Is your Cat a Fussy Eater?

Cats are carnivorous mammals and, unlike other pets their diet must include meat. When we adopt a kitten from a shelter or buy it from a breeder we are usually provided it with instructions on the kind of food they were raised on. However, as with any living being even a cat will prefer certain foods over others. If you own a cat you’ll find this article quite useful in understanding how to deal with a “fussy eater”.

Why is my Cat Not Eating its Food? 

There are various reasons behind a cat suddenly or gradually starting to turn its nose up at its meal:

  • Cats are solitary eaters and they don’t usually enjoy eating in front of an audience so consider putting the bowl down and leaving the room or simply placing it in a more private space of the house.

  • As any other living being, your pet won’t appreciate eating from a dirty bowl so be sure to always wash and dry it before serving the next meal. The material of which the bowl is made could also have an overpowering smell that is unpleasant to your cat so try plastic, metal or glass to see which one it prefers.

cats, kitten, cat food

  • Extreme weather conditions may be affecting your cat’s appetite. For example, high temperature can easily make anyone lose their hunger. You should also ensure there is always a clean bowl of fresh water, particularly in hot weather.

  • If your pet usually feeds on dry food and suddenly becomes fussy about it your supply may have gone stale. Be sure to always store cat food in a dry place away from direct sunlight and heat.

  • Wet food, on the other hand can be too cold for your cat to find it inviting. If you normally store it in the fridge, try warming it up before serving it to your kitty so that it has a chance of smelling the aroma.

  • If your kitty spends a lot of time outside, consider it may be having access to alternative food sources or even getting snacks from other people. 

How to React to a Finicky Eater?

First of all, it is important to set a feeding schedule and stick to it! This rule works for all pets as a set routine provide comfort and allow them to relax not having to worry about providing food for themselves.

Cats have an instinct to hunt small prey and, even when they are domesticated their nature still drives them to constantly nibble throughout the day rather than having one big meal. Obviously, not all kitties are the same and you may be able to teach yours to eat twice per day. Regardless of which feeding pattern you choose, it is essential that you follow through and avoid changing the schedule especially if your cat is becoming quite picky.

The second most important factor to consider when dealing with this kind of issue is patience. Don’t give into your cat’s demands or fussiness by offering a tasty treat instead of its normal food or it will soon learn that it can win you over and have its way. There should be no replacement and if the meal is not consumed then your pet will need to wait until the next meal time. Normally, when your kitten's belly starts to rumble it will give in and eat.

Monitor your Cat's Behaviour and Appearance

Cats will usually eat to meet their energy requirements so if your pet is usually spending majority of the day lying on the couch it will most likely need smaller amounts of food. However, if your pet is active and loves climbing on the stand or even going out for a few hours every day it will definitely need to eat enough to support its activity level.

Monitor your cat’s behaviour: does it appear happy and lively? Is the fur silky and shiny? Are the eyes bright and clean? If the answer to all of these questions is yes, then there is little need to worry and your pet is probably just acting up a little.

Conversely, if you start to notice lethargy and a lack of interest in food or water for more than 24 hours you must consult with your vet for a checkup.

cats, kittens

Consider the environment

Domestic cats have an uncanny ability to sense changes in the environment. If you’re going through a rough patch yourself, you can be sure that your pet will know it and respond with what appears to be an erratic behaviour. You may have a visitor staying with you for a couple of days or maybe be a little overwhelmed by a new job. Try to maintain a routine as close as possible to your usual and spend quality time with your pet. 

A change in the routine can easily stress kitties and cause a loss of appetite. So stop for a second and think about your lifestyle as it will most likely be affecting your cat just as much.

Author Marino
Author: Marino Tilatti
Member of PetsForAll Editorial Stuff
Posted in these categories: Breeder, Boarding, Vet, Pet shop, Cats, Long hair cats, Shorthair cats

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