Last Updated on: November 23, 2020
If 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
|Best Overall||Temptations Tasty Chicken Flavor||
|Best Value||Friskies Party Mix Crunch Original||
|Premium Choice||Sheba Meaty Tender Sticks Chicken||
|Blue Buffalo Wilderness Crunchy Grain-Free||
|Greenies Feline Adult Dental Cat Treats||
The 10 Best Cat Treats – Reviews 2020
1. Temptations Tasty Chicken Flavor Cat Treats – Best Overall
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.
2. Friskies Party Mix Crunch Original Cat Treats – Best Value
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.
3. Sheba Meaty Tender Sticks Chicken Cat Treats – Premium Choice
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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
Crunchy vs. Soft
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 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.
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
Roland has been an animal lover all his life, with cats holding a special place in his heart. He is owned by three felines: Wheely, KitzKitz, and Nugget (all rescues) who bring all the laughter and mischievousness one can expect from the feline master race. As the creator of ExcitedCats, his mission is to assist in the search for the best gear to help improve the health and wellbeing of cats everywhere.
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Cat Treats – Reviews 2020
- 1. Temptations Tasty Chicken Flavor Cat Treats – Best Overall
- 2. Friskies Party Mix Crunch Original Cat Treats – Best Value
- 3. Sheba Meaty Tender Sticks Chicken Cat Treats – Premium Choice
- 4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Crunchy Grain-Free Cat Treats
- 5. Greenies Feline Adult Dental Cat Treats
- 6. PureBites Chicken Breast Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Treats
- 7. Purina Fancy Feast Purely Natural Treats
- 8. Hartz Delectables Squeeze Up Lickable Cat Treats
- 9. Pounce Moist Seafood Medley Flavor Cat Treats
- 10. Purina Whisker Lickin’s Cat Treats
- Buyer’s Guide
- Ingredients to Avoid
- Crunchy vs. Soft