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Any Good Tips To Get Your Cats To Eat? Share Them Here!

tabbytom

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There are many times when a cat refuse to eat due to change of food, due to health reasons, being fussy or gotten sick of what they have been eating and we try to get them to eat a new food and have problems getting them to eat.

I see that there are many threads past and recent on how members who are at their wits end trying to get their cats to eat will no results and also members who have successfully gotten their cats to eat.

This thread is for all who have good tips on getting their cats to eat again and so if you have one or two or more good tips, please share your experiences here according to the conditions of your cats as in change of diet due to health reasons, change of food due to discontinued food or getting them to eat something better, so that any members trying to get their cats to eat may find tips under this thread. If you have already posted before, you may cut and paste your tips here.

Here are two articles to read beside your contributions :-

why-has-my-cat-stopped-eating-and-is-it-dangerous.32998

how-to-get-your-cat-to-start-eating-again.33011
 
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Tobermory

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Great idea, tabbytom tabbytom !

Getting Kitty to Eat

- Making a buffet to give kitty choices
- Warming food
- Sprinkle food with :
  • FortiFlora — It’s a mediocre probiotic but it’s very appealing to cats because it has animal digest as its first ingredient, the same thing that coats dry food. Most cats love the taste of it.
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Crushed crumbles of dry food — There are some higher protein/lower carb/grain free brands such as Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein.
  • Bonito flakes — Can be found at Asian markets or sometimes in the Asian food section of a large grocery store.
  • Freeze-dried treats or freeze-dried raw food — Crumble into dust or small pieces over food. I use Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried Duck Duck Goose, Pure Bites chicken treats and Northwest Naturals liver treats, but there are lots of choices. If you use Pure Bites, it’s actually less expensive to buy the dog treats and they’re the same thing. For freeze-dried raw, Northwest Naturals may also work. Primal is another choice.
  • Pour a little water from tuna in water over food. Use no sodium added (I buy it at Trader Joe’s) as other kinds in water have veg. broth and I assume that means onions, which are toxic to cats. Also it shouldn't contain soy; check labels. I dilute the juice with more water, too. It’s more the smell than anything.
  • Baby food — Beechnut or Gerber Stage 2. You want a baby food that is a protein only although the Gerber contains cornstarch. It should have no onions or other additives. Please read labels carefully.
  • Plain cooked ( boiled or baked ) chicken breast
If enticements don't work, you could consider:
- assist feeding (syringe or make little meatballs and place in mouth)
- and/or talking to your vet about appetite stimulants
 

Furballsmom

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Hi! I just saw this, --there will be a couple of duplicates from Tobermorey's excellent list;

Try some raw egg yolk. Egg white must always be cooked, and some people cook the white and make a slurry of sorts by adding in the raw yolk.

Also you could try some Nutri-cal or similar product.

Try making these recipes - they're just as viable for an adult cat as for kittens, or any recipe for unflavored Pedialyte and Kitten Milk Replacer, or storebought will work as well;
Kitten-Rescue.com

These below can be used on their own or combined with food. Also, if you heat the food a little (depending on whether you want to try that to help increase the odor) - stir it so there aren't any hot spots from the microwave.

Or you could heat some water, about a tablespoon, and add that to canned food. A small glass works to stir it all up.
  • Chicken, beef or ham flavored (pureed) baby food such as Gerber Stage 2 - make sure there is no garlic or onions in the ingredients
  • Tuna and/or the juice, a low mercury/low/no sodium brand is called SafeCatch
  • Salmon, mackerel
  • Sardines (make sure there are no bones)
  • boiled cut up chicken or turkey with no seasonings
  • canned kitten food any brand
  • Try mixing in Kitten Milk Replacer - there are recipes on the internet or store bought
  • Fish, tuna or BBQ flavored canned wet food (I personally have never seen BBQ flavors, but...)
  • Lickable cat treats or pouch treat 'gravy' poured over the food
  • kitten glop (recipes in website link above)
  • Bonito flakes
  • fortiflora
  • fish oil
  • green beans, asparagus mushed up, lettuce, applesauce, mashed chickpeas, black olives
  • whipped topping such as reddiwhip
  • dry pasta
  • goat milk, or no lactose cow milk
  • whole cooked eggs (the white must always be cooked) or raw egg yolk now and then
  • broth with no salt and no garlic or onion or seasonings of any kind
  • There are also commercial toppers, Applaws is a brand that can work well as a topper
  • Some good treats would be freeze dried Purebites, Orijen, Meowtinis, Meowables, Only Natural Pet, Primal
  • There are also Lickimats that you could spread types of soft food onto, even plain unflavored yogurt, and even freeze it. Licking something can help a cat to feel better emotionally The LickiMat - Food Puzzles for Cats
  • shredded cheddar cheese, string cheese
 

lisahe

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Hand feeding/finger feeding works for my kitties when they are not feeling like eating (which is rare). Somehow they eat more from finger than plate/bowl.
I find the same thing with our pickier cat! Sometimes if she's being fussy and I feed her a piece of something by hand and then push some of her food to the very edge of the (flat) plate, it's enough to get her to eat the whole thing.
 

stacydc83

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I just learned this in the past week! Lily is extremely picky and wont try new things. I think if she doesnt recognize it she wont try it, if it doesnt look like her purina one Turkey and vegetable. I got her and Zoe whole heartedly tuna lily wouldn't try it. I took some on my finger and stuck it in her mouth and low and behold "hey this is good"!
 

Sally395

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Change the container you feed them in. Change location. Change size/consistancy/amount/temperature ot food.
For example, use a medium sized plate instead of their bowl. Change location to a more comfortable one, some where they hang out a lot.
That's what had worked for me so far. Using a plate instead of my cats bowl finally got him to eat wet food.
 

MissClouseau

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I can't stress enough how important the bowl/plate we serve the food on might be. My cat is one of the cats who have whisker stress. Even when she was an underweight stray she still refused to eat if it was a narrow-ish bowl. Since with bowls the food goes near corners as they eat, she only eats the food in the middle, if she will. I recently tried another bowl that was a gift. She ate from it the first few days, then totally stopped. If I didn't know about her quirk I would mistake it as "she doesn't eat" but the problem was again just the bowl.

I found the solution in a plate that is almost flat but not totally. This...
 

ailish

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Cats are strange little creatures. I wish we understood them better so we could solve "problems" with them more easily. Ailish hates change - "You're putting this food bowl down here? This is not where I eat!" But the one area where she has to have change is in food - "You know, I've eaten this Paw Lickin' Chickin' for three meals now, this is the last time I'm eating it for at least two weeks. Don't even try it, I won't touch it!" But then - "What is this ? People turkey??? I don't eat people food, no way no how." And this is from a cat that is very food driven and not a problem eater. Until some seemingly irrational idea gets into her fuzzy black head. "Nutro Chicken Liver? Yes, I used to love it, but that was then, this is now, and I'm not touching that stuff." I know in my heart there is a rhyme or reason to cat behavior, we just don't know them well enough.
 

PushPurrCatPaws

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My cat is the opposite: she's used to me placing her food dishes in different areas. There are definitely times when she would rather eat at a window, with the dish on top of the window sill so that she can watch the birds and goings-on outside (we call that her TV Dinner location). Often she eats better when the dish is off of the floor, up on a table. Having a view of the room helps (e.g. not feeding a cat in the corner so that it is just facing a boring wall and so that it cannot see what is going on behind them really helps).

But wherever or whenever she eats, I always put her food dish raised up about 2-3 inches on a little box or stand. She prefers it raised up (she's had past knee surgeries and this is a more comfy eating posture for her).

I can definitely vouch for sprinkling crumbled freeze-dried raw food on top of a canned food, if a cat is fussy and not wanting to eat. A favorite crumbled treat like that really helps. We use one of the Feline Natural freeze-dried raw flavors.

And, of course, there are times she is just being a cat and making the humans work harder.
When All Else Fails, Try Doing The Panto
 

goingpostal

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I just learned this in the past week! Lily is extremely picky and wont try new things. I think if she doesnt recognize it she wont try it, if it doesnt look like her purina one Turkey and vegetable. I got her and Zoe whole heartedly tuna lily wouldn't try it. I took some on my finger and stuck it in her mouth and low and behold "hey this is good"!
In the ferret world, we "scruff and stuff" because they imprint on kibble and often won't switch to different diets. After a few times of forced tasting they usually decide it's actually quite good.
 

Tobermory

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Here’s an idea from Dr. Lisa Pierson at catinfo.org (be sure to buy nitrite-free bacon):

One suggestion for very picky cats is to add a bit of bacon fat to individual meals to see if that helps them eat it.​

I baked 18 ounces of the fattiest nitrite-free bacon I could find and it yielded 16 TBS of fat. I used a broiling pan to catch the drippings. Cook it slowly until the bacon is dry and crispy. That way, you will collect the most fat from the bacon. The dried bacon makes nice bacon bits for non-vegetarians. Or you can feed them to your cats as treats. Nitrites in cured meats is a controversial subject so I opted to purchase nitrite-free bacon from Whole Foods Market.​

1 teaspoon of bacon fat is 38 calories. I would not feed more than 1 tsp/day and you may be able to use less since a little bit will go a long way to adding a bit of flavor to the food for a picky cat.​
 

LittleShadow

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Molly is a cuddle cat, and when she first transitioned to being entirely indoor she responded by clinging so tightly to me that she wouldn't eat. For her, I found that sitting on the floor, legs out straight and together, and putting her in my lap with her food on my knees and petting her with both hands got her to eat. Eventually, I could sit near her and she'd eat, then as she got used to being inside and me being consistently available, she started eating normally. (Actually a bit too much, now she's on a diet...)

I've also got a semi-feral kitten I'm taming right now who has decided that she only wants to eat when being petted, so...apparently I have the magic petting makes cats eat fingers? For best results, I find laying the hand(s) flat over the cat and stroking with just the thumbs and fingertips works best when trying to encourage them to eat.
 

Azazel

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I swear by FortiFlora as an appetite stimulant. I would never recommend it as a probiotic but the smell works wonders for getting kitties to eat.
 

Furballsmom

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Oddly enough, my vet told me a couple months ago of a study recently conducted by Colorado State University veterinarian medical department that determined fortiflora has immune boosting properties :)
 

Azazel

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Oddly enough, my vet told me a couple months ago of a study recently conducted by Colorado State University veterinarian medical department that determined fortiflora has immune boosting properties :)
Yeah, like many of Purina’s products, there has been empirical testing conducted, but these studies certainly aren’t conclusive and I’m sure that studies resulting in findings that go against Purina’s marketing strategy are never published. Logically, it doesn’t make sense for a product comprised primarily of animal digest and one strain of bacteria to have drastic immune boosting properties.
 

Furballsmom

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I agree, --I pretty much nodded my head and said yes in the right places of that conversation lol
 

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