There is no doubt that cats can be a bit fussy when dinnertime rolls around, but when our kitties aren’t eating it can really worry us. When your cat isn’t eating, you need to watch for signs that there might be a deeper problem or if your cat is simply being picky. Pay attention to the signs your cat is sending you, and make sure you do what you can to keep your kitty healthy and eating.
Reasons Your Cat May Not Be Eating
The first thing you need to figure out is if your cat is skipping her meals because she’s not hungry, her food isn’t appetizing, or something is wrong that might require a vet visit.
You know your cat better than anybody else. If your cat is young, energetic, and playful, you can expect her to stop by her bowl, sniff a little, then move on to something more exciting. Or maybe your cat is accustomed to kibble and you’re trying out the latest canned cuisine, she may simply not like the new food. When it comes to senior cats, the bowl they eat from can make a difference. Some bowls may be too low and cause slight pain caused by an uncomfortable eating posture. While these reasons should be noted if they continue for too long, they may be easy to fix.
On the other hand, if you’re concerned your cat is not eating becaus
Health-Related Reasons Your Cat May Avoid Eating
- Digestive Blockage
- Urinary Tract Obstruction
- Kidney Disease
- A Feline Cold: upper respiratory infection
- Dental Discomfort: chipped or broken tooth, tooth resorption, an oral tumor, dental rot
- Trouble Adjusting to a Change at home
While you may think your kitty is alright and just being picky, you always want to err on the side of caution and bring your cat into the vet. Let your vet diagnose your cat, and you and your cat will feel much better.
Tips to Help Encourage Your Cat to Eat
- Make your cat’s food smell and taste better. Try a different variety of food or a different flavor. Cats also like to eat foods that smell good. Try some stinky fish to add a bit more appeal to your kitty’s food.
Add a pop of flavor to your cat’s plate. If your cat is bored with the same-old-same-old, add something special to pique her interest.
You can try:
- a probiotic
- feline vitamin powder
- fish flakes
- some catnip
- a tad of water
- parmesan cheese
- yeast powder
- Try feeding your cat something different. Meat flavored baby food might trick your cat into eating. This may sound strange, but baby food can be easy for a kitty with sore teeth to consume and be quite yummy for our feline friends.
Try deli cuts like sliced turkey or ham. Because your cat is a natural carnivore, it’s hard for her to resist meat. Tear a few pieces up, offer it to her, and see if she’ll fall for the bait.
- Consider how clean you keep your cat’s bowl or find a new one. Keep your kitty’s bowl spotless. Your cat may not seem super tidy, but germs and bacteria can grow when food is left behind in her bowl. These germs can make your kitty ill, and the smell can trigger her instinct not to eat. Try switching bowls or thoroughly cleaning yours.
Try a new cat bowl. Cats, like people, have preferences for different dishes. Some cats struggle to eat out of flat, narrow bowls, while others may find narrow bowls bother their whiskers.
- Heat up your cat’s dinner. Try adding a bit of hot water to your cat’s food or microwaving the food for a short period of time (only 5-10 seconds). Warming the food up can help release a savory aroma and convince your cat to eat.
- Don’t hide your cat’s medicine in her food. Sometimes our cat’s prescriptions or supplements aren’t tasty. A bitter medicine can make your cat turn her nose up. See if you can find a different flavored medicine or different way to feed it to your kitty.
Our cats can be strange and lovable creatures. If your cat stops eating, be aware of the ways you can convince her to chow down on her dinner. If you think she might be ill or doesn’t eat for more than 24 hours, don’t hesitate to take her into the vet. If your cat is just being difficult, try out some of these tricks and she will be chowing down no time.
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— Meow for now —