Categories: eating

Feeding cats can be challenging: The ramblings of a frustrated kitty guardian

When I am owned by a cat that regularly eats with gusto, I thank the gods for rewarding me with a kitty that isn’t a picky eater. Two of my cats fit into that category, but when it comes to one of them there are times I have found this thankless task to be as challenging as climbing Mount Everest.

Finicky cat!

Our hall closet is filled to the brim with piles of cans of different cat foods that would appeal to even the most finicky cat. But those cans with the brilliantly shiny labels, which were so appealing to them on the first or second pass through, are now gathering dust. I tell you there is nothing as frustrating as having to deal with a cat that makes me get down on my knees and beg him to eat the food he once thought was nectar of the gods; but is now turning up his nose at it.

Of course there are other reasons for cats to refuse their favorite repast. A cat with a stuffed nose due to a cold or seasonal allergy can’t smell their food and consequently will not eat. There are many serious medical conditions that will put kitties off their food. And some cats who may require prescription diets may show their distain by planting their paws on the floor and look up at their guardians with disgust.

But today I am referring to healthy cats with appetites that are completely unpredictable. This kind of finicky behavior makes it nigh impossible for devoted kitty caretakers to logically be able to plan an acceptable menu; especially when the cats’ “rules” are constantly in flux. As far as I am concerned, although I simply adore Sir Hubble Pinkerton, our 15 ½ year old Oriental Shorthair kitty; his flip-flop attitude toward cat food generally drives me to tears out of frustration.

For example: We recently visited a local pet supermarket and purchased several different cans of a variety of brands and flavors to make sure he liked them before I ordered some cartons. He loved them and polished off every can with dispatch. He was even purring while he was eating so I went online and ordered a few cartons. But my happy dance soon was turned to a solemn dirge after the food arrived and Sir Hubble refused every one of them. He is such a fickle feline.

At first I thought he might be under the weather and wasn’t hungry. To rule out that possibility I offered him some roast chicken and roast beef. That clever kitty nearly took my fingers off while he was grabbing those tempting morsels out of my hand.

He has now learned that when I offer him a brand of cat food he refuses; one that he once thoroughly enjoyed, to appease me he takes a few perfunctory nibbles, gives me that “look” and hurries to the refrigerator planting himself in front of the door, expecting that I will dole out the “good stuff”.

Unfortunately he is right. We all know that since a cat has gotta eat we are often tempted to make those “exceptions” to the rule. And since I am very concerned about his health and maintaining his weight, he has trained me very well. But there goes more cans of cat food down the drain.

I wouldn’t mind it so much since the other cats would inherit food that Sir Hubble refuses, but right now Aki, our 6 month-old kitten needs a special diet, so hand-me-downs are impossible right now. But get this one; Sir Hubble thinks that Aki’s food is the cat’s pajamas and he can’t have it!

How do you handle feeding- time frustrations? Tell us about it with a comment.

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Jo Singer

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