“My cat is terribly fussy”
A new customer called to view Cuddles recently. She decided to make a reservation for her cat and we were going through the booking form. When we got to the section on “Feeding” this lady stood back and said: “I’m afraid my cat is terribly fussy.” I replied: “I wonder why that is?” We both laughed.
Chancing his paw!
Cats do not become fussy by themselves. We humans are the providers of their food and therefore it is totally up to us how fussy or otherwise they are/become. Many of our customers (feline of course) will chance his paw exactly the same way a child will chance his arm. An easy way to explain this is by using the following example:
A proper Charlie
I’ll use one of our regular clients, “Charlie”. Here’s what happens when I serve up Charlie’s current favourite food (per his owner’s information). Charlie sniffs at the food and looks at me expectantly. If I don’t remove the food straight away Charlie sniffs at it again and paws the air above the bowl, while loudly complaining that this is not what he ordered.
If I change the food he may repeat the same process for a second time, and even a third. Occasionally he will cover the food with some of his bedding. Sometimes his complaining can be in the form of “caterwauling”. I often have to say to him: “Charlie, eat that” – which was a hint from his owner! He usually does eat the food at that point when he realises the options are not limitless! It can be a real battle of wits. The more you give in, the more a cat will demand.
Ways to encourage fussy cats to eat
I find one easy way to keep a cat interested in his food is to vary it. If feeding dry food exclusively, I sometimes vary the flavour or the type of kibble depending on the cat. If feeding wet food it can be useful to open two or three boxes at the same time and change brand as well as flavours at least daily. This method works to some extent with Charlie, who has a huge appetite, rarely touches dry food, but eats two to three pouches of food at a sitting!
What about treats?
Treats, particularly the packaged, promoted ones, in my opinion are unnecessary. Cats only learn to accept them when introduced to them by us. However, at Christmas we make an exception, when guests at Cuddles are treated to warm roast turkey. “Yum”, many of them say, but there’s always one or two who will not want any. We often also serve chicken to our guests on a Sunday.
Some cats will happily eat one particular brand and variety of dry food (kibble) all his life and if you’ve got one of those LUCKY YOU!