Special Report: Treat Trends

What's new in nutrition for cats? Treats for pets are on the rise. Some of the suggested reasons why may surprise you.

Lets face it: Were suckers for a quick fix. As we rush from work or school to the gym and zoom from piano lessons to basketball practices, sometimes we neglect to show our faithful felines the attention they deserve. Rather than set aside some special time with our cats, we find ourselves ripping open a packet of tuna, dumping it in their bowl and giving a few pats on the head before we fly out the door again.

That’s the danger with treats they can become substitutes for love. Board-certified veterinary nutritionist Sean Delaney calls treats attention replacements when fed in this manner.
Were getting busier in our lives and we feel guilty about not spending time with them, so we give treats instead, says Delaney, also an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, Davis.

The purchase of cat treats has steadily increased since 1996, with a dramatic upsurge from 56 percent in 2002 to 65 percent in 2004. Cat owners are buying more treats each month than ever before, spending about $43 a year for them, according to the 2005-2006 American Pet Products Manufacturers Association Inc. (APPMA) National Pet Owners Survey. 

With cats averaging three treats per day, according to the same survey, obesity becomes a concern compounded with giving treats and not adjusting meal portions.

**For the full article, pick up the June issue of CAT FANCY**

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