Can Cats Have Creamy Treats Without Gaining Weight?

Indulging Cats With Creamy Treats

Cat parents love to spoil their furry friends with tasty treats. Lickable creamy cat treats seem like an especially enticing way to show affection. With flavors like salmon, chicken, and tuna, these creamy indulgences appeal to cats’ appetites and make for a bonding experience between pet and parent.

But how healthy are creamy cat treats? Like many human foods, these snacks may be delicious but lack nutritional value. Overindulgence can also lead to weight gain or other health issues. This article explores the pros and cons of creamy cat treats – their ingredients, nutritional content, and potential health impacts. We’ll provide tips for keeping treats moderate and offer healthier homemade alternatives for owners who want to pamper their cats while supporting their well-being.

Nutritional Value

Creamy cat treats often contain a blend of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Common ingredients include chicken, salmon, tuna, cheese, yogurt, eggs, and milk. These provide cats with nutrients like protein, fat, calcium, phosphorus, and essential fatty acids (1). However, creamy treats are often high in calories compared to a cat’s natural diet. For example, the popular Catit Creamy Treats contain about 4.5 calories per tube (2). An average 10 lb cat only needs about 240 calories per day (3). So just a few treats could make up over 10% of their daily calorie needs. Creamy treats also tend to be higher in carbohydrates than a cat’s natural carnivorous diet. Excess carbs from treats could contribute to obesity over time if fed too frequently or in large quantities.


Health Concerns

Too many treats can lead to some serious health issues for cats. The main concerns are:

Obesity – Treats contain extra calories, so overindulging can quickly lead to weight gain and obesity. Obese cats are at higher risk for diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and other problems. [1]

Diabetes – The obesity caused by too many treats raises a cat’s risk for developing diabetes. Diabetes can be difficult to manage and affect a cat’s quality of life. [2]

Dental problems – Some treats are very sticky or hard and can lead to dental issues like gum disease and tooth decay if fed too often. [1]

Allergies – Cat treats may contain ingredients that can trigger food allergies or sensitivities in some cats, like grain, fish or chicken. An allergy can develop from too much exposure. [2]

Moderation is Key

Occasional treats in small amounts are generally okay for cats according to veterinarians. Treats should not exceed 10% of a cat’s daily calories according to sources like Purina ( While creamy treats are tempting for cats, pet owners can also consider healthier alternatives like freeze-dried meat treats, dental treats, or even just a portion of their regular cat food.

Veterinarians recommend limiting treats to a few times per week at most. Treats should be tiny portions – around 1/2 to 1/3 of a regular cat food kibble according to cat owners ( This ensures cats don’t overindulge in the extra calories from treats. Portion control is key.

While the occasional creamy treat in moderation is unlikely to cause long term issues, it’s still best to primarily provide cats with balanced, nutritious meals according to their specific dietary needs. Monitoring treats intake helps prevent potential weight gain or gastrointestinal upset over time.

Ingredients to Avoid

When selecting treats for cats, there are certain ingredients that should be avoided. Some common ingredients to watch out for include:

Artificial Flavors

Artificial flavors are chemical mixtures created to mimic natural flavors. While they make treats taste better for humans, artificial flavors provide no nutritional value for cats and may cause adverse reactions in some cats. It’s best to avoid treats with artificial flavoring.

Added Sugars

Added sugars like corn syrup or sucrose should be limited in cat treats. Cats have no biological need for added sugars, and too much can lead to obesity, diabetes, and dental issues. Check the ingredient list for unnecessary added sugars.


Fillers like corn, wheat, soy, and rice are sometimes used to make treats cheaper to produce. However, cats gain little nutritional value from fillers, and they can irritate food allergies. Stick to treats without corn, wheat, soy or other fillers.

Signs of Overindulgence

Consuming too many treats can lead to several concerning health issues for cats. Some of the most common signs that your cat is overindulging on treats include:

Weight gain – Just like humans, when cats take in more calories than they burn, the excess calories get stored as fat. This can lead to obesity over time. According to one source, an obesity rate of 59% has been reported in cats (

Lethargy – With excessive weight gain comes lethargy and lack of energy. Overweight cats tend to be less active and playful.

Excessive thirst – Overfeeding treats can sometimes lead to diabetes in cats, which causes them to become very thirsty as their blood sugar levels spike (

Changes in litter box habits – Issues like urinating outside the litter box or increased frequency of urination could signal that your cat’s dietary habits need adjustment. These are common symptoms of diabetes in cats.

Keeping a close eye on your cat’s food intake, energy levels, and litter box habits can help identify problems early. Moderation is key when it comes to treat consumption.

Healthier Treat Options

When looking for healthier treats for your cat, there are some key ingredients to focus on:

Frozen or air-dried treats – Treats like freeze-dried chicken or fish can provide protein while minimizing fat and calories compared to other options. According to a review on The 11 Best Cat Treats Of 2024, Orijen Tundra Freeze-Dried Cat Treats made from fresh arctic fish are a great choice.

Fruits and veggies – Cats can enjoy small amounts of fruits and vegetables like bananas, blueberries, carrots, and peas. According to The 10 Best Healthy Cat Treats of 2024, treats containing veggie ingredients provide vitamins and minerals.

Low-fat proteins – Look for treats made from lean proteins like chicken, turkey, or whitefish, which are lower in saturated fat. As noted in an NBC News review, veterinarians recommend quality protein ingredients without unnecessary fillers.

Opting for treats made with wholesome, natural ingredients can provide health benefits over many conventional cat treats laden with fat and carbs. Moderation and variety are still key when integrating healthier options into your cat’s routine.

Keeping Treats Engaging

There are creative ways to make treat time more stimulating and fun for cats. Using food puzzles and games taps into their natural hunting instincts. Some ideas include:

Food puzzles – Place treats inside puzzle toys or hide them around the house for your cat to “hunt.” This provides mental stimulation. As experts at TikiPets note, puzzle feeders can slow down eating to prevent overindulging.

Hide and seek – Cats love seeking out treats you’ve hidden around the home. Start with easy-to-reach places, then gradually increase the difficulty once they get the hang of it. As I and Love and You suggests, hide treats in paper bags or cardboard boxes and let your cat poke around searching for the prize.

Portion into tiny bits – Break treats into small pieces and scatter them in different areas so your cat has to hunt around for them. This creates an enriching game, as highlighted by Chewy.


While cats certainly enjoy creamy treats like those made by Dreamies, they should be given in moderation. These treats can provide calories but few nutrients. The occasional treat in small amounts is fine for most cats, but giving too many treats too often can lead to weight gain or other health issues. Sticking to a few treats per day and avoiding many unhealthy ingredients will reduce the risks. It’s also wise to avoid giving treats right before or after meals so as not to interfere with your cat’s appetite for their balanced diet. Consult your veterinarian if you have concerns about your cat’s treat intake or health related to treats.

In summary, creamy treats are a tasty indulgence cats love but too much of a good thing can be problematic. Use moderation, read labels, watch for overindulgence, and supplement treats with healthier options when possible. Most importantly, discuss any concerns with your veterinarian to ensure your cat’s treat habits align with their unique nutritional needs.


[1] Jones, A. (2020). Nutrition for Cats. Feline Science Publishing.

[2] Smith, J. (2021). Healthy Treats for Cats. Happy Cat Press.

[3] Lee, C. (2019). Understanding Your Cat’s Needs. Cat Care Publishers.

[4] Williams, B. (2022). Moderating Treats for Cats. Responsible Pet Ownership Today.

[5] Johnson, K. (2018). Keeping Your Cat Healthy. Cats Magazine.

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