Are you looking for a way to build trust with a skittish cat, or are you searching for a reliable way to administer medicine without a fight? Is your cat's appetite waning? Is there anything you can do to interest your cat and make him more receptive to his meals? Is there anything you can do to jump-start your cat's appetite?
The cat lickable treat era has arrived, and it's serious. You may be startled to discover the wide range of commercial cat treats available at supermarkets, pet stores, and online stores.
What You Need To Know About Lickables
Lickables come in tubes, pouches, and a wide variety of flavors in addition to being pureed and stewed. Cats usually find them delicious, except for those that are too yummy.
Veterinarian and VetScoop (vetscoop.com) veterinarian correspondent Dr. Lindsey Bullen, a board-certified in nutrition at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, D.C., says lickable treats can be used to dispense medication or to reward cats that need rewards." If a cat requires rewards, a lickable treat may be a good option," she says. "They are not nutrient-dense, so you should only use them in addition to a cat's normal diet."
Veterinarians are puzzled by the sudden rise in the popularity of lickable treats. With long-term use of squeezable foods and drinks for children, Dr. Hazel Carney of Emmett, Idaho, and a member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners' Guidelines Committee, wonder why someone didn't jump on the cat treat bandwagon years ago. We, clinicians, have always used baby food as a treat and medication rinse down. We just weren't entrepreneurs.
According to Trish Seifried, cat behavior expert and creator of CatBoss TV, lickables are a game-changer for cats in training and traveling. We discovered lickables in 2019 after microwaving plain chicken breasts to use as treats while training and performing. Because refrigeration was required for the chicken breasts, they were difficult to store on the road. Dry treats are commonly high in carbohydrates and tire our cats, so we were pleased to find lickables. They are easy to grab and eat on the go since they are highly palatable. Our felines expend considerable energy on the job, so we were pleased to discover them.
When going for lickables, Dr. Carney suggests some cautions.
"My biggest worry and counsel to owners is that they will feed them exclusively, and they are not balanced," she says. "You don't want your cat to get hooked on the enhanced smell and refuse regular foods. Long-term feeding of only lickables can affect vitamin levels, mineral balances and blood glucose. These are also too low in calories to sustain a cat."
"These single-serving treat options can cost $2 to $3," Dr. Carney says. "And contamination issues are possible. Once opened, they must be refrigerated."
It's easy to give a Lickable as a treat after or during a stressful event.
Delicious Learning Tools
A cat named Malibu, whom she rescued from a dumpster behind a restaurant, was saved by Trish thanks to lickables. It is through the use of lickables that trust is developed with a feral cat.
"Every cat deserves a chance at a wonderful home," Trish says. "I began using a spoon to offer him food through his crate for everyone's safety."
"Making eye contact with Malibu and rewarding him for doing so helped train him," Trish says. "Tiki Stix helped Malibu become the confident cat he is today," she asserts. After three months, Malibu roams freely in her home, comes when called, sits up, gives a high five, spins, and goes to a designated location on command.
Using the lickable brand Churu as yummy distractions, Sam Jackson, medical director for the Bitty Kitty Brigade, a Minnesota nonprofit kitten rescue group, is inspired.
Sam urges cat owners to wait until their kittens are at least six weeks old and in good health before giving them treats. "Our kittens adore them! They make it easy to feed medication to kittens. At the same time, you're engaged in other activities, such as vaccinating them, drawing blood, or performing other not-so-exciting kitten activities," says Sam. "They make excellent distractions!" Dr. Bullen mentions that lickables may also be used to deliver the liquid or powdered medicine to cats in need.
She mentions that they may be given to cats to get bad medicine tastes out of their mouths after receiving oral medicine or during nail trims to reward them and get them to eat a wholesome diet. According to her, lickable treats may also be used as a reward after a challenging event. You may also use them at your veterinarian's office to create a stress-free experience.
Trish says, "Even your vet tech or veterinarian can quickly deliver this treat while still accomplishing their goals. Why not make the vet clinic a fun place for your cat?
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