One of my cats is completely non-responsive to edible treats. Be it salmon, chicken or beef flavored, he completely ignores any treats I give him.

I want to be able to reward him/get him to come when I shake a bag of treats, but can't figure out any way to do this without edible treats, since he does not respond to praise like a dog.

What alternative ways are there to reward cats?

  • Are you wanting to reward him for a certain behavior or just as a general thing because he's your pet?
    – user6796
    Commented Nov 8, 2013 at 2:19
  • If you feed dry food, have you attempted to give him dry food kibbles as treats? Since he already recognizes them as food, he may respond to them.
    – Zaralynda
    Commented Nov 8, 2013 at 15:04
  • 1
    I want to reward him for good behavior. Ie. Using a scratching post. And I've tried using dry food, but he recognizes that it's just his normal food and snubs it. Commented Nov 9, 2013 at 3:32

1 Answer 1


Both of my cats (mother and daughter) have a fondness for catnip. Like typical dry treats, shaking the packaging it comes in will make a noise your cat should be able to hear without difficulty.

The mother cat has a fondness for wet cat food, but will not eat dried fish treats (though she is very interested in the smell). Her daughter is the exact opposite: loves dried fish treats but will not touch wet cat food.

Keep in mind that the treat doesn't need to make a noise if all you want to do is teach your cat to come when called. Many cats associate the sound of a can opener with food and will come running any time they hear it, even when it isn't their designated meal time. Personally, I like "here kitty kitty" since it can be heard from very far away.

Non-food options

My cats also respond to the sound of patting my hand on the top of their scratching post. This is already a place that they like to be. They've come to associate that noise with lots of petting, so all I have to do is say their name when I do it and they will come running.

You could also to try a brush for your cat. Mine absolutely love being brushed so much that they'll tolerate being near my dog (I got him a year ago and the cats are still standoffish towards him).

  • Yes, my cat loves being brushed. Commented Jun 30, 2020 at 19:19

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