The Good: My cats like it, It has improved my cat's dental health, It's not poisoned
The Bad: Comparatively pricey
The Basics: A useful cat treat, Pounce Tartar Control treats work well on their own or mixed with regular cat food to promote feline dental health.
As a relatively new cat owner (I've only had cats in my life for a little over ten years now), I am frequently discovering that growing up with a dog did not prepare me for being a cat owner. I always wanted a cat and in high school, I lived with a family with cats, but I'm still ignorant of so much that involves cats. I found a great cat litter that prevents my house from smelling like cat pee, but beyond that I know little about how I'm supposed to raise my two cats on my own.
So, because I was not accustomed to cats, I had no idea that it was a real bad sign when my older (and very fat) cat began to exhibit bad breath. My veterinarian, at the cats' annual checkup commented on what I had barely noticed (despite the fact that frequently the fat cat sleeps on my chest breathing right into my face); my cat had bad breath. This, I am told, was caused by tartar and plaque build-up on the cat's teeth. My vet recommended getting tartar control treats for the cat and she also recommended getting the cat's teeth cleaned for a couple hundred dollars.
Two years and several containers of Pounce Tartar Control later, my vet is no longer on my case to shell out hundreds of dollars for dental work on my cat (hell, I haven't been to a dentist in years, all my love for my cat isn't going to make me prioritize his teeth over mine!). My smaller, younger cat, has never even had bad breath, so the Pounce Tartar Control treats seem to be working well as a preventative measure as well.
Pounce Tartar Control cat treats are crunchy little treats that come in various flavors, including chicken, salmon and tuna. They periodically change the shapes of the treats, so the tuna treats I picked up this morning have a heart shape (they are about a centimeter square), while the salmon treats in the cupboard are slightly longer and fish shaped.
Pounce Tartar Control treats are the only cat treats I give my cats because they serve a function; they clean my cat's teeth. Were it not for that, odds are I would not give them treats. This is not because I do not love my two little guys (I do!), but rather because the treats are not cheap. For the price of a small bag (4.2 lbs.) of cat food ($2.99), I can get three packages of Pounce Tartar Control treats when they are on sale (approximately 6.3 oz. of treats). This is not an extraordinary value.
Because my older cat is finicky about his food - he needs urinary tract health formula food - the Pounce Tartar Control treats offer my cats an option for keeping their teeth healthy that I would not otherwise have (there are tartar control cat foods, but not yet one that is both urinary tract and tartar control that I've found). Pounce has marketed itself as a champion of classic conditioning, urging pet owners who use Pounce to shake the container to bring cats to the owner for their treats.
Pounce Tartar Control treats were available in the standard plastic "shake it up" container, though I've not found it in that form locally anymore. Now they always seem to come in the stiff-plastic pouches. This plastic creates a loud, recognizable crinkling sound that brings cats to it right away (I still call out to my cats with the question "Who wants treats?" whenever dispensing this as a treat). Sadly, there are other food products (like vacuum-sealed dinners) that come in similar pouches and when opening them, one's cats are likely to descend, eager for a treat. Thank you, Pounce!
The truth is, though, I'm a somewhat lazy cat owner. My cats keep me moving around to play fetch and keep the litter box immaculately cleaned, I'm often too busy (or forgetful) to give them treats every day like they insist they deserve. What I've begun to do is mix the treats in with the catfood, so the cats get the treats like Lucky Charms marshmallows in their dinner.
The package recommends 6 -8 treats for smaller cats and 12 - 14 treats for bigger cats a day. This would make a package last less than two weeks with my cats. I tend to keep one pouch for use as treats (they get treat time an average of once every other day) and I mix the rest into their food when I jar it up. I jar all of my cat food up to keep the potential mouse population at bay (mice like Pounce Tartar Control treats as well, I've discovered, and they can easily chew through the stiff plastic pouch). These treats seem to have an extensive shelf life (over a year) and I've never found them to be stale, though I would have no idea how to evaluate that as these are a crunchy treat anyway.
The Pounce Tartar Control treats advertise a 100% satisfaction guarantee, but my cats have never complained or tried to exercise that guarantee, so I've no idea how good the customer service backing up the guarantee it. More than that, Pounce's classic conditioning emphasis has robbed me of the ability to objectively test the concept of taste preference in this cat treat; my cats come immediately to it. They have never shown a preference between flavors, regardless of how I attempt to distribute it. Their choice is always what is right in front of them (Piaget would have something to say about this!) and the bigger cat is just as eager for whatever is in front of the little one when his treats are all eaten.
I refuse to taste sample this treat myself to determine whether or not they taste like what they are supposed to (then again, it has been years since I've seen a dentist . . .). My cats like them, they keep coming back for them (and the big one is usually quite lazy) and they have lived up to the promise to maintain (or restore) my cat's dental health.
What more can we ask from our cat treats?
For other cat treats, please check out my reviews of:
Zukes Natural Purrz Tender Chicken cat treats
Feline Greenies Oven Roasted Chicken flavor
Lipiderm Liquid Catnip
For other pet product reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2010, 2007 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.