Why Are Cats Fussy Eaters?

 Cat with a raw chicken neck

Is your cat a picky eater? Fussy about what they eat, when they eat, who feeds them, or the temperature of the food?  They haven’t just been doing it to spite you.  Cats are biologically programmed to be fussy about their food.  But that doesn’t mean they can’t change their diet, just that you need to understand where their stubbornness is coming from and how to work with it!  Here’s why our kitty kids are so picky…

Kittens Learn to be Fussy

Domestic felines are directly descended from wild cats.  Young lion or leopard cubs are entirely dependent on their mothers to hunt for them while they’re still small.  The way a wild cub differentiates between food and non-food is simple: anything Mom brings must be edible, while anything else may be dangerous to eat. They learn quickly what foods to trust, and have no reason to be adventurous eaters outside of their mother’s offerings. 

mom and kitten

Your domestic cat has inherited this biological programming.  The food she got used to as a kitten is what she considers trustworthy and safe.  This is why kittens take more easily to raw food (which they can eat as soon as they’re weaned), while adult cats used to a dry diet have to go through a transition phase. An older cat may take a while to even recognise a new diet as food at all, but there are plenty of ways to help them acclimatise.

Tips for Fussy Felines

Wild cat mothers deliver meat to their cubs while it’s fresh, still warm from the hunt.  Some cats will refuse to eat raw food straight out of the fridge, preferring it at room temperature, newly defrosted, or even warmed with a spoon or two of delicious-smelling bone broth poured over it.  Cats are not natural scavengers, and have heightened senses of smell and taste.  This protects them from accidentally eating off meat, and can sometimes make them particular about which proteins they will eat.  As much as variety is generally encouraged for optimum nutrition, we suggest that those new to raw feeding start their cats on one protein at a time.  If your cat chooses a favourite meal and refuses the others, that’s perfectly fine.  Our raw cat foods have been carefully designed to give your cats’ bodies what they need.

Cat with raw food

Learn From Their Natures

Now that you know cats learn about food from their mothers, you can use that to your advantage.  If you’ve tried all our other tips for switching cats to raw food and nothing has worked yet, remember that you are their trusted human parent.  Try feed them by hand – your familiar smell will help your cat trust that this food is worth a try.  It might take a few attempts but they’ll be glad to have made the change!


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