Just as you can bring a horse to water but you can’t make them drink— the same is true for our feline companions. Cats may lose their appetite due to:
- Wearing an e-collar
- New environment
- Change in diet
- Old age
It is important for cats to eat at least a small amount every day so they do not develop hepatic lipidosis or fatty liver disease. Other conditions, like diabetes, require owners to monitor their cats’ food intake. Try the following to encourage your cat to eat:
- Make their food smell appealing by adding tuna or chicken water
- Warm it up with warm water or in the microwave (be careful not to overheat it!)
- Add a small amount of baby food, canned food, broth, or shredded chicken
- Remove the e-collar (if your pet needs to wear one) for only a brief amount of time to allow them to eat
- Feed them by hand or from a utensil
- Give them their privacy and make sure no other animals are around. Allow them to eat in a secluded area.
- If you are changing to a new food—do so slowly over time. Add the new food to the old food and slowly increase the amount of new food and decrease the amount of old food until your cat is accustomed to the new taste and texture
Always follow your veterinarian’s instructions when feeding a prescription diet. If your cat is not eating after a couple of days, call the office and update your doctor and ask for suggestions about what else you can give your pet and how to proceed.