How to Find the Healthiest, Best Treats for Your Feline Friends

Many of us sometimes want to give our feline friends a little treat. But, finding healthy cat treats can be tough. After all, you don’t want to give them anything that isn’t good for them, right?

Freeze-Dried Meat

One great option when it comes to healthy cat treats is freeze-dried meats (one brand I love is Vital Essentials). This can be an especially great way to get liver and other organs into your cat, if they are finicky about eating them.


Many pet stores carry freeze-dried meats and organs that make great treats for cats. Make sure that the meat is antibiotic- and hormone-free, that the animals were pasture-fed, and that the treat doesn’t contain anything other than the single ingredient (for example, beef liver). It is vitally important that your cat get about an appropriate amount of organ meat each week (about 5% of their weekly intake should be liver and 5% should be non-liver organs). Try to get your cat to eat several different types of organs from different species of animals. Of course, if your cat will eat fresh organ meat, that is ideal, but if not, this can make a great treat for them.

Freeze-Dried Versus Dehydrated Meats

Many times people are unsure of the difference between freeze-dried and dehydrated meats. Freeze-
dried meat is flash frozen. Then, it’s placed in a vacuum container, which causes the moisture in the
meat to vaporize. Dehydrated meat is heated; the heat causes the moisture in the food to evaporate.
Freeze drying removes more of the moisture content from the meat (about 98%), while dehydration
removes less (estimates range from 75-95%). Because freeze-dried meat has less water, it lasts longer without expiring. Also, because freeze drying doesn’t require heat, the meat retains the nutrients it had in its original form after the freeze-drying process is complete.

Choosing Dehydrated Treats

Dehydrated food does require heat, which means (depending on the temperature used) that the protein may be denatured; when this occurs, your pet’s body can’t effectively use the nutrients and amino acids in the meat. For this reason, I recommend freeze-dried meats as treats for your cat (if you want to give them a treat).
However, some people find that their cats prefer dehydrated meat. If this is the case, you may want to invest in a dehydrator; this will allow you to ensure that the meat is dehydrated at a temperature that will not denature the protein. Relatively speaking, it takes very little heat to denature protein; cooking the meat at 117 degrees Fahrenheit for just 3 minutes will do it!
If you purchase dehydrated meat as a treat for your cat, follow the same guidelines: hormone- and
antibiotic-free, pasture-fed, and organic.
If you do choose to give your cat treats, there are some good options out there, so you can pamper them without worrying that you’re feeding them junk food!





Here is a round-up of products mentioned in the article for your shopping convenience!