Having a cat who is a picky eater can bring a bit of a headache to the owners. It is not always a nice scene to see the cats turning their noses on a healthy diet. However, there are several steps you can take to make your cat eat a healthy and nutritious diet to make them fit and strong.
Here are those,
Rule Out Any Underlying Illness
Before addressing the issue of fussy eating in cats, you have to check whether your cat is experiencing some illnesses or not. Sometimes, refusal to eat and loss of appetite can be signs of health problems like dental illnesses, gastrointestinal disorders, or even stress or anxiety. If your cat’s picky eating persists and is accompanied by other symptoms, consult your vet immediately.
Experiment with Different Cat Foods
Just like us humans, cats too have individual choices when it comes to food. You can experiment with different types of cat food, which includes wet, dry, and canned food, and let your cats choose one. Offering them various foods will help them select a diet based on taste and texture.
Stick to the Same Feeding Time
Providing meals to your cat at the same time every day can encourage them to eat consistently. Set a specific time to feed your cat and stick to it daily. When your cats have a routine, they will expect their food at a time and will be more interested in eating it, once offered. Also, avoid leaving the cat food open for a long time, as it will get spoiled and will reduce your cat’s appetite.
Don’t Overfeed Treats and Table Scraps
While it’s perfectly alright to feed your cats some delicious treats here and there, doing it beyond a limit can make your cat a choosy eater. Feeding them a lot of treats and human foods can fill them up and decrease their hunger for their regular meals. Use the treats only during training time and avoid table scraps altogether for them.
Warm Your Cat Food
Some cats like to eat foods which are warm and at room temperature, instead of taken right from the refrigerator. If your cat is a choosy eater, try to warm their food a little bit next time before offering them, just to make sure it is appealing to them. However, do not make it too hot as it can burn your cat’s mouth. A good 10-15 seconds of heating in the microwave oven will do the job.
Introduce a New Diet Only Gradually
Cats can sometimes reject a new food if it is introduced to them all of a sudden. What you can do is mix a small amount of new food with their current food, and slowly increase the portion over a period of time. This slow transition will help your cat to adapt to their new taste without overwhelming the palate so much.
Provide Them with a Peaceful Eating Place
Stress and anxiety can also contribute to the habit of picky eating in cats. Make sure that your cats have a calm and private space where they can eat peacefully. Also remove all kinds of stressors from them, which include loud noises, contact with unfamiliar pets and a sudden change of diet, which can have a negative impact on their appetite.
Consult a Vet Nutritionist
If the choosy behaviour of your cat still persists, you can seek the advice of a veterinary nutritionist. They can provide personalised dietary recommendations based on your cat’s breed, age and lifestyle.
Dealing with a picky eater cat requires a bit of patience, creativity and willingness to try new cat foods. With the strategies given above, you will get a lot of help in making your cats eat the right kind of food which will nourish them in the best manner possible.