We understand. We see the stress you go through examining labels, looking for the ingredient your cat loves, whether its a jelly, pate or gravy, looking at the dry food and the price tag thinking 'will my cat actually eat this?'.
Cats have long had a reputation for being fussy eaters. But as with all animals, fussy eaters are made not born. If your cat has become fussy it may be worth considering other factors before going straight to the food.
1. Is your cat alone to eat? Cats generally prefer solitary mealtimes, this can include other cats too so make sure your cat can eat on its own in a quiet area. Maybe feed your cat after the family has eaten to avoid noise.
2. It may sound obvious but make sure the bowl is clean. Cats will often not touch new food if there is a small piece of old food in the bottom of the bowl. Give the bowl a good wipe round before every meal time.
3. Just like us, a Cats appetite can be affected by the weather. On a hot day your cat may not eat as much, just as we would opt for a lighter meal over a full roast dinner.
4. If your cat spends most of its time outdoors, don't forget it could be catching its own prey or going to another home and eating their cats food. So when the evening meal comes round your cat may just not be hungry.
5. Cats respond to temperature of food, especially wet food. If the food has come straight from the fridge it is likely your cat wont want to eat it. Try leaving the food out to get to room temperature before putting down for your cat.
6. If your cat has been getting progressively fussy, it may be an issue with teeth or mouth ulcers. If your cat will let your check its mouth, have a look for obvious signs or it may be worth a vet check. When your cat has its annual vaccinations its a good idea to ask your vet to check its mouth.
Cats have their own mind but still learn from the way we treat them. Cats like a routine and disrupting this can put a cat off its meals. The first thing us pet owners tend to do if a cat doesn't eat a meal is give it something else, whether that's another brand of pet food or our own food.
Cats are clever. They will then use this tactic to manipulate you into feeding them what they want. They now think that something better may come along if they don't eat their meal. If you were rewarded every time you didn't eat your food, what would you do?
If your cats fussiness continues it may be time to look at an alternative food. Cats choose food by texture and smell rather than taste. there are many on the market so you are sure to find something to suit your cat.
Unfortunately it is a trial and error process but make sure you put down the same food for a good few days rather than just one meal, otherwise you will be back to square one. If you would like any help choosing a food for your cat; wet, dry or raw; please ask, we understand the challenge your cat has set you!