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I started feeding Valentine a ground raw diet after giving her pieces of cooked and uncooked chicken or cornish hen as treats. Since I knew she would eat chunks as treats I would grind some of the meat and chunk the rest. Well she started to not finish her food. Most notably the chunks. I tried cutting them smaller and she still would leave them in the bowl. If I give her the chunks as a treat she will happily take it. Any suggestions to encourage her to eat the cubed meat when it's part of her meal?
 

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To me, the main thing is to nip this type of behavior in the bud. Put down the food, and if she doesn't finish it in 15 - 20 minutes, put it away in the fridge. Don't offer it again until her next meal. Trust me, after missing a meal, she will eat the chunks with the ground happily.
 

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variety keeps it exciting so far for Angel. we fed her a little cooked chicken cut up into tiny chunks for her at night for over 2 months and then last week she finally started being bored with it. we'd put the plate in front of her and instead of rushing over to gobble it up, she'd stare at it as if to say "chicken? again?" then she'd even walk away! we put a few drops of salmon oil on it and that enticed her to eat some, but after a few tries with that, she caught on to the fact that it was still JUST chicken underneath and she'd walk away again.

so we shook things up a little. we gave her cooked sardines and salmon for a few days, then went back to the chicken and she ate it right up again. success! so our plan now is to just surprise her each night. i think she likes the variety. maybe you can try different fish or poultry, too?
 

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This topic comes up in one form or another every week. I know people mean well, but reinforcing bad behavior will not equate good habits moving forward. This quote is from the link below's article:

"Finickiness is one of the most famous of all feline traits. According to many behaviorists, however, it's a learned behavior and not an inborn one. Cats will happily eat the same food twice a day for their entire lives, provided it's nutritionally complete and tastes good enough."

For suggestions how to get your cat to eat what is offered, read:

Dealing With Cats That Are Finicky Eaters: General Cat Care Tips: Animal Planet

Good luck to you :)
 

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Just don't let your cat skip too many meals. If it hasn't eaten anything for 24 hours, give it whatever it wants. After 48 hours of not eating, they can get liver damage.
 

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Just don't let your cat skip too many meals. If it hasn't eaten anything for 24 hours, give it whatever it wants. After 48 hours of not eating, they can get liver damage.
Absolutely! Normally, unless the animal is sick they will not skip more than 1-2 meals. They may nibble at the food and eat a small amount, but they won't hunger strike completely unless there is something really wrong, and in that case, will need to see a vet.

Of course, if you have a cat who has been taught to be finicky for a long time, and the habit has become ingrained, the cat will test your patience and resolve. The negative behavior has been refinforced for a long time and they won't want things to change. The transition may need to be more gradual and require more brainwork on your part. This is why it is absolutely critical to nip this problem in the bud as soon as it starts.
 
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