THE FINICKY CAT By arden moore
Admit it. It feels good to hand over a treat or two to your cat, especially when he turns on his
purr machine and makes sweet eye
winks at you. The challenge: to not
let him dictate when and how often.
To help you deal with your
treat-seeking tabby, Catster interviewed one of the nation’s top
feline experts, Elizabeth Colleran,
D.V.M., a veterinarian who operates cat-only practices in Chico,
California, and Portland, Oregon.
The Chico Hospital for Cats is
also home to Domino, a former
stray once mistaken for a skunk,
who now lounges on the lobby
counter and greets clients at the
clinic in northern California. Dr.
Colleran adopted this likeable,
mellow feline who has been the
hospital cat since 2006.
“He has one bad habit,” Dr.
Colleran said. “He has an overly
enthusiastic interest in food. We
toss treats down the long hallway in
keeping with Michelle Obama’s Let’s
Move program. Chasing food gets
him acting out his normal chase/
Inside her clinic is a small retail
area that features an assortment of
treats all passing her requirements
for putting the capital H in healthy.
Among them are Domino’s favorites:
Life Essentials freeze-dried chicken
made by Cat-Man-Doo and Kitty
Kaviar, made of dried Bonito fish
filet flakes. Neither have additives
“I reach for 100-percent protein
treats made in the USA,” Dr. Colleran
said. “The recall of so many pet
foods with outsourced ingredients
keeps me avidly a label reader.”
Pet Safety Cat Casey, my long,
Q: How many treats each day?
“Treats should only be given for
desirable behavior or training.
Each one should be no bigger
than one half of a ‘pinkie’ fingernail so during training they can be
useful without satisfying hunger.”
Q: How many calories are in
the average treat?
“Small treats of the size I describe
should be in single digits and
nearly or entirely animal protein.”
Q: How many calories total
should a cat have each day?
“At ideal weight, 30mg/kg. 180
to 200 for a healthy young adult
a day, divided into multiple small
meals. But that depends upon
at least 40 to 45 percent
protein and activity. A
cat needs more
energy than an
indoor cat without
much to do.”