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

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Make sure that a cat's Teeth and Mouth are healthy. :bluepaw:
And that no digestive blockages are occurring.
Basically, a Vet visit, is needed for this. :blackcat:

Some similar ideas that I've tried:
  1. People have already mentioned that they've crumbled dry cat food, like purina cat chow multi-flavoured, and Pure Bites Chicken treats,...as toppers.
  2. Also whiskas or fancy feast wet food.
  3. **Those 'Squeeze-up, smooth cat treats', are also good to try.
  4. (My previous CKD cat did like the 'Forti Flora' from the Vet,...but only for a short time, and then went off his food, too.) I do think it was the 'animal digest' in it, that he initially liked.
  5. **Hill's A/D critical care, prescription wet cat food, was liked, (when transitioning my ckd cat to the prescription hills, k/d,...for kidney care).
  6. (One of mine also liked the Nutri-cal paste, but the other cat didn't...(it's worth a try.)
*** 7) This may do nothing,...but if you have any 'Enzymatic cat toothpaste' laying around, with chicken or tuna flavour,...then try rubbing a bit on the gums or back teeth.
(Something I read online about medications, changing the taste in the mouth, or causing a bad lingering taste,...makes me think that anything you can do to alter the taste in a cat's mouth,...may help them to eat.)

8) Associating food with feeling ill, can cause food aversion., yet I would hope that if you could find something to alter the taste, or aftertaste of any medications, then perhaps that would help a cat to start to eat again.
Also, giving the medications, with a 'new or different wet food',
that your cat does not normally eat, to try and prevent 'food aversion' in the first place.

9) Try and see if eating from a 'flat plate' is easier .
Raise it about 4-6 inches on top of some box, books or magazine
s.
It may help a cat eat if dish is raised a bit.

10) Compounding Pharmacies might help, also,...if they can actually 'duplicate a favorite flavour'...into some sort of paste or treat...with the medications already inside them. (if medications are needed for a cat).

Just a few more ideas that you can try to get a cat to eat:

Not Eating Well? Boosting Your Cat's Appetite -Frederick Cat Vet
The above article had many useful tips. I especially liked:
"Toppings: Cats love fat and salt, but a little can go a long way. Bacon, grated cheese, catnip, CatSure, chicken broth, FortiFlora probiotic, Churu and Squeeze Ups can be poured on or sprinkled on food to make it taste better. The goal with these toppings is to entice your cat to eat the whole meal, and not just feast on the treats. Many cats readily lap up juice from canned chicken or seafood, so adding this to the regular diet can make it much tastier."
also: "The smell of chicken or fish cooking on the stove may be enticing. Also tempt them with traditional treats and sandwich slices."

Approach to the Anorexic Cat • MSPCA-Angell
This article had mentioned..."sprinkling catnip on food".
"Many cats like catnip and sprinkling a small amount on the top of food will stimulate them to eat the catnip and may jumpstart eating the food."

Is your cat a picky eater? | Animal Wellness Magazine
Acupressure:"Shan gen, “Base of the Mountain”: This “classical” acupoint is located just back from your cat’s nose, toward his eyes and on the center line. It’s known to trigger a desire to eat. Starting at your cat’s nose, gently rub back toward his eyes using the soft tip of your pointer finger. Keep rubbing that spot for a slow count of 20. This point is specifically used to stimulate appetite in animals, and has the added advantage that most cats find it relaxing.
 
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IndyJones

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My cat had food aversion from me putting pills and medication in her food and I don't know why I did this but in a fit of half frustration I took a small spoonful and ate it myself in front of her like "see? I didn't spike your food." She then proceeded to eat it.

It tasted awful though... like chicken left on the bbq too long. Or really gamey pheasant. Not spoiled though just gamey.

Lessons learned, never give a cat medication in a spiked food, always pill the vet way.
 
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klunick

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Neighbor and I were talking about this issue a few weeks ago. Her cats were getting picky. I suggested not feeding them so often (Yes I know that's a sin on here to even suggest not feeding them several times a day :lol: ).

I feed Boone and Gracie twice a day. Once before I go to work and once when I get home. Basically every 12 hours. I think that was really the key to getting them eat all the time. You know the old saying about kids... they will eat when they are hungry. Same applies to cats. I found feeding them 3-4 times a day gave them the opportunity to not eat certain meals because they knew more would be coming in a few hours.

The cats do have dry food available all the time but I barely see them eat it. Literally will hit the bowl for a few bites and walk away. They never eat it in large amounts like they are starving.

Neighbor tried feeding them only twice a day and reported to me yesterday that it is working out for her! Cats have adjusted easily to the new schedule and clean their bowls every meal because they have learned that food won't be magically appearing shortly.
 

Babypaws

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FortiFlora….I’ve been reading, this is also used for cats that have diarrhea but my cat doesn’t have diarrhea and I don’t want to get her to be constipated if I use this appetite stimulant.
I only give her the baby food when she gets really bad at not eating. I know it’s not complete nourishment for her so I don’t feed it to her every day
 

IndyJones

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FortiFlora….I’ve been reading, this is also used for cats that have diarrhea but my cat doesn’t have diarrhea and I don’t want to get her to be constipated if I use this appetite stimulant.
I only give her the baby food when she gets really bad at not eating. I know it’s not complete nourishment for her so I don’t feed it to her every day
Sodium free bone broth powder for making soups is actually the same thing without the medical elements. I've used it on occasion mixed with plain rice when my cats have diarrhea.
 

IndyJones

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My cat doesn’t have diarrhea
I meant more that you can use stock instead of FortiFlora if you need it for the enticement properties rather than the probiotics.

I use Campbell's no salt added chicken broth myself. It's also better value since you get a whole carton of it rather than tiny packs.
 

Novus888

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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
Yeah, the expensive stuff I'll have to put off til August. I have $20 cat claw cutting clinic tomorrow, $300-$400 second blood panel on Wednesday, plus $30 bag of Hills Urinary Care C/D from the SPCA pharmacy...so July budget is pretty much shot. Baby food is off the shelves, and when it does come in, it's confiscated by the hoarders. I have grated Parmesan/Romano cheese...does the Romano disqualify it? I have no idea what Bonito flakes looks like, but go to Chinatown often, so if the package is in English I can find it. I called Trader Joes and they sell the tuna; it's on my shopping list. I doubt chicken has any chance (already tried boiled chicken thigh and chicken soup), but I'll bake a couple thighs, and turn them into chicken salad if Buddy snubs it.

I still have the Mirtazapine appetite stimulant left, but scared to use it so long as he still eats something.
 

Novus888

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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.
Buddy is oddly similar. He will eat half the wetfood, then come demand either a brushing or massage, and if satisfied will go back and eat the other half...otherwise not even me holding the saucer and sweet-talking him will get him to eat the rest. Since he is now down to a quarter of the 2.8oz can per meal, a half of a quarter ain't much. He will still eat a shot glass (0.5oz size) of dry food several times a day, but that still don't seem like enough to me. On the other hand the urine clumps and poo seem okay, so I could just be paranoid.
 

Novus888

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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.​
I already tried bacon, both crispy and rubbery...both only got a sniff before rejection. Other things; Chicken liver fried, beef liver fried and raw, ground veal fried and raw, chicken thigh (boiled, soup and fried), hamburger raw and fried, pork chop fried, ground lamb raw and fried, turkey thigh baked, and both whole duck and goose baked. Cannot find rabbit or mutton around here, so I think that about covers it.

This coming week I will make it down to PetClub superstore, and instead of dropping $60 on two cartons of Fussy Cat Salmon and Tuna, I'll try buying individual cans of whatever they sell like that. It will be a big waste of money if Buddy flips the paw to it all, but I could get lucky.
 

Tobermory

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I have no idea what Bonito flakes looks like, but go to Chinatown often, so if the package is in English I can find it
Here’s what they look like. Tiny, weightless shavings of dried fish. The bag I bought was full of these smaller bags. They look a lot like some tropical fish food I’ve seen, but much cheaper.
E7E178B3-4192-4018-BFFE-FDCDDB035A8F.jpeg
 

Alldara

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Churus are a godsend. When a cat won't eat anything they will eat that. I didn't find Catit brand worked as well.

Warming up the food or adding some hot water.

Hand feeding.

Human grade meat from the grocery store. Steamed worked best for me. Lily liked steamed salmon, some times with a bit of plain baked sweet potato.

Belly massage.

Tossing the food to get them to chase it. Works great with freeze dried.

Change the bowl or plate or say heck it and feed directly on a (clean) floor. Remember to clean up afterwards obviously. Place a paper towel down first if wanted to prevent sliding.

Take the bowl to your cat. Try up high or in hiding places.

Lock other pets from the room and feed.

Play cat calming music.

Blend it with some water through a blender until a soupy consistency. Works great when hot out for senior and geriatric cats. Combine with warm water trick for best results. Mix some food topper in or similar for extra smell if wanted. (Best case they eat this or eat it combined with another trick above. Worst case put it in a syringe. I did not find I had to force feed Lily with the syringe except the first time. After that she just ate from the syringe.)

Provide food at consistent times. This could mean setting an alarm, OR keeping to your schedule. (Ex. If you get home between 3:30 and 4 depending on traffic they know they get food when you get in. So consistent to routine rather than time specific)


(I can't count the amount of tricks I tried with Lily before she passed. She had lost her smell and hyperthyroid changed her tastes many times. Magnus had symptoms of low eating from a congenital heart murmur when we got him. So I reused all those tricks especially to get him to take his taurine suppliments. Now he still likes to hand feed sometimes if he feels I've been at work too long that day. Calcifer will not try a single bite of new food until it's been given 3 times and he's watched the other boys not be poisoned AND I offer a taste on my finger. No idea why as he's never been outside a day in his life and is the most food focused animal I've ever owned.)
 

Alldara

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Can this be used just for this purpose or do they have to have diarrhea?
You can buy it at some pet stores without reason. I found it to help with Nobel's constipation from lazy old man bowels.
 

Alldara

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I’ve tried Weruva brand….looked decent and like real food when I opened the can BUT my cats wouldn’t eat it….I wish they would
I had to toss it through the cats' blender for them to eat it.

Now Wureva makes pates and kitten blends that do not look like that. Our cats like the kitten ones.
 
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