7 Reasons Your Cat May Be A Picky Eater

| Published on February 23, 2016

Cats are finicky about everything. It’s what they’re famous for. If your cat is finicky about a basic necessity like food, it can be frustrating, expensive, and worrisome. Luckily, most of the reasons cats tend to avoid their meals are easily fixable. It’ll just may take a bit of investigating to get to the bottom of what you’ll need to tweak. Here are 7 of the most common reasons cats turn their noses up at food.


Image: Tom Thai : Flickr

#1 – Doesn’t like the food
A simple dislike of the food may be the problem if you’ve recently changed brands or varieties. Remember, cats are creatures of habit and they’d rather have everything stay as dependable as possible. Eating the same meal every day doesn’t bother her in the way that it would bother you. Cats also have sensitive stomachs that can be upset when new foods are introduced. If your kitty is already feeling sick or can predict that it’ll happen, she may be avoiding the food.


Image: Steve Abraham : Flickr

#2 – Food isn’t fresh enough
Your cat’s sense of taste may not be strong, but she does have an impeccable sense of smell. In the wild, cats won’t eat anything that isn’t fresh. That’s because they instinctually know that the bacteria can make them sick, which is basically a death sentence for an animal that’s in the middle of the hunter/prey spectrum. Even though your indoor cat doesn’t face the same threats as a wildcat, her instincts remain the same. If her expert sniffer detects any spoilage, she won’t eat it.


Image: Kevin N. Murphy : Flickr

#3 – Doesn’t like the bowl
Your cat’s pickiness could be related to the dish rather than the food itself. There are lots of reasons she could dislike the dish. It could be made out of a material that holds in the smells of past meals, it could be too deep or too shallow, the material could feel bad on her tongue or mouth…the possibilities are nearly endless. You may have to try a few types of dishes to find one your cat loves.


Image: Joe Whited : Flickr

#4 – Whiskers touching inside of bowl
Many cats won’t eat or drink our of bowls if their whiskers touch the sides of it. That’s because a cat’s whiskers are very sensitive and touching the side of a bowl can be uncomfortable. If you think this is the problem, switch to a bowl that’s wide and shallow.


Image: lovecatz : Flickr

#5 – Competition with other cats
Cats will avoid a food bowl if they believe they’ll be ambushed by another cat while they eat. If you live in a multi-cat home, make sure there are food bowls located in several locations throughout your home so all cats will be able to eat without feeling threatened.


Image: Jonathan Lin : Flickr

#6 – Placement
Cats can see well in dim light, but not in complete darkness (despite popular belief). Because of this, your cat may be avoiding her food dish if it’s placed in a dark closet of basement. Furthermore, she may shun her food dish if it’s placed too close to her litter box or water bowl because of the threat of contamination.


Image: Mary : Flickr

#7 – Medical problem
If your cat stops eating, it can be a red flag that signals a medical problem. Make an appointment to see your veterinarian right away if you can’t see an obvious reason for the pickiness.

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