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 number of issues to recollect in relation to taking good care of a cat. Not solely must you keep in mind what they will and might’t eat, however you must also take into account the potential addictions or obsessions they will develop.

Treats and meals can each develop into harmful addictions for our favourite felines. However, 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 essential to think about all the potential downsides to overusing your cat’s favourite issues. This information incorporates every little thing you want to learn about addictions to meals and treats, and methods to use catnip safely.

Can Cats Change into Hooked on Meals or Treats?

Sooner or later, all of us have given into our cat’s extensive 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 vulnerable to growing an dependancy to their dry meals too. Whereas dry cat meals is designed to be extra nutritionally balanced than treats, your cat is likely to be more than pleased to complete off the whole bag in a single sitting in case 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 have the ability to demand meals like your hungry toddler calls for cookies, however they use comparable techniques to get their manner. 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.


A variety of toddlers get grouchy after they don’t get their very own manner and a few cats are the identical manner. In the event you do handle to disregard their begging for a deal with, you may discover that your normally mild-mannered kitty grumbles at you much more. They could 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 manner 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 will’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 offer them a snack.

Some notably sensible felines may even determine methods to open the cabinet themselves if it’s not secured.


Maybe probably the most annoying behavior our cats develop after they’re after one thing is being obnoxiously loud. If you’re making an attempt to look at 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 instances you give in, the extra probably they’re to make extra noise to demand meals.

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

Treats ought to solely make up about 10% of your cat’s eating regimen. Your cat’s favourite biscuits ought to by no means develop into a serious a part of their eating regimen because of the lack of vitamins within the recipe and the danger of overfeeding. Fortuitously, there are a number of methods in which you’ll 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

Computerized Feeders

Designed to offer your cat meals at set intervals all through the day, automated feeders additionally get pleasure 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.

Computerized feeders additionally allow you to maintain cat meals out of attain as a substitute of leaving it out in an open bowl throughout non-feeding hours. This may assist your cat be taught that they get fed at sure instances of the day slightly than after 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 supply them treats to get them to go away 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 medication or as a one-off deal with as a pleasant change.

Go to Your Veterinarian

Generally, it’s not the treats which can be the issue. Your cat is likely to be affected by an underlying medical situation which means they’re not getting sufficient vitamins of their eating regimen. Your cat could possibly be affected by well being issues like diabetes, parasites, or thyroid points.

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

Can Cats Change 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 likely one of the many who reacts to catnip, you is likely to be frightened 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 prone to develop into resistant to the consequences 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 prone to react to the consequences of catnip. There are additionally a number 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 prone to the consequences.

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

What Are the Dangers of Catnip?

Usually, catnip is totally secure for cats, particularly when it’s utilized in moderation. As with most issues, nonetheless, there are some dangers it is best to take into account in case you give your cat catnip.

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

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

Find out how to Use Catnip Safely

As non-addictive and non-toxic catnip is likely to be, it’s nonetheless essential 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.

Regulate the Dosage

There are a couple of methods to make use of catnip. Contemporary, dried, as a twig, or stuffed in a toy. The dosage in every case can differ. Contemporary catnip, for instance, shall be quite a bit stronger than the dried type so that you’ll want much less to entice a response. Concentrated catnip oils can 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 essential that you simply don’t go away them unattended across the herb. Don’t let your self get too distracted by your cat’s excessive although, you wish to be sure that they’re not getting too excited by the herb. In case your cat will get too hyperactive round catnip, it’s is likely to be an indication that the dosage you give them wants adjusting.

Observing how they react to catnip additionally helps you ensure your cat doesn’t develop into aggressive after 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 on your cat to get uninterested in the substance, it’s essential to not overuse catnip. For the very best 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 a very good 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 threat of diabetes and different well being points. Catnip also can trigger abdomen upset in case your cat eats an excessive amount of of it, or your cat may develop into resistant to the consequences 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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