While most cats have good appetites and are very enthusiastic at dinner time, others are fussy with their food. They turn their nose up at the meal you serve them, and in your quest to find something they like you’ll try a variety of food types and flavours, only to see them thrown in the bin too. If you have a picky eater, you’ll be able to relate to the worry that your pet isn’t eating enough and may indeed starve.
One reason for a cat to have an appetite that seems to come and go is illness. Intestinal conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease may result in a cat appearing picky, and that might be the only symptom that he shows. It’s important that any cat with a reduced appetite is thoroughly checked by their vet to rule out a medical cause of their poor eating behaviour.
If all is well, then there are some steps you can take to encourage your fussy feline to eat, and they start with choosing the right food. Butcher’s Really is a natural cat food that’s available in a number of flavours that cats love. Warm the food to room temperature to release more aromas, because a cat’s sense of smell is important in stimulating their appetite.
Here are a few other tips to try:
Work out exactly how much he is eating. Some cats are given between-meal treats or table scraps which are more appealing than cat food but fill them up so they don’t want their regular meals. Stop all snacks and you may find that your cat is eating more than you think, and he is actually eating enough to keep him healthy.
Stick to a routine. Cats are creatures of habit and any changes to their routine can be stressful. If possible, feed them your cat at the same time, and in the same place.
Look at where you’re feeding your cat. Is it a high traffic area, or near a loud television? Move his food bowl to a quieter area where he is less likely to be disturbed. Try a different food bowl. If you have been using a plastic bowl, try ceramic. Your cat may have a preference for one bowl over another.
If your cat’s meal has been untouched, it can dry out and spoil. That won’t encourage him to eat. Provide fresh food at each mealtime, and if he doesn’t eat, put it in the refrigerator until next time. Don’t forget to warm it up; cold food won’t be very appealing.
Sit with your cat at mealtime. You may find that if you talk to him and stroke him, he will start eating. It’s not an ideal long term solution but it’s worth trying just to get him started.
Similarly, try hand feeding him small pieces of Butcher’s Really Fishy or Really Meaty cat food. When he starts nibbling from your fingers, he may then continue eating from his bowl.
It’s worrying when your four legged family member is a picky eater. Try these suggestions and you may find that one or two are the solution to his fussy mealtime habits.