Treats without Tricks: Giving Your Cat a Healthy Halloween
by Tabby james
Halloween is here, and that means costumes, tricks, and of course, treats. Naturally, you want to include your cat in all the festivities. Before you let your cat splurge on kitty treats though, here’s a spooky fact: as of 2011, over half of all domestic cats are overweight.
That’s a number that will only continue to rise unless we cat owners do something to stop it. And that means giving our cats healthy meals, and cutting down on the snacks and treats.
Don’t worry, your cat can still be a part of the Halloween fun! There are lots of ways to treat your cat without giving him an actual treat. This Halloween, skip the edibles and give your cat a real treat:
- New Toys.
Toys are a great way to get your cat moving and having fun. Balls, mice, dusters, and fishing pole toys are just a small selection of the world of cat toys. For a real treat your cat can enjoy even when you’re away, try an interactive puzzle toy. Or stick to simpler side of things and whip out the laser pointer – fun for you and your cat. Of course, you can always skip the present entirely and just give your cat a bunch of boxes. Instant entertainment!
- Catnip or valerian root.
For many cats, catnip is a great treat any day of the year. The mint plant’s oil drives cats crazy in the best of ways, turning your cat into a drooling ball of joy. If your cat has never experienced the euphoria produced by catnip (or if it’s been a while), this will be an extra-special treat. Some cats are not receptive to catnip, but that doesn’t mean they have to miss out on the fun. Several other plants, like the valerian root, have also been known to elicit the same kind of reaction from cats.
- Scratching spots.
Cats need to scratch to maintain their claws, so a scratching post is an essential part of every kitty’s home. A new place to scratch can be fun for your cat, and help keep her nails healthy. You don’t have to spend a lot on a fancy scratching post, either – a burlap bag, astro turf, or even a shaggy rug work just as well. Firmly attach your material of choice to something like a wooden plank, then either hang it vertically, or give it to your cat to enjoy as is.
How often do you brush your cat’s fur? Brushing keeps your cat’s fur shining and healthy, and helps keep the shedding to a more manageable level. It’s also a good bonding moment, since many cats enjoy the attention and the way grooming feels. If your cat doesn’t enjoy getting brushed, try different kinds of brushes, and ease into it a few minutes at a time. A loving grooming session can be the best treat you can give your cat.
- Bird Feeders.
This one’s a treat for your cat and the critters outside your home! If you can, get a bird or squirrel feeder, and hang it outside a window that your cat has access to. Your cat will love watching the literal live feed, and it will give her something to do when you’re not around. Even if you can’t hang any feeders up, make sure your cat has a spot to comfortably sit by the window and look outside, especially if he’s an indoor cat.
See how many treats you can give your cat, without breaking out any actual treats? Have a happy and healthy Halloween!
Tabby James provides organic catnip, but it’s also about feline happiness and wellness. Our mission is to source fresh catnip and put it in decor-friendly designs that you’ll be proud to display on your coffee table.
Also, remember to enter our photo contest to win a Tabby James prize pack! Interested? Check out the details!