We all love our floofs, and if they’ve been extra good boys or girls, you may be wanting to treat them every now and then. However, if the treats you’re feeding your cat aren’t healthy or up to nutritional standards, your furry-friend might start to stack on a few extra pounds which can lead to obesity and diabetes. Today we’re going to explore a popular UK pet food and cat-treat brand: Webbox and answer the question of whether they really are good or bad for your cat.
Cat Treats: The Basics
Different types of cat food come under the umbrella terms of Complete or Complementary Cat Foods. Complete cat foods, are nutritionally balanced with everything your kitty needs for a purrfect and thriving life. You don’t need to supplement a complete cat food with anything else and you can feed it to your cat every day by itself. The PFMA always recommends feeding your cat FEDIAF-approved complete cat food to ensure it’s getting all it needs for a happy and healthy life.
Complementary cat foods, on the other hand, don’t have sufficient nutritional content to be fed to your cat on its own and must be supplemented with other food to obtain the daily nutrient requirements that every cat needs. Cat treats are examples of complementary cat foods. Complementary cat foods are optional and don’t need to form any part of a cat’s diet, especially if they are fed a complete cat food every day.
Treats will also add extra calories to your cat’s diet, so if you do feed your cat treats you need to adjust how much food you give them at mealtime to keep them healthy. You can use our cat food calculator to see how many calories your cat needs per day and how much you should be feeding your cat to keep them trim.
How to Read a Cat Treat Label
Before we dive into Webbox Cat Treats and whether they are good or bad for your cat, you’ll need to know how to read a cat treat label to make an informed decision.
If you ever want to pick up some cat treats for your floof, it’s impawtent to read the nutritional information and ingredients list on the label to determine if it’s going to be good or bad for your cat.
Many cat treats contain high levels of sugar, salt, artificial additives and preservatives which can upset the tummy of your cat. Opt for a cat treat with only natural ingredients and high-quality named animal protein to satisfy the obligate carnivore within. Cats find it hard to digest too many carbs and should be fed a diet high in animal meat to keep them healthy and living longer.
A recognisable form of animal meat or protein should be the first on the ingredients list of the cat treat. This shows you that the majority of the treat is made from meat. If the cat treat is listing “animal derivates”, “meat derivatives” or a form of vegetable protein such as “pea protein” as the number one ingredient, it’s generally made with lower-quality forms of protein which can be difficult for your cat to digest. You also don’t know exactly what’s in the cat treat which can upset sensitive cat tummies or those with food allergies.
Webbox is a UK-based pet food brand that was acquired by Pets Choice in 1992. The business was originally named EK Animal Feeds, but when acquired by Pets Choice, was renamed as Webbox with the inspiration coming from the former owner’s surname. Webbox creates a range of pet foods including Complete Dog and Cat Food, Webbox Naturals, Webbox Dog Treats and of course Webbox Cat Treats.
What are Webbox Cat Treats?
There are 33 different types of Webbox cat treats currently available on their website at the time of writing, varying from crunchy treats to soft toppers, and even cat grass and cat easter eggs. If the Webbox cat treats are labelled as Webbox Naturals, they contain only natural ingredients, however, for the other treats it is not specified. Always check the ingredients list to see if the cat treat is right for your kitty-cat.
Webbox Cat Treats: Are They Good or Bad for My Cat?
So, now for the part you’ve all been waiting for, Webbox Cat Treats: are they good or bad for my cat? To best answer this question, let’s analyse the ingredients list with your new supercharged cat treat label reading skills! We’re going to take a look at their top-selling treat, the Webbox Lick-e-Lix Chicken Cat Treats.
Composition: Meat and animal derivatives (4% chicken), derivatives of vegetable origin, milk and milk derivatives.
Additives: Zinc: 20mg/kg
Meat and animal derivatives (4% chicken)
As per the regulations of European law, the term "meat and animal derivatives" is defined as “all the fleshy parts of slaughtered warm-blooded land animals, fresh or preserved by appropriate treatment, and all products and derivatives of the processing of the carcass or parts of the carcass of warm-blooded land animals".
With this ingredient making up most of the treat, it makes it almost impossible to know exactly what’s in it. Even though cats are not commonly affected by food intolerances or allergies, the most prevalent ones are usually caused by beef, fish, and chicken. Therefore, if your cat has to avoid any of these ingredients, it's best to avoid treats that contain ambiguous ingredients.
Although it’s mandatory to list ingredients in descending order of weight, the exact percentage of each ingredient may not always be specified, making it difficult to determine how much meat is even in the product. Since cats are obligate carnivores, their diet requires a high amount of animal protein, as they cannot synthesise certain amino acids themselves and must obtain them through their diet. Therefore always choose a cat food product that has a high level of named animal meat to be sure they’re getting all the goodness they need.
Derivatives of Vegetable Origin
This is another very vague phrase, allowing some pet brands to switch up the exact ingredients depending on what is most cost-efficient at the time. Again, this makes it difficult to know exactly what you’re feeding your cat and may not be the best option for those with food sensitivities or allergies. Vegetables are also high in carbohydrates which cats have very little need for and shouldn’t make up a large proportion of their diet.
Milk and Milk Derivatives
You may be surprised to learn that adult cats are actually lactose-intolerant as they lack the necessary enzymes to break down lactose. Therefore feeding them dairy is generally a no no as this can upset floofy stomachs. Check out our blog on Can Cats Eat Cheese? for all the details on why cats should commonly avoid dairy.
Zinc is a trace mineral, meaning it is only needed in small amounts. Zinc is important for helping to transport vitamins in the body such as Vitamin A which promotes healthy skin and a shiny kitty-coat.
Other Options for Healthy Cat Treats
When searching for a cat treat that is both delicious and healthy for your cat, always check the ingredients list first to make sure it’s the purrfect choice. Look for named ingredients in particular a recognised named form of animal meat and limit treats with high levels of carbs, vegetables or vegetable protein such as pea protein which are hard to digest.
Avoid treats that include dairy or artificial colours or flavourings as these won’t make your cat’s tummy very happy. High levels of salt and sugar should also be avoided as these can be addictive for your cat as they’re basically the “junk food” version of cat treats.
We load them with a whopping 50% chicken as well as 100% natural and named ingredients so that you can be sure of exactly what’s going into your cat’s mouth. We never use any dairy and add the superfood Slippery Elm to our treats which is a natural prebiotic to keep your cat’s digestive system firing on all cylinders and their poops looking great for an easy clean-up at the kitty-litter.
We also put sustainability at the forefront and are proudly B Corp certified, being the second pet food company in the whole of the UK to gain this badge of honour. We’ve recently just had to recertify where we actually improved our B Corp score by 12% which we’re pretty chuffed about! You can check out our 2022 B Corp Impact Report for all the details.