Why Won’t My Cat Eat Treats?

Disclaimer: The information presented below is for general informational & educational purposes only. Always consult with animal professionals in case of specific concerns.

When it comes to our feline friends, their eating habits can sometimes be a puzzle. ‘Why Won’t My Cat Eat Treats?‘ is a question that bewilders many pet owners who strive to pamper their cats with various snacks.

Cats and treats – it’s a combination that most pet owners think goes hand in hand, like peanut butter and jelly. But what do you do when your feline friend turns up her nose at the tidbits you’re offering? It’s a common problem for many cat owners; one day your cat is devouring treats like there’s no tomorrow, and the next, she’s treating them as unwelcome visitors. This behavior can be frustrating, leading to questions and concerns about your cat’s health and happiness. In this in-depth exploration, we unravel the mystery behind your cat’s reluctant palate and provide insights into how to get them back on the treat train.

Why Is My Cat Not Interested In Treats?

Cat treats form an essential part of many owners’ interactions with their pets. They’re used for training, as rewards, and sometimes just a way to spoil a cat. So when your cat seems to shun the treats you offer, it begs the question – why?

Several factors could contribute to your cat’s decreased interest in treats. Common reasons include health issues, stress, boredom, the treat composition, and even simple mood changes. Let’s examine these reasons and suggest appropriate solutions to get your cat back to looking forward to treat time.

Could My Cat’s Refusal To Eat Treats Be A Sign Of A Health Problem?

The first thing that usually springs to mind when a cat’s eating habits change is a potential health issue. Cats are notorious for not showing signs until they’re feeling very unwell, so a refusal of treats could be an early indication that something’s amiss.

One common issue is dental pain, which can make chewing difficult and painful. Another is gastrointestinal discomfort. If your cat is suddenly avoiding treats but still eating her regular food, it could be a sign of a stomach upset or a more serious issue.

Is My Cat Being Picky About Treats?

Yes, cats can be picky! Many cat owners have had the experience of buying a new treat only to have their cat turn up their nose at it. It’s often less to do with the treat and more about the individual ingredients and taste preferences of the cat.

Cats have a much more acute sense of taste and smell than humans, and this can make them selective about what they’ll eat. A treat might seem delicious to you, but your cat might just not be into it.

Can Stress Or Anxiety Affect My Cat’s Willingness To Eat Treats?

Absolutely. Cats are creatures of habit and can be very sensitive to changes in their environment. Stress or anxiety can lead to a cat refusing to eat or eat less, even if they normally love their treats.

If there have been recent changes in the household, like introducing a new cat, a move, or even a change in your schedule, your cat could be feeling stressed. In this case, patience and reassurance are key to helping your cat feel relaxed enough to enjoy her treats once again.

Could My Cat Be Bored With The Treats I Offer?

It’s possible. Just like people, cats can get bored with the same old thing. If you’ve been offering the same treat for a long time, your cat might just be in the mood to try something new.

You can try rotating different kinds of treats to keep your cat interested and to figure out what she likes best. Some cats are more into crunchy treats, while others prefer the soft, meaty kind.

Should I Be Concerned If My Cat Refuses Treats For A Day Or Two?

If your cat has a brief spell of refusing treats but appears to be eating her regular food and hasn’t got any other symptoms, it might not be a cause for immediate concern.

However, if it persists for more than a day or two, or if your cat is also refusing regular food and seems lethargic or shows other signs of illness, it’s a good idea to consult your vet. Loss of appetite can be a sign of various health issues, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Related: Why Is My Cat Only Eating A Little Bit?

Can Dental Issues Affect My Cat’s Ability To Eat Treats?

Yes, absolutely. Cats can suffer from a range of dental issues, including gingivitis, periodontal disease, and tooth resorption. These can make eating treats painful, leading to your cat avoiding them altogether.

Regular dental care, including brushing your cat’s teeth and providing dental treats or cat toys that promote oral health, can help prevent or manage these issues. If you suspect dental pain, a visit to the vet is essential for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Is My Cat Not Eating Treats A Sign Of Aging?

As cats get older, their senses can diminish, including their sense of taste and smell. This can lead to a decreased interest in food, including treats.

Older cats may also have other age-related issues that affect their appetite, such as arthritis or kidney disease. It’s important to be mindful of your cat’s changing needs as they age and to make adjustments to their diet and lifestyle as necessary.

Can Medication Or Medical Treatments Affect My Cat’s Appetite For Treats?

Yes. Some medicines for cat can alter appetite or make food, including treats, taste unusual. Chemotherapy, for example, can cause a temporary loss of taste, while certain medications might cause an increase in appetite, making your cat less interested in treats.

If you suspect a link between a new medication and your cat’s change in appetite, speak to your vet. They might be able to adjust the medication’s dosage or timing to help restore your cat’s normal eating habits.

How Can I Encourage My Cat To Eat Treats Again?

Here are a few strategies to encourage your cat to eat treats:

  • Try offering a variety of treats to see if your cat prefers one over the others.
  • Use the treats as part of an interactive playtime to make them more appealing.
  • Offer treats as a reward for good behavior or during training to make eating them a positive experience.
  • Ensure your cat is not becoming overweight from excessive treats, which can affect her appetite for regular food.

If your cat is still refusing treats after you’ve tried these strategies or if there are any other worrisome symptoms, consult your vet. They can help you determine the cause and find a solution.


In conclusion, a cat’s refusal to eat treats can be due to a variety of reasons, from underlying health issues to simple taste preference. Paying attention to your cat’s general behavior and maintaining open communication with your veterinarian will help you understand and address the problem at its root. Remember, each cat is an individual, and finding what works for yours is a combination of patience, observation, and love. With time and effort, treat time can once again be a joyful occasion for both you and your feline friend.