The Good: Environmentally and nutritionally conscious company, Cats seem to like them
The Bad: A little expensive, No dental benefits
The Basics: Despite being delicious for cats, Natural Purrz Tender Chicken are expensive and do not have tartar control benefits.
I am very picky when it comes to what I feed my cats, at least as far as treats. While the cats enjoying the treats is important to me - nothing lowers value like shelling out for treats the cats will not eat - I also look for economic value, nutritional value and environmental responsibility in the packaging and manufacture of the treats. I mention this as a preface to my review of the Natural Purrz Tender Chicken flavor cat treats because, following the debacle with Cosmic Catnip Cat Treats, my cats, Brillo and Gollum, have been a lot less trusting. As a result, I was pleasantly surprised by how fast and how eagerly my boys returned to enjoying treats . . . that came, in part, with the introduction of Natural Purrz Tender Chicken cat treats to their diet.
But while the cats do seem to enjoy these, I am a bit more ambivalent to them because they are more expensive than other cat treats and they offer no dental health benefits. Because I cannot afford a visit to the doctor or dentists, much less take my boys to the veterinarian these days, I try to keep their teeth healthy using tartar control cat treats. These, alas, do nothing for them in that regard. They do, however, bring them great joy.
With the Tender Chicken flavored Natural Purrz cat treats, both Brillo and Gollum rushed over to me by the second serving. Brillo, our usually cautious Siamese, hesitantly sniffed the treats the first time, but since then, he has been gobbling them up. He even follows me when I move the bag from the desk to the cupboard. Indeed, I just served the cats a pile each of these treats and Brillo is still sitting next to me, hoping some more might fall his way. Gollum will eat almost anything, but he is actually sticking around the room with the same hope. These are clearly a cat-favored treat!
Natural Purrz cat treats come in a variety of flavors and we picked up the Tender Chicken flavor because it was on sale and with the way she has been spoiling the dog of late, I wanted my boys - the cats - to know they are still loved. These treats trade only on idea that they are made from all-natural ingredients and that cats love them. The combination of the ingredients and the taste is supposed to make them irresistible to cats and it does seem like these live up to those boasts. One of the amusing things is now watching the cats when I mix their treats up; given a mixed pile on the floor, both Brillo and Gollum will alternate which treats they are eating, their beloved tartar control treats or the new Tender Chicken treats!
Neither of my cats has bad breath - probably because I started Gollum young on tartar control treats - but the Natural Purrz cat treats are not tartar control. These are soft treats and they actually have a faint smell of meat - oddly enough, these smell like bacon - so they are not even designed to freshen breath. I find this to be a mark against the treats, as these are essentially candy for cats and I'm not big on spoiling my cats (or their teeth) that way. For roughly $3.50 for the standard three ounce package the lack of dental health benefits to these treats is depressing. More expensive than other treats and not providing tartar control is the biggest detraction for me.
The Tender Chicken Natural Purrz cat treats do not freshen cat's breath. Like some of the other Natural Purrz cat treats cat snacks, the Tender Chicken flavored treats smell like what they are supposed to taste like, though these smell less like chicken and more like bacon. As a result, they actually leave my cats' breath smelling meaty as opposed to fresh and clean or even neutral.
The Tender Chicken flavored treats are shaped like little brown cylinders without any relationship between the treats and what they are supposed to taste like. They are 3/8 inch in diameter and about 1/4" thick, so they are appropriate for cats of all sizes. Each of these treats is a darker brown color. They are soft and smooth and they do not have any much in the way of surface texture to provide friction or agitation when cats eat them.
These treats are a bit more pricy than both other cat treats and dry catfood. For the price of a small bag (4.2 lbs.) of cat food ($2.99), I can only get a single 3 oz. package of Natural Purrz cat treats treats at full price. This is not an extraordinary value. If they did anything for my cat's health, they would be worth it but, I only get these now to reward them as the cats do genuinely love them.
Natural Purrz cat treats treats are available in the stiff-plastic pouches which make it easy to tell if they have been tampered with. Each plastic pouch is vacuum sealed and has a bright orange bag which is very recognizable and protects the treats inside well. The stiff plastic creates a loud, recognizable crinkling sound that brings cats to it right away. After being jerked around for weeks with Cosmic Catnip cat treats, both of my cats have become desensitized to their plastic bag conditioning, but the Natural Purrz might be enough to get them back to it!
Instead of regular treat times, I tend to mix the treats in with the catfood, so the cats get the treats like Lucky Charms marshmallows in their dinner. The package makes no recommendations for how many treats a cat gets each day, though it does advise using Natural Purrz as supplemental food, as opposed to actual meals for cats. So, my mixing them into the regular cat food seems like a good idea and my boys get five to ten treats that way each day. So far, they have shown a willingness to pick around their hard, dry food to get these slightly softer treats.
Mixing the treats into the food will make a package last about two weeks with my cats. These treats have a surprisingly long shelf life in comparison to other all-natural cat treats. The package which my partner and I picked up in early December has a late April 2011 expiration date, which is surprising based on how the natural ingredients are not bogged down with preservatives. I refuse to taste sample this treat myself to determine whether or not they taste like what they are supposed to, but my cats who like real chicken also love the Tender Chicken treats.
The Tender Chicken flavored Natural Purrz cat treats are made up primarily of chicken, wheat flour and rice flour before the ingredient list turns to things like supplemental vitamins and the like. The Tender Chicken flavored treats contain 12% crude protein, 7.5% crude fat and 3% crude fiber, with 30% moisture. These are actually fairly healthy for my overweight Siamese and that Brillo loves them as much as he does truly speaks to their quality.
In short, consumers that love their pets will find this to be a great find for their cats, but they ought to consider the overall health implications of the treat and while Natural Purrz Tender Chicken are clearly coveted by my cats, I wish they had some tartar control benefits. That, and making them less expensive, would make this a perfect cat treat.
For other catfood and cat play products, please check out my reviews of:
Feline Greenies Oven Roasted Chicken
Lipiderm Liquid Catnip
Mews Ments Shimmer Krinkle Mouse
For other pet products I’ve reviewed, please visit my index page for an organized list by clicking here!
© 2010, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.