How to Encourage Your Cat to Eat

There are a number of reasons a cat won't eat. If you are worried and would like your cat to eat then this guide can help. Remember, never override the vet's opinion.

Steps

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    Raise the food bowl. This can help an animal with neck pain, or one that is too lazy to bend down.
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    Keep your cat’s dishes clean. This is especially important if your cat eats canned or raw food because germs can start growing in scraps of leftover food and cause illness. Also, cats are instinctively driven to avoid consuming putrid-smelling meat. If you use plastic dishes, replace them with metal or ceramic because they’re easier to keep clean.
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    Feed location. This is very important. Food should be placed somewhere that is easily accessible and comfortable. It shouldn't be too near to the litter tray. Some cats don't like be watched while they eat so make sure they aren't disturbed.
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    Fresh food. Some cats won't eat food stored in the fridge or left in an open fridge.
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    Try warming up food. Sometimes making sure food is at room temperature is enough, but placing it in the microwave for a short amount of time can do a world of good. Not only is warm food more palatable but it makes the food smell more. Mix the food after microwaving and test the temperature with your finger so that your cat does not burn their mouth.
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    Sleep eating. If you offer your cat food while it is sleepy or has just woken up then your cat will instinctively eat.
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    Wiping and hand feeding. Some cats might accept food from your hand or finger. You can also try wiping some food on your cat's muzzle. As it licks the food off it might decide that it likes the food and will eat more.
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    Food texture. Most ill animals prefer a more pate like food. However some animals prefer to eat what they normally have at home. If your cat has dry food and you want to make it more palatable, you can mix it with a bit of warm water.
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    Fresh cooked food. Freshly cooked fish or chicken can really help encourage your cat to eat. Try mixing it with your cat's normal food so it gets used to eating both.
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    Little and often. Try feeding your cat a spoon full of food at a time rather than one big bowl.
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    Variety and flavor. As well as changing brands or flavors of food you can also try:
    • Catnip. Catnip can act as an appetite stimulant. Not all cats react, however.

    • Treats. Adding a few cat treats can encourage your cat to eat.

    • Tuna Water. Pouring the leftover water from canned tuna can be enough to stimulate the diet.

    • Tomato Sauce. Tins of fish in tomato sauce is a good way to tempt cats to eat. Lots of professionals recommend this. There is a debate about whether it is poisonous or not. If you are unsure contact your vet before trying.

Warnings

  • Don't feed anything you are unsure of.
  • Don't make the food too hot.
  • Remember never override the vet's opinion.

Article Info

Categories: Feeding Cats