8% and is much lower than most of the other brands on our list. The high moisture content is nice, but this brand gave several of our cat’s soft stools and occasional diarrhea, which can dehydrate them, and it is also expensive.

    Pros
    • Contains real chicken and tuna
    • Several varieties
    • No chemical preservatives or dyes
    Cons
    • Low protein
    • Gave some cats diarrhea
    • Expensive

    9. Pounce Moist Seafood Medley Flavor Cat Treats

    Pounce Moist Seafood Medley Flavor Cat Treats

    Pounce Moist Seafood Medley Flavor Cat Treats is a brand that’ have been around quite a while and have many kinds of food and treats available to the pet owner. These treats are soft and crumbly and are perfect treats for older cats that have difficulty chewing. The treats are bite-sized and suitable for small breeds and puppies, and it contains real tuna and salmon.

    We didn’t like that Pounce contains some low-quality ingredients like wheat flour and corn, along with the harmful chemical preservative BHT. Some of our cats didn’t like this brand as much as the others.

    Pros
    • Soft treat
    • Contains real tuna and salmon
    • Bite-sized treats
    Cons
    • Contains low-quality ingredients
    • Contains chemical preservatives
    • Some cats don’t like it

    10. Purina Whisker Lickin’s Cat Treats

    Purina Whisker Lickin's Cat Treats

    Purina Whisker Lickin’s Cat Treats is a flavored tuna treat with a crunchy texture that will help keep your pet’s teeth clean. There are various fun shapes to hold your cat’s interest, and each treat contains less than 1.5 calories. The resealable pouch helps to keep the treats fresh.

    Purina Whisker Lickin’s downside is that they don’t contain any real meat, and there are chemical preservatives among the ingredients. Several of our cats wouldn’t eat it, and those that did got gas and occasional soft stools.

    Pros
    • Crunchy texture
    • Variety of fun shapes
    • Less than 1.5 calories
    • Resealable pouch
    Cons
    • No whole meat
    • Contains chemical preservatives
    • Gave cats gas

    Buyer’s Guide

    The things you should look for in a cat treat are similar to those you should look for in cat food, but you can be a little more lenient with the ingredients and the fat content.

    How many treats should I give my cat?

    Many experts recommend limiting the treats you give to 10% of their daily intake of calories. A ten-pound cat should consume between 180 and 200 calories per day, so you should only provide 18 to 20 calories in treats per day. If you purchase a two-calorie per treat brand, you will provide your cat with nine or ten treats per day.

    Ingredients

    Your cat is supposed to enjoy their treats above all else, so they often contain ingredients we wouldn’t want in the other 90% of their diet. Since they are only getting a few each day, we can look the other way on many ingredients, but you should know what ingredients are good and which to avoid.

    Protein

    Cats are carnivorous, so they require a high amount of protein. Most experts recommend a food with at least 25% protein content, which extends to treats. Higher protein levels will give your pet more energy and helps them build strong muscles. Proteins produce everything from hair to the muscles of the heart, but protein alone isn’t enough. It would be best if you had a high-quality animal protein.

    Taurine

    Taurine is an essential amino acid that cats require in their diet to stay healthy. It helps reduce vision loss and protects the retinal cells from degradation. It also helps prevent heart disease and gastrointestinal problems, while it boosts the immune system and gives your pet more energy.

    Whole Meats

    When we mention whole meats, we refer to real chicken, lamb, beef, and turkey ingredients instead of processed meats like meat meals or meat byproducts. Meat meal and meat byproduct are dried and ground meats of one or lore type of animal. These meats have a long shelf life and allow companies to add a high protein level to their food inexpensively.

    The downside to meat byproducts is that it’s not as flavorful as fresh meat, and countries with lower standards of pet food than we have in America process much of the meat.

    grey cat looking at treat_shutterstock_FotoMirta
    Image Credit: FotoMirta, shutterstock

    Vitamins and Minerals

    While vitamins and minerals are important, they should get most of them from their regular food, so it’s not such a big issue. However, treats containing vitamin and mineral fortification are better than those that don’t, and treats that have beneficial omega fats are exceptionally beneficial as they help your cat produce a soft and shiny coat and improve joint health, eyesight, and brain development.

    Both omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are helpful to cats, but omega-6 can lead to inflammation, while omega-three reduces it, so most experts recommend looking for omega-3 supplementation. Most vets recommend obtaining your omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil. You can also find fatty acids in plant-based foods like flax and pumpkin seeds, but they are in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, and the body must convert it into fatty acids, so they are less efficient.

    Single Ingredient

    Single-ingredient treats are those that contain only one ingredient, freeze-dried meat. The meat is usually chicken, salmon, or tuna, but it can also come in other forms. These treats are generally very healthy, and the freeze-drying process locks in the nutrients.  The downside is the treats become very crumbly due to the freeze-drying process, and you can end up with a lot of waste at the bottom of the bag. We also found that quality can vary from batch to batch, and some of our cats prefer to throw the meat around the room and chase it than eat it.

    Ingredients to Avoid

    Since you are handing out only a few treats each day, you are much less likely to trigger any allergic reactions or have to deal with any diarrhea as you would with cat food, but if you intend to use the same brand long term, there are a few ingredients that you might want to avoid.

    Artificial Dyes

    Artificial dyes can be problematic for many cats, and many colors cause harmful side effects. Specifically, Red 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6 are dangerous to feed your pet and cause cancer and other health problems. Your pet cannot even see red or green, and there is no nutritional value in these dyes, so you should avoid them when possible.

    Chemical Preservatives

    You can find chemical preservatives like BHA, BHT, and Ethoxyquin in many cat foods and treats. These chemicals are linked to several health problems and may even cause cancer in your pet. We recommend avoiding these chemicals when possible to help reduce the risks to your pet.

    Corn Wheat and Soy

    The last items on our list of foods to avoid are corn, wheat, and soy. You’ll find that corn, especially, is in many treats and foods. Many cats like corn products and can get quite upset if you attempt to feed them something with better ingredients. The problem with these ingredients is that they are not part of the cat’s natural diet. They don’t provide any nutritional benefit to your cat, but they can cause them to gain weight. These ingredients are also heavily genetically modified.

    cat waiting for treats_shutterstock_Andriy Blokhin
    Image Credit: Andriy Blokhin, shutterstock

    Crunchy vs. Soft

    Crunchy

    The choice of whether to feed your cat crunchy of soft treats is mostly a personal choice between you and your cat. Crunchy treats will help clean your cat’s teeth, and cats have a predisposition for tooth decay. With 50 to 90% of cats affected over the age of four,  they can use all the help they can get to prevent it. However, because many cats over four will be suffering from some dental problems, they may not be able to eat crunchy treats without causing pain.

    Soft

    Soft treats may not scrub tarter from teeth as well as crunchy treats can, but they supply more moisture content, which is something your cat needs. Cats can easily dehydrate, especially indoor cats during the winter due to heat, and soft treats can help replenish some of what is lost. Soft treats will easier for older cats to chew if they have dental issues or are missing teeth.

    cat paw divider

    Conclusion

    When choosing a cat treat, we recommend our top choice. Temptations Tasty Chicken Flavor Cat Treats are a favorite among our cats. They have a high protein level and a crunchy texture to help scrub tarter from teeth and helps to prevent dental disease. It also contains taurine and is fortified with vitamins and minerals. If you have the budget for it, Sheba Meaty Tender Sticks Chicken Cat Treats is our premium choice and a smart brand for anyone looking for a healthy treat. It contains chicken as its first ingredient and pork as its second, so you get high-quality protein. The chicken and pork provide your pet with 30% protein, and it contains no chemical preservatives or dyes, and there are also no corn, wheat, or soy ingredients.

    We hope you have enjoyed reading over our reviews and have found a few treats that might be right for your cat. If you continue to shop around, we hope our buyer’s guide will help you sort through the many brands you will find. Please share this guide to the best cat teats on Facebook and Twitter if you have found it informative.


    Featured Image Credit By: Andriy Blokhin, shutterstock