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Cat Not Eating Food But Eats Treats: Is She Okay?

Cat Not Eating Food But Eats Treats: Is She Okay?

Every cat parent knows this: our feline buddies are picky eaters! Sometimes it seems impossible to find something they want to eat today. However, when your cat is not eating food but eats treats regularly, you start to worry.

Treats are called treats for a reason. They’re not a meal and they can’t replace one, no matter what your feline queen might think. Whether her appetite changed due to her health condition, her environment, or her routine, you should look for a solution how to get her back to normal.

Our fur friends aren’t much different than us. We’re all guilty of choosing junk food or snacks over a well-balanced meal sometimes. However, if you do it constantly, it will take a real toll on your health. It’s the same with cats and their treats.

If her tasty treats are all she eats, it can have serious effects on her body and overall health. You should never ignore the changes in your furbaby’s eating habits, as they’re usually an indicator of an underlying issue. Let’s see what might be the reason behind your cat not eating food but eating treats.

Why is your cat not eating food but eating treats?

Cat Not Eating Food But Eats Treats: Is She Okay?

Right now, you probably have no idea what’s going on with her. But you’re certain that any change in your fluff’s appetite can be a cause for concern. Before we get to the possible reasons why she’s skipping her meals and opting for treats, I highly advise you to visit the vet as he’ll know best what’s going on.

This issue could be just a result of an underlying medical condition that you’re not aware of. Don’t lose sleep over this, and talk to a professional. If there’s anything wrong with your fluff, they’ll give her proper treatment that will get her back to her normal, gourmand self.

In case there’s nothing wrong with her health, there are other reasons why she might be refusing to eat anything else but her delicious treats. Here are the most common ones.

1. She has no established routine

Training your cat to have a fixed feeding regimen can help you keep her healthy and at her ideal weight. On top of that, you’ll know when she might be hungry, and she’ll know not to ask for food when it’s not time for her to eat. It’ll be a lot easier for both of you.

If your kitty has no fixed food regimen, she’ll simply eat whenever she feels like it, or whenever she’s bored. This will be especially helpful for cat parents with fussy eaters. Always leaving out wet food for your kitty to eat throughout the day isn’t good for her, no matter how convenient it is for you.

Make a feeding schedule and stick to it. When she’s done eating, toss the leftover food. This way, you’ll let your kitty know that she should eat when it’s time for her to do so, and she’ll become less picky about her meals.

When her food is always at her disposal, she’ll become bored of it and look for other solutions, such as snacks. You should make eating a special part of her day. If she’s hungry in between her meals, give her a snack, but don’t make her solely rely on it.

2. There’s a change in her environment

If you’re wondering why is your cat not eating food but eating treats, think about her environment. Did you make any changes lately? Our feline friends love a routine and they’re not huge fans of change. They love their environment as it is and, if they notice any differences, it might affect how they behave.

This is especially common among house cats who get used to living like royalty. If you’re a proud parent of one, then I’m sure she enjoys the princess treatment she gets. When there’s a new pet or a person in her home, it can make her feel uneasy. More often than not, it reflects on her appetite, too.

There are other changes that could influence this, as well. For example, moving her bowl, forgetting to wash it, or maybe even placing another’s pet bowl right to your cat’s. Once you notice the change, try going back to how it was and see if her appetite improves.

Of course, if you’ve got a baby or a new pet, you can’t really go back to how things were. In that case, give your kitty some time to adapt, and establish a new routine that will make her feel comfortable and safe.

3. She’s not a fan of her food

Cat Not Eating Food But Eats Treats: Is She Okay?

As I’ve said before, cats are known for being picky eaters. If she doesn’t like her food, she’ll rather starve than eat it. My furry buddy could go the whole day without eating and he still won’t touch the food I give him if it doesn’t taste or smell right to him.

I have to admit, it gets rather frustrating, especially when he develops a sudden dislike for the food he used to love. You feel like you’ve finally found the brand he likes, only for him to absolutely refuse to eat it after a month.

If your cat eats treats but won’t eat her real meals, there’s a chance she just hates the food you give her. Yes, even when you treat her to that expensive brand. If she doesn’t like the texture, the smell, or the taste of it, you’re better off giving it to the stray cats outside.

4. You’re too generous with her treats

I know this is something you didn’t want to hear, but you might be the main reason why your cat only eats treats. Your feline buddy doesn’t know limits, but you do. If you’re too generous with her treats, she’ll get used to them. After some time, she’ll refuse to eat anything else.

I don’t blame you, however. I know how frustrating it can be when your cat doesn’t eat much. You start to worry, and you begin to look for ways how to make her eat anything. She never refuses her snacks, so why not feed her with them? Unfortunately, this can only make the issue worse.

Our little furbabies are smart and cunning. She’ll quickly realize that, if she doesn’t eat her meal, she’ll get snacks instead. It’s like a reward for her bad behavior! This leads to her becoming even pickier with her food and can increase the risk of obesity.

Why is it not okay for cats to only eat treats?

Treats are food, too, so why is it bad for your kitty to eat them all the time? Well, see it as you living off of junk food and never balancing your diet. Doesn’t sound good, does it?

You’d quickly notice the negative effect it has on your body. Your kitty isn’t aware of that, but you can be. Here are the main reasons why it’s not okay for your cat to only eat treats.

1. Her diet needs to be more balanced

Just like it’s the case with humans, cats also need to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. The food you get for her is usually filled with a nice balance of proteins, carbs, and fats that her body needs to function properly. Even the cheapest commercial cat food has to hold up to these basic standards.

Treats are just that – treats. They’re not designed to contain everything that your kitty’s body needs. Instead of nourishing your cat’s body, they just complement her regular food. On their own, they’re not balanced enough to be a full meal.

On top of that, they’re filled with calories and fats. Imagine if your only food were chocolates, chips, and candy! Although it sounds delicious, it’d be terrible for your body, as well as your health. No matter how cute chubby cats are, obesity is no joke, and you should pay attention to the food your fluff eats.

2. Hepatic Lipidosis

Cat Not Eating Food But Eats Treats: Is She Okay?

Hepatic lipidosis, also known as fatty liver syndrome, is one of the most common liver diseases found in cats. It often appears in cats who have experienced anorexia, or long periods of time with little to no food. Kitties who were overweight before they experienced anorexia are more prone to this condition.

It happens when a cat’s body tries to digest its own fat since it’s not getting enough food. Eventually, it becomes too much for the liver to process, and the liver starts storing the fat, which leads to liver issues or even liver failure.

Unfortunately, hepatic lipidosis isn’t the easiest disease to treat. More often than not, it requires hospitalization. To avoid this, it’s important that your kitty maintains a healthy diet full of proteins, healthy fats, and carbs.

Clean her food bowl well, make her eating space clean and peaceful, and get your queen the food she likes. If nothing changes, take her to the vet. Her refusal to eat might be a sign of a health issue, so it’s better to stay safe than sorry.

Cat Not Eating Food But Eats Treats: Is She Okay?