p-z Advice for Finicky Felines

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Experts

p-z Advice for Finicky Felines

January 21, 2014

Whatever to do with Fluffy and food?  One day it’s all purrs and smiles for the daily kibble.  The next, “Where did THIS come from.”

 

Been there?


The thing is, it may not just be mood.  Delicate eaters may have an underlying health problem.  Sometimes cats can develop allergic reactions or intolerance to foods...even ones they have been eating for months or years.  Manufacturers can change food makeup at will, so keep an eye out for sudden itching, sneezing or stomach ailments.  If you suspect this, pack up your puss and his food and take them to the vet.  Once the problem has been addressed your cat’s appetite should return.

 

However, and this is a BIG however, if your cat has not eaten anything at all for 24 hours, he may be developing Fatty Liver Disease, a potentially fatal illness where the liver metabolizes stored fat.  A good eater who suddenly loses an appetite needs to be seen by a vet at once.  This is a very serious condition that can kill your cat within 48 hours. 


The vet can also rule out other problems like a sore tooth or gum disease which makes chewing painful, or early pancreatic or kidney problems. 

 

There are a few tricks and guidelines for cats who are healthy but on again, off again eaters.

*If you’ve been feeding your cat all day long, you may want to schedule specific mealtimes.  If he hasn’t eaten what’s offered in 30 minutes, take it away.  Do this at every mealtime and Fluffy will get clued in that it’s time to eat when you say it’s time to eat.

*Cats don’t like cold, refrigerated food.  Let anything stored in the fridge come to room temperature before serving.

*It may not be Fluffy.  Manufacturers can change formulas at will and even a favorite food may simply not smell or taste the same (or good).

*A higher quality food may be more appealing as it has a higher protein content with fewer fillers.

*If you’re trying to get your cat to eat more dry or more wet food, do it gradually.  Mix foods together at first to avoid abdominal distress and to ease the transition.

*Wash your cat’s dish.  Cats don’t like dirty dishes.  Even if you feed your cat dry food, wash the bowl every day.

*Keep the feeding station away from traffic patterns so he can eat in peace.

*Routine.  Routine.  Routine.  Cats are sensitive to even small changes in their environments, which can affect their appetites.  Have you moved?  New job with new hours?  Added a new pet?  A new baby?  All affect your cat’s eating habits.  Try to keep the dish, the place and the time consistent to calm your precious feline.  

*Cats are drawn to scent, not flavor.  The scent of beef or chicken broth is especially enticing.  Try spooning a bit over dry or even wet food to get Fluffy’s attention. 

*Special treats like cooked chicken, liver or hamburger are ok on occasion, but are not a substitute for cat food which is nutritionally balanced to keep Fluffy happy and healthy.  pz

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