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"Caring for cats isn’t what we do, it’s who we are!"


How to Encourage Your Cat to Eat

How to Encourage Your Cat to Eat


Faith P.

How to encourage your cat to eat. We all love food. It’s delicious and filling, but sometimes you may notice your cat not wanting to eat its food. There are several reasons as to why your cat doesn’t want to eat, which will be covered and many ways that you can help your cat begin eating again. This blog will cover many easy and simple tips that could help. However, you may want to get your cat a check-up at your veterinarian.


How to Encourage Your Cat to EatWhy They Don’t Want to Eat

There could be several different reasons that could lead to your cat not eating. One common cause is when they feel sick. When a cat gets sick, it may cause them to lose their appetite; this is not helpful because the less they eat, the weaker they get and the worse they feel. It is essential to make sure they eat, especially when they are sick. Other reasons could be stress or if your cat has diabetes (more on that later.) There are many different ways that you can try to tempt your cat to eat, and we will cover a couple of the easiest ways.


If Your Cat Has Diabetes

Like I previously mentioned, diabetic cats may not want to eat very often. The best thing you can do with a diabetic cat is to keep a feeding schedule and make sure that you are following that schedule. If a cat is not eating well, it could cause complications in its treatments. If they receive too much insulin relative to their calorie intake, their blood sugar can fall to a dangerously low level.

Some cats may have to be on diets that may cause them to not want to eat, simply because they don’t like the food. If your cat is not eating, the first thing you should do is contact your veterinarian and have them do a check-up on your cat. They may want to test for other medical problems, diseases, or infections. The next following tips will not only help cats with diabetes but also help all cats start eating.


A small thing mentioned previously was to have a feeding schedule. Feeding schedules can be helpful not only to diabetic cats but to other cats as well. Having a plan for 2-3 meals a day may help your cat get into the routine of eating. You should have the feeding times when you know your cat will be hungry. While you’re at it, make sure that the food is fresh. Cats choose to eat something based on the smell and taste, so having fresh food out will make them more likely to eat it. A helpful thing to use when schedule feeding might be an automatic feeder. There are many varieties to choose from and ones that work well with both dry and wet food diets. 

Location and Environment

First, you should consider how your cat is most comfortable while eating. Some cats may rather eat by themselves, and some may want company while they eat. If they like being social, you may want to sit by them and pet them a little. On the other hand, if your cat is more solitary, place its bowl somewhere where it can eat while not being disturbed by people or other animals. Since you may not always be around when your cat is eating, there may be something making them feel uncomfortable while they eat. Some locations could be somewhere like a closet or under a piece of furniture; an easy way to find out where to put the food, you could split it into different food bowls into various areas to see which one your cat prefers most. 

How to Encourage Your Cat to EatBowls 

Something many people may not consider is what bowl that their cat is using. Though they may be bowls, your cat could still have a preference. Your cat may prefer eating on a plate or a shallow bowl so it won’t squish its whiskers as much as they eat. The material may also matter to your cat; preferably, you would use a stainless steel bowl because they are easiest to disinfect and clean. Glass and ceramic bowls also work but are easier to break. Try avoiding plastics because they could hold bacteria when scratched and give off an unpleasant scent when heated. Another thing to consider is the placement of the dish, some cats prefer angled dishes so that they don’t have to hunch over their dish, others might prefer an elevated one.


Other Ways to Feed 

How to Encourage Your Cat to EatThere are other ways you can try to feed your cat, such as not using a bowl or hand-feeding them. When you don’t use a bowl, you should try to engage their natural hunting instincts and allow them to walk or run around “hunting” for their food. Keep in mind cats don’t usually eat large meals; they naturally will eat little bits throughout the day. So, giving it multiple small meals a day may encourage your cat to eat. Another alternative to a bowl that has recently been becoming more popular is feeding puzzles. These feeders let your cat use their brain, similar to hunting, and may get your cat to enjoy feeding time; these feeders will also help calm down your cat if it is very energetic.

If all else fails, you can turn to the classic feeding your cat by hand. With wet food, you can place some on your fingers and try to touch the gums of your cat -without force-feeding- and with dry kibble, you can use your hand like a bowl. This method often works best with social cats, but if you have enough patience and use a bit of coaxing, you may be able to get solitary cats to eat as well.


Overall, all cats are different and may require different methods to get them to eat, but you will likely find a solution. There are many ways on how you can encourage your cat to eat, and we have only covered a few. However, it is essential to make sure your cat eats enough food, especially if they have diabetes. It may feel like you’ve tried everything but don’t give up hope because not eating will negatively affect your cat’s health if no solution is found. Having patience and continuing to try will be better than giving up.



Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.




  1. Krista Schulte

    Love this =)

    • Zara Willmott

      Thank you.


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