How to Get Your Finicky Cat to Start Eating!
25 September, 2017
Some cats love to eat and aren’t picky at all about what food is put in front of them. And then there are other cats that are very finicky about what they eat. Or maybe your cat has suddenly shown less interest in his food and barely touches it. There are many ways to get your finicky cat to start eating again.
Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian
The first thing you should do if your cat has stopped eating for more than a day is to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. If your cat has always been a good eater and suddenly loses interest, this is something to be concerned about right away. Your vet can then determine if this change is a health issue and treat your kitty accordingly.
If your cat is healthy and just stopped eating, there are a few things that might be occurring:
Your cat could be getting treats elsewhere
Your cat may be avoiding her food because she’s getting extra treats somewhere else. If you treat your cat a lot or feed her scraps from the table, you need to stop. Your cat will complain for a while but eventually she’ll understand that the only food she’s going to get is from her bowl.
Did anything in your cat’s home or environment?
We know how our cats are very in-tuned to everything around them. Your cat might just have stopped eating because something changed at home. If this is the case, your cat will start eating again once the change has become routine.
Some ways to get your cat to eat again regularly:
Establish a feeding schedule
If your cat has been eating free-eating or grazing, try feeding your kitty two meals a day. Most cats are hungry after not eating for 12 hours. They should dive into the first thing you put down after a 12-hour fast, which should be a small portion of healthy canned cat food. Real hunger is a stimulant!
Play with your cat before feeding times
Play with your cat before feeding times. Get the little bouncy ball or his favorite mouse and run him around. Exercise stimulates appetite.
If your cat is really vigilant against eating, spruce up the food
For hunger strikers, sprinkle a tiny amount of tuna or chicken on the food. If they love this, begin to press this highly desired food into the canned cat food. Parmesan cheese sprinkle works for many cats. FortiFlora (a probiotic) is very desirable to some cats. Sprinkle just 1/4 or less of a package on top of a meal.
Here’s a very effective way to train your cat to eat only what you want her to eat:
Put out the food you want your cat to eat for half an hour. If she doesn’t eat it, take it away. Repeat until she eats.
After a day or two, your cat may start howling for extra treats. Don’t give in. Your cat isn’t starving just trying to get what he or she wants. You may have to put up with a couple weeks of complaining, but this treatment will soon put a stop to fussy eating.
Switching to a new food
If you’re changing your cat’s food you should do it gradually. Start by mixing a little of the new food with her regular food, gradually increasing the amount until only the new food is fed.
Be patient and give your cat some time to adjust
Your cat might be smarter than you think and has stopped eating only to get extra attention from you. Try to stay out of the area where your cat eats and give him a quiet, safe place to eat alone, away from distractions or competition from other pets. With time and effort, your cat will start to eat what you both want!
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