Cat Isn't Eating? 3 Appetite-Whetting Tricks for Meal Time

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If your cat isn't interested in his food, it's essential to work with your veterinarian to make sure there isn't a health reason why he's lost his appetite. Once you get an all-clear on that end, here are a few special tricks to get a healthy cat healthy cat eating again:

Fresh is Best

Cats may be the original food snobs: In addition to having strong likes and dislikes, they often turn their noses up at food that's been sitting around. This can be especially true of canned food, which does get pretty unpleasant when its been left out (would you take a taste?!). Instead of leaving a day's worth (or more) of food out, offer your cat small portions, fresh from the package. If he doesn't eat it after 30 minutes, try again in a couple hours.

Serve Warm

Warming your cat's food amps up its flavor and aroma. A few seconds in the microwave will do the trick.

Break Out the Good Stuff

Over the years, some of my veterinary clients have developed a simple "Is my cat sick?" test to rely on at home. If the cat won't eat a regular meal, they chalk it up to a fussy day; however, if the cat rejects her favorite treat (a bit of roasted chicken or a smidge of meaty baby food), they know to call the veterinarian. No one knows your cat better than you do, and if she suddenly rejects a food she loves, it's worth taking seriously.

It's one thing to be finicky, but something else entirely when your cat starts losing weight. If lack of appetite is an ongoing concern with your cat and she's lost a half-pound or more, ask her veterinarian about the possibility of a medication to stimulate her appetite. Some antidepressant and anti-anxiety meds can help switch a cat's appetite from the "off" position back into "on."

And if that doesn't help, talk with your veterinarian some more to work on other solutions to keep your cat healthy.

This article was written by a Veterinarian.

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