Cat not eating very much lately. I think treats are the culprit

Heelfan71

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I have a male cat that is 7 years old. I started feeding him those Temptations cat treats about 6 months ago. I would give him a little handful when I came home from work on most days, but not every single day. So he is always waiting there meowing when I get home wanting a treat. But recently I noticed he has not been eating very much of his normal dry food at all. Think I will stop giving him the treats as I do not want to get into some eating games where I have to baby him and coerce him to eat. His entire life I put food in the bowl and he eats when he wants to. When it gets low I add more. He is not overweight.
 

Furballsmom

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Hi! You may want to consider trying canned food for him, and also if he hasn't been to the vet lately he needs to go in for a wellness check.
 

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Hi. Don't cut out the treats entirely, but reduce the number. There is likely something else going on; unless you are feeding him a huge amount of treats, it would seem highly unlikely that he isn't hungry the rest of the day/night. Could the food be getting stale? Also, if you don't empty the food and just keep piling new food on top of old, it is also going to go bad/rancid, and most cats will begin to reject it. So, he might be starving a bit and that is why he seems obsessed with the treats.

Throw out all of the dry in his bowl, and check the bag to make sure it is still good (expiration date). Then, give him a newly refilled bowl and see if anything changes. If that doesn't work, buy a whole new bag and try again. But, whatever you do, throw out what is left over in his bowl of dry each day, and start over with a fresh bowl of food. And, make sure you wash the bowl daily as well. To save on food, if that is an issue, put less in at one time, and then throw out whatever is left and put down a new bowl of food.

It probably wouldn't hurt you to measure what you are feeding him so you can see how much he is really eating - and, weigh him weekly to make sure he isn't losing weight. And, as Furballsmom Furballsmom said, a vet check up is a good idea if he hasn't had one recently. At his age, he should be seen by a vet at least once a year, but he is close enough to his senior years that the vet might recommend you start having semi-annual check ups.
 
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Heelfan71

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I have feed him Hills Science Diet for cats 1-6 years old since he was 1 year old. He is 8 so I need to change that. He went to his food bowl and meowed. I feed him fresh food again and he smelled it and didn't eat, so he is hungry. He ate a few bites after I left. It must be the food. Maybe it's stale. I will go to PetSmart today and buy some new food. I will get the Hills Science Diet for mature cats (7 years and older) I suppose.
 

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Compare the ingredients in both his current food and the mature cat version - just to make sure they are fairly close. The only reason I am suggesting this is that sometimes if there are differences in the ingredients a gradual change from one food to another is recommended so as not to create digestive issues. That would mean buying both and then using mostly the 'current' food mixed with a little bit of the new food - and, then adding more new and reducing the old food over time.
 
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Heelfan71

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Compare the ingredients in both his current food and the mature cat version - just to make sure they are fairly close. The only reason I am suggesting this is that sometimes if there are differences in the ingredients a gradual change from one food to another is recommended so as not to create digestive issues. That would mean buying both and then using mostly the 'current' food mixed with a little bit of the new food - and, then adding more new and reducing the old food over time.
That is what I did...... bought two new bags of the old and new......Going to do 75% old and 25% new for a week....then 50/50% and so on. 🙏
 
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Heelfan71

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His old food must of been stale I think......I purchased a new bag of the old....and new bag of the new food I am switching to now......mixed it 75% old with %25 of the new...... 3 small handfuls 9f the 9ld and one small handful of the new....His face is buried in his bowl and eating like he hasn't had a good meal in weeks.....That makes me happy and I can continue giving him treats also, which makes me happy.
 

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I'm glad he's eating! You might consider trying some canned food - he might surprise you :)
 
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Heelfan71

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I'm going to have to take him to the vet. He is hardly eating. I thought he was okay. I still think treats are the culprit. He obviously can eat the treats just fine. If something were wrong with him medically, I would think he would eat anything. Quite frustrating.
 

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Treats can be almost addictive to kitties but they don’t give the nutrition needed for a balanced diet. You might try hiding a couple in his regular food. I really hold treats for special occasions. Especially for a couple of my cats because they tend to throw up if they eat many. The Greenies seem more digestible for some cats. There are other types of treats you could give too. I started buying cans of all white chicken in water for a treat. The cats love it! Some prefer to lap up the water it is canned in and others want the meat but no ones throws it up. Tuna in water is another option. The bonus is that they get extra fluids. The temptations with shrimp are like kitty crack around here. Lol They love that stuff. I have made that a “Holidays celebration only” treat. Lol They would just eat that if it was around. Besides hiding them in his regular food, you can also make him work for them in one of the treat puzzle games. I would also suggest a wellness check if he refuses to eat.
Oh yeah! One other thing I discovered with some of my cats! If I have some of their usual kibbles in my hand and place it down as I would with a treat, they gobble it up! Kitties!:dunno: Maybe it’s more that they feel I am giving special attention when I do that? Lol
 
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Heelfan71

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Thanks. I tried giving him his old food and the new food by putting it on the floor as if it were a treat. Didn't work. I tried putting just his old food in a bowl, he wouldn't eat. Then I tried just his new food in a bowl and he didn't eat. He would smell it but walk away. At this point after not eating all day, I gave him a handful of treats so he has something in his belly.......You would think be would get hungry enough and eat his regular food.

He has not been to the vet in many years. He is an inside cat and I never had any problems with him.

For a while now he was eating the treats and his regular food. So maybe there could be something going on with him. Just find it odd he can eat treats but not regular food and I don't want to go down this road of him dictating what he eats.
 
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