If you have a cat in your home, you have very likely gone through a period of time where said cat chooses not to eat. Perhaps they have been eating the same food for some time, and are now not as inspired as they once were when you fill their bowl. Maybe they are not feeling like themselves, and food is the last thing on their mind. It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact reason your feline is suddenly turning up her nose at dinner time, but not eating can quickly turn from bothersome to serious. Any decrease in appetite or other behavioral changes warrant a visit to your regular veterinarian to rule out anything serious. There are times, however, when a cat stops eating because they are simply bored of the food that they are being served.*
Cats are strict carnivores. Unlike their omnivorous canine friends, who eat both plant and animal-based foods, cats are able to survive and thrive solely on animal proteins. That being said, there are key ingredients in cat foods that are vital to their health, one being taurine, an amino acid that is found naturally in muscle meat and organs. When considering a home-made diet for your cat, it’s important to ensure that you are feeding enough of this important ingredient. Commercial cat foods do add taurine into their formulas to meet the basic nutritional needs of felines. It is important to look at the ingredients in commercial cat food and to learn more about the ingredients. When possible, meat should be the first and main ingredient.
Many cats enjoy variety in their diet. Feeding two flavors of canned food, for example, may be just enough variation to keep your kitty happy and interested. Keep in mind that any time a change in diet is made, the switch should be done gradually to avoid stomach upset. Introducing a new flavor or formula of food can be done by adding small amounts of the new food into their normal diet. You may find that your cat will pick around the old type of food just to get at the new stuff! It is not recommended that you feed your cat human food, no matter how much they might beg. Additives like garlic or excess salt may be harmful to your pet.
Another option for encouraging your finicky cat to eat is to add small amounts of low-sodium broth to their food. The aroma alone can sometimes entice your cat to start eating their meal. It is good practice to check with your regular veterinarian before switching your cat’s diet, and they can help point you in the right direction.
*Please note, if your cat is on a prescription diet or has known medical issues, please consult with a veterinarian before making any changes.