The Love/Hate Relationship between Cats and Food

16 RFNDXzI5NDlfY2xlYW5lZC5qcGc=Do cats love food like dogs do? As a dog owner, I’ve never doubted my dogs love for food. But the word on the street, at least in my neighborhood is that cats are ‘picky eaters’. We don’t really understand what that means, so we did some research on the topic.


Cats are called ‘opportunistic’ eaters. Dogs are too, but dogs relationship with humans lead them to rely on scraps from the humans for food. Cats did not. They are hunters and hunt small prey, so they are used to a varied diet, but also a constant source of food – typically eating between 10-20 times per day. That’s probably why so many cat owners allow their cats to free feed.

We’ve read many stories about finicky cats, but all animals must eat, your cat is not going to starve themselves, so it’s a matter of finding the right food and environment for your cat.
Some tips on getting your picky cat to eat more regularly:

  • If your cat suddenly becomes picky, you should check for a medical cause.
  • Cats can be sensitive to freshness, flavor and temperature, so watch for patterns as to what they do prefer and what they avoid.
  • Replace the bowl – cats may not like plastic or metal bowls. And be sure the bowl is clean and free from detergent reside.
  • Make sure you are feeding them on a regular schedule in a calm & safe place


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  1. I have one cat who is a total pig (Zeus, who was once at 18#), and will eat ANYTHING, including ripping open a bag of dog food. Then there’s Chip-A-Hoy.. my little finicky dude. I have at least 20 different cans of cat food in my cupboard. One day Chicken is his favorite.. the next day he walks away, and it’s all about the Beef. He’d be a great free feeder, if he was the only cat and I knew he’d be able to eat any time. In the past I never worried, because he will eat once he’s hungry. But now he’s been diagnosed with early Renal Disease, so it’s more important that he continue to eat. Every day is a challenge.

  2. I need a tip on how to make my cat picky. As I type this comment, Bert is trying to gnaw on my cell phone cable. He is definitely not picky when it comes to eating, but Sophie is quite discerning! We can leave food all over and she won’t bother it. Total opposite of Bert.
    Emma recently posted…A Lesson in GBGV Earodynamics | Monday MischiefMy Profile

  3. We haven’t had issues with the cats eating their food much, but they have been pretty picky about treats. For the longest time I didn’t buy any because they just didn’t seem to care. Now I get higher quality ones and they do seem to like those much better.
    Jan K recently posted…Monday Mischief – The Short & Long Life of ToysMy Profile

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