When choosing kitten treats, you want to choose something healthy, but there are so many brands and types of cat treat on the market, it can be tough to know what to buy. We’ve reviewed ten different healthy treats for your kitten so you can know what you’re buying. We’ll also give you a guide to what to look for when buying your kitten treats while you shop. These reviews will give you the confidence you need to purchase treats for your kitten.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023
|Best Overall||Blue Buffalo Cravings Kitty Treats||
|Best Value||Whole Life Freeze-Dried Cat Treats||
|Premium Choice||Cat-Man-Doo Dried Bonito Cat Flakes||
|Hartz Delectables Kitten Treat||
|Meow Mix Salmon Cat Treats||
The 10 Best Kitten Treats
1. Blue Buffalo Kitty Cravings Cat Treats – Best Overall
|Feature:||Corn, wheat, and soy-free|
For a holistic, natural treat, try Blue Buffalo Kitty Cravings. There are no preservatives or artificial dyes in these kitten treats. They have a limited ingredient list of chicken, rice, barley, oatmeal, and peas and contain no corn, wheat, or soy. These features are what make it our best overall pick for kitten treats.
The only real complaint about these treats is that not all cats like the flavor.
2. Whole Life Just One Ingredient Cat Treats – Best Value
|Feature:||Low in fat|
We chose Whole Life Just One Ingredient freeze-dried cat treats as the best value for the money kitten treats. These treats contain only one ingredient: freeze-dried chicken. Because of this, the protein content is extremely high at 80%.
The downside of these Whole Life treats (or any freeze-dried treat) is that the pieces crumble easily if you try to break them. When they crumble, they become powder and are tough to feed.
3. Cat-Man-Doo Dried Bonito Flakes Cat Food – Premium Choice
|Natural Ingredients:||No preservatives|
|Feature:||Low in calories|
Cat-Man-Doo Bonito Flakes contain Japanese fish as the main and only ingredient. They’re full of protein and have added taurine to support your kitten’s health. They are preservative-free and low-calorie, so you can feel good about what you’re feeding.
The big downside to Cat-Man-Doo treats their smell. They smell “fishy,” and the smell rubs off on your hands after you touch them. If you don’t wash your hands, your cats will be relentless in trying to find the treat.
4. Hartz Delectables Bisque Tuna & Chicken Kitten Treat
|Feature:||Corn, wheat, and soy-free|
Hartz Delectables Bisque Lickable Kitten treats have salmon, cod, shrimp, and tuna meal listed as the top ingredients. They are free from additives that could upset your kitten’s sensitive stomach, and they come in portable, single-serving pouches that allow you to carry them with you anywhere.
The downside of Hartz Delectables is that some cats won’t like the taste or texture. They’re made to be extra creamy for small kittens, but some find them unpalatable.
5. Meow Mix Irresistibles Soft Salmon Cat Treats
Meow Mix Irresistibles offer cat treats with a crude protein value of only 20%. This is quite a bit lower than the other treats on our list, but it’s still decent. Chicken and salmon are the primary ingredients in these treats. They are soft for easy chewing and come in a handy, resealable package to maintain freshness.
Meow Mix food and treats contain BHA, which is a chemical preservative. It’s considered safe in small amounts, but it may not be something you want to feed to your kitten. This treat also contains some artificial coloring, which can cause allergies in some cats.
6. Get Naked Kitten Health Grain-free Soft Cat Treats
|Feature:||Added taurine and omega fatty acids|
Get Naked Kitten treats are fortified with omega fats for healthy skin and coats. They also contain taurine, and at just three calories a treat, you won’t have to worry about loading your kitten up with extra calories.
The protein level in these treats is quite low, at 18%, so you’ll have to make sure you’re providing protein from another source.
7. Blue Buffalo Bursts with Savory Seafood Cat Treats
|Feature:||Crunchy outside, soft inside; comes in portable pouches|
Salmon is the primary ingredient in Blue Buffalo Bursts Cat Treats, but they also contain cod and shrimp. They have added taurine and omega fats to promote eye and skin health. Kittens love the crunchy outside and soft inside. These treats are packaged into portable packages to make them easy to pack anywhere.
These cat treats were packaged with a lot of broken pieces in the bag, which is disappointing. There’s also a chance that your kitten won’t love the flavor.
8. PureBites Freeze-Dried Natural Chicken Breast Cat Treats
|Feature:||Freeze-dried raw food|
PureBites Freeze-Dried Natural Chicken Breast Cat Treats provide kitten owners with a single ingredient, raw food option. Because they’re freeze-dried, they don’t spoil like most raw food. The variety featured here is made from chicken, but there is also a salmon recipe available.
The downside of freeze-dried treats is that they’re crumbly. If the bag gets crushed, it’s often half powder.
9. Wellness Kittles Tasty Crunchy Natural Cat Treats
|Feature:||2 calories per treat|
The Wellness Kittles Tasty Crunchy Natural Cat Treats are another low-calorie option at only two calories per treat. These treats are specially shaped to help scrub plaque and tartar off your kitten’s teeth. They contain all-natural ingredients like potatoes, peas, and chickpeas.
Unfortunately, a lot of cats don’t seem to like these treats, so the flavor may be an issue.
10. Blue Buffalo Baby Blue Chicken Kitten Crunchies Cat Food
|Feature:||Healthy growth formula for kittens|
The Blue Buffalo Baby Blue Chicken Kitten Crunchies Cat Food is specially formulated to promote healthy growth and development. These treats are made from chicken and whole grains and oven-baked to make them crunchy. They have no artificial preservatives or flavors and are corn, wheat, and soy-free.
Unlike some of the other treats on the list, most cats seem to like the flavor of Blue Buffalo Baby Blue Kitten Crunchies. They come in a resealable back to retain freshness.
With chicken as the primary ingredient, some cats can develop an upset stomach when eating these treats. They are also not a great option for cats who have sensitive stomachs.
Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Best Kitten Treats
Ingredients in kitten treats
To help you shop for kitten treats, let’s take a look at the ingredients you should look for, as well as the ones you should avoid.
We talk a lot about protein content in these reviews, and there’s a good reason why. As carnivorous animals, cats require lots of animal-based protein to stay healthy. Whenever possible, you should look for treats with 35% protein or higher to give your kitten the best possible nutrition.
Whole meats are ingredients like turkey, salmon, or chicken with no terms like meal or by-product attached to them. The healthiest treats will contain whole meat as the top listed ingredient. It’s not only the best option nutrition-wise for your kitten, but it’s usually the type of food they like best.
Meal or by-product are interchangeable terms used to describe dried and ground meat. These ingredients are used to boost protein levels in animal foods. They’re not harmful to cats, but they shouldn’t be the number one ingredient on your treat bag.
While we tend to think of fat as a bad thing, it’s an important part of your kitten’s diet. Especially omega fats that provide significant nutritional value. Most veterinarians recommend that a kitten’s diet contains at least 18-35% fat, but as with humans, too much isn’t good for them either. If your kitten’s diet already contains enough fat to support its growth and development, you’ll want to look for lower-calorie treats (there are several recommendations in this article). Too much fat in a kitten’s diet can lead to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and other health problems.
We mentioned these earlier as being important for a kitten’s health. Omega fats prevent hyperexcitability and constipation. They promote skin and coat health as well.
Calcium is more important for kittens than for adult cats, as it’s an important building block for healthy bones and teeth. This electrolyte also plays a role in blood coagulation and preventing a disease called rickets. Nursing mothers and kittens require high levels of calcium in their diet.
Taurine is an amino acid that is important in digestion, clear vision, and pregnancy. Taurine fortification prevents a deficiency of this compound.
Ingredients that you should avoid
Hard vs. soft kitten treats
Some treats are hard and crunchy, while others are soft. Hard treats are strongly recommended because they help to clean your kitten’s teeth by removing plaque and tartar.
If your kitten loves soft treats, however, there’s nothing wrong with feeding them once in a while.
How to feed kitten treats
The recommended rule for feeding treats to your kitten is that no more than 10% of your kitten’s calories should come from treats. For an exact recommendation, it’s best to consult your vet, but they are called “treats” for a reason. They should be fed sporadically as a treat and not as a primary food source.
Every kitten is unique, and one thing they don’t agree on is which treats they like. It’s not uncommon to have to try several brands to find one your kitten will eat. If you have more than one cat, it’s likely you will need to buy treats from multiple brands.
There are many ways pet parents can show their cat companions how much they love them. The Hepper NomNom Cat Bowl is a beautiful alternative to your traditional cat treat and offers many benefits for both cats and their owners. Learn more about the NomNom here.
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Alternatives to commercial treats
Fruits or vegetables
There are several fruits and vegetables that you can feed your kitten as a treat. These include apples, bananas, strawberries, watermelon, blueberries, carrots, broccoli, and green beans. All vegetables should be cooked until they’re soft and cut into tiny pieces.
When it comes to buying treats for your kitten, the number of choices can be overwhelming. Our top pick for the best overall kitten treat this year is Blue Buffalo Kitty Cravings. They are a healthy, all-natural option that will make you feel good about what you’re feeding. Whole Life Just One Ingredient Freeze-Dried treats are our value pick. As a single ingredient food, they are great for avoiding food sensitivities, and the freeze-dried recipe means that nutritional quality is maintained. We feel this treat is the best value for the money.
These reviews and the buyer’s guide should help you in your quest to find the best treats for your kitten.
Featured Image Credit: Anton Chebotarov, Shutterstock