Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,345
Registered: ‎09-05-2014

We have a beautiful furry male kitty who is 12 years old and the most affectionate pet we ever had!!  He has been content with the same high quality dry pet food that he has been thriving on!   We also give him kitty treats a couple times a day which is also good quality!  He has always loved the treats and boldly asks for them every day!

For about a week now when we give him the treats he just smells them and walks away! He is still eating his regulary food but refuses the treats!   We have tried a different brand and a different flavor with no success..even tried a new dish for him!!   He still asks for his treats however!!   We are very puzzled!!   He is a indoor cat and his behavior and energy has not changed!!    Any helpful suggestions would be appreciated!!

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,616
Registered: ‎10-01-2014

Maybe they changed the formulation and added an ingredient that is repugnant to him? Do u have an old bag u can compare the most recent purchase to?

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. - Aesop
Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,750
Registered: ‎03-13-2010

Has your cat had blood work done lately?  Before my dog became really sick, she stopped eating her treats.


"The less you respond to negative people, the more peaceful your life will become."
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,001
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

I've been a cat guardian (never 'owner' - LOL!) for many decades.  As they age -- and your kitty is now considered a senior citizen -- their ability to smell begins to decline.  I suggest 2 things:


1.  Get him to a vet for an exam and bloodwork to make sure his kidneys are still doing well.  All kitties' kidneys begin to deteriorate at they age, and this is sometimes responsible for turning away from food or treats.  So is a dental problem.


2.  Try pungent soft food as a treat -- a tablespoon or so.  Don't give it room temperature or cold...heat it for say 6-7 seconds in microwave, wrist test it for hot spots, then let him have at it.


Good luck and keep us posted on your beloved kitty!



Posts: 49
Registered: ‎06-24-2010

As long as he is eating regular food and enough of it he will be fine.  If he stops eating all together get him to the Vet quickly.  Could mean liver failure.  I lost my 14 yr old Sweetey last October that way.  Very sad.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,210
Registered: ‎03-23-2010

My cat refuses to eat treats that have been touched by human hands!  If we let it fall out if the bag onto the floor, she gobbles it up, but if we pour it into our hands then put it on floor, she meows and tells us she's not eating it since we put our grubby hands in it.  😻


@Newgate I wonder if it would help if you changed flavor or brand?  I usually buy the same cat food, but I change up the flavor of treats.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 36,325
Registered: ‎08-23-2010

@MaggieMack wrote:

Maybe they changed the formulation and added an ingredient that is repugnant to him? Do u have an old bag u can compare the most recent purchase to?



That was the first thing that came to mind .....  I bet they changed the "recipe".

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,722
Registered: ‎12-06-2010

I read somewhere that cats give everything the 'smell' test and if it doesn't smell right to them, they won't touch it.  It could be something as simple as that!

Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,108
Registered: ‎03-16-2010


[ Edited ]

I'll be the first to admit I'm no cat expert, but with any older animal I'm immediately thinking of health issues when something in their behavior changes, especially eating habits.  That said, you also mentioned that he doesn't seem to have changed any of his other habits.  Although I do know that cats do tend to hide it when they're feeling bad.


My next thought would be, healthy cat, must be either stale/old treats (unpalatable to the cat) or different ingredients (if it's a new bag of treats).


After I've gone through all that, I have to say that my cat (five years old) doesn't get treats--his fancy cat food is treat enough!  But out of the blue one day he'll decide that the particular flavor he's loved and gobbled for months on end he no longer wants anything to do with.  Mix it with other food--no dice, he'll just leave everything.  He's done this with several different flavors for no apparent reason.  (He also will only eat one brand of food.)


It's frustrating when they whine for their treats or food and then when you give them the same things they've loved forever, they leave it.  I really have no other suggestion for you, so I haven't helped one bit!  I would keep an eye on him for health or possibly dental issues, though.


ETA: The last time I did try to give my cat a treat he wouldn't eat them.  He had loved them previously.  So I decided that I'd just throw the rest of the bag out.  When I dumped the bag, I found that the entire bottom third of the treats were moldy!  I couldn't see that from just opening the bag.  Obviously the cat knew better than I did!