All about cats

What age can you give cats treats

"I tell my students that it's okay to give a cat an occasional treat when they're in the carrier, but they shouldn't expect treats to be a regular thing," said Dr. Danica Cuker, a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine.

"I think it's the same as with children," she said. "The first thing you can do is cut back on treats. By the time they reach adulthood, they should be getting treats only a couple of times a year."

Mayo Clinic's Dr. Mark Glazebrook told ABC News that cats should not be given treats as a way to bribe them to do tricks.

"If it is a reward for a trick, for instance, if the cat is doing something you like, you can reward them with a treat," he said. "If you're giving a treat for no reason, it is not about control. It's about making the cat feel happy."

The American Animal Hospital Association warns that cats shouldn't be given table scraps.

"Cats are not naturally inclined to eat table scraps or other inappropriate treats," said Dr. Mary Jo Koontz, a clinical assistant professor at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

"It puts them at risk for obesity, diabetes and other diseases. They can get colitis, kidney disease and arthritis. It's better to give them their regular diet, and if they want a treat, you can use a treat that doesn't have a lot of calories," she said.

Some cats, however, just don't like to be fed from the bowl.

"If the cat will not eat from a bowl, you can try a different bowl, a different food, put the food in a different room," Koontz said.

You can also try a different approach.

"If you can make the cat think 'I'm getting a treat' when you're trying to get it to eat, that's a great way to get them to eat," she said.

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