As we all probably know, our pets can be quite particular about what is in their food bowl.
Most will have a favourite food, texture or flavour and will often turn their nose up at anything different.
Remember – fussy eaters are made not born.
Prevent bad habits
- Bad habits are easier prevented than cured.
- By swapping and changing your pet’s routine or by tempting them with titbits if they reject a food in their bowl – they will quickly learn how to manipulate you into feeding them the tastier food rather than a healthy and balanced diet.
- Think about it from your pet’s point of view, if you were rewarded with a treat every time you didn’t eat, what would you do?
- To avoid fussy pets, it is best to stick to a routine.
Is your pet really being fussy?
- Sometimes, fussiness is more down to the way you serve food rather than the food itself.
- Cats generally prefer to eat in private and don’t appreciate an audience. Try and provide some privacy for your cat at meal times.
- Ensure your pet’s bowl is clean. Some pets will not eat out of a bowl that has some old food in it. Try and get into the habit of washing the food and water bowls after every use. If you think about it – would you like to eat your dinner off last night’s dirty plate?
- If your pet usually eats dry food but has become fussy, you may have to replace the food. Dry food absorbs moisture and therefore becomes stale, particularly in warm weather.
- If your cat usually eats wet (tinned/pouched food) it may be because it is cold. Cold wet food doesn’t have much smell, and cats often won’t eat what they can’t smell. Wet food can be made more appealing by warming it up until warm to “mouse temperature” (warm to the touch) this releases the aroma and therefore stimulates the cat’s appetite.
- If your cat has access to outside, he/she may be having an unscheduled snack on the other side of the cat flap and come dinnertime he/she just may not be hungry.
- Pet’s don’t have psychological eating disorders and unless there is an underlying reason for a lack of appetite, your pet will most likely eat when they get really hungry. When your pet does eventually eat, offer lots of praise and affection as soon as they have finished eating.
- If your pet continues to be fussy try an alternative high quality pet food, often a change in recipe will prompt your cat into eating again.
Some questions to ask yourself when thinking about your pet’s eating habits
- Where is your cat’s food is positioned, is it near a busy thoroughfare or next to the washing machine?
- Does your pet get bullied when eating by other cats/dog/children?
- Is the food on a raised level and is there an easy way for arthritic pets to get to their food?
- What type of material is your cat’s bowl made out of? Cat’s do not appreciate plastic bowls as they can taste the residue, they prefer ceramic, glass or even metal bowls. The larger surface area the better.
- Is your cat’s food bowl next to the water bowl? Food and water should always be placed in seperate areas, and avoid feeding from a “double diner” as your cat can be put off the food by the presence of water and will drink more water if food is not nearby. In the wild if a cat catches food in the wild near a water supply, the act of killing and dismembering the food will lead to contamination of the water, so cat’s will always seek out another water source.