How can I get my cat to eat if he refuses?
First, you need to determine if your cat is ill or just being picky. Take her to your veterinarian and if she gets a clean bill of health, you can safely assume she’s just being picky.
The pickiness is partly due to the connection between smell and appetite, and partly due to human influence. There is a wide variety of cat food available and people want the best for their pets. Many even want to spoil their cats and, in doing so, might try a variety of foods and flavors. This spoils them indeed; the end result can be a picky eater. Always consult your veterinarian before making any changes in your cat’s diet.
Here are some ways to help get her to eat:
• Try strong-smelling foods. Your cat’s appetite is stimulated by smells. This is because cats have a much keener sense of smell than humans, but a far less sensitive sense of taste. This also explains why they like canned or wet cat food and tuna fish.
• Increase the moisture content. While some cats prefer dry food, others dislike the lack of moisture. Try adding water to it. You can also mix wet or canned food or tuna with dry food.
• Once your cat finds a favorite, stick with it. Frequently changing your cat’s diet causes and increases picky eating habits. Once you discover a flavor or combination that your cat will eat well consistently, stay with it unless your veterinarian advises otherwise.
• Fussy eaters may be fixated on one or two types of food. This may lead to an unbalanced diet if its preferred foods are ‘treat’ foods or to problems if the food becomes unavailable or the ingredients change. For these reasons, it’s unwise to allow a cat to become a fussy eater. To break a cat’s addiction to dry food, try mixing a little of the old with the new. The familiar smell will sometimes help lure them in. Or pop it in the microwave to bring out the smell.