Thursday, October 20, 2011

Worthless Catfood Products: Snacks That Don't Help My Cats: General Pounce

The Good: My cats like it well enough, It's not poisoned
The Bad: Comparatively pricey, No real nutritional or hygiene benefits for cats
The Basics: Sadly, this is like candy for cats and does not add anything substantive to their diet and may even contribute to weight gain in lazier cats.

Right off the bat, because sometimes people only look at the bottomline, I LOVE Pounce Tartar Control Cat Treats for my cats. My guys have tried all of the different flavors now and there's a pretty comprehensive review of the tartar control Pounce by me available here! However, this review is for the Moist Pounce that comes in the 3 oz. container. And that, dear reader, is an entirely different product. The Tartar Control pounce is hard and is beneficial for feline dental hygiene. This Pounce is not so wonderful.

As a relatively new cat owner (I've only had cats in my life for a little over five years now), I find I learn something new about my cats almost every day. My big cat, Brillo, is defiant and can be surprisingly ornery. He likes having me around and when I travel, he soils the rug near my fireplace when I return, as if to say "This is for going away!" My little cat, Gollum, seems to be happy just so long as he has his MewsMents mouse (reviewed here!) to play with. Both of my cats love the Tartar Control Pounce and to mix it up a little, one day, I used a coupon and bought the 3 oz. plastic shaking container of Pounce (standard). The Pounce was chicken flavor and both Brillo and Gollum have seemed to enjoy that flavor when they've had it in the tartar control variety.

Pounce cat treats are soft little treats that come in various flavors, including chicken and tuna. They periodically change the shapes of the treats, but the chicken-flavored treats seem like they've been shaped like a drumstick forever. Other Pounce flavors tend to be vaguely shaped like what they represent, like the tuna looking vaguely fish-shaped. The treats are bite-sized for a cat, about a centimeter square.

According to the package - which is a cylindrical plastic tube - Pounce is made with real meat, which I'm presuming means there's real chicken in the chicken flavor. Given that, I assume there are also a ton of preservatives, but my cats did not seem to notice or care that much about them. Given the standard Pounce treats as a treat, my older cat Brillo simply swallowed them whole and the little one seemed baffled when they did not crunch. In fact, the first takes of eating the Pounce cat treats resulted in Gollum simply splitting the treats in half and letting them fall out of his mouth.

The reason I'm so unenthusiastic about Pounce treats is that they do nothing for my cats. The soft treats do not remove tartar from their teeth, so they do little or nothing to promote dental hygiene. Instead, this is like candy for my little ones! And, truth be told, while they ate the treats, they did not seem as excited about Pounce as they get over the Pounce tartar control.

With unenthusiastic cats and no real benefits from using Pounce, the use of treats turns to cost for me. I love my cats and want to reward them, but I don't want it to be a pointless reward or one that shows no clear benefit. Brillo is, how shall we say, a sedate cat. He doesn't need treats that might make him fat. He comes running for the Pounce tartar control; he sauntered toward the regular Pounce. These treats are not cheap. For the price of a small bag (4.2 lbs.) of cat food ($2.99), I can only get two of the Pounce treat containers when they are on sale (approximately 6 oz. of treats). This is not a value at all.

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. This does seem to work; Pounce treats come in a standard plastic "shake it up" container. Shaking the container makes a sound that is more or less unique (so long as one does not have canisters of nuts around the house) which the cats respond to by coming into the room for treats. Alas, anything that sounds like the shake-it-up container will usually bring Brillo and Gollum into my kitchen, which can be annoying at times.

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 a week with my cats. Given the lack of value as far as cost, nutrition and hygiene, this seems awfully pricey to me. Especially considering how little time it stays in the cats.

These treats seem to have an extensive shelf life (over a year) and I don't know that they actually go stale; the test Pounce I bought for Brillo and Gollum was eaten up long before the expiration date. I suppose if they get stale they might get hard and that could only help these treats! Then they might have a purpose!

The Pounce treats advertise a 100% satisfaction guarantee and when I wrote to the company saying how I did not see much value or point to the standard Pounce, they kindly sent me coupons for more of the tartar control treats, which was pretty decent of them.

I refuse to taste sample this treat myself to determine whether or not they taste like what they are supposed to. The chicken flavor did not smell particularly like chicken, but my cats did not seem to care. But then, they didn't seem to care much about these treats either way.

If I'm going to spend money on cat treats, I want my little guys to get excited when I bring the treats out and I want it to have some benefit for their health (wow, when did I become such a stale cat parent?!). Pounce moist treats do not do either, which is why I'll stick to the tartar control and leave these for less discriminating cat owners.

For other cat treats, please check out my reviews of:
Pro Pac Tempting Tidbits Tuna And Whitefish
Cosmic Catnip Fish
Science Diet Culinary Creations Baked Tuna


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

© 2011, 2007 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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