Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Strong Antipathy From My Boys To Cosmic Cat Treats Shrimp & Lobster Flavor!

The Good: Doesn't appear to be anything bad in them.
The Bad: My cats avoid them, No dental benefits, Relatively expensive.
The Basics: Disappointing, my cats did not go crazy for Cosmic Cat Treats Shrimp & Lobster flavored treats; they avoided them. You should, too.

When it comes to cat treats, I look essentially for two things: dental benefits and how much my cats actually enjoy the treats. This is not to say that I cheat the details of any of my cat treat reviews - I'll do anything but taste them myself! - but given the relative expense of cat treats, I am biased toward the treats that do something for my cats, like provide dental benefits. So, when my wife - who worked at a pet store around this time last year - came home with a big bag filled with cat treats, I was a little biased because they showed no redeeming dental benefits.

The new treats were the Cosmic Cat Treats line of cat treats and my partner came home and proudly opened a bag of the Shrimp & Lobster flavored treats . . . and my cats . . . walked away. Seriously. I thought this might have been a by-product of the heat, but trying again today, I have discovered that my boys have a complete antipathy toward these cat treats. Given that neither one likes these treats (one picked around in the dish and ate everything but them!) and they are not tartar control, it became quite easy to go with the "avoid" it recommendation.

For the first time in quite a while, both Brillo and Gollum exhibited a strong distaste for a cat treat in avoiding the Shrimp & Lobster flavored Cosmic Cat Treats. Both Brillo and Gollum avoid the Shrimp & Lobster flavor and even our curious cocker spaniel, Mitzie, will not clean these treats up. In other words, they are a complete dud. My cats go after any other treat or catfood before going after the Shrimp & Lobster Cosmic Cat Treats. This is troubling, among other reasons for the fact that my boys usually love anything flavored as if it came from the sea.

Cosmic Cat Treats come in a variety of flavors and we picked up the Shrimp & Lobster flavor because these supposedly addictive treats were being given away at my partner's workplace. These treats trade on the gimmick that they contain real fresh catnip and this is supposed to make them irresistible to cats. Given how they were being clearanced at my wife's pet store and my own cats' reactions to these, I suspect that the gimmick is just that. Compared to the Pounce or Tempting Tidbits cat treats my cats enjoy, both Brillo and Gollum illustrate a strong lack of interest in the Cosmic Cat Treats.

In the past, my cat, Brillo, had bad breath and I solved the problem by getting tartar control treats for him. Because I started Gollum young on tartar control treats, he never developed bad breath and the only treats my boys get are ones that have the health benefit of being tartar control. For that purpose, Cosmic Cat Treats Shrimp & Lobster flavored cat treats are woefully inadequate. For roughly $2.29 for the four ounce package (the standard 3 oz. in a special "33% more free!" package), the lack of dental health benefits to these treats is depressing. More expensive than other treats and not providing tartar control is a real downer.

After only a single pouch of Shrimp & Lobster Cosmic Cat Treats, I can say with some authority that the Cosmic Cat Treats treats have no beneficial effect on the cats' breath. The treats themselves smell fishy and when the cats have consumed them (but before they eat any harder kibble) their breath smells like the treats. This is somewhat counter to the intended benefits of cat treats for me. Having cats with fishy breath is just gross.

The Shrimp & Lobster flavored treats are shaped like little balls and are a half inch in diameter. Each of these treats is pink, soft and smooth, mimicking shrimp or lobster paste. A full 3/8" thick, these treats resemble flakes of fish in color and texture more than cat food. They also smell a lot like real lobster or shrimp.

These treats are somewhat 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 package of Cosmic Cat Treats treats at full price (even the 4 oz. bonus bag). This is not an extraordinary value. If they did anything for my cat's health or even happiness, they would be worth it but considering how they avoid them, this is an overpriced flop.

Cosmic 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 blue 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 (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. Cosmic Cat took a lesson from the makers of Pounce when making the Cosmic Cat Treats.

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 makes no recommendations for how many treats a cat gets each day, though it does warn that Tasty Tidbits are intended 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.

Mixing the treats into the food makes a package last about 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. These treats have a very limited shelf life in comparison to other cat treats. The package which my wife picked up in early August (last year when I actually evaluated these!) had a September, 2009 expiration date, which seems to make good on the claim that the catnip inside is fresh.

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 fish, shrimp and lobster avoid these like they have a plague. I just watched Gollum pick around his in his mixed bowl of catfood and treats! Even my lazy Brillo will not eat these.

The Shrimp & Lobster flavored Cosmic Cat Treats are made up primarily of wheat flour, poultry and water before the ingredient list turns to the catnip or actual fishy products. The Shrimp & Lobster flavored treats contain 19% crude protein, 9% crude fat and 1.5% crude fiber, with 34% moisture. These are not a bad food for my cats, especially compared to other cat treats.

The problem is, there's nothing terribly good either and my cats seem to enjoy less expensive treats that actually work on their dental health by having tartar control properties as opposed to these, which apparently taste bad (or mediocre to my cats) and do nothing but make their breath smell like fish. We expect better.

For other cat snack reviews, please check out:
Pro Pac Tempting Tidbits Chicken and Liver cat treats
Pounce Tartar Control treats
Zukes Natural Purrz Tender Chicken cat treats


For other pet product reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2010, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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