We all like to give our cats treats once in a while, perhaps for birthdays or Christmas, or just to show them how much we love them. Often this involves buying them some special kind of food which they really like, and that is of course appreciated by most cats. But it's not always a good idea to do this. Perhaps the cat is becoming overweight and really shouldn't have any extra food. Maybe it is on a special diet for some reason. So sometimes it is a good idea to be able to give your cat some other type of treat which does not involve eating. Here are some suggestions for non-food treats for cats....
Many cats just love catnip, and if you give them anything impregnated with it, they will rub against it and act as though they are drunk. This is not true of all cats, it must be said. But if your cat is one of those which likes catnip, then it is easy to provide a treat for her. You can buy dried catnip and sprinkle it on her bed or other favourite place, or buy her toys which have catnip in them. She will love it!
Most cats just love being scratched behind their ears, and some – though not all – like having their paws massaged. Although owners may stroke and fuss their cats a lot, not all of them do these things. So next time you want to give your cat a treat, try one of these, and see if she likes it. If she does, then remember that a massage session with your cat is a special treat for her.
Many long-haired cats, which really need grooming, actually hate it. But most short-haired cats, although they may not need it, just love to be groomed. So try this one with your short-haired cat; get a soft brush and see if she likes being groomed. The chances are that she will be quite ecstatic, and if so, then you have another favourite treat for her.
Most cats are quite happy to play alone. But they like it even better if their owner takes some time to play with them. You can have games with your cat using balls, sticks, or cat toys, or simply play chasing games, perhaps around the garden. The chances are that your cat will love this kind of activity. Even older cats which don't play a lot often enjoy playing with their owner.
If you really want to buy a treat for your cat, then buy her a new toy. Even if she already has lots of toys, most cats enjoy playing with something new, even if only for a few minutes. This treat doesn't have to cost a lot of money; many cats just love small toy mice or tiny balls. Any pet shop and most supermarkets will have something suitable.
Have you ever bought something for your cat, and found that she was more interested in the box her new toy came in? Most cats just love cardboard boxes – to play in, to hide in, or as a new sleeping place. So it could be a good idea to keep any cardboard boxes you have, and bring them out when you want to give your cat a special treat.
This is another treat which doesn't cost anything. Most cats just love playing with scrunched up balls of paper, and scrunched up balls of aluminium foil are even better. These can be made very easily, and will provide hours of fun for your cat. And when she loses interest, they can simply be put in the bin....where you were probably going to put them in the first place!
This is a treat which will cost you some money, but it might be well worth it. It is possible to buy DVDs specially for cats! Most of them feature wildlife, or fish or birds, or even other cats. Some owners say that their cats love them, while other cats apparently show no interest at all. So it might be worth trying this out with your cat, and if she likes it, then perhaps you have treats for the next few birthdays and Christmases worked out, since there are quite a number of these DVDs available.
This is something very cheap, which you might not have thought of. Simply buy the type of bubbles which children play with, and blow them for your cat. Many cats just adore chasing these bubbles and trying to catch them. It is also now possible to buy special catnip bubbles for cats. I haven't tried these, but they sound like a wonderful idea for any cat which likes both catnip and bubbles.
Finally....something really simple. I'm sure you change your cat's water as often as necessary. But many cats like their water to be really, really fresh, to the extent that some cats even try to drink from dripping or running taps. If your cat is like this, then provide lots of really fresh water for her. It's calorie free, it can't hurt a cat on a special diet, and your cat will just love it.
Now you have the idea, it's possible you can think of many more things which your cat might appreciate, since you know her well and you know what she likes. Sometimes it is just a question of getting into a different frame of mind – stop thinking about food for cats all the time, and ask yourself what else she would like. One of my cats miaows a lot, and I always think he wants food – but sometimes he just wants to be fussed. For him, in a multi-cat household where sometimes he can feel ignored, being picked up and stroked a lot is definitely his favourite treat! And he's probably not alone.