What should I feed my cat if they turn their nose up?
This is another question that crops up here a lot at The Pet Parlour but the answer isn’t straight forward as Cats like ferrets, imprint on their diet, meaning they usually stay on the type of foods they get weaned onto after leaving their mothers care. In addition, Cat’s are also big sugar addicts and these days, sugars are far too plentiful in many of the dry pet foods on the market, especially supermarket brands and of course most of the big brands that are usually sold through the veterinary channels, so switching a cat from these types of food can prove extremely difficult no matter how much bribery you try.
House cats tend to be less fussy. The reason for this is because indoor Cats don’t go out and hunt their own food, so they tend to always eat what you give them while an outdoor cat has the choice of whatever it can hunt or catch for themselves. So in this case they are most likely full due to the fact that they may have stuffed their faces with any of the local delicacies in the neighbourhood right before your offering. An important note on this: Regular worming, either natural or pharmaceutical, is very important for outdoor cats, as birds, mice and rats can carry worms and parasites especially if they’re already dead when the cat happens upon them.
Unlike most dogs, who as we all know can eat until they make themselves sick, if let (especially labradors!), cats usually prefer smaller more frequent meals but if they’ve had a slightly bigger meal, it’s not uncommon for them to skip the next meal (or two) because their daily calorie intake has already been met.
Cats who hunt for themselves, may prefer fresh food because the fresh meat diet has been imprinted on them (it’s also an instinctive trait) so naturally they will avoid dry foods but if you offer them some raw, fresh meat (or even cooked meat) or a raw egg for example, chances are they will not miss the opportunity to tuck in once more – Wet processed foods may even be selected if you don’t want to feed raw or cooked meat foods. (See some options below)
If you have a dry fed indoor cat and they are being fussy, then maybe they have simply just lost their appetite, so provided they don’t have any underlying medical conditions, you can try and tempt them with something like a nice homemade bone broth to begin with and then a good quality wet food like Country Hunter or simply add half a tin of something like Canagan or Applaws in order to eat their dry nuts. Here the key is patience and persistence but as long as they’re holding a good weight and not acting out of character, then there is really no need to worry.
High carbohydrate, low moisture foods, on their own, can take their toll on a cats kidney function and/or on their renal systems. Raw cat foods, like Kaya 100% Pure or a good quality low carb processed wet food like Country Hunter Wet Pouches or Canagan Tins or Applaws Tins as we mentioned above, help reduce the chances of these issues as they provide the moisture the animal needs within the meal itself, as opposed to the animal looking for water separately and while Cats can develop these issues for many other reasons, food is one of the elements that owners have some control over.
Some cats may prefer to eat whole prey! Whole prey feeding is the most natural feeding format a cat could possibly have but this option is not for everyone. Frozen day old chicks, mice or weaner rats for example are available from most good pet shops, including ourselves and are usually sold as snake/reptile food but they are also a great natural option for cats.
This whole prey option is safer than the cat catching prey in the wild as commercial whole prey is specifically bred for this purpose. It is also tested and is adequately frozen to kill any potential parasites beforehand.
We would encourage all owners to try to add at least some fresh food to the bowl, even if it’s tinned sardines/mackerel for example. A little bit of fresh foods and extra moisture goes a long way and will help support the renal system and kidney function.
If you want to try and transition you cats away from dry foods onto a more natural fresh diet, then please get in touch with us via email Info@petparlour.ie or by phone and we discuss your best options,