Otis, my 1 year old boy is pickiest eater alive (or just has ADHD)

Richard2121

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So one of my four cats, Otis, has always been kind of a strange boy. He’s an orange tabby so you can imagine his personality reflects this! Well, one problem I have always had with him compared to my other 3 cats is that he gets distracted super easily while eating. All of my cats are males and he is the only one under 10 pounds. They are all treated with revolution on a monthly basis and indoor-only. Otis consistency acts hungry and excited for meal time and will even run over to the kitchen area with me anytime I’m headed in that direction (just to make sure I’m not feeding anyone without including him)!

All of my cats have been exposed to numerous brands of wet food throughout their lives so far and Otis just seems indifferent about most brands and consistencies. He eats the bare minimum, hears a noise or sees me refilling another cats bowl and walks off. Once he leaves his bowl it’s almost impossible to convince him to return. So he ends up missing meals or missing out on large portions of his meal because he’s sort of a derp. The only thing I can get him to commit to is dry food. On rare occasions I will get out some high quality dry food and isolate him so he can eat that. Maybe 1-2 times a month. Every time I give him dry food, he goes crazy and eats as much as I give him and more. I really don’t want to give in and start feeding him dry food because I know it’s the least healthy, especially for male cats. I just don’t know what else to do because I’ve tried switching food bowls, using plates, putting his food on the floor, heating his food up, adding water, and the list goes on.
 

verna davies

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I have an orange tabby exactly the same. My trick is to feed him away from my other cat and sit on the floor talking to him until he has finished. He also loves dry food which had caused UTI's in the past year so now he is on wet with the exception that when he doesnt finish his food, I mix about 10 nuggets of dry into it and he eats it all.
 

vince

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I have an orange tabby female with the same problem. She'd wander off and the two others would eat her food. I ended up having to sit with her at mealtime and play with the food to keep her interested. She also would do better if I pet her as she ate.

She eventually grew out of it for the most part, but I still sit with her as she eats. It's become part of the feeding ritual.
 

MissClouseau

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Since he's not a big eater, could you maybe find a higher calorie food?

Hima usually likes to get handfed wet food. At most she will eat only one meal of wet food - max. 40 grams in one meal. All the other wet food meals have to be handfed. After discussing it here on TCS too I figured out it's because she swallows more air with wet food when she eats on her own and she gets gas cramps. Still to this date she just sits there and waits for me to handfeed her. Before I figured out things and didn't do so she would eat on her own, she would never finish the meal. Because she was already gassy by the quarter of the portion.
 
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lisahe

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One of our cats is a lot like this, too: Ireland has always been a slow eater and pretty fidgety about her eating. A few things have helped. You've already tried some of them but here goes: flat dishes, shutting her fast-eating sister in a room so Ireland can eat in peace at her own slow and deliberate pace, and putting some treat dust/crumbles on top of her food. Unlike some of these other cats, she doesn't seem to like being observed and prefers to eat alone.

Another thing -- which may sound a bit odd -- is that I let Ireland choose where she wants to eat. I shut Edwina in a room and then carry Ireland's plate to wherever she leads me. I know that sounds weird but it really works! That and the treat dust, usually Pure Bites. Another factor is that she eats her raw and homemade foods best; we have a pretty large rotation of canned foods since she's not as good about finishing those.

There could also be health issues: taking care of Ireland's constipation and teeth have helped a lot, too. She's never going to be a food-driven cat but she eats pretty consistently now that she has those things out of the way.
 

cataholic07

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Hmm maybe feed him last in an enclosed room and stay with him until done? You could also add some freeze dried toppers to his wet food?
 

Kat0121

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My girls are not orange or tabbies and they are unbelievably picky eaters. We have been through so many foods just to find a few that they will eat. I understand everyone's frustration with this all too well. I finally found Nutro Max canned a few years ago and they LOVE it. So what happened? Nutro discontinued it of course. They are moving towards only having the "Perfect portions" available. SMH on that. These are meant to be snacks or toppers and are expensive for what you get. Lilith is pickier than Sophie so I have to leave dry food out for her. She will eat that if a wet food is unacceptable. The only dry food she will eat is Dr. Elsey's chicken. Sophie will nibble at it here and there but greatly prefers wet food. They both like the Wellness cubed chicken and turkey. I also give them Friskies chunks in gravy. The chicken and turkey of course. They will eat this too. I wish they would eat pates but no. They used to like them. Not anymore.
 
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Richard2121

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My girls are not orange or tabbies and they are unbelievably picky eaters. We have been through so many foods just to find a few that they will eat. I understand everyone's frustration with this all too well. I finally found Nutro Max canned a few years ago and they LOVE it. So what happened? Nutro discontinued it of course. They are moving towards only having the "Perfect portions" available. SMH on that. These are meant to be snacks or toppers and are expensive for what you get. Lilith is pickier than Sophie so I have to leave dry food out for her. She will eat that if a wet food is unacceptable. The only dry food she will eat is Dr. Elsey's chicken. Sophie will nibble at it here and there but greatly prefers wet food. They both like the Wellness cubed chicken and turkey. I also give them Friskies chunks in gravy. The chicken and turkey of course. They will eat this too. I wish they would eat pates but no. They used to like them. Not anymore.
Thanks for the encouraging words! I think what will end up happening is he will have to be on dry food partially and I will have to continue my valiant effort of finding some wet foods he likes. It is difficult for me as a pet parent to let him eat dry food, but he needs to gain weight and be healthy so I may have to compromise.
 

travellingbelle

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I thought I was the only one with a picky cat! My 2 year old was just treated for an inflamed bladder and although she was eating a mix of regular kibble with Hill's prescription stress/urinary kibble, tests showed she had crystals in her bladder that were causing irritation. She loves to eat kibble but from my research and talking to the vet, she should be eating more wet food to dilute her very concentrated urine. She will occasionally eat the chicken/liver flavour of Nutro. She's very stubborn and knows I will eventually give her some kibble (but I have cut back to see if she'll eat more wet food when she gets hungry enough). Hiding the kibble in the wet food only occasionally works. I have a couple of water fountains and water bowls placed in different rooms to encourage her to drink more but I don't know if that's making a difference <sigh> Anyone with any other suggestions for those of us with picky cats?
 
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