Don't Let Your Cat Be A Fussy Eater

Anyone whoís ever owned a cat, will know that we all like to spoil our cats when it comes to dinner time. A treat every now and then will do no harm, for example a bit of turkey at Christmas or a little bit of left over pork from the Sunday lunch. But in some cases this can go to extremes and then itís very hard to get your cat back into normal feeding habits, and often this is very bad for your cats health and could result in cat obesity. 

When your first get your cat as a kitten you will need to set down rules. Your cat will have to understand this, although giving in occasionally is fine if your feeling a bit stressed and your cat wonít leave you alone, just so you fill up its food bowl. 

Kittens will normally have four meals a day, this should then be gradually spaced out so the are eating just two meals a day, but containing all the food they need in those 2 meals. For example if you feed your cat from ready meal pouches, which weigh 100g each, then youíll need two of these pouches for each of the two meals, totally to 400g of wet cat food. Your kitten will adjust to this readily and there wonít be very many problems associated with this. 

Problems may start to occur at your meals times, youíve just fed your cat and straight away itís at the table while your eating begging for food and if your not careful itíll be on the table. Not only is this unhygienic, itís a nuisance. If your cat is a house cat and will not be allowed out side, then you need to stop this behaviour. The best way to do this is by shock tactics, although that may sound harsh, itís not. There are two good ways to do this, but you may come up with your own. When the cat starts to approach the table, make a loud noise, this could be banging two saucepan lids together or just shouting no, I can guarantee that the cat will run away. However some cats will persist and just shouting no may not be effective, if this is the case then get a plant spray. You can pick up a plant spray for a few dollars in hardware stores, they are the sort you use for misting in door plants, with the trigger handle and water reservoir. Simply have this with you when you are at the table and set the spray to squirt not mist, and when the cat comes near the table squirt it. Neither of these methods will harm your cat, they are simply just a deterrent. If you cat is a normal cat that is happy to go outside, then at meal times put it out. However harsh this may seem, especially if itís raining, you cat will soon get used to the idea that it goes out at meal times. 

When itís time for your catís meals make sure your feed it cat food, donít think your have to prepare a separate meal of chicken, rice and vegetables. All the nutrients your cat needs will be supplied in commercially available cat food. Your cat may have a favourite brand of food, or a way it is prepared, for example some cats prefer cat food in gravy while others prefer cat food in jelly, and some may not touch cat food as a pate as they prefer chunks, this is a personal thing to your cat, and youíll soon learn what it prefers, so youíll have to stick to roughly the same type of cat food. This is fine and completely normal, the trouble starts when you start feeding your cat rich foods, and left overs from your meals, if you give you cat these regularly, it will refuse to eat normal cat food, which will cause your cat to put on vast amounts of weight and will do severe damage to your bank account. So stick with proper cat food and be strict with treats. 

However much you love your cat, and however much you think of it as part of the family, you must not treat it like a human. As soon as you do that, you cat will start to think it is in charge. This stems back to itís wild relatives, and the order of the wild cat prides. Once you start to allow your cat to do things, such as eating with you in any respect, and giving in to any demands, your cat will think it has risen up the pride to be the leader. This is something that is very hard to reverse and once this happens the bad habits will get worse. 

So stick to your guns, treat your cat as a cat and not as an equal, and feed it on cat food not leftover dinners and youíll have no problems with fussy eating.

 

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