Cats are strange creatures. They have extremely specific expectations from their owners and even when their owners fulfill their demands, they aren’t happy. There’s no pleasing these feline friends!
Another thing that cat owners know all too well is just how picky these cats can be. You’ll end up spending all your money trying all sorts of brands and all sorts of flavors only for one random flavor to suit their liking and if by chance that flavor is called back, it’ll be your worst nightmare coming into form.
But in that situation at least there will be a reason behind your cat’s hunger strike: they aren’t getting their favorite flavor. However, sometimes your cat might end up going on a hunger strike for no apparent reason whatsoever. Even if they’re being fed their favorite can of cat food that you’ve kept nice and cold as a treat on a hot summer’s day.
Now here’s the thing, cats don’t always act difficult for the sake of being difficult. In their minds their behavior is justified and it’s your fault for not being on the same wavelength as them. We may be cat owners, but we aren’t psychic, so how do we figure out what’s wrong with the food we’re giving our cat? The answer is quite simple really, it’s a process of elimination. Try to rationalize all possible reasons and in the circumstance see which fits best.
Now, this might sound like a crazy plan, but we can assure you that it works best. So, we have set up this exercise for you to try out with us.
It is the hottest day of summer and everyone is lazy because of the heat. Your cat is sprawled out in the shade on its stomach attempting to stay as cool as possible. The clock strikes one and it’s mealtime! You take out the cat food from the fridge, it’s nice and cold and you’re patting yourself on the back for the smart decision of offering your cat this nice cold meal on this hot day.
You set the bowl down and without having to be invited your cat comes running to their bowl. They sniff the food, put their face in the bowl only to reject the food you’ve offered. Before they walk away, you quickly grab their second favorite flavor from the fridge and offer it to them to no avail.
Why is your cat rejecting their otherwise favorite food?
The Elimination Process:
To figure out why your cat isn’t eating their food, there could be several factors to be considered.
- Illness: A key indicator that your cat isn’t well is when they stop eating food altogether. This is something that will require immediate action because then cats don’t eat enough food, their body gets the required energy from the fat reserves, and for the fat to be used as fuel for the body it needs to be processed in the liver. This requires protein and if your cat stops eating then the protein stores start to deplete and the liver gets affected because of the fat. If going on for too long, your cat might end up with hepatic lipidosis which is super dangerous because it can result in liver failure.
- But before you rush your cat straight to the vet, you might want to consider the other options as well.
- Flavor: Perhaps your cat is sick of the same flavor being fed to them repeatedly. Now we understand the only reason you feed it to them is that it’s their favorite, but your cat is a finicky eater and so maybe it decided it needs a change. Now in the scenario above, you did try their second favorite flavor and they didn’t like that either, so there is a chance that perhaps flavor isn’t the issue in this situation.
- Stress: Sometimes stress by let’s say a lifestyle change such as a change in the house, guests, or even vaccination can lead to your cat having a temporary loss of appetite. If this is the case, shower your cat with lots of love and attention and soon enough they’ll go back to feeling safe and secure enough to eat.
- Food temperature: In the given scenario, the most likely culprit is the temperature that you’re serving your cat their food in. You might be thinking that the cold food will make them happy especially on a hot day but the truth is, cats dislike cold food and will refuse to eat food that is any temperature other than room temperature.
The right food temperature:
In the wild, cats hunt their prey and so their food is usually the same temperature as their own bodies are. While domesticated cats lead a far different life than wild cats, some things remain unchanged and their food temperature is one of those things.
Since in the scenario above you fed your cat food straight from the fridge, your cat refuses to eat it at that time. Perhaps after a while when the food is no longer cold, they might go back to it and munch it up. Or if you warm it up a bit before serving it, they will happily eat. Sometimes, cats do eat cold food only to throw up their meal not soon after. That’s because their body is not able to accept cold food.
If your cat doesn’t want to eat cold food it doesn’t make your cat finicky, even if we wouldn’t want cold food no matter how hot the day may be. Understandably one tin of cat food can last up to three meals and if not refrigerated, it can go bad. If you don’t want to keep microwaving the same food for every meal in fear it might lose its nutritional value, simply take the food out of the fridge a little while before mealtime. Always remember, a full cat is a happy cat!