Why Is My Cat... So Finicky About Food?

What Can I Do to Help Coax My Cat to Eat?

Once you've discussed an ideal diet for your kitty with your veterinarian, warming the food, as well as offering it when the cat is hungry, can help. Praising and petting your feline at mealtime may also increase your kitty's responsiveness — along with seeing other cats in the household relishing the offering.

If a cat has gotten ill after eating a specific food in the past, she may associate that flavor with feeling sick. Dr. Larsen says that this is common in cats with kidney disease and that the reaction is a normal protective mechanism they share with people to help avoid the consumption of poisonous foods. “Food aversions can be abolished if the cat eats the food and does not feel sick again, but getting them to accept the food again can be a challenge,” Dr. Larsen says.

Dr. Larsen points out that it may be easier to nip the problem in the bud early on, rather than trying to turn an older, finicky cat into a feline with an expansive palate. (Just remember that food changes should be made gradually, over the course of a few days, to prevent upsetting your kitty's digestive tract.) Exposing your young cat or kitten to a variety of flavors and types of food, in consultation with your vet, could prevent the picky eater problem in the first place.

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