Do you have a cat that makes pitiful noises, gets agitated, or simply refuses to eat what you put in front of them? You might be wondering; Why won’t my cat eat?
Never fear. Fussy cats are a common occurrence that can hopefully be corrected through a little trial and error when it comes to their food and eating preferences. There are some standard things you should do when feeding all cats to ensure they get proper nutrition and hydration.
However, just as cats are unique creatures with their own health concerns, preferences, and other concerns, this could impact their eating. We have compiled a list of a few commons things you might try to get a fussy cat to eat more readily.
No Table Scraps
Yes, we all have been tempted to slip a little bit of that steak, shrimp, or chicken from our dinner plat to our feline companion lurking under our table. While that food might not be harmful to your cat, and they might even like said morsels, it can create a problem.
First off, there are many spices and other foods safe for humans that can cause intestinal and more serious issues in felines. Additionally, Fluffy may decide that they aren’t going to eat their regular food. If you are feeding your feline “treats” of table scraps, be aware that they might get fussy about eating their regular food. Strict adherence to a no-table scraps rule can sometimes correct bad eating habits quite quickly.
Set a Routine
Cat’s that can graze throughout the day many times grow fussy about meals. These felines can also become obese and have other health issues crop up. Additionally, it can be hard to observe significant eating habits like you can when controlling their food. It should be mentioned when you have multiple cats in a house, sometimes professionals do say the grazing method works best. This is because they don’t hoard or get aggressive trying to eat all at once, during a specific time.
That exception aside, if you notice concerns with picky eating in your feline, set a schedule and stick to it.
Tough love follows with the section above regarding setting up a feeding routine. If you set a routine for your feline, put the selected amount of food down and take it up at the same time or as close as possible every day.
For instance: dinner is one cup of food, set out at 6:00 p.m. or as close as possible, and picked up thirty minutes later. Now, this is where it gets hard – you have to do it, even if you notice Fluffy didn’t finish dinner or started eating late or is slower than normal.
This is because sometimes, hunger will become the best motivator for the pickiest eater. They will learn that food appears and goes away, without consideration for their persnicketiness – so eat up when they can. Of course, we absolutely are not condoning starving your pet to the point of deprivation.
Total abstinence or refusal to eat food when put out absolutely can be an indicator of more serious issues. This is just a good indicator of a cat that absolutely won’t eat and may need medical intervention, and one that can be trained to better eating habits.
Mix It UP
Now, let’s say you try the routine and the tough love without results. Then mix it up. Truthfully, mixing up their diet can be a good thing even to keep a fussy eater surprised. When they smell a new scent, chances are they will at least try it.
As you know, cats are curious, tenacious, and sometimes naughty companions. By mixing up their food, you can keep them engaged and maybe even figure out exactly what your feline prefers. One note, though, some cat’s intestinal tracks can be rather finicky and might not welcome these changes in diet. If that is the case, try to find one that causes the most excitement for your cat to consume and health benefits for you to feel good about, and stick with that one choice.
Health & Wellness Checks
Of course, we would be remiss not to mention that sometimes fussy cats that won’t eat have a valid reason. If your cat has always been a good eater, and that suddenly changes, a trip to the vet to discuss could be in order.
If you notice changes in stools, urination, or even the amount, they will eat, be sure to discuss with an animal care professional. Appetite can be a major indicator of a host of health concerns and may require more than you can do independently.
Stay patient when facing a fussy cat that won’t eat, gets aggressive with food, or shows other unease symptoms around meals. Patience in setting up a solid routine, trying new foods, and ensuring that you do not accept the behaviors will be needed.
Also, patience to carefully catalog all changes in behavior and know when to call in professionals is needed. A fussy cat can cause stress, anxiety, and sometimes some physical lashings from your feline. This said, you could find a solution and hopefully restore peace and great feedings to your family with a bit of due diligence on your part.