Cats are finicky by nature and this can apply to feeding time as well. It’s important to keep your cat eating and excited for mealtime to ensure they’re getting the nutrition they need. We’re sharing 13 ways to help you make mealtime a better experience for your picky cat (and you)!
1. Consult with your vet
If your cat seems to be consistently lacking an appetite or not eating much food, always speak with your veterinarian first to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing.
2. Establish a routine
A diligent feeding schedule can help by getting your cat used to a routine and specific times of day they can expect food will arrive.
3. Decrease treats
It’s easy to give into their adorable face, but giving your cat a lot of treats throughout the day can hinder their appetite and decrease motivation to eat their main meals since they know treats will come. Limit treats to one or two times a day at specific times.
4. Try a topper
Make mealtime new and exciting with a topper! Marie’s Magical Dinner Dust is freeze-dried raw, nutritious, and easy to sprinkle over your cat’s bowl and serve with a convenient, easy pour spout.
5. Try a different recipe
It may be as simple as switching to another recipe or protein. Some cats prefer poultry-based recipes over fish-based ones, or vice versa. Stella & Chewy’s offers a variety of recipe options across our cat product lines that include chicken, duck, turkey, fish, and even rabbit.
6. Try a different food type
With so many food types available, it’s worth testing out a new diet completely. Try frozen raw, freeze-dried raw, wet food, or dry cat food. Always be sure to transition slowly over 7-10 days.
7. Rotate foods
Switching up the types of foods and recipes you feed your cat can help keep mealtime new and exciting. As long as your cat doesn’t have any digestion issues from the change, there is no issue in rotating through different diets and recipes.
8. Add liquid
Sometimes, all it takes is adding a bit of moisture to the food. Not only does this help keep your cat hydrated, but adding warm (never hot) water or pet-safe broth, like Broth Toppers, increases the smell of the food and can help entice picky eaters.
9. Watch your cat eat
Some cats like or need an audience to encourage them to eat their food. Try sitting nearby so your cat knows you’re there and a part of their meal.
10. Give praise for finishing a meal
You love your cat and it never hurts to show excitement when they do something good like eating all of their food! Give compliments and extra attention to reinforce a job well done.
11. Pick up uneaten food
If the food has been sitting out and untouched for more than a few hours, pick it up. This is both for food safety purposes and to encourage your cat to be sure they eat while the food is out.
12. Try different serving dishes
It may be as simple as switching from a plate to a bowl or vice versa. Test out meals in various plates, saucers, bowls of all different (safe) materials, like ceramic, metal or glass.
13. Switch up feeding locations
Place your cat’s food dish in a new area of the home or on a different level (like on a countertop). Make sure the food bowl is never too close to the litter box.