Cat food for fussy eaters
Cat food for fussy eaters
From food hoovers to finicky felines, our Pawsome Professors have found the best kibbles for cats. With good habits and a little patience, introducing new food needn’t be a struggle so what are you waiting for? Read about how to get fussy eaters eating once again below.
What’s on the menu? Types of cat food
There are 3 ‘main’ types of cat food; dry, wet and raw. There are many motivators as to which cat food we buy, from price to our cat’s needs, but the most important thing above all is to make sure they are getting natural food packed with those essential nutrients. Whether you buy cat food online or in-store, be sure to do your research on ingredients, portions and feeding best-practice. So, without further ado, what is the best natural food for cats?
Dry cat food
Whilst there is an extensive range of dry cat food brands UK, the best brands offer real meat cat food conveniently packed into kibbles. When trying to find the best dry cat food for picky cats look for brands which offer hypoallergenic or grain free recipes. These recipes are designed specifically not to include any additives, fillers, allergens etc. meaning that the meat content is far higher and consequently, meals taste better.
In addition to these perks, feeding fussy eaters can be a long process, and therefore the ability to leave dry food out (safely) for cats to free-feed also adds to this particular type of food’s wealth of benefits.
Just be sure to leave out a dish of water (not milk as this can cause diarrhoea) to keep your cat’s hydration intake up!
Wet cat food
Like dry cat food, the better wet cat food brands offer nutritionally complete recipes. Whilst wet cat food is often referred to as more palatable – be wary, as these flavours are often artificial, along with a wealth of additives, allergens and other nasty stuff! Think McDonalds… it might be a tasty snack now and again, but you wouldn’t want to be eating this stuff on the daily, so nor should your cat.
The main benefit to wet cat food, and difference between dry cat food, is the moisture content. Wet cat food is often very high in moisture content meaning that your cat can take in moisture whilst feeding. However, we do advice that your cat should have access to plenty of fresh water regardless of what you are feeding them.
The biggest difficulty that wet cat food presents to fussy felines is the temperature. Depending on the weather, your cat might think that there food is too hot on warmer days, and too cold during the winter. But can we really blame them? No one wants a salad on a cold winter’s night.
This, means that you can not only leave your food out because of temperature, but also due to contamination. Leaving wet food out not only risks the food going off, but also attracts flies. The worst bit? These flies can cause all kinds of bacteria and parasites to manifest and cause real problems for your cat.
Raw cat food
The raw cat food ‘trend’ is based on our cat’s diets before they became domesticated (think lions hunting in the plains of Africa). Raw cat food diets give you full control as to what is going into your pet’s meals, meaning that many nose-turns later you might just be able to crack down on what it is that your pet is feeling picky about.
However, raw food poses the same threats as wet food regarding contamination. Ensuring that meat is safe in the first place can be difficult as the quality of meat sourced for pets is not the same as it is for humans. You will need to be on the look out again for those horrible worm-eggs and parasites… Yuk!
That being said, raw cat food diets are no easy feat as providing the correct nutrition in line with your cat’s likes and dislikes can not only cost a lot of money but will take a lot of time. From regulating delivery of your frozen meat and defrosting this appropriately this is certainly not the hassle-free solution to your cat’s dietary requirements.
Introducing your food of choice
There are two ways we recommend introducing a new diet – directly mixing new food into your cats current food or presenting both foods in different bowls with varied quantities.
In the case of fussy cats, we recommend providing your cat with two bowls. Bowl number one, should have about 75% of their current food in and bowl number two, should have about 25% of their new food. Gradually decreasing the percentage of their current food and increasing the percentage of their new food will provide a smooth transition. Read more about transitioning your cat’s food here.
Remember – it’s never too late to switch your cat’s food. By following the guidelines above, you can even introduce variety into your pet’s diet because let’s face it, even we’d get sick of having pizza everyday (…eventually).
Good feeding habits
Hopefully by this point your finicky feline will be eating again but if they’re not – have no fear. Fussy eating is more than just about taste, in fact, there are a number of other factors which might be influencing whether your cat eats or not.
Their toilet is too close to their kitchen
A lot of owners put their cat’s litterbox in the kitchen as it is convenient for cleaning up – however, if their litterbox is too close to where they feed they might very well not be feeling tempted into eating. Consider moving their litterbox to the other side of the room.
Whilst there is only so much you can do with your pet’s food, you can always ensure that their food is being presented to them in a clean bowl/plate. Don’t be tempted to use the same plate without thoroughly cleaning it between meals.
Catch of the day
All too often our cats have bought us a less-than-desirable catch of the day from outside. As mentioned above, our pets descend from predators, so don’t be surprised if your cat is full by dinner time after an afternoon spent outside.
Lack of fresh water
As discussed within types of cat food above, a lack of fresh water might mean that your cat is feeling too parched to eat their dinner. By keeping your cat hydrated throughout the day you can regulate their moisture intake, in-turn improving their meal intake. Additionally, your cat is never going to fancy some stale/lukewarm water, so keep topping up their water bowl with fresh, clean water.
Whilst you might be worrying about your cats feeding habits, resist the temptation to watch them whilst they eat. Hovering over your cat whilst feeding might give them ‘stage fright’ and put them off eating. Try backing away during feeding time so your cat feels stress-free and can focus on enjoying their meal.
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