If you’re wondering why this is such a commonly asked question, it’s because cats are imprinted feeders. This is why cats are such picky eaters. Since cats are much more finicky than dogs, we’re going to help you understand cats’ eating habits, as well as the best way to feed your cat.

Understanding Cats’ Eating Habits

To understand why cats approach eating the way they do, it’s helpful to zoom out and look beyond just domestic cats. When cats encounter an item in the wild, they have to distinguish between whether it’s nutritious and tasty, or potentially harmful for them to eat.

That type of situation explains why when researchers observed a group of cats, they concluded that cats definitely use their sense of smell to select a food. They found that given the choice between one food with an attractive odor and another without, the cats ate the former without even bothering to taste the latter choice. On the other hand, if offered only options without an attractive choice (based on smell), the cats tasted the foods in order to make a selection.

In addition to their sense of smell, there are several other elements that influence how cats make their food choices. One is cats’ ability to self-regulate their nutrient intake. Other factors that can influence cats’ eating habits include fixed food syndrome, smell preference, temperature and the freshness of food.

The Best Way to Feed Your Cat

Cats are an obligate/true carnivore, which means they require protein from animal sources. Some of the nutrients that cats need can only be found in animal meat. Cats require a higher percentage of protein in their diets than many other animal species. They need specific amino acids, as well as the right types of fats.

Here are a few helpful feeding tips:

    • If your cat looks healthy and has a healthy weight, your pet is eating enough food.

    • Keep the litter box and water separate from food.

    • Provide a safe place to eat and spice up your cat’s diet as much as possible.

    • Use shallow bowls or plates so whiskers don’t touch.

    • If you refrigerate canned food, warm up close to body temperature by quickly microwaving it or adding a small amount of warm water.

    • If your cat is not wanting to eat cans, put some food on their paw so they have to lick and try it.

    • If you want to ensure that your cat is getting food that it will both benefit from and enjoy eating, you’ll be very happy with the cat food options provided by Pet Wants. We offer a variety of adult cat food blends, as well as options specifically formulated for kittens and cats who need extra help maintaining their weight.

To learn more about the specifics of Pet Wants cat food, get started by finding the Pet Wants location nearest you.

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