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My Cat Just Picks at His Food

Your tabby cat Oscar is driving you nuts. Oscar’s generally a laid-back, agreeable guy who goes along with the flow of your household, and he even gets along with your dog Max. However, Oscar has recently developed a maddening habit: he barely picks at his food, often leaving some kibbles in his bowl every night. You’ve gone to great lengths to give Oscar a top-notch cat food, and you even serve it in a custom ceramic bowl engraved with Oscar’s name. Too bad Oscar doesn’t seem to care. Since you’re concerned that Oscar might not be getting enough nutrition, you’ve asked your Milford veterinarian to thoroughly evaluate your picky-eating cat and develop a plan to turn Oscar’s eating behavior around.

The Food’s the Culprit

Maybe Oscar is expressing his dissatisfaction with his cat food. If his wet food goes right from the fridge to the bowl, the cold food has absolutely no appeal to Oscar. Try warming up the food so it smells more appetizing, but make sure it doesn’t burn Oscar’s little mouth. If Oscar eats dry food, and your home has more humidity in the air, the food might have absorbed moisture and become stale. Or, perhaps Oscar has been eating the same food for some time, and he’s just plain sick of if. Of course, since Oscar sneaks out occasionally to hunt prey, he might have snacked on a mouse, and he simply isn’t hungry right now.

Dysfunctional Dining Experience

Just like you, Oscar wants a high-quality meal served on nice dinnerware that’s been washed daily. Even more importantly, Oscar wants to eat his meal in an upscale restaurant that features an inviting ambience. Unfortunately, you’ve plopped Oscar’s bowls in your high-traffic kitchen, where your family frequently gathers to eat and chat about the day’s activities. To give Oscar some peace, perhaps your family can adopt a different meal schedule that doesn’t conflict with Oscar’s prescheduled meals.

The Battle Continues

If you’ve addressed these issues, and Oscar still won’t each much, get him the highest-quality cat food you can find. However, make sure you honor Oscar’s wet or dry food preference. Don’t give him human food scraps, as that sets a bad precedent for the future. At some point, Oscar should be hungry enough to relent and eat the food in his bowl.

If you’re still stumped, or if Oscar hasn’t eaten for a full day, get your Milford vet involved immediately. He’ll evaluate Oscar for a food allergy, a dental problem, or an undiscovered medical problem that could be behind Oscar’s reluctance to eat. Once your vet resolves that issue, Oscar should return to his normal eating habits.

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