Help! My cat is a fussy eater

One day, out of the blue, or so it seems, your cat pulls up her nose at the food bowl, meows at you and then walks away. She’s clearly not interested in the food she normally eats. There might be a number of reasons for the sudden change in behaviour. It can be a health problem or a sign of boredom. Here are five possible reasons for sudden nose-up-in-the-air behaviour.


Possible reasons

  1. Feeling sick

Just think about how you react to food when you are sick. It might be that your cat is sick and that could be the reason why she is off her food, stops eating or eats little compared to what she used to. If you suspect that she is ill, take her to the vet.

  1. Toothache

If your cat goes off her normal kibble diet, but accepts soft food, then toothache could be the reason for her fussiness. Take her to the vet to have a look at her mouth.

  1. Not so fresh

When the food you normally feed is off, stale or moist, chances are that she doesn’t like the smell. Cats have a very good sense of smell and are finicky about what they eat.

  1. Lacking protein

Cats need high-protein diets. If her diet doesn’t contain the amount her body requires, she might reject the food. Most cat food contains high amounts of carbohydrates – and she might not like that.

  1. Enough is enough

Maybe your cat has had enough of the same old flavour and needs a new one. Try a couple of new flavours within the same brand and type of food, and see if she fancies any of them.

Healthy food tips

  1. Don’t offer your cat a buffet of delicious food to choose from. If she has a big variety of foods available to her, she might become fussy about what she eats after that. Find one food type and stick to it. You can alternate flavours now and then so she won’t get bored.
  2. The ideal food for cats’ teeth is dry food. Cats on wet food might have weaker teeth and might need supplements to keep their teeth strong. If you are not sure, the best will be to speak to your vet about your cat’s needs.
  3. Ensure that your cat gets enough protein. As carnivores, cats’ bodies need protein for good health. Read the label of the food to make sure that the protein content is sufficient for your cat.
  4. You can heat up her food in the microwave for five seconds to make it more appealing. But only use this trick if she gets a set meal, and not when the kibble is left outside.
  5. Ensure that your cat’s food is fresh. Consider the size of your cat and how much she eats when buying a bag of food. Don’t try to save money by buying a larger bag that will be open for a long period of time, as the food won’t stay fresh.
  6. Don’t overfeed your cat. Speak to the vet about the ideal size of her portions.
  7. No one likes to eat from dirty plates, so why should your cat eat from a dirty bowl? Ensure that her bowl is kept clean and hygienic. Bacteria from a dirty bowl can affect her health.
  8. Don’t give your cat treats throughout the day. It will decrease her appetite, meaning that she won’t get the nutrients that she should be getting from her bowl of food.
  9. Ensure that your cat drinks enough water. Also make sure that she has fresh water at all times.
  10. If your cat feels uncomfortable and crowded in her environment, she might not want to eat.


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