In our last article, we talked about why our furry felines can be the pickiest of eaters. Today, we’re going to offer a few tips on how to get even the most finicky cats to eat their meals.

To begin, take a step back and look at your cat’s daily routine when it comes to mealtime. Does he have a place to eat where he feels safe and away from busy activity of the house? Something else to consider: if your kitty is being particularly picky and it seems like a sudden change in behavior, something may be disrupting his natural feeding behaviors. Changes in their environment can spook Shadow enough that he may enter a food strike, and it could be as subtle as a new and foreign smell. If, however, you have a feeling it has more to do with his refined taste buds and disinterest in his kibble, we have a few suggestions:

-Add a little tuna water to his food, which is high in protein and appeals to most (if not all) felines.

-Cats are grazers, eating many small meals throughout the day, so cat owners often leave food in their bowls so they can nibble as they please. The problem? Having food readily available may not offer your four-legged friend the mental stimulation needed to trigger appetite – there’s no hunt. Consider offering food only during meal times, as pickiness could be as simple as your cat not working up a big enough appetite in between meals.

-Try slightly warming your cat’s wet food, which brings out the aromas and may trigger hunger (similar to how the smells of a simmering meat sauce trigger feelings of hunger in us humans!). Just make sure it is warm and not hot!

-If you have more than one cat, consider feeding them together (with separate bowls, if necessary) as cats are social eating and feel comfortable eating together. Plus, having company during dinner can encourage a picky cat to eat, especially if he sees his fellow feline chowing down.

-Take out a toy before meals. A stimulating play session is a great way to get your four-legged friend out from under the couch and working up an appetite before dinner.

-Lastly, this trick seems to get a stamp of approval from many pet blogs online: sprinkle a little parmesan (the stuff from the green can is fine) on top of the food.

As always, if your cat has shown a decrease in appetite, we recommend a trip to your veterinarian. Do you have an exceptionally finicky cat? Please feel free to chime in with any tips of your own!