Helping Your Cat To Become Less Obsessed With Food
If you have ruled out any medical or nutritional reasons for your kittys obsession with food, you may just have to help her break her obsession yourself. This will take time and you will almost certainly have to put up with her pleading eyes staring you down on a regular basis, but by standing firm in the amount of food that you provide, you will be doing her health a favor.
Some of the best ways to help break your cats obsession with food include:
Ensure that you feed only high-protein pet food, as this will help her to feel fuller for longer
Feed a combination of 80% dry and 20% wet food mixed for a while. The dry component of the meal will encourage your cat to drink, which will help keep her healthy, and will also make her feel fuller.
Feed your pet little and often throughout the day, but do not leave food unattended in the bowl all day long. Instead remove anything that hasnt been eaten and your cat will have to wait for her next meal rather than expect to be able to graze constantly.
Follow any begging or undesirable behavior with a negative reaction. If your feline friend persistently begs for food, or makes a nuisance of herself at mealtimes, put her in a separate room for a while and close the door. If you do this every time she shows poor behavior, she will eventually realise that her actions will result in your displeasure.
Reinforce good behavior with lots of love, attention and praise.
Choosing Between Dry Food Canned Food Or Both
In general, you need not offer multiple flavors and textures to cats. They get very good at training their owners to add something else to the mix if the cat shows any hesitation to eat what is given. If the cat is otherwise acting fine, a choice to not eat what is offered can be normal, or a test by the cat to see if something better will show up. Very, very few cats need any encouragement to eat. The opposite is usually a goal.
Why Is My Cat Not Eating
Loss of appetite in cats, also known as anorexia, can be a sign of a serious underlying disease. The list of potential causes for cats not eating is long and diverse and includes kidney disease, cat flu, diabetes, fever, hyperthyroidism and pancreatitis. Dental problems, pain and internal obstructions may also result in your cat not eating. There may be a behavioural reason, such as stress, anxiety or depression, perhaps caused by a change in surroundings.
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A Little Home Cooking Can Be Helpful
One simple method to get Kitty to eat is to heat up her food just a little. This will intensify the smell, making it more appetizing to your cat. You may also want to try making her some eggs.
Scrambled eggs will be easier for her to eat. Just make sure the eggs are fully cooked. As said before, this is not a boxer, so no raw eggs.
Raw eggs contain avidin that makes it hard for her to absorb vitamin B plus there’s the possibility of salmonella. Skip the salt, pepper and butter as these are not very good for your cat.
Eggs are high in the fat and protein your cat needs to put on some healthy weight. A bit of thoroughly cooked tuna or liver might help things along, but keep this small and infrequent.
There are other methods depending on the situation. A sickly or highly reluctant to feed cat may need to be fed with a syringe. A cat that’s being bullied out of his share by other cats may need to be fed separately.
A nursing mother just needs more food to help her replenish. Intestinal parasites can be dealt with by administering a few pills. In any case, talk with and cooperate with your veterinarian to find out which solution is best for your cat.
Where Do Cats Go When They Die
If the death is unexpected, most vets will keep the body for a couple of days while you decide what to do. You can either take your cat to the vet for an autopsy or bury it in a favourite spot in the garden.
If you choose cremation, you will need to make arrangements with the funeral home or crematorium. If you are unable to arrange a funeral for your pet, it may be possible to have it cremated at a local cemetery.
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Is Your Cat Drinking A Normal Amount
Cats dont tend to drink much, so a reduction in drinking can be hard to spot. However, an increase in drinking is a common sign of an underlying health problem like diabetes, kidney disease, or hyperthyroidism . You might also notice your cat urinating more than usual due to their increased thirst.
If you aren’t sure if your cat is drinking a normal amount of water, you can measure the amount they drink from their bowl. However, if you suspect that they’re drinking more and they’re not eating, getting them to the vet without delay is usually the best course of action. Your vet might suggest testing a blood sample and urine sample to check for some of the conditions mentioned.
Was Your Cat Ravenously Hungry Before They Stopped Eating
Diabetes and hyperthyroidism both cause extreme hunger in most cats at first. Pet parents are often pleased as older cats look like they’re having a ‘second wind’ with a good appetite. However, these cats usually lose weight despite their increased appetite, and in some cases, they then lose their appetite entirely as the diseases progress. In diabetes particularly, this is a pretty bad sign.
If your cat is middle-aged or older and previously had an excellent appetite, it’s worth considering whether diabetes or hyperthyroidism could be to blame. Your vet will be able to diagnose these issues through an examination and some tests before discussing the best management plan with you.
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High Protein Cat Kibble
As mentioned before, you may want to try food formulated specifically for kittens as that has the most fat and protein. Read that label! If the first ingredient is a type of grain or meat by-product or something ending in meal it’s no good.
The first ingredient should be a type of meat such as turkey, fish, lamb, chicken or beef. Not only will high-protein food help your cat put on a healthy amount of weight, you may notice her coat becoming shinier and softer with other physical improvements.
Introduce Your Cat To New Food Systematically
Whether you are introducing treats or a new diet, your cat’s reluctance to try a new food may not be because of preferences but more because of a fear of trying something new. To help your cat learn to feel safe eating unfamiliar food, select a similar choice to their current preferences. For example, if your cat eats chicken-based dry food, buy them to a chicken-based moisture-rich food. By keeping the protein consistent, the new food will be easier to introduce. Start by putting the unfamiliar food beside the everyday meal. At first, the only goal is for the cat to see and sniff the new food but still eat their regular diet. Over several meals, gradually move the foods together, making sure the new food placement doesn’t change your cat’s desire to eat their current food. As long as your cat’s eating habits don’t change, bring both foods side-by-side and eventually have them slightly overlap. Once your cat tries the new food, work on changing the ratio of new food to old food. To avoid wasting food during this slow process, I recommend using dehydrated food like the Honest Kitchen or Primal Pet Foods, which will make it easy to introduce tiny amounts of the new food to support a gradual introductory process. Another advantage of dehydrated food is that you can play with the moisture levels if your cat only accepts dry food, you can change the texture slowly by gradually introducing water.
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Appetite Stimulant For Cats With Kidney Disease
Kidney disease can make our cats feel nauseous from time to time, often leading to a change in appetite. A cat with kidney disease may also suffer from weight loss, often leading to a deterioration in their health over time. Because of this, your veterinarian may prescribe an appetite stimulant to help them maintain their dietary habits.
The most common appetite stimulant for cats with kidney disease is Mirtazipine. Not only can mirtazapine cause a sick cat to eat, but it can also promote weight gain and prevent any chronic nausea. Because of this, its often the best option for a feline friend struggling in kidney disease.
Spending More Calories Than In Taking
Kittens and adolescent cats have a lot of energy that they can burn off just running and playing. Don’t discourage Kitty from exploring her world or honing her abilities with healthy exercise.
Just feed her kitten chow, which is formulated to be higher in protein and fat content than adult cat food.
Get the high quality stuff without fillers that will make your cat feel full but won’t actually cause the weight to stay on. Once your cat is old enough, look into spaying or neutering, which can slow the metabolism.
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Feed A Good Quality Diet
My final way to prevent your cat from becoming a picky eater is to feed them a good quality food. If you’re feeding a really cheap, low-quality diet then chances are it will be high in salts, fats, and other additives. When you then try and feed something a bit better quality youre going to have trouble
My analogy is that this is like feeding a toddler on nothing but fast food and then expecting them to eat a bowl full of salad the first time its offered.
Its not going to happen!
Start as you mean to go on, stick to a high-quality food and you won’t go too wrong.
Give these strategies a try and Im sure your cat will be tucking into their next meal with gusto!
The next step, once your cat is eating what you want them to, is to optimize their diet and the way they are fed. Find out more in my deep dive into the best ways to feed your cat.
Can Medication Help Increase My Cats Appetite
Sometimes, your vet will prescribe your pet an appetite stimulating medication such as:
- Cyproheptadine this is an antihistamine which stimulates appetite in cats. There are, however, some potential side effects which could be problematic for your pet.
- Mirtazapine this human antidepressant can increase your cats appetite when given in very small doses.
- Diazepam this drug is occasionally used to stimulate a cats appetite, but since it may cause liver failure, its best to avoid it.
- Steroids these can also sometimes work to stimulate appetite in felines, but they often have other unwanted effects, so theyre usually only prescribed when they also treat an underlying illness in your pet.
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Managing Your Cats Pain After Tooth Extraction
Locally injected numbing agents may have been used in your cats mouth to control pain during the tooth extraction surgery. Those local blocks can last anywhere from 6-24 hours, depending on the type of medication that was given.
After these blocks wear off, you will likely be instructed to give your cat oral medication to control the pain at home.
Closely monitor your cats recovery and watch for signs that they are still in pain:
Hiding from people and other pets
Some of these signs can also be side effects from anesthesia or pain medication. If you notice any of these signs and are giving your cat the medication as directed, call your vet to ask for next steps.
Do not stop giving medications unless instructed to do so by your veterinarian.
A Hungry Cat Often Looks For Mischief
Another factor to consider is that a hungry cat is a busy cat, often seeking out food, stalking or grumpy towards the other cats , bothering the people around the house, or engaging in other destructive behaviors.
Being busy is good in that it makes the cat more active, which helps burn calories, but the nature of the business is often not appreciated by the rest of the house. By feeding a cat in response to these behaviors, the cat is encouraged to act this way. One of the hardest things to do is to let a cat be hungry without rewarding the associated behaviors.
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What Cat Food Ingredients Should I Avoid
Cats are intolerant to many foods.
This is because cats have fewer liver enzymes needed to detoxify many plant-based chemicals.
This is another reason why cats are averse to many foods. Bitter food suggests something toxic, so cats tend to give foods with this taste a miss.
Here is a list of foods to avoid:
Prescription Appetite Stimulants For Cats
If you are unable to encourage your cat to eat with the natural options above, you may need to turn to a prescription appetite stimulant. Veterinarians often prescribe appetite stimulants to cats that are recovering from an illness, experiencing a chronic disease, or any other event that is causing them to shy away from their food.
In order to help you understand which options are available to you, lets talk about the most common prescription appetite stimulants for cats.
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How Do I Make Food More Appealing To My Cat
Heating wet cat food to a warm temperature is more appealing to cats.
Keep your cats food warm before serving and add warm water if your cat prefers increased moisture.
Adding a topper with quality ingredients might also help increase food intake. Another idea is to add a delicious chicken broth to the meal.
Also, think about how you are serving your cats food. Picky cats may prefer a clean and shallow plate to eat off, as this doesnt cause friction on the whiskers.
Bottom Line: Heat wet cat food to a warm temperature and add a topper to help improve the taste.
How Many Meals Should My Cat Eat Each Day
The number of meals a cat eats per day depends completely on the family schedule. Cats should eat at least two meals each day, about 12 hours apart. But a breakfast, lunch, afternoon, dinner, and right before bed schedule is an equally great option. If more than 12 hours elapses between meals, the stomach can become hyperacidic causing nausea.
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Why It’s A Problem If Your Cat Stops Eating
Your cat might not like the food you’re offering, but lack of appetite is often a symptom of an underlying issue. Your cat may stop eating if there’s something stuck in its stomach or intestines or if it isn’t feeling well because of an underlying disease or infection. Or, your cat might not like the food you’re offering. Your cat’s lack of eating can also be a symptom of pain or discomfort. Regardless of the reason, it’s a major concern if your cat stops eating.
If you have an obese cat that’s stopped eating, it can quickly develop hepatic lipidosis by going without food for a few days. This disease is often referred to as fatty liver disease or fatty liver syndrome and it can be fatal if left untreated. This is the main reason why it’s so important to make sure your cat, especially if it’s overweight, keeps eating. With fatty liver disease, the liver is overwhelmed trying to convert fat into energy. An excess of fat accumulates in the liver, leading to impaired liver function. The liver is a critical organ and if it’s not working effectively, your cat can develop weakness, lethargy, and jaundice without immediate treatment from your veterinarian.
Expert Tips To Get A Sick Cat To Eat
If your beloved cat is walking away from their food bowl or is refusing to take even the tastiest morsels that you offer as a treat, it can be very worrying. How to get a sick cat to eat is one of the biggest issues that many pet owners face when their furry friend is unwell however, fortunately in many cases, the problem can be resolved once youve pinpointed the reason why theyre rejecting their meals.
Whether your pet is in pain, still recovering from an operation, elderly, stressed or depressed, the key to getting him to love his food again often lies in offering the right kind of temptation and encouragement. With a little extra loving care and attention, and by offering the most delicious titbits, you can often eliminate this concerning issue quite quickly.
With this in mind, here we give you some expert advice on why your cat may not be eating, as well as tip to help you to entice your four-legged companion to start eating again. Well also look at what can happen if your cat refuses to eat, as well as some advice for what to do if these tips dont work.
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