Pros: cats go nuts for them
Cons: you may wind up with fewer fingers
I love to make the cats go out of their minds. For instance, there's enough catnip in this apartment to put down a thin layer on all exposed surfaces, but of course I dole it out sparingly so the cats don't build up a tolerance. We try to buy the guys grass (yes, regular old lawn grass - where do you live, again?) to chew on and lay in. And of course, masking tape is a fun toy, in moderation, on cat feet.
And these two cats love their treats. Even if the treat is new to them, they know when it's treat time and know the fourteen different sounds any treat bag, jar, or can on the market can make when it's opened.
Getting A Fix
There's a website (felinegreenies.com) from which you can get free samples of the Greenies. Just like crack, the first hit is free; after that you have to pay. At least the Greenies people give you store coupons that soften the blow, for a while.
These little suckers have the seal of approval from a veterinary council for their help in controlling pet tooth tartar -- "Cleans Teeth! Freshens Breath!" -- so the little guys shouldn't like them, right? Isn't that like feeding your children carrots and calling it a treat?
Nope - the cats are too smart to fall for that ruse. They require a tasty treat regardless of the benefits. So the Salmon Flavor Greenies, in a half-ounce packet, arrived at the door, ready to pass, or fail, the Cat Test.
Are Those Whales?
The Greenie is a packed mass of green particulate, probably attempting to be fish-shaped. I don't think the cats really care about the shape. The packet lists a very long list of ingredients: chicken meal, ground rice, ground wheat, corn gluten meal, oat fiber, poultry fat and poultry digest leading the way. Poultry digest? Chlorophyll adds the green color and the breath-freshening properties, and a whole host of minerals and chemical compounds round out the column of additives. The Greenie is packed with protein goodness (at least 27%) and fat (12% min), while limiting ash to 6.5% and fiber to 10% of the total mass.
One cat, Nice Dumb Boy Cat, is willing to wait until his flatmate has had her fill; Evil Cranky Girl Cat is more than happy to let him do so. If she wants something NOW, she gets it NOW. So holding out two hands, each with a Feline Greenie, does not exactly work.
These little pellets apparently taste so good that Evil Girl Cat must have all that are in play. She has claws that cannot be clipped (see Evil). Girl cat is indiscriminate about what her claws contact. It should come as no surprise that I have had puncture wounds in my fingers after a Greenies feeding. On a particularly excellent evening, in her exuberance she clawed just under my nail on one side of the finger, and out the tip on the other side. Try extricating yourself from that with a screaming cat who wants to keep eating Feline Greenies.
One of the first Greenies episodes ended in a rather unpleasant situation whereby multicolored gastroliberation had to be removed from the kitchen floor.
Since then, I've tried much harder to keep the cats in check. If you have a porous surface in your home, you might want to limit Greenie exposure in that area.
What You'll Pay
The half-ounce baggie of Greenies -- this sounds more and more like a drug buy -- retails for $1.29 at the Petco, while a three-ounce bag costs $5.99. Rather expensive if you follow the package directions of 18 Greenies (a quarter-ounce or so) per day, but as an occasional treat that doesn't hurt the cats, three ounces lasts a long time.
The Cats' Final Thoughts
After a successful feeding of Greenies, the cats' breath is, well, still cat breath but at least not cat-food breath. I guess I'm not a good judge of it. If you're into open-mouth kisses with your cats, the Greenies do seem to make that more palatable.
S&M Nu Tec, Greenies' manufacturer, exhibit perhaps too much perkiness about their products. After all, they aren't saving the world here. But the enthusiasm is harmless, and while the pricing seems wack, the product seems to use more animal product than many other cat treats; higher quality translates to higher price.
At any rate, visit the website, get a free sample, and let the cat decide whether you shall march to the pet store once a month to get her a fix. What have you got to lose, besides a finger?