Tuesday, May 31, 2011

No Plague, But My Cats Still Avoid Cosmic Catnip Treats In The Fish 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: Utterly undesired by my cats, the fish flavor of Cosmic Cat Treats is unimpressive and does nothing but make my cats' breath smell.

One of the things that annoys me of late is when pet products so spectacularly miss their mark that my cats will not even consider them. My wife brings home all sorts of new (to us, at least) treats and no line of cat treats has left us more disappointed than the Cosmic Cat Treats line. We've tried three flavors of them with our cats so far and Brillo (our fat Siamese) and Gollum (our thin black cat) have let us know in no uncertain terms that these are not at all their preferred treats. The range of their displeasure so far comes on a scale of avoidance to indifference. With none of the treats have our cats actually been excited about the new treats. This is pretty much the death knell of the product that advertises that cats will go crazy for them.

Well, I guess my cats are not catnip addicts (not actually true; they have a "stoner pillow" which is a little cat toy made like a little pillow and packed with catnip, that they get once a week and they play with and lick obsessively, so . . .). Neither of the cats likes the flavor we've tried them on the last three days, which is the Fish flavor. Like the Shrimp & Lobster flavor, our cats not only would not eat these when we set them on the floor, but they actively avoided the bites. Yes, Gollum especially picked around the Fish flavored treats and given how these are generally more expensive than their usual tartar control treats (which actually DO something), the Cosmic Cat Treats Fish flavored treats are easy to avoid.

With the Fish flavored Cosmic Cat Treats, both Brillo and Gollum exhibited a strong distaste for a cat treat by avoiding them when I entice them to have treat time. Both Brillo and Gollum avoid the Fish flavor and our curious cocker spaniel, Mitzie, only cleans them up when there are absolutely no other options for her. Like the Shrimp & Lobster flavor, the Fish flavored treats are a complete dud. My cats go after any other treat or catfood before going after the Fish Cosmic Cat Treats. This is troubling, because my boys usually love anything flavored as if it came from the sea ("Tuna Day" is a monthly thrill for them!).

Cosmic Cat Treats come in a variety of flavors and we picked up the Fish 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 partner'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 Fish flavor 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 Fish flavored cat treats are woefully inadequate. For roughly $2.29 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 a real downer.

After only a single pouch of Fish 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 strangely mealy, like juice from the tuna can, 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 worse breath than they started with (our dry catfood leaves them with no bad breath) is counterproductive.

The Fish flavored treats are shaped like little pie wedges and are a half inch by a half inch at their widest points. Each of these treats is dark pink, soft and smooth, with tiny spots in them. A full 3/8" thick, these treats resemble nothing natural 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 Cosmic Cat Treats treats at full price. 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.

I do not give my cats exceptionally regular treat times these days, either. Instead, 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 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 partner picked up in early August has 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 avoid these like they have a plague. Gollum picks around his in his mixed bowl of catfood and treats! Even my lazy Brillo will not eat these. Usually, if he bothers to get up for something, he'll eat it even if he does not like it all that much.

The Fish 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 Fish 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 unpleasant. Why would we pay for that again?

For other Cosmic Catnip cat treat reviews, please check out my takes on:
Cosmic Catnip Liver
Cosmic Catnip Seafood Gumbo
Cosmic Catnip Clam Chowder


For other pet product reviews, check out my index page here for an organized list!

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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