HomeCat HealthWeightIs your Cat Anorexic or Just Being Picky?


Is your Cat Anorexic or Just Being Picky? — 17 Comments

  1. One trick I’ve tried with some success is to smear a tiny dab of wet cat food on the end of their nose. They should instinctively want to lick their nose clean and sometimes that little taster of food can be enough to kick-start their appetite.

    • Neat idea. When I was giving Charlie Lysine in a paste to help minimise the infection we though he had I put it on his nose like that or even on his paw. The nose is best because cats instinctively lick it. I even put it on his front teeth.

  2. My daughter has a cat who seems ageless, they think he is about 15 years or so old. He actually was a from a feral cat colony who decided that was not the life for him. lol He has a form of herpes which causes him to be very thin. He receives medication every day and can be picky about what he eats. What is strange he will eat as long as he is being watched, when she turns to leave he leaves the food. Her vet encouraged her to try and get him to eat more if possible. She is now using some special treat which comes in tube and he seems to enjoy it. Yes sort of expensive but she thinks he is well worth it.

    • Interesting comment. What I find is that if I gently stroke my cat as he/she has his head over the food bowl, it seems to encourage him to eat. This may be a variation on what have mentioned.

  3. Thanks Lisa for that great tip! I will store it for future reference in CASE. Funny thing- is I find that Hills (UGH) A/D is a food that few cats can resist also. It is made especially for cats that are sick and won’t eat. While I detest Hills with a passion, I do keep a case of it on hand for emergencies.

    By the way, “Anorexia” simply means loss of appetite especially when prolonged. The term for the condition in which humans will not eat- due to a mental disorder is called Anorexia Nervosa and is different than just the term “anorexia.”

  4. Thank you for this very informative article, Jo. I have had issues in the past wtih kitties that won’t eat due to rotten teeth or illness. In all cases I was able to entice them to eat more than a few nibbles by feeding a food called Fussie Cat. While it is not the most nutritious food in the world, it is by no means junk. And, anything is better than nothing to prevent hepatic lipidosis, in my opinion. Tuna based and made in Thailand, Fussie Cat is very “stinky” so the cats tend to gobble it up. Once the illness or rotten teeth were cured, they would transition back to their regular food.


  5. My kitties have zero interest in liver, cooked or raw, or raw meat of any type. How weird is that? The only thing Buster likes, other than cat food, is butter, And he’ll have a tiny taste of plain yogurt.

    • Rani,

      Our kitties showed very little interest in the first raw food I attempted to give them. This said, they always enjoyed a small treat of raw chopped meat when I was cooking (very tiny amount)- but all of a sudden one day, Dr. Hush Puppy showed great interest in some raw gizzards. Have NO idea why. So then I was inspired to order a sample pack of Darwin’s (FREE 10 lbs of different mixtures- raw chicken /raw turkey) and they thought that was the “cat’s meow” so I then started feeding it to them regularly.

      Anyone in the USA who wants to try the sample pack can go to their website. Free shipping-too.

  6. Anorexic, my ass.
    We need to stop trying to assign human idiosy to our felines. It can never apply. It will just make us sit back and allow them to die.
    If they won’t eat, they’re ill or in pain.

  7. Harvey,

    As a raw food feeder we DO need to be careful about the amount of liver we include in the mix. Whether it be beef, lamb, turkey or chicken the rule of thumb to avoid vitamin A toxicity is to use two pounds meat plus 100 grams liver -two pounds equals 900 grams.

    Anything over that could potentially cause toxicity.

    But I do like your idea of a small amount of liver which cats seem to really like- Dr. Hush Puppy began his love for raw when I fed him a small amount of raw chicken liver. From then on he just adores his carefully prepared raw food diet from Darwins Raw.

    • Thank you, Jo, for explaining about liver. I have read elsewhere that liver is to be fed in small quantities only, if at all. Appreciate your suggestion here.

  8. Hi Jo I recommend giving a cat that has lost it`s appetite lightly cooked chicken liver. This should be mashed in with the normal dry or wet food with extra water added to make a tick soup or stew.. Any other nutritious food can also be added to the mix. The underlyting medical reason should also be addressed as you point out.
    I have had cats that eat very little for no known reason but the above diet keeps them going until either they recover spontaneously or some problem is solved. There is no problem with chicken liver because unlike beef liver it does not contain very high levels of vitamin A.

  9. Jo, the interesting thing about your article is this (for me). The word anorexia is being used differently for cat health compared to human health.

    For humans it is a mental health condition. Humans don’t eat because they think they are fat. We know the cause.

    However, for cats the term ‘anorexia’ seems to mean underweight due to unknown reasons.

    • Michael,

      There is no real comparison to human issues since the human condition is called anorexia nervosa. Fortunately cats don’t suffer from this highly serious and dangerous condition. Cats with prolonged refusal to eat is just being termed “anorexia” meaning no appetite for an extended period of time.

      • Jo I agree there is a different approach to the use of the term. It is just that it could be misleading. It might make cat owners believe that their cat has a psychological problem and they might give them mood enhancers.

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