If you have been a cat parent for a long time, you have already faced this situation. And if you haven’t, well, take our word – your cat is extremely nice and fuss-free.
Why did we say that? Well, cats are known to be fussy and particular about their food. If your cat falls in the category of those who eat anything you give them, you are lucky.
It is because a lot of cats only tend to eat treats. And this, my friend, can become your biggest nightmare.
My Cat Only Wants To Eat Treats
It is important to note that treats are supposed to be separate from a whole meal.
It would be best if you only gave your cats some treats as a means of encouragement for good behavior or during its playtime.
Please note: Vets do not permit you to give your cat more than 12 to 15 calories of treats per day.
So if your cat only wants to eat treats, this can be a severe problem.
It indicates that your cat is addicted to treats.
Until your cat does not eliminate normal food from its diet, you can still convince it otherwise by being strict.
But sometimes, it can feel like your cat would rather die than eat.
Is it Safe For My Cat To Only Eat Treats?
No, feeding your cat treats for a prolonged time is not safe for its overall health.
It will deteriorate their physical attributes, making them obese.
We suggest you regulate your cat’s treatment supplies and give them in moderation.
Many experts advise keeping the calorie intake at most 10% with the consumption of treats.
It is important to note that too many treats can make your cat cranky and create a loss of appetite.
It can lead to a nutritional imbalance and make it difficult to impose dietary restrictions later.
Why is my Cat only eating treats?
There may be a lot of reasons why your cat may only be eating treats. Here are some reasons.
1. Treats taste better
It is a no-brainer that treats taste way better than usual dry food.
The best way to determine if this is why is to monitor how your cat treats its food.
Look up close if it is only sniffing and licking the food but not eating it.
If that is the case, chances are your cat doesn’t like the taste of the food you serve.
Many experts suggest that cats tend to be fond of treats as these treats contain animal fat that cats love to eat.
2. There may be a change in the environment
Cats are picky creatures, and that can be a trigger if there is a change in the environment.
It is more common in domestic cats as they get used to living in a particular environment.
It results in their eating habits, sleeping patterns, behavior changes, and mood fluctuations.
So when you take your cat to a new environment, give it sufficient time to adjust.
Once it adjusts and the environment is safe, your cat will slowly return to its normal eating habits.
3. Your cat knows that if it stops eating normal food, you will give it treats
Cats love treats as they are delicious.
But since the general vet advises keeping the treatment consumption to a minimum, cat parents tend to follow it.
However, cats are witty creatures and know how to get their way around situations.
It is when they stop eating their regular diet to convince us to give them treats.
If you look at it, this is almost like manipulating their human to do what they want,
4. The food you are offering your cat is stale, or your cat is bored of having the same food
If your cat refuses to eat a specific food, chances are that it either does not taste good or is stale.
Since we cannot taste cat food ourselves, it is not always possible to know whether what we are giving to our pets is safe.
You can, however, easily detect this issue if you check the packaging of the items.
5. There is no proper routine for your cat to follow
If your cat is fussy about eating, we advise you to devise a routine that monitors and allot specific time frames for specific activities.
It helps establish a sense of order and discipline that is beneficial to control the eating tantrums of most cats.
Why is it not safe for your cat to only eat treats?
The standard advice given by all vets is to regulate the number of treats consciously.
It is because treats can decrease appetite and make your cat moody and sick.
Treats also lack nutrients and give the cat a poor diet. Let us now understand the reason in depth.
1. Treats do not provide your cat with a balanced diet
A balanced diet is extremely important for every living being to function properly.
But what is a balanced diet?
The correct proportion of protein, carbohydrates, and fat comprise a balanced diet.
If you read the labels of commercialized cat food, you can see this basic diet requirement.
It is one of the reasons why dry cat food is the best you can offer to your cat.
But when we look at treats, it does not meet the required dietary standards, as it is only to complement your cat’s regular diet.
You should only give treats to your cat as a reward to impose a positive living environment and reward system.
It is also important to note that treats have high-fat content, making them a prime contributor to weight gain, obesity, or dietary issues in cats.
To help you understand better – let’s say treats are what junk food is to humans. They are delicious but not necessarily good for the gut and overall health.
Hence, it is always advisable to keep a check on your cat. It should always be at most 10% of its actual diet.
2. Your Cat May Suffer From Hepatic Lipidosis
Let us first understand what hepatic lipidosis is.
It is a condition that your cat is at risk of when it eats small quantities of cat food or has no cat food for a long time.
The condition is also a fatty liver syndrome most common in overweight kittens and adult cats.
Your cat develops this condition because when there is a lack of proper nutrients, the cat’s body tries to digest the existing fat.
It leads to over-absorption of fat, and the liver becomes all worked up.
The best way to treat it is to consult a vet immediately, as delays may lead to liver failure or even death.
How you can reduce your cat’s addiction to treat consumption?
Every cat is unique, and there is no specific answer or solution to this problem.
The method, duration, and results solely depend on the cat’s characteristics, personality, and intensity of addiction.
The lesser the addiction, the easier it is to get your cat out of it.
However, here are a few ways in which you can try to get your cat’s addiction to treats under control.
1. Implement the Cold Turkey Approach
What is this approach? Fret not! We’ll decode it for you.
A cold turkey approach completely omits treats from a cat’s diet.
It requires you to be strict with your decision and only feed your cat the usual cat food.
The best way to do this is not to keep any pack of treats inside the house.
It is because the flavors of these treats are rich, and felines can smell and track them down from a distance.
Point to note: When you remove the treats from your household, you leave your cat with no option other than to eat what you serve.
2. Follow a strict eating schedule for your cat
Discipline and habit are the keys to ace anything.
Cats tend to start adjusting to your set boundaries when you follow a consistent routine, especially regarding food habits.
Don’t get us wrong, but this obedience or sync in your cat’s eating schedule with your set time only happens after some time.
There are high chances that your cat will have anger issues, irritability, or mood swings in the initial days, but you need to stay firm.
It takes time and patience.
3. Try serving delicious food
If your cat does not like to eat dry food, try to shift to wet food temporarily.
We also recommend heating the food to ease your feline friend’s sensory organs, making it hard for them to resist.
It can be of any flavor – meat, chicken, rabbit, or anything your cat prefers to eat.
4. Starve your cat to force them to eat
There is a proper way of doing this method.
Start by offering your normal cat food, then place it in front of it.
Give it time to sniff and eat. If it doesn’t, take it up and again offer it after an hour or more.
You need to continue doing this until your cat understands that it either has to eat the food you are offering or starve for the day!
5. Gradually cut down on the number of treats
The process includes reducing the number of treats you give to your cat.
Let’s say you gave your cat five treats a day earlier, reduce it to two in a day and then to once a week.
But we advise you to follow this method only if you are too lenient with your cat and wish to be slow about the whole consumption of treats.
If it has been a while since your cat has stopped eating normal food and has been only consuming treats, chances are that it will be relatively easy to make your cat stop having treats.
But if it has been long enough, the process will be much more tedious and hard.
However, in most cases, your cat can live a treat-free life with proper monitoring, patience, and strictness!
Hi There, AJ Oren here. I am the founder of this amazing pet blog & a passionate writer who loves helping pet owners to learn more about their pets through my articles. I am also the content manager of this blog. I have experience in pet training and behavior, sheltering, and currently working for a veterinary clinic.
- 1 My Cat Only Wants To Eat Treats
- 2 Is it Safe For My Cat To Only Eat Treats?
- 3 Why is my Cat only eating treats?
- 3.1 1. Treats taste better
- 3.2 2. There may be a change in the environment
- 3.3 3. Your cat knows that if it stops eating normal food, you will give it treats
- 3.4 4. The food you are offering your cat is stale, or your cat is bored of having the same food
- 3.5 5. There is no proper routine for your cat to follow
- 4 Why is it not safe for your cat to only eat treats?
- 5 How you can reduce your cat’s addiction to treat consumption?