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3 Things to Try When Your Cat Won’t Eat

June 22, 2017 by Tails Magazine in Featured, Wellness with 0 Comments

Cat food bowl with kibble in it

By Mary Nielsen

Kitties are known for their finicky eating habits, but even when your picky eater is being stubborn you can usually find something that will tempt their taste buds. Some only like dry food, some only like wet food, some only go for specific flavors like salmon or chicken, tuna or beef. But on those occasions when your feline friend just doesn’t seem to have a taste for anything, there are a few things you can try to stimulate their appetite.

But first, before you try anything, make sure your fur buddy isn’t sick. Generally, not having an appetite is one of the first signs of an illness. If your cat has suddenly stopped eating, especially when a favorite food is presented, they could be sick. Another thing to watch for is a slow decline in food intake. The less well a cat feels the less it will eat over time. If either of these two situations happen, a trip to the vet is in order, just to make sure everything is okay.

Alternatively, cats are highly tuned to their world and many of them don’t like changes. To that end, feelings of discomfort will trigger them to stop eating. Have you just moved? Have you rearranged the house? Is a new guest staying with you, or did you just bring a new baby home? Are you changing their diet per your vets recommendation?

If you said “yes” to any of those questions, and your cat is healthy, that may be why they aren’t very hungry. The best thing to do is to let them acclimate and present them with their favorite foods. It may take a day or two, but chances are that they’ll come around.

If the above scenarios don’t apply and your cat is generally disinterested in mealtime, try the following ideas for getting their appetite going:

Play around with temperature. If you keep cat food in a cool place or in the refrigerator, try warming it up first before serving. Warm food releases more aroma and the texture is softer and more palatable. As much as we humans love cold pizza, sometimes a kitty just needs a bit of warming to do the trick. Conversely, you can try it the other way around. If your cat always gets warm food, try giving it to them at room temperature and see what happens. Sometimes a little change like this is all you need to stimulate their taste buds.

Try a liquid. You may be able to get your cat eating again with a little help from your finger. Virtually all wet foods come with some sort of gravy, and many cats think that’s the best part. A little dab of cat food gravy on your finger can be gently rubbed on kitty’s lips. They’ll automatically lick it off, and that just might be the beginning of putting them down by their bowl and watching them party down.

Mix up flavors. Many people get hooked on feeding kitty just one flavor of cat food. But think about this, if you had to eat one flavor all the time, wouldn’t you get bored? That might be exactly what has happened to your cat. Boring food means loss of appetite.

Try switching up flavors within your same brand and type of food. If switching flavors does the trick, you now know the secret to keep your purr faced friend eating regularly the next time they get finicky.


Mary Nielsen is the founder of FelineLiving.net and a passionate cat lover, blogger, and part-time music teacher. She founded her blog to share her ups and downs of being a pet parent to a bunch of adorable kittens and cats. When she is not playing with them or teaching, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen.

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