Can Cats Get Hooked on Treats, Meals, or Catnip?

Final Up to date on: October 17, 2022 by Crystal Uys

maine coon cat having treat

There are a variety of issues to recollect with regards to taking good care of a cat. Not solely do you have to keep in mind what they’ll and might’t eat, however you also needs to take into accout the potential addictions or obsessions they’ll develop.

Treats and meals can each develop into harmful addictions for our favourite felines. Alternatively, regardless of utilizing catnip as a solution to set off catnip highs in cats, it’s utterly secure and non-addictive.

Meals, treats, and catnip all carry particular person dangers and it’s necessary to contemplate all the potential downsides to overusing your cat’s favourite issues. This information incorporates every thing you should learn about addictions to meals and treats, and methods to use catnip safely.

Can Cats Turn into Hooked on Meals or Treats?

Sooner or later, all of us have given into our cat’s large eyes and demanding meows and handed over a deal with. Possibly it’s as a result of they haven’t had a deal with for some time or it’s simply to get some peace. Nonetheless, cats can develop into hooked on their treats. The extra you give them, the extra they’ll crave.

This isn’t simply restricted to treats. Your cat may be simply as susceptible to growing an dependancy to their dry meals too. Whereas dry cat meals is designed to be extra nutritionally balanced than treats, your cat may be very happy to complete off the whole bag in a single sitting in the event you allow them to.

cat eating canned food
Picture Credit score: Veera, Shutterstock

Find out how to Inform if Your Cat Is Obsessed With Meals

Your cat won’t be capable to demand meals like your hungry toddler calls for cookies, however they use related techniques to get their approach. More often than not, these strategies are efficient too. We’ll inevitably get so pissed off by their antics and fixed pestering that we’ll give them a deal with simply to distract them.


Quite a lot of toddlers get grouchy once they don’t get their very own approach and a few cats are the identical approach. When you do handle to disregard their begging for a deal with, you would possibly discover that your often mild-mannered kitty grumbles at you much more. They may additionally swat the deal with out of your hand or snatch it out of your fingers once you do give them one.


Strolling up and down the hall or working forwards and backwards between you and the deal with cabinet is your cat’s approach of getting your consideration. Whereas all of us love some cat cuddles, typically it’s apparent your cat has ulterior motives. That is very true if their relentless pacing leads you proper to the door of their deal with cabinet.

Scratching on the Deal with Cabinet

Cats aren’t as daft as lots of people assume. They know precisely the place you retain their meals even when they’ll’t get to it. One signal of attainable meals dependancy is that if your cat by no means wanders removed from the cabinet you retain the treats in. They’ll scratch or paw on the door in an try and persuade you to provide them a snack.

Some significantly good felines would possibly even work out methods to open the cabinet themselves if it’s not secured.


Maybe probably the most annoying behavior our cats develop once they’re after one thing is being obnoxiously loud. If you’re attempting to observe your favourite TV present or get some work completed, the incessant, high-pitched meowing is grating.

Sadly, giving your cat a deal with to persuade them to be quiet solely encourages the conduct. The extra occasions you give in, the extra possible they’re to make extra noise to demand meals.

Find out how to Cease Your Cat’s Habit to Treats

Treats ought to solely make up about 10% of your cat’s weight loss plan. Your cat’s favourite biscuits ought to by no means develop into a serious a part of their weight loss plan as a result of lack of vitamins within the recipe and the danger of overfeeding. Thankfully, there are a number of methods in which you’ll be able to break your cat’s dependancy to treats, it’ll simply take some dedication:

cat being fed a cat treat or cat food by hand
Picture Credit score: Jakub Zak, Shutterstock

Automated Feeders

Designed to provide your cat meals at set intervals all through the day, computerized feeders additionally benefit from instructing your cat to not affiliate people with meals. It’d take some time, however your cat will ultimately be taught to not count on meals from you everytime you enter a room.

Automated feeders additionally allow you to preserve cat meals out of attain as a substitute of leaving it out in an open bowl throughout non-feeding hours. It will assist your cat be taught that they get fed at sure occasions of the day slightly than once they demand it.

Ignore Begging

That is simpler stated than completed, particularly when our cat’s massive, heartbroken eyes come into play. Ignoring their conduct is an important a part of breaking their dependancy to treats although. The extra you provide them treats to get them to depart you alone, the extra you’re reinforcing the conduct.

In case your cat calls for meals, don’t give in. They need to solely get a deal with to reward good conduct like taking drugs or as a one-off deal with as a pleasant change.

Go to Your Veterinarian

Generally, it’s not the treats which might be the issue. Your cat may be affected by an underlying medical situation which means they’re not getting sufficient vitamins of their weight loss plan. Your cat might be affected by well being issues like diabetes, parasites, or thyroid points.

One of many greatest warning indicators for attainable well being points is that if your cat’s conduct about meals modifications abruptly. Prepare an appointment together with your veterinarian to rule out any attainable medical-related points your cat might have.

Can Cats Turn into Hooked on Catnip?

A member of the mint household, catnip incorporates a chemical that’s well-known to set off pleasure, sleepiness, drooling, or elevated purring in some cats. In case your cat is without doubt one of the many who reacts to catnip, you may be apprehensive about them growing an dependancy to the herb. Nonetheless, regardless of making some cats go loopy, catnip is totally non-addictive. Your cat is extra more likely to develop into proof against the results of catnip if it’s used too typically.

Some cats additionally don’t react to catnip in any respect. Kittens lower than six months previous and senior cats are the least more likely to react to the results of catnip. There are additionally a variety of grownup cats between these ages that hardly react to catnip in any respect, whether or not as a result of they’re immune or simply not vulnerable to the results.

grey cat enjoying fresh catnip
Picture Credit score: Anna Hoychuk, Shutterstock

What Are the Dangers of Catnip?

Typically, catnip is totally secure for cats, particularly when it’s utilized in moderation. As with most issues, nevertheless, there are some dangers you need to take into accout in the event you give your cat catnip.

One of many greatest points is utilizing an excessive amount of catnip. Overdosing is unlikely to be deadly however it could actually trigger diarrhea, dizziness, lack of coordination, or vomiting. Catnip may trigger aggression in some cats or make aggressive cats final out extra towards you and different pets.

In these circumstances, giving your cat much less catnip—or none in any respect in case your cat is aggressive—is usually sufficient to get them again to regular.

Find out how to Use Catnip Safely

As non-addictive and non-toxic catnip may be, it’s nonetheless necessary to make use of it correctly. Each to make sure your cat will get probably the most out of their catnip excessive and to maintain them secure.

Alter the Dosage

There are a number of methods to make use of catnip. Contemporary, dried, as a sprig, or stuffed in a toy. The dosage in every case can fluctuate. Contemporary catnip, for instance, shall be lots stronger than the dried type so that you’ll want much less to entice a response. Concentrated catnip oils may even be much more potent than diluted choices or the dried leaves in cat toys.

Monitor Reactions

Not all cats react to catnip nevertheless it’s nonetheless necessary that you simply don’t depart them unattended across the herb. Don’t let your self get too distracted by your cat’s excessive although, you need to be certain that they’re not getting too excited by the herb. In case your cat will get too hyperactive round catnip, it’s may be an indication that the dosage you give them wants adjusting.

Observing how they react to catnip additionally helps you be certain your cat doesn’t develop into aggressive once they come into contact with it.

As soon as a Week

Whereas a catnip excessive is entertaining for each us and our cat, it solely lasts between 5–quarter-hour. Because it’s really easy to your cat to get uninterested in the substance, it’s necessary to not overuse catnip. For the perfect outcomes, restrict your cat’s interplay with the herb to as soon as per week slightly than an on a regular basis deal with.


An excessive amount of of factor may be detrimental to your cat’s well being. Overdoing the quantity of meals and treats you give your cat may end up in weight problems which will increase your cat’s danger of diabetes and different well being points. Catnip may trigger abdomen upset in case your cat eats an excessive amount of of it, or your cat would possibly develop into proof against the results altogether.

We hope this information helped you determine in case your cat is hooked on their meals, methods to repair the issue, and in addition methods to use catnip responsibly.

Featured Picture Credit score: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

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