Cat Training Treats – What To Look For and The Best Options

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By Alison Page

Cat training treats are small, palatable nibbles specifically designed for use as rewards during positive reinforcement training sessions with your feline friend. They are typically small morsels to prevent overfeeding and have a strong aroma and appealing taste that cats love!

When choosing training treats for your cat, look out for products containing simple, wholesome ingredients, specifically made for cats, and are grain and allergen-free. The best treats should be soft and easy to break apart to prevent overfeeding, make them last longer during training sessions, and be convenient to store.

So, are cat treats ideal for cat training? Well, both my cats love treats, and I can say that they find an edible reward much more appealing than a simple stroke. However, if you’re concerned that your cat is gaining weight, you might prefer verbal praise, toys, or cuddles instead of edible treats.

Read this comprehensive guide to learn what you must look for when choosing cat training treats and the best options available.

What To Look For In Cat Training Treats

Things to consider when buying cat training treats include simple ingredients and a healthy common nutritious recipe that doesn’t contain lots of preservatives and artificial colors and flavors. 

Small treats with a soft texture that is easy to break apart are the best choice since they allow you to give your cat small pieces of treats, helping to prevent overfeeding and unwanted weight gain. 

The best cat training treats are specially formulated for cats, are allergy-friendly, and are convenient to store.

Here’s an overview of everything you should look for in cat-training treats! 

Simple Ingredients

The best cat training treats are made using simple, high-quality ingredients and don’t contain artificial fillers, additives, or excessive preservatives.

Cats have quite sensitive digestive systems, so treats that have a small number of immediately recognizable ingredients are far more likely to be gentle on your pet’s stomach and will be better for her overall health, too.

Small And Soft

The size and texture of cat treats matter, especially if you’re using them for training sessions. Small, soft treats are easy to handle and can be broken into smaller pieces that your cat can chew and swallow quickly, allowing for multiple rewards during a training session.

High Value

feeding cat treats

High-value cat treats are those that your pet finds extremely appealing and will work to get one, and you should keep these treats specifically for training to maximize their effectiveness. You want to find treats that your cat goes crazy for, as these will keep her motivated and engaged during training. 

Irresistible Flavor

The treats’ flavor is crucial in motivating your cat when you’re training her, so look for treats with flavors that your cat loves, such as tuna, chicken, salmon, and other meaty options. In addition, the treats should have a strong, appealing scent that will catch your cat’s attention and keep her focused on learning new behaviors and commands during her training sessions.

Healthy And Nutritious

Although cat training treats are designed to be given in small quantities, they should still be good for your cat, so look out for nutritionally balanced treats that provide some nutritional benefits for your pet. The healthiest choices of treats tend to contain real meat and high protein levels, ideally with added vitamins and limited calories.

Easy To Break Apart

During training, you’ll probably need to break the treats into smaller pieces to reward your cat frequently. For that reason, choose treats that are easy to break apart without crumbling into messy bits.

Soft Texture

Training a Cat for a Treat in the Room.

A soft texture is easy for your cat to eat quickly and also makes the treat more palatable and enjoyable. Cats generally prefer treats with a chewy, tender texture over hard, crunchy ones,  and your cat can eat a soft treat more quickly than a hard one, making them the best option for training purposes.


You must consider potential food sensitivity or allergies your cat might have when choosing treats, so look for treats labeled as allergen-free or that clearly state they don’t contain common allergens, such as artificial flavors, soy, corn, and wheat.

Made For Cats

Be careful not to accidentally choose dog treats rather than cat treats from the dazzling array on display at your local pet store. Dog treats do not meet a cat’s nutritional needs or taste preferences, so be sure to choose a product that is tailored to feline tastes.

Easy To Store 

Ideally, you want to pick a product that is easy to store and has a long shelf life. Resealable packaging helps to keep treats fresh and stops them from going stale or losing their smell, while proper storage will maintain the treats’ quality over time, ensuring your cat continues to enjoy them during training sessions. 

What Are The Best Cat Treats For Training?

The best treats for cat training are high-quality, high-value treats with a long shelf life in flavors that your cat loves. 

However, there are several different types of cat treats to consider, and the best type depends on your cat’s tastes. For example, one of my cats loves crunchy, soft-centered Dreamies treats, while the other won’t touch them and prefers soft, chewy Webbox treat sticks.

So, it might take a little experimentation on your part to learn what floats your cat’s particular boat!

Types Of Cat Treats

As already mentioned above, there are several different formats of treats, including crunchy and chewy textures, freeze-dried treats, squeezable treats, whole fish treats, and others.

In this part of our guide, we explain more about the different types of cat treats available with examples for you and your cat cat to try.

Dry Treats

Dry cat treats are small pieces of biscuit or kibble available in many different flavors. Some owners use their cat’s favorite dry food as a treat reward, but if you decide to do that, remember to weigh your pet’s daily food allowance and deduct your treat allocation from that to avoid overfeeding. 

Here are some examples of excellent dry cat treats.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Crunchy Cat Treats

Chicken flavor

12oz tub

All life stages

Blue Wilderness crunchy cat treats contain delicious, whole chicken and are grain-free. These treats are suitable for cats of all ages, and each contains only 1.5 calories.

Wellness Kittles Crunchy Natural Grain-Free Cat Treats

Chicken flavor

2oz bag


Wellness Kittles treats are grain-free, high-quality kibble treats that contain no artificial colors, preservatives, or additives. These treats are formulated for adult cats and provide immune system support, appetite stimulation, skin and coat health, and hip and joint support.

Bundle of IAMS Proactive Health Kitten Dry Cat Food

Chicken flavor

7lb bag


This is a complete cat food that you can use as part of your cat’s daily diet and for training rewards. The food is designed to satisfy a kitten’s needs and includes Omega-3 and DHA for healthy skin, coat, and brain development.

Freeze-Dried Treats

Freeze-dried cat treats are made by freeze-drying the ingredients and then slowly removing any moisture through a process called sublimation, where the Ice turns directly into vapor without passing through a liquid phase. The result is a crunchy, lightweight, shelf-stable treat that retains most of its original flavor, nutrients, and texture.

The freeze-drying process preserves the nutritional value of the ingredients since it doesn’t involve using high temperatures. 

ORIJEN Freeze Dried Cat Treats

Poultry and flounder flavor

1.25oz bag

All life stages

These grain-free cat treats for all life stages are freeze-dried to lock in the rich flavor and nutrients. The treats contain 99% animal ingredients, including wild-caught flounder and free-run poultry, and have just one calorie each for ideal training and reward.

Purebites Tuna Freeze Dried Cat Treats

Tuna flavor

25g bag

All life stages

These delicious treats contain only two calories per treat and are made using only ocean-caught human-grade yellowfin tuna with no added preservatives. These treats are perfect for a shiny coat and healthy skin and contain Omega-3 oil for brain health.

Instinct Raw Boost Mixers Freeze Dried Raw Cat Food Topper


6oz pack

All life stages

These appetizing freeze-dried cat treats are designed to be used as a food topper but can also work well as a training treat.

The treats are grain-free and made using free-range chicken organs and non-GMO veggies and fruits.

Puree/Squeezable Treats

Puree or squeezable cat treats come in a semi-liquid or paste-like form and are usually packaged in pouches or small tubes. These treats are smooth textured, making them perfect for licking directly from the package, and many cats find them highly palatable.

INABA Churu Cat Treats, Grain-Free, Lickable

Tuna and chicken

20 x .5oz tubes

All life stages

These puree training treats are made using only farm-raised chicken or wild-caught tuna fish. The treat’s wet texture helps keep your cat well-hydrated during training, and each tube contains only six calories.

Tiki Cat Stix Grain Free Lickable Cat Treats

Chicken, salmon, or tuna and scallop


All life stages

These single-serve cat treats can be used as treats or squeezed on top of dry food for a boost of moisture and flavor. The treats contain only nine calories each, no added artificial colors or flavors, carrageenan, or hormones, and are made using 100% non-GMO ingredients.

Hartz Delectables Squeeze Up Interactive Lickable Wet Cat Treats

Chicken and tuna flavors

10 x .05oz pack

All life stages

These delicious puree lickable treat tubes contain a thick, creamy filling that cats love. The treats can be used as a handheld reward or squeezed into your cat’s bowl for a snack or to entice fussy feeders.

Whole Fish Treats

Whole fish treats are a type of cat treat made from whole fish that’s usually freeze-dried or dehydrated. These treats can provide your pet with various nutritional benefits and be tasty and satisfying.

Icelandic+All-Natural Cat Treats


1.5oz pack

All life stages

These treats are made using sustainably sourced whole herring and are 100% fully digestible. The treats’ crunchy texture helps reduce plaque and tartar buildup on your cat’s teeth, and the natural protein and Omega-3 the treats contain promote a healthy, shiny coat.

Icelandic+ Plus Capelin Whole Fish & Pieces Cat Treat


1.5oz pack

All life stages

These treats are made using sustainably-sourced whole capelin and are 100% fully digestible. The treats are crunchy, helping to reduce plaque and tartar on your cat’s teeth, and contain natural protein and Omega-3 to promote a shiny coat.

Dental Treats

Cat dental treats are specialized treats designed to promote good dental health in your cat. The treats are usually formulated to reduce tartar and plaque buildup on the cat’s teeth, helping to prevent oral health issues such as gingivitis, bad breath, and tooth decay. 

These treats typically have a unique shape or texture that helps to clean the cat’s teeth as she chews on them, and some dental treats also contain ingredients to support oral hygiene.

FELINE GREENIES Adult Natural Dental Care Cat Treats

Catnip flavor

2.1oz pack of 10


These crunchy textured dental treats help to freshen breath, as well as reduce tartar buildup and clean your cat’s teeth. The treats contain natural ingredients, added minerals, vitamins, and other essential nutrients to create a balanced dental chew for adult cats. At less than two calories per treat, these dental treats are ideal for cats who are watching their weight.

DentaLife Savory Salmon Flavor Dental Cat Treats

Salmon flavor

1.8oz per pack

All life stages

These treats contain no added preservatives, flavorings, or colors but are packed with calcium, taurine, and probiotics to support your furry friend’s digestive health.

DentaLife Tasty Chicken Flavor Dental Cat Treats


19oz pack


These tasty dental treats have a porous texture that reduces tartar buildup and are packed with wholesome, natural ingredients and added vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. The treats contain no added flavors or colors but do have added calcium, taurine, and probiotics for good digestive health. 

Grain-free Treats

Grain-free treats, as the name suggests, contain no added wheat, soy, barley, corn, or other grains and are designed to cater to cats with potential grain sensitivities or allergies.

Inaba Churu Tuna & Chicken Puree Variety Pack Grain-Free Lickable Cat Treat


50 x 25oz tubes

All life stages

This delicious purée cat treat contains 91% moisture and only six calories per tube, making this a healthy lickable training treat or food topper your cat will love! These streets are made using simple ingredients and contain no preservatives, grains, artificial colors, or carrageenan.

Wellness Crunchy Kittles Cat Treat


2oz pack


Wellness Kittles treats are grain-free, high-quality kibble treats that contain no artificial colors, preservatives, or additives. These adult cat treats are formulated to provide immune system support, skin and coat health, appetite stimulation, and hip and joint support.

Applaws Natural Cat Treats

Chicken filet with rosemary

12 x 1.06oz tubes

All life stages

These cat treats are 100% natural and contain no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. These grain-free treats are perfect for training or tempting fussy feeders as a food topper.

Natural And Limited-Ingredient Treats

Natural and limited ingredients treats are made using all-natural ingredients or one ingredient and contain no preservatives, artificial colorings, or artificial flavors. Often, organic ingredients are used, making these a super-healthy treat your cat will love.

Bundle of ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Cat Food – All Natural

Lamb, beef, or chicken flavors

14oz pack

All life stages

These treats are grain-free, low-carb premium cat treats containing no added carbohydrates, cheap fillers, potatoes, or peas, which can be linked to obesity, food allergies, and other health issues.

The treats contain only holistic ingredients to support your cat’s digestion, such as cold-washed green tripe, poultry heart, green muscles, and organic kelp, plus taurine. 

Applaws Natural Puree Tuna Multipack Cat Treats


.25g x 8 tubes

All life stages

This paste-style cat treat contains nothing artificial or hidden, no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, and is made using only natural ingredients.

Vital Cat 6 Pack Freeze-Dried Minnows Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Cat Treats

Minnow (fish)

.5 pack x 6

All life stages

These grain-free treats contain only freeze-dried minnows, providing your cat with a healthy, wholesome, nutritious training treat she will go crazy for!

What Are Some Kitten Treats For Training?

Kittens have very specific nutritional requirements that should be reflected in the treats you use for training as well as in your pet’s main diet. So, when choosing training treats for your kitten, be sure to pick a product specifically formulated for kittens.

Cat-Man-Doo Extra Large Dried Bonito Flakes

Fish (Bonito)

4oz pack


These single ingredients cat treats work well as a healthy meal additive or a nutritious training treat. The high-quality treats contain taurine and are high in protein to provide your pet with the energy she needs for training sessions while being low in fat and calories.

The treats are packed with natural fish oils to keep your cats fur beautifully shiny.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain Free Soft-Moist Cat Treats
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain Free Soft-Moist Cat Treats

Chicken and turkey

2oz bag

All life stages

Blue Buffalo Wilderness grain-free cat treats Are meaty, soft treats packed with tasty chicken and turkey your kitten will love. The treats contain only 1.5 calories each, making them perfect for training purposes, as the risk of overfeeding your kitten is unlikely.

Are Treats Ideal For Cat Training?

Yes, cat treats are ideal for cat training! 

Have a bag of treats handy during all your training sessions to provide your cat with an immediate reward when she does the right thing. That way, your cat gets to associate displaying a certain behavior with receiving a treat, making her more likely to repeat that behavior in the future.

Positive Reinforcement Cat Training

Positive reinforcement cat training involves rewarding your cat with praise, treats, or a favorite toy whenever she performs a desired behavior. The idea behind this form of training is to teach the cat that behaving in a certain way will always earn her a reward, so she will be more likely to repeat that behavior in the future. 


Many cats are motivated by food, so you can use tasty treats to motivate your cat to respond to your keywords and commands in order to receive a treat. 

In other words, whenever your cat does the right thing, she will receive a delicious reward, making her more likely to be motivated to repeat that behavior the next time you ask her for it.

Instant Feedback

If you give your cat a treat reward as soon as she does what you ask her to, that instant feedback makes it crystal clear to your cat that she has done the right thing.

Clear Communication

Giving your cat a reward for exhibiting a desired behavior clearly communicates that she has done what you want her to and you are pleased with her. Training treats are ideal for that purpose because most cats enjoy them and will happily do what you ask in order to get one.


Many forms of cat training treats are versatile in that you can use them as food toppers to tempt picky eaters, as rewards for a job well done, to disguise medication, and even as part of your cat’s regular basic diet.

Cat Training Treats FAQs

In this part of our guide to cat training treats, we answer some more of your questions on this fascinating topic.

Are Lickable Treats Good For Cats?

Lickable treats can be good for cats, provided you choose a product that’s made using only natural, limited ingredients and doesn’t contain grains, artificial additives, preservatives, or colors.

The main disadvantages to using lickable treats are that they can be quite messy to handle during training sessions and, once open, on not easy to keep fresh when in storage.

How Many Treats Can I Give My Cat?

Giving your cat too many treats is not advisable because that will interfere with your pet’s daily food allowance and could lead to unwanted weight gain. Be guided by the manufacturer’s directions on the product packaging, or ask your vet clinic for advice on feeding your cat.

Are Treats The Only Way To Train A Cat?

Not all cats enjoy treats, so you must find another way to reward your pet during training sessions. If your cat is motivated by playing with a favorite toy, that could be used as a reward for good behavior. Alternatively, your cat might just appreciate verbal praise, a cuddle, and a head rub.

Never punish your cat for getting it wrong during a training session! Yelling at or hitting your cat will only make her frightened of you, setting back your training efforts and destroying the close bond you are trying to build between you.

How Often Should I Use Treats During Training Sessions?

It’s unnecessary to treat your cat every single time she responds positively to a cue word or verbal command. Once a trick or command is well established, reduce the number of treats you give to your cat and save them for teaching her new tricks. 

Instead, use verbal praise and substitute the treats for petting or playtime with one of your cat’s favorite toys.

Can I Use Regular Cat Food As Training Treats?

Yes, you can use regular cat food as training treats. However, if you decide to do that, remember to deduct the food you use for training from your cat’s daily food allowance; otherwise, you might accidentally overfeed her, leading to unwanted weight gain and its associated health problems.

Can Treats Be Used For Training Older Cats?

Yes, you can use treats for training older cats. Choose a product that’s formulated for senior cats, as they have different nutritional requirements from younger animals and kittens. In addition, you might want to use a soft, chewy treat or a paste-style one if your senior cat has dental issues and finds crunching kibble difficult. 


Cat training treats are small, tasty food items that are specifically formulated and designed to be used as rewards when training your cat. Training treats are usually small, soft, packed with flavor, and have a strong, enticing aroma. 

The best cat training treats are soft and easy to break apart to avoid overfeeding your cat and to make them last longer during training sessions. When choosing training treats, pick products that contain simple, wholesome ingredients specifically made for cats that are allergen and grain-free and contain no artificial preservatives and other additives.

If your cat doesn’t enjoy editable treats, and some kitties don’t, try rewarding her with verbal praise, petting, or a playtime session with one of her favorite toys.

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