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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-25-2015, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Cat becoming very picky

For quite a few weeks now, my cat has developed a very picky way of eating - sometimes she comes to her bowl normally and eats like she literally hasn't eaten anything EVER and on other occasions, she just sniffs the food and turns around looking at me trying to make me open a new can for her or give her some raw meat (preferably for her, the latter) after which she starts to eat.

It's not that she has poor appetite - quite contrary, when she starts, she usually eats a lot! Sometimes, though, she just eats, say, half a can in one sitting after which she doesn't want to touch the food from that can at all and just goes to her bowl or to me trying to force me to give her something different. It's not unusual for her to have three different cans opened at once because so it happens that at time X she'll only eat food Y and won't even look at Z or Z2 (even though she was devouring it like crazy a few hours earlier!).

Those are not dental problems either cause she eats whatever you may name - raw chicken breast, liver, canned chunks, canned pate, ham from somebody just having breakfast or eating sandwiches for dinner. It's just that she tends to want to mix it up _very_ frequently (though on some days she doesn't and just eats normally) which makes it really hard to constantly keep up with her taste.

Why is that so? Is it just that I have spoilt her by opening a new can anytime she doesn't want to eat what's left in the previous one or giving her raw meat if she refuses to eat canned?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-26-2015, 07:06 AM
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Yeah, I've no clue why some cats are picky, especially if you rotate her protiens and use several types of brands. My favorite trick is to sprinkle some of their favorite freeze dried meat over the food, but it doesn't always work, like when G feels full after consuming half or sometimes only a third of his meal.

Since I'm working hectic schedules lately, I've found that longer intervals between meals have helped his appetite. If you feed her every 6 hours, try holding off an hour or two. Skipping one meal is ok, too. Just know it can get dicey if a cat foregoes 2 or more meals.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-26-2015, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. I feed her pretty much whenever she comes to me meowing (our little ritual since she was little, haha) or when she gets around her bowl. It's good that skipping a meal is ok cause I usually psyche myself out over trying to get her to eat no less than ~3 cans which is the manufacturer's recommended daily intake for her weight
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-26-2015, 10:06 PM
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Cats can be like this and like us some days you could eat everything and other days not so much. Probably not having specific meal times is not helping because she knows she can come back later and possibly get something new. Also don't worry too much about recommended quantities that's just a guide
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-26-2015, 10:21 PM
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I found that set mealtimes (two per day) seemed to work for my cats. They got used to it and did not come looking for food when it wasn't time. I did not leave food down. I put down - say, 1/2 can mixed with some water - and the cat would eat. When the cat was done eating I picked up the dish and washed it. No more food until next meal. My cats *never* liked canned food that sat out for any length of time... they wanted it fresh. So there was no point in leaving it sit, it would not be eaten.

There's no doubt: "hunger is the best sauce".
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-27-2015, 01:49 AM
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You may have spoiled her, but there could be something else going on. How old is she? My cat began to be supremely fussy about 3.5 years ago. I went through literally 47 different types of food. Now that I think back on it, I wonder if it was related to the chronic constipation that she's had and that might have started around the same time.

I've also found that sometimes a dish smells funny (like if I've been handling lemon or celery or something else pungent) or that there was some detergent residue left.

My little old lady eats about 2 tbsp. of food then walks away, then wants more food an hour later, does the same thing, repeat. For this, I have no one to blame but myself. However, she's also not at all food motivated. She'd rather starve than eat something she doesn't want to eat, so after 24 hours, there's not much I can do other than to try something else.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the replies!

My cat is 18, I wash the bowl really frequently now to prevent the scent from keeping my cat away.

To show you even better what I'm talking about, I'll tell you a situation from yesterday: she ate a whole can of food in the morning. Then, she came to eat around 9PM so I gave her a new can - she didn't touch it, just smelled, turned around and kept looking at me. An hour later - the same thing. I tried adding a tablespoon of another can to the one lying in the bowl - to no avail. Finally I decided to take some food out of the bowl and lay it down beside it - on the table. Then she promptly started eating and ate everything that was previously in the bowl... When she went away, I put some more in the bowl and also went to do my business.

And here's the kicker - she came back an hour later and ate everything I put in the bowl plus more, even ate half another can from the bowl after she finished what had been in the bowl and licked it clean.

Why the bowl was unacceptably bad an hour prior? Beats me. She just sometimes doesn't want to eat the same food from the bowl and wants to have it from the can directly or from a plate and a short time later the bowl is cool again and she devours everything from it as if nothing happened. Doing all those acrobatics with her eating is really tiring cause I want the best for her but you just never know if she's gonna eat from the bowl, the can or not at all at a given time...
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 10:22 AM
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It's a conspiracy. She's working for her friend the neighborhood psychiatrist who happens to need some more income now that Christmas time is coming and his three chrildren are at university...

Just to drive you nuts.

What kind of bowl is it?
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 01:04 PM
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LOL eldercat!

Greezee, I brought up constipation because cats can start to have trouble as they get older. Have you noticed if she uses her litterbox between two offerings when she won't eat the first one?

If that's not the issue, I think you need to play hardball and not give in.
Take the food away if she doesn't eat it, ignore the sad looks, and bring back the same food an hour or so later. Or if you're comfortable with leaving the food out for a couple of hours (some members avoid leaving wet food out for more than about 30 mins, due to the risk of bacteria forming; I leave it out for a few hours because of my fussy eater), you could put the food down and walk away. She'll be ok skipping one meal.
That might tell you if she's really just being fussy or if there's something else going on.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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@eldercat - As for the bowl: before, she's been using a regular plastic one like this: http://www.millbryhill.co.uk/pet-pro...-8442_zoom.jpg

Now I use a metal one like this: https://countryandvictoriantimes.fil...11/12/bowl.jpg (changed it in hope it would solve her problem but it only worked for a day or two).

@sprite - Nope, I haven't noticed any irregularities in her defecation patterns. And I haven't noticed using her litterbox between the two offerings. Guess I'll try to just give her something today (she's only eaten in the morning today) and walk away. If she eats eat, fine, if not, I'll only give something new in the morning. We'll see how it goes.
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