As we all probably know, cats can be quite particular about what is in their food bowl. Most cats will have a favourite food, texture or flavour and will often turn their nose up at anything different.
Remember – fussy eaters are made not born.
Bad habits are easier prevented than cured.
By swapping and changing your cat’s routine or by tempting them with titbits if they reject a food in their bowl. They will quickly learn how to manipulate you into feeding them the tastier food rather than a healthy and balanced diet.
Think about it from your cat’s point of view, if you were rewarded with a treat every time you didn’t eat, what would you do?
To avoid fussy cats, it is best to stick to a routine.
Is your cat really being fussy?
Sometimes, fussiness is more down to the way you serve food rather than the food itself.
Cats generally prefer to eat in private and don’t appreciate an audience. Try and provide some privacy for your cat at meal times.
– Ensure your cat’s bowl is clean. Several cats will not eat out of a bowl that has some old food in it. Try and get into the habit of washing the food and water bowls after every use.
– If your cat usually eats dry food but has become fussy, you may have to replace the food. Dry food absorbs moisture and therefore becomes stale, particularly in warm weather.
– If your cat usually eats wet (tinned/pouched food) it may be because it is cold. Cold wet food doesn’t have much smell, and cats often won’t eat what they cant smell. Wet food can be made more appealing by warming it up until warm to “mouse temperature” (warm to the touch) this releases the aroma and therefore stimulates the cats appetite.
– If your cat has access to outside, he/she may be having an unscheduled snack on the other side of the cat flap and come dinnertime he/she just may not be hungry.
– Cat’s don’t have psychological eating disorders and unless there is an underlying reason for a lack of appetite, your cat will most likely eat when they get really hungry. When your cat does eventually eat, offer lots of praise and affection as soon as they have finished eating.
– If your cat continues to be fussy try an alternative high quality cat food, often a change in recipe will prompt your cat into eating again.
Some questions to ask yourself when thinking about your cat’s eating habits.
– Where is your cat’s food is positioned, is it near a busy thoroughfare or next to the washing machine?
– Does your cat get bullied when eating by other cats/dog/children?
– Is the food on a raised level and is there an easy way for arthritic cats to get to their food?
– What type of material is your cat’s bowl made out of? Cats do not appreciate plastic bowls as they can taste the residue, they prefer ceramic, glass or even metal bowls. The larger surface area the better.
– Is your cat’s food bowl next to the water bowl? Food and water should always be placed in seperate areas, and do not feed from a “double diner” as your cat can be put off the food by the presence of water and will drink more water if food is not near by. In the wild if a cat catches food in the wild near a water supply, the act of killing and dismembering the food will lead to contamination of the water, so cat’s will always seek out another water source.
It is important to remember that if your cat refuses to eat for 24 hours or more, contact us at SimplyCats for an urgent appointment. Refusal or reluctance to eat can indicate a serious complaint and dental problems.
If you notice your cat’s gums are red or swollen, or if the breath is unpleasant please ask us at SimplyCats for a dental examination.