Thursday 28 December 2023

Are domestic cats genuinely picky about food?

I'm one of those cat caregivers who is unsure whether domestic cats are genuinely picky about their food. I think we can do a little test in our minds. We don't have to do it with our cat. We can just think about this. Let's say a domestic cat hasn't eaten all day for whatever reason. Perhaps for two days. You give them some lousy cat food and they gobble it up because they are starving. If a cat is hungry they will eat the decent food you give them. And leave the bowl empty.

If, by contrast, you give them a nice treat perhaps a little too often, they will be waiting for that treat the next time. If you give them some standard cat food in its place they might not be inclined to eat it but rather wait for the treat that they know is coming in the not too distant future, or so they think.

I have a feeling that many of us - and I am probably equally guilty on this - tend to give our cats too many treats because we love them so much. We want to please them. We might give them really high quality cat food which is expensive from time to time and they wait for that next high quality meal. They might turn up their noses at food which is of a lesser quality.

This is not being picky as such. It is simply being rational and sensible. To be "picky" is to be fussy and difficult to please. To be overly fussy. When a cat turns down food I don't believe they are being difficult to please or fussy. They simply believe that there's something better for them in the kitchen and, in addition, they aren't particularly hungry.

The key is probably to feed your cat a bit less. This would square up nicely with information that we know is true namely that there is pet obesity epidemic in America and the UK and perhaps other Western countries. Around 40% of cats and dogs are assessed as being obese by veterinarians. They are being fed too much. That's the simple cause so feeding less to make them a little hungrier will have two benefits (1) lose some weight (2) be less picky! No, they aren't picky, just sensible.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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