Explain to me how they know (cat treats)...

sue36June 10, 2009

How is it that cats know the difference between cat treats and plain old dry cat food? My cats LOVE (read: obsessed with) cat Greenies. If we open the drawer they are in they come running (how do they know it's *that* drawer?). They meow and cry to get their Greenies. Tonight I brought home the new Wellness cat treats. They love them. Now, how do they know these are treats? If I sprinke a few dry food niblets on the floor they would walk right on by. What exactly is in cat treats that drives cats crazy? We refer to the Greenies as "cat crack".

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It's like people who choose dog (or cat food) by what the pet will go to and eat. It probably has something more alluring and bad for the pet, for they are drawn by the same things we are.

Sweetness, salt and fat. Lace a pet food with it, and of course they'll like it.

If we had brains like pets and didn't know nutrition but knew what we liked, when our 'owners' put food down for us, what would we go for? Cardboard? Raisin Bran? Lettuce? What about that stick of butter or that pizza.

I guess we're programmed to be drawn to the high-value food, in the wild, supplies are limited. Because of agriculture and mass production, we exist in a paradigm of plenty rather than scarcity, yet our instincts still tell us to stock up.

That's my bet, but if you look at what is in commercial pet foods, you'll see what I mean.

Pretty much invariably, the cheapest junk goes in, laced with something to make it palatable.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 3:50AM
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Wait until you try Purina Party Mix. I can't even touch the bag in the cabinet before the cat who doesn't meow, MEOWS at my feet.

The label warns about using it as a replacement cat food, so I'm sure it has no nutritional value. It also stresses to keep plenty of fresh water available for the cat so I think this might be why my cat is constipated!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 1:32PM
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Ive used treats to get my cats to use scratching post. worked well. Their fav. are the greenies. However, one of my cats (the least smart?) will fall for pieces of her regular food, the other will turn up her nose, you're not going to fool me look.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 1:35PM
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I finally got my cat fooled. He was such a treat addict -- begging several times a day, and even insisting on treats mixed in with his wet food before he'd eat it. It was simply too expensive to keep buying those tiny bags so...

I bought Purina Healthful Life cat food. His regular food is higher quality Nutro but he thinks the Healthful Life is the same as treats. I sprinkle a tablespoon in his wet food and he gobbles it up. He also begs for the Healthful Life like it is treats.

I would never feed him the HL as "real food" because he'd obviously eat too much of it!!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 11:27PM
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I think they put the same "crack" in the Greenies pill pockets! Vet is having us try a different med to control our one kitty's OCD/allergic alopecia, and this med is in pill form (rather than the transdermal gel she'd been getting). They gave us a pkg of chicken flavor pill pockets along with a bottle of the pills.

OMG! I was afraid she'd either eat the "pocket" and spit out the pill (my first cat would've done that!), or sense the pill inside and avoid the "treat" entirely (she wouldn't touch her food if it was laced w/ compounded chicken-flavored liquid meds, and did the same with the compounded meds-laced Pounce treats--at $50 for ten treats!). So far she's wolfed the pill pockets w/pill down in one gulp! No hesitation there. I just hope I haven't jinxed ourselves now by posting! :-)

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 9:57AM
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