We say cats are “finicky,” but the real situation is more complicated. Here’s how I responded to a reader’s question about her finicky feline.

Q: My cat is so fussy about what he’ll eat. How can I get him to be less finicky?

A: While some cats will happily eat whatever you put in front of them, others are more choosy. Missing the occasional meal is normal, but cats who won’t eat and start losing weight need to see the veterinarian — stat!

But first, do some sleuthing to make sure you have an accurate picture of your cat’s eating habits. Cats tend to nibble small amounts throughout the day, so even though it may look as if your cat isn’t eating much, he might be taking in more than you realize. Instead of leaving food out all the time, measure a specific amount and record how much of it is eaten each day.

Remember, too, that if your cat goes outdoors, he may be getting extra meals from the neighbors, stealing food left out for another cat or even hunting mice or other critters.

If you’re sure your cat isn’t eating, or if he’s lost more than a half-pound or so, take him to the veterinarian for an exam and lab work. Even if your cat could stand to lose a few pounds, a cat who suddenly stops eating or starts losing weight can be seriously at risk.

That said, some healthy cats are just finicky. The following tips may help to tempt their tastebuds.

Some cats can be jollied out of finicky behavior with canned food, warmed up to be even more tempting. Serve it fresh and warm on a clean plate, and use the smallest cans possible, since you may well be throwing out the leftovers. Finicky cats don’t much like leftovers, of course! Finally, feeding a wide range of foods, from kittenhood on, helps keep cats from insisting on one brand or variety.

There’s more in Pet Connection, the weekly nationally syndicated pet feature I co-write with Kim Campbell Thornton and my daughter, trainer Mikkel Becker.

The post Dealing with a finicky cat appeared first on Dr. Marty Becker.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.