Sometimes certain cat illnesses just make a cat feel too bad to eat… other times, with a little enticing (or begging) with special kitty treats you can get them to eat a little on their own. I think it’s better for the cat’s self-esteem and confidence to eat on its own, so try your best each and every day… you never know when the magic day will be.
Here are a Few Kitty Treats to Entice Your Cat to Eat
“Prime the Pump” – you may try offering a little warm food before you start your feeding syringe session just to see if your cat will eat a little on its own. Warm food is more aromatic and hopefully more appealing. If there’s not response when you let your cat smell the food, take a little on your finger, gently open your cats mouth and scrape the food off on the roof of the mouth by pulling your finger across the top teeth or place it directly on the tongue. With a little food on the taste buds, your kitty might just be encourage to eat a little on its own.
Kitty Kaviar – top your cat’s regular food with a little of this yummy kitty treat or feed alone by hand.
Cream Cheese – Offer on a spoon or plate…. and not the diet stuff.
Raw Liver – Yuk! But it’s wonderfully primal. Cut small, short pieces.
Jan from NH writes: “Beef liver is a bit heavy – and if one considers what is closest to the kitty in it’s natural state… well, if you can get chicken livers (OR rabbit livers) – at least in THIS house the kitties would cheer. They leave the beef liver out of my meat mix any time they figure out how to separate it!! If you DO decide on beef liver, look for calves liver, the lighter colored the better – I’m told this means it’s a younger less contaminated liver (don’t forget – liver is the systemic detoxifier of a body, and the darker the color of the liver, the older it is and therefore the more it’s had to decontaminate.)”
Linda Fischbach writes: ”Livers are fairly high in phosphorus; over 1% on a dry matter basis. And don’t give too many; maybe one a day. (You can get the information from http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/cgi-bin/nut_search.pl, and then do some calculations to determine dry matter percentage.)”
Warm the Food – Warming food makes it more aromatic. The smellier the food the better, especially if your cat is having trouble smelling.
Garry & Lewie write: I stumbled onto something from a vet-tech at one of the pet-food companies, and it works like a dream! Let’s face it: Our kitties don’t race to the bowl of special renal foods, canned or dry, right? Well, see, this sweet lady tells me that the dry foods are pretty well doped up with fats (for calories & weight), which cats DO like a great deal. However, the drying process kills the aroma. So…pop the bowl in the microwave for a bit (I do about 30 seconds …I want them barely warm, not hot), and you’ll be shocked at how Kitty responds! It melts the fats and the aroma is much stronger…Lewie LOVED it!
Tuna Fish Juice – If your cat eats crunchy food, pour a little tuna juice the food. You cat may only lap up the juice, but that’s a start. If your canned cat food is not a good smell to your cat, try adding a little tuna juice and see if it perks your cat’s interest.
Open the Cat Food Can in Front of your Cat – Sit down on the floor and open the canned cat food and be totally excited about the experience. Your cat may get excited, too.
Freshly Opened, Un-refrigerated Please – Somehow, some cats can tell if you refrigerated and then warmed up the food before presented it to them. Warmed up food is just not the same as a freshly opened can! If this is the case with your cat, use the rest of the can for assisted feeding by mixing another assist feed food with the leftover food. Try not to assist feed a cat the same food that they will eat on their own… you don’t want the assisted feeding event to be associated with the kitty treats food because it may cause them to stop eating that particular food.
Presentation Matters – If I put Bubba’s favorite food on a plate and set in on the floor in front of him, he would not eat. However, if I laid down on the floor and slightly raised the plate at an angle off the floor, he would eat. Go figure! Whatever works!
Spoon Feed Me – Some cats like to lick a little food off of a spoon.
Baby Food – CAUTION: Without Onion and Onion Powder!
Try different flavors of baby food for kitty treats. Flavors such as ham, veal, chicken, etc. Don’t rely totally on baby food because it is not nutritionally complete… you will have to still finger feed or feed with a feeding syringe. A major problem with baby food is that it does not contain the essential element taurine among other essential nutrients for a cat. If you cat gets hooked on baby food, start introducing a pinch (and I mean so small that it doesn’t make a difference in the smell or texture) of your vet recommended cat food. This method of transitioning should take WEEKS to complete. Go slow or else the transition will backfire and you’ll be back at square one. Better to go slow.
Disclaimer: Kathy Fatheree is not at all a medical expert. Contents of this web site are a collection of Kathy’s assist feeding experiences as well as the experiences of other cat owners who have assist fed their cats. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, Kathy Fatheree or anyone associated with this web site cannot be held responsible for anything that may happen as a result of using the information on this site.