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Our cat will not eat cat food and is starving. What to do?

(27 Posts)
ShowOfHands Tue 01-Sep-09 13:49:32

Have had two cats for a week. They are brothers. One eats cat food no problem. The other will not touch it, wet, dry, different brands, nothing. He cries for our food whenever we cook/eat. We found him in the bin today looking for scraps. He stole leftover cauliflower yesterday and was wolfing it down but will not eat even one mouthful of cat food. He will eat anything but.

The cat that eats cat food has grown visibly in a week and looks healthy. The refuser is skinny and desperate for any scraps or crumbs we drop.

Why oh why?

PinkTulips Tue 01-Sep-09 13:53:29

buy good quality cat food and see will he eat it. Pet shops generally sell the high grade brands or you can order them online from sites like zooplus.

he might not like the additives and shite that are put into the supermarket brands.

also try him on some raw meat in the meantime... bu don't do this long term without researching it properly as the proportions of bone, offal and muscle meat need to be quite specific for them to get a balanced diet

ZippysMum Tue 01-Sep-09 13:59:05

Does the cat have sore teeth / gingivitis?
Is it the place where you are leaving the cat food that it objects to?
Is the other cat hogging the food?
Is he addicted to Whiskers? (I know this sounds stupid, but we had a cat who would starve rather than eat anything other than Whiskers - we decided they must put something highly addictive in it hmm

haggisaggis Tue 01-Sep-09 14:02:29

I think cats can be very fussy. Mine would not eat tinned cat food for years - would only eat Hills Light (even though she's now underweight - she won't touch the normal kind).
Try mixing a little cat food up with something he does like - and gradually increase the cat food and reduce the other food.

differentID Tue 01-Sep-09 14:03:09

just feed him what you eat for the moment. Give him a couple of days and then mix in a small amount of cat food with it. Gradually increase the amount of cat food, almost treat him as if you were weaning a baby by introducing it slowly and surely.
Hope he comes around.

thirtysomething Tue 01-Sep-09 14:06:48

Will he drink cat milk? Mine love this but it's quite fattening so he could fill up a bit on this....Also I have never met a cat who didn't like Go-cat crunchies-have you tried them? Tinned tuna? Agree about gradually mixing fresh food with tinned stuff. My cats all love Gourmet (v. expensive) and felix steaklets but hate kitekat, whiskas and all own-brand cat food. They also love the pellets (Iams, Purina One etc). If all else fails consult the vet for a full check-up as could be a tooth problem?

BonsoirAnna Tue 01-Sep-09 14:08:10

Try freshly steamed fish and double cream smile

Hassled Tue 01-Sep-09 14:12:33

Keep trying different brands, in a spotlessly clean bowl (cats are funny re bowls), and away from the brother. Cats also have willpowers of steel - you have to try and crack it or you will end up like my grandmother, who would get up in the night to poach haddock for her cat.

My two are currently eating only Felix Fish, in jelly and in pouches. Apparently the Felix Fish in jelly but in tins tastes funny. But not all fish - they won't touch anything tuna based. Nutters.

dittany Tue 01-Sep-09 14:20:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Tue 01-Sep-09 14:24:22

Does he know he is a cat? grin

Have you phoned the vet for advice?

My cat is fussy too. I get used to what she will eat then she changes again. hmm I read that cats don't care about variety and will just eat the same thing every day.

Rubbish ime.

sayanything Tue 01-Sep-09 14:50:56

I second (third?) the suggestion that you mix whatever it is you're eating with cat food, varying the proportions gradually. Cats need protein though, so if you're eating veggie meals most days, you may want to give him canned tuna or some chicken. Maybe mix some cream in there too, to fatten him up more quickly.

Good luck

ShowOfHands Tue 01-Sep-09 15:22:16

We don't eat a lot of meat so it isn't ideal that he eats our diet.

We are taking him to a vet in a couple of days but if it's a tooth/gingivitis problem it's manifesting itself in a refusal to eat cat food only. He will, in all seriousness, steal and eat anything. Veg, cake, bread, cereal.

He's the dominant cat actually, the other one very mellow and gets pushed out all of the time in terms of affection/pecking order.

Have tried all sorts of different brands, mixing things together. The bowl is clean and well away from litter tray.

Never, ever had a cat like it.

Thank you for the responses. Will persevere with cat food mixed with raw meat and see what happens.

beautifulgirls Tue 01-Sep-09 16:55:45

Try warming the cat food - often helps them. Also try putting the food on a saucer or plate instead of the bowl you are using. Cats are such funny animals they can really be that fussy! If he has not eaten properly for several days he really needs to see the vet sooner rather than later though - cats can start to get very ill very quickly when they refuse to eat.

TheWolf Tue 01-Sep-09 17:09:22

What was he being fed on previously?

ShowOfHands Tue 01-Sep-09 17:45:53

Was being fed on bog standard cat food!

Have just mixed one part tuna with 3 parts cat food, warmed it and put it on a china plate instead of in a plastic bowl. He wolfed it down. Fussy little bugger. I don't want him expecting tuna/chicken with every meal. Let's hope I can decrease the amount over time.

Ripeberry Tue 01-Sep-09 17:49:21

Give him a mouse? grin That's what my cats do when they don't like the food, they go and hunt and leave little heads behind near their bowls ........yuck!

FabBakerGirlIsBack Tue 01-Sep-09 18:05:04

PMSL he wants a china plate!!

Did you leave a serviette too? grin

dittany Tue 01-Sep-09 18:20:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ShowOfHands Tue 01-Sep-09 18:24:54

Even dh doesn't get a china plate.

I think we have a new pecking order. He's sitting on my lap purring and preening.

Getting cats perhaps a Bad Idea.


noodlesoup Tue 01-Sep-09 18:30:14

My cat starves herself for days until she gets the flavour she wants, then she wolfs it down. Problem is she can't read so she can't choose her own packet. I'm going to try a china plate with her tonight. She is rather vocal if she doesn't get what she wants. I don't understand how she is so fussy. She used to live on the street ffs.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Tue 01-Sep-09 19:17:18

Mine chooses her own packet. I assumed she was looking at the picture but maybe she was reading it. shockgrin

MrsMagnolia Thu 03-Sep-09 11:23:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Roomfor2 Thu 03-Sep-09 11:27:21

Will your cat eat dog food? Old neighbour of mine had dogs who ate cat food and cats who ate dog food. All healthy. Worth a try? wink

cluckyagain Thu 03-Sep-09 11:31:20

Snigger at the china plate - perhaps the cat would prefer Emma Bridgewater....everybody else seems to!

scroobiuspirate Thu 03-Sep-09 11:35:00

i think your new cat is showing you who is boss!

Has he been wormed recently?

Trying a bit of posh food, ie yours, flakes of fish or lovingly prepared chicken will sometimes make a rod for your own back.

he may just have settling in issues?

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