We’ve discussed cat feeding habits in several other posts, but we’ve all heard cats referred to as finicky eaters. You might even be living with one yourself. No matter what food you bring home from the store your cat just turns her nose up at it and gives you a look that says “is that the best you have to offer?” In reality though, finicky eaters are made and not born. Here are a few tips:
Visit the Veterinarian
If your cat has developed a change in her appetite, the first thing that should be done is to have her examined by the veterinarian to make sure there isn’t an underlying medical cause for the sudden change. If she has stopped eating altogether, a veterinary visit is of the utmost importance because if a cat goes more than a couple of days without eating she is at risk for developing hepatic lipidosis. This is a condition where fatty deposits accumulate in the liver and it’s a very serious problem.
Have You Changed Your Cat’s Food?
One of the most common reasons a cat develops finicky eating syndrome has to do with the cat parent making sudden changes in the food. While variety is very helpful in avoiding fixed food preferences, abrupt changes can be upsetting to the digestive system. It’s good to introduce different brands/flavors and rotate them but make sure you do a gradual transition each time you introduce an unfamiliar food. Gradually add a little of the new food into the current brand over the course of a few days. Once that food becomes familiar you can then include that in your meal rotation.
Feeding Your Cat Table Scraps
Another reason finicky eating can occur is due to the feeding of table scraps. Why in the world would a cat want to eat her bowl of boring cat food or dry kibble after sampling some fried chicken, grilled salmon or even a nibble of filet mignon? Supplementing your cat’s diet with rich foods with high taste appeal is a sure way to get her to turn her cute little nose up at her regular meal offering. What often happens at that point is the cat parent starts incorporating some table scraps into the cat’s regular food in an attempt to get her to eat. This upsets the nutritional balance. And, because your cat is very smart, she quickly learns to simply eat around the cat food to get at the tasty table scraps.