Best Cat Treats For Training – The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Treats to Motivate Your Cat

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The best cat treats for training are high value single ingredient treats, made with premium ingredients that have a strong aroma and taste. These will provide the maximum motivation for your cat.

I have 7 cats, and I have found that using the correct treat makes a HUGE difference to the results I get when I’m training them. I’ve researched what makes a successful and motivating treat to help you choose the best cat treats for training your cat.

I found that the Cat Man Doo Dried Bonito Flakes are the best cat treats for training when you need to highly motivate your cat.

Different training scenarios demand different types of treats however, so I’ve included the best treats for each situation.

For more information on selecting the best cat treats, see our guide on how to choose the best cat treats for training.

Read on to see our reviews of the best cat treats for training.

Best Overall

Cat-Man-Doo Bonito Flakes

High grade single ingredient

Low calorie

Highly palatable

Best Crunchy Treat

Temptations

Affordable

Highly palatable

Contain cereal and fillers

Best Lickable Treat

Churu Lickable Treats

High in protein

Low calorie

Less convenient than dry treats

Our Best Cat Treats For Training

  1. Cat-Man-Doo Dried Bonito Flakes (Best Cat Treats for Training Overall)
  2. Vital Essentials Freeze Dried Minnows (Best Low Calorie Cat Treats for Training)
  3. Life Essentials Freeze Dried Salmon (Best High Protein Cat Treats for Training)
  4. Purebites Freeze Dried Chicken (Best Cat Treats for Training Cats With Allergies)
  5. Temptations (Best Crunchy Cat Treats for Training)
  6. Greenies Dental Treats (Best Dental Cat Treats for Training)
  7. Churu Lickable Treats (Best Lickable Cat Treats for Training)
  8. Hartz Delectables Squeeze Up (Best Budget Lickable Cat Treats for Training)
  9. Sheba Meaty Tender Sticks (Best Semi-Moist Cat Treats for Training)

9 Best Cat Treats For Training Reviewed

A large part of selecting the best cat treats for training your cat is about identifying what your cat prefers. Cats have their own unique tastes and preferences just like us humans. Some cats may prefer crunchy treats, while others may prefer softer, chewy treats.

It’s crucial to choose treats with high reward value. You want your cat to be excited and eager to receive the treat as a reward for the behavior you have asked for. At the same time, you want treats to be as healthy as possible; high in good stuff like protein, vitamins and minerals, and low in bad stuff like artificial additives and preservatives. We’ve analysed 9 of the best cat treats on the market to help you make a choice about which are the best cat treats for training your cat.

Cat-Man-Doo Dried Bonito Flakes

(Best Cat Treats for Training Overall)

  • Main ingredients: 100% Dried Bonito Flakes
  • Key Feature: Human grade all natural product
  • Nutritional Analysis: Protein 76%, Fat 3%, Fiber 1%, Moisture 12%
  • Calorie Content: 90 calories per ounce
  • Type of Treat: High Value Single Ingredient
  • Best For: Best Overall

These treats are made entirely of dried and flaked Bonito, which is a type of fish similar to tuna. They are high in healthy stuff like protein, fish oils and Taurine, and low in fat, carbohydrates and calories. Being made of fish they have a strong aroma and cats go crazy for them. The only downsides are they are pricey being a premium product, and very flaky (but you can use the crumbs as a food topper for fussy cats to avoid waste).


Vital Essentials Freeze Dried Minnows

(Best Low Calorie Cat Treats for Training)

  • Main ingredients: 100% Freeze Dried Minnows
  • Key Feature: Raw freeze dried natural product
  • Nutritional Analysis: Protein 60%, Fat 5%, Fiber 3%, Moisture 8%
  • Calorie Content: 82 calories per ounce (2 calories per fish)
  • Type of Treat: High Value Single Ingredient
  • Best For: Best Dental Healthy Cat Treat

This treat is made from pure freeze dried minnows, with no fillers, flavorings or preservatives. The product is freeze dried raw to preserve it’s nutrient content, and it can be stored without refrigeration. The pieces are 2 calories each, but they can be broken up into 2-3 smaller bits to make them go further in your training sessions. The texture of these treats is naturally abrasive so they have the added benefit of keeping your cats teeth and gums healthy too.

These are sold as dog and cat treats, the dog product works out more economical but they are the same product. Most cats seem to love these, but a few don’t like them, so maybe trial a smaller bag first!


Life Essentials Freeze Dried Salmon

(Best High Protein Cat Treats for Training)

  • Main ingredients: 100% Freeze Dried Wild Alaskan Salmon
  • Key Feature: Raw freeze dried natural product
  • Nutritional Analysis: Protein 84%, Fat 5%, Fiber 1%, Moisture 4%
  • Calorie Content: 135 calories per ounce
  • Type of Treat: High Value Single Ingredient
  • Best For: Highest Protein Cat Treats

These treats are made from 100% raw freeze dried organic Alaskan salmon and have the highest protein content of any treats that we have seen. The 1cm square cubes smell incredibly strong and appetising to cats who absolutely love them. They can be cut up into smaller pieces to make them go further in your training sessions, or crumbled over food as a topper.


Purebites Freeze Dried Chicken

(Best Cat Treats for Training Cats With Allergies)

  • Main ingredients: 100% Pure Chicken Breast
  • Key Feature: Raw freeze dried natural human grade product
  • Nutritional Analysis: Protein 74%, Fat 3%, Fiber 1%, Moisture 5%
  • Calorie Content: 105 calories per ounce (2 calories per treat)
  • Type of Treat: High Value Single Ingredient
  • Best For: Best Cat Treats for Cats With Allergies

These treats are made from USA sourced, 100% human grade chicken breast, and as such are low in fat and high in protein. They are an ideal treat for overweight or diabetic cats, or cats who have allergies or gastrointestinal disorders. They are easy to digest being made from pure chicken, and the minimal processing preserves and intensifies the nutritional content of the chicken. Cats absolutely love the taste of these treats, however they sometimes crumble during shipping. To avoid waste you can just use any crumbs as a food topper.


Temptations

(Best Crunchy Cat Treats for Training)

  • Main ingredients: Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Corn, Animal Fat, Brewers Rice etc
  • Key Feature: Nutritionally balanced tasty treat
  • Nutritional Analysis: Protein 28%, Fat 21%, Fiber 4.5%, Moisture 10%
  • Calorie Content: 112 calories per ounce (2 calories per treat)
  • Type of Treat: Crunchy Kibble
  • Best For: Best Crunchy Cat Treats

Temptations dual textured treats are composed of a long list of ingredients, including animal by-products, artificial flavours and corn, rice and wheat flour. Although nutritionally balanced, they are not the healthiest treat in terms of naturally derived sources of nutrition, but they are incredibly palatable and my cats love them. The cheap grain-based ingredients also means these treats are affordable. At 2 calories per small treat, it’s easy to go over the recommended 10% daily calorie allowance for your cat. However, the supplier suggests these can be fed as a main meal so you can feed more without affecting your cats nutritional needs – just remember to adjust their overall daily calorie allowance to compensate.

Pretty much all of my cats love Temptations, but it does depend on the flavour. Salmon is more popular than chicken! The fact that they rattle in the tub or the bag is also a great way to get my cats’ attention.


Greenies Dental Treats

(Best Dental Cat Treats for Training)

  • Main ingredients: Chicken Meal, Ground Wheat, Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Poultry Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Oat Fiber, Natural Poultry Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Brewers Dried Yeast etc.
  • Key Feature: Nutritionally complete treat that promotes dental health
  • Nutritional Analysis: Protein 27%, Fat 12%, Fiber 10%, Moisture 10%
  • Calorie Content: 101 calories per ounce (1.4 calories per treat)
  • Type of Treat: Crunchy Kibble
  • Best For: Best Dental Cat Treats

These treats are a nutritionally balanced crunchy treat that contains no artificial flavours, preservatives or fillers. They are fairly low calorie for a crunchy kibble type treat, and they are highly palatable to cats. The treats are a unique shape to activate the teeth cleaning action when crunched, and they are recommended by vets to improve oral health of your cat. They are also approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council, and many reviewers have noticed an improvement in their cats teeth.

My cats like these treats, probably not as much as Temptations, but they have the advantage of being healthier in terms of ingredients and calories. I find that they do also seem to have some effect on teeth cleaning and the cat’s breath.


Churu Lickable Treats

(Best Lickable Cat Treats for Training)

  • Main ingredients: Water, Tuna, Chicken, Tapioca, Natural Flavors, Guar Gum, Natural Flavors, Guar Gum, Collagen, Vitamin E Supplement, Green Tea Extract.
  • Key Feature: High moisture content and quality ingredients
  • Nutritional Analysis: Protein 7%, Fat 0.2%, Fiber 0.1%, Moisture 91%
  • Calorie Content: 6 calories per 2 oz tube
  • Type of Treat: Lickable Treat
  • Best For: Best Lickable Cat Treats

Although not as convenient as dry treats, the big benefit of Churu lickable treats is that they have a very high moisture content, which is beneficial for your cats’ urinary tract health. They are also highly palatable and made from natural ingredients. The treats are also very low calorie, so ideal if you want to limit your cat’s calorie intake from treats. They can work out quite pricey though, particularly when the main ingredient is water!

My cats really love these treats, once I manage to get them interested. It’s quite tricky to get the cat’s attention as the smell isn’t strong and they don’t “rattle” like solid treats. They are quite messy and it’s easy to squirt them all over your cat and carpet if you’re not careful. But I like using them as they are a good way of feeding wet food to my cats who otherwise will only eat dried food.


Hartz Delectables Squeeze Up

(Best Budget Lickable Cat Treats for Training)

  • Main ingredients: Water, Tuna, Salmon, Tapioca Starch, Natural Flavor, Guar Gum, Natural Tuna Flavor
  • Key Feature: High moisture content and quality ingredients
  • Nutritional Analysis: Protein 8%, Fat 0.1%, Fiber 0.5%, Moisture 90%
  • Calorie Content: 7.4 calories per tube
  • Type of Treat: Lickable Treat
  • Best For: Best Budget Lickable Treat

These treats have similar nutritional composition and benefits of the Churu lickables, but work out slightly better value. So if lickable treats are your cats choice, these may be a more budget friendly option.


Sheba Meaty Tender Sticks

(Best Semi-Moist Cat Treats for Training)

  • Main ingredients: Chicken, Pork, Pork Liver, Turkey, Pork Skin, Brewers Dried Yeast, Sugar, Animal Plasma, Salt, Yeast Extract, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Lactic Acid, Potassium Sorbate (A Preservative), Glycine, Calcium Lactate, Taurine, Rosemary Extract, Sodium Ascorbate (A Preservative), Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement
  • Key Feature: Semi moist meaty treat
  • Nutritional Analysis: Protein 30%, Fat 15%, Fiber 3%, Moisture 30%
  • Calorie Content: 17 calories per stick
  • Type of Treat: Semi moist treat
  • Best For: Best Semi Moist Cat Treat

I’ve included these as one of my cats is crazy about them, and prefers them over the high value premium treats. With a semi moist, chewy texture they have a higher moisture content than the kibble-type, and this is healthier for your cat. They can also be broken up into tiny pieces and are still dry enough to be easily handled. Each stick contains 17 calories so is getting towards the daily allowance as they are quite high in fat, probably why my cat likes them so much!


How to Choose the Best Cat Treats for Training

Choosing the best cat treats for training your cat will be influenced by:

  • the difficulty level of the behaviour you are teaching
  • the environment you are teaching in
  • what and how you feed your cat

High value cat treats are used for training difficult behaviours and training in a distracting environment. However, what constitutes a high value treat will depend on the preference of your cat. If your cat is fed on kibble, or has free access to food 24/7, then you may need a premium treat such as Cat Man Doo Dried Bonito Flakes. This is because kibble is coated in the same ingredients as more affordable crunchy cat treats, and cats who have free access to food have a lower food motivation.

If your cat is fed regular, scheduled meals of wet cat food, then you may find that a crunchy kibble treat such as Temptations is an excellent high value treat as far as they are concerned! You may even be able to use normal kibble as a training treat.

Tips when choosing the best cat treats for training:

  • Ideally the treats should be healthy, with natural ingredients and no artificial flavors or preservatives. Premium quality treats are made from a single animal protein source with little or no added fillers such as grains or corn, to maximise nutritional value.
  • Treats should be low calorie, as they should make up only 10% of your cats calorie intake. Your cat’s caloric needs depend on their size and activity levels, but an average cat requires around 200 calories per day.
  • Treats should be small, or breakable into tiny pieces, to keep your cat motivated whilst avoiding weight gain. When training your cat you need to repeat the exercise multiple times, rewarding your cat each time before tapering off the treats as he “gets it” so the smaller the treat, the better.
  • Dry treats are easier to handle, plus you can toss them away from the cat to increase their activity
  • Treats should be packed with flavour and aroma to attract your cats attention, and motivate him to achieve his reward.
  • It is best to use a variety of treats according to your training strategy. Use high value treats for difficult behaviours in distracting environments. Use low value for easy behaviours in a calm environment. When training more challenging behaviours or with distractions, higher value treats may be preferred in lieu of healthy treats
  • Don’t feed treats as a meal substitute (unless the feeding instructions say otherwise). Most treats do not have the nutritional requirements your cats need from their food. Too many treats can cause nutritional imbalances and turn cats into fussy eaters – this can cause problems later if they need to nutritionally manage disease with a special diet.

Our Verdict

When it comes to training your cat, it’s important to choose the best treats that will motivate and reward them. Understanding your cat’s preferences is crucial in selecting the right treats that will grab their attention. We found that Cat-Man-Doo Dried Bonito Flakes are an excellent choice of cat treats for training. They are universally loved by pretty much every cat we have met, and are also a healthy treat with high nutritional value and no artificial ingredients.

Sue Light BA (Hons), DipHE

Sue Light BA (Hons), DipHE

Sue is the founder of Web Cat Central and has a Diploma in Feline Behaviour and Psychology. She is an experienced writer who loves spending time at home with her menagerie of seven cats, four dogs and three horses.

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