How to get FREE cat treats and other MeowneySaving pet tips

MSE Update, Wed 6 Oct: Even though this blog was written in May 2018, I've checked and many of the below offers are still available, and the general premise still stands.

Cats are notorious for being picky. Chances are, if you buy that new food on offer your kitty won't eat it – but what if you could try it free? I asked my cat MSE Pudding to test some Meow-neySavingExpert tips, including free cat treats, food, and coupons, and we're listing her purr-furred options below.

‘Free’ cat treats or food minis inside packs

We’ve spotted these special promotional packs in supermarkets such as Asda, Sainsbury's and Tesco as well as discounters B&M and Home Bargains, so it really is worth checking a few boxes from the brand your lovable furball prefers. Often, these packs will not only contain a free sample of a treat or food, but also a coupon for money off. We’ve seen between 30p and £1 off cat food, treats and cat gravy (whatever that is).

So if you want to be left feline fine, the next time you peruse the supermarket shelves, check pet food boxes and bags of cat litter for special stickers on the outside of the packaging. You're typically looking for a small 2cm-ish square or circular sticker saying something like 'Free sample inside' (see examples below).

What we found and where we found it

We took a look in some of the main supermarkets as well as Pets at Home, Wilko, B&M Bargains and Home Bargains to see if these offers are still widely available, and here's what we found. When we bought the Whiskas and Sheba boxes, we also found coupons inside for the products - usually at least 50p off. Every store we checked had at least one promotional box on the shelves, but obviously it's subject to stock.

If you shop online, it will be 'luck of the draw' as to whether you receive a box with a freebie, but it's not impossible.

Supermarket Cat food Freebie
Sainsbury's Whiskas 1+ fish selection Whiskas casserole pouch
Sainsbury's Whiskas 1+ fish & meaty selection Dreamies cat treat sample
Sainsbury's Iams Delights senior 7+ with chicken £2 off Iams proactive health coupon
Pets at Home Whiskas 1+ fish OR poultry selection Dreamies cat treat sample
Pets at Home Sheba fine flakes poultry OR fish selection OR select slices in gravy OR 'Succulent Collection' Sheba creamy snacks
Pets at Home Perfect Fit Junior <1 chicken First pack free via cashback
Wilko Whiskas 1+ fish OR poultry selection Whiskas casserole pouch
Home Bargains Sheba fine flakes poultry Sheba creamy snacks
Home Bargains Whiskas 1+ fish selection Dreamies cat treat sample
Tesco Whiskas 1+  meaty selection Dreamies cat treat sample
B&M Bargains Sheba fine flakes poultry Dreamies cat treat sample
B&M Bargains Sheba fine flakes 'Succulent Collection' Sheba fresh choice pouch
B&M Bargains Catsan 10L hygiene clumping litter Perfect Fit dry food sample
Asda Whiskas 1+ fish selection Whiskas casserole pouch

Coupons for pet food, treats, etc

Did you know we have a special pets section in our 100+ Supermarket Coupons page? You’ll usually find freebies and coupons off supplies for cats, dogs and sometimes other pets, often from big brands like Purina.

When you sign up to the free Pets at Home ‘VIP club’ loyalty card, you may get coupons in the post, examples we've seen have included £1 off food or £3 off a £30 spend.

Don’t forget, you can usually stack these coupons with other coupons, for example – if you buy £30 of cat food you could use a £3 off £30 coupon as well as £1 off food from Pets at Home and, eg, £1 off Whiskas coupon or similar from another brand, bringing your total saving to £5 off.

The Pets at Home loyalty card also accumulates points which you can choose to donate to help an animal charity, and you can also pick up a free copy of its magazine – which often has more coupons in the back.

You may have been familiar with the sadly now-closed Felix club, where you saved up tokens to exchange for free gifts for your pet, or the Whiskas offer where you bought two packs to claim a free bowl (MSE Pudding still loves hers) so it's worth looking out for similar offers in the future.

Other Meow-neySaving tips

We’re not kitten you, there are more ways to save… but they might leave you in the doghouse. While your cat may love a brand-named food, you yourself are probably eating supermarket own-brand and not noticing the difference, so you could try the Downshift Challenge with pet food and buy a cheaper brand or supermarket own-label instead.

We know this might not be popular with every diva dog or cat, so it’s probably not worth buying that new 20kg bag of dried food straight away, especially if Mittens is a picky eater, and do follow on-pack recommendations for introducing new food to avoid any upset (or puke between your toes at 5am).

However, if you do find a food your picky pooch or critical cat will eat willingly, buying that 20kg bag could help trim your pet’s food bill as buying in bulk is normally cheaper. Just make sure the bag you buy has a resealable opening, or you have a resealable container big enough to keep the food in and strong enough to keep your pet out!

How do YOU save money on pet supplies? What coupons and pet freebies have you found? Let us know on Twitter.