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How To Increase Cat Appetite?

Your cat might be tricking you to get her favorite treats. Smart creatures, huh? But what if it’s actually starving? How can you increase your cat’s appetite? Get expert answers.

How To Increase Cat Appetite

Your cat might be tricking you to get her favorite treats. Smart creatures, huh? But what if it’s actually starving? How can you increase your cat’s appetite? Get expert answers.

You may adore your cat’s occasional tantrums, but mealtime is when you least want it to happen. Especially, if your cat has a hearty appetite, you’re more concerned about her showing this flip side and start searching for how to increase cat appetite.

To increase your cat’s appetite, offer a variety of high-quality foods while maintaining a regular feeding schedule. Consider warming up their meals slightly and ensure a stress-free feeding environment. If appetite loss persists for more than 36 hours, consult a veterinarian and use prescribed stimulants only. 

These methods often encourage a cat to eat, but sometimes they don’t. It’s because your cat might have an underlying condition that needs medical intervention.

Can I Force Feed My Cat If He’s Not Eating?

No, you should never force-feed your cats if they aren’t eating. Force-feeding can lead to stress, injury, and further refusal to eat. While cat owners often think of trying feeding tubes as a last resort, vets don’t recommend using them on your own.

What To Do When Your Cat Loses Appetite?

  • Be patient: Cats may have a temporary aversion to certain foods, so give them time to return to their normal eating habits.
  • Offer small meals: Providing smaller, more frequent meals can be less overwhelming for a sick cat.
  • Take the food away: If your cat doesn’t eat within a reasonable time frame, put the food back to prevent spoiling and try again later.
  • Provide a Stress-free Feeding Environment: Ensure your cat’s feeding area is quiet, peaceful, and free from disruptions to encourage eating.
  • Try hand feeding: Your cat might initially pretend to dislike the food or appear lazy. Offering some food directly from your hand can entice them to eat.
  • Accompany them during meals: While some cats prefer eating alone, others enjoy the company. Spending time with your cat during meals can reignite their appetite.

Tips to Increase Cat Appetite Naturally 

Following these tips can increase its appetite and encourage her to eat:

1. Create A Feeding Schedule 

Cats find an opportunity to take a few bites when food is out and accessible all the time. However, given their small size, they don’t require constant feeding.

Adult cats typically thrive on two meals per day, while kittens need three. This 6-12 hour interval between each meal is essential to allow your cat to build up an appetite for the next. 

2. Change Feeding Location 

A sudden loss of appetite in cats may be linked to a distressing event that occurred at their usual feeding spot. Since you aren’t always present during their meals, you can’t determine the exact cause.

However, if your cat exhibits signs of anxiety or hesitation around their feeding area, consider changing its location. Try different spots around the house until you find one your cat feels comfortable eating.

3. Use Clean Bowls or Replace Them With Plates

Use stainless steel bowls to serve your cat, as they’re easy to clean and resistant to bacterial growth. Uncleaned bowls (especially plastic ones) develop strong odors that may deter cats from eating.

Some cats may not like eating from bowls at all, a phenomenon called ‘whisker fatigue’. In such cases, you must replace their food bowls with plates.

4. Offer a Variety of Foods

Have you noticed your cat taking a fancy to your favorite snacks? While it’s common for cats to explore new flavors and textures, human foods can be harmful to their stomachs.

To make your picky cat eat food, offer a variety of cat-safe foods once every week. Combine different flavors of wet food, dry food, and kibble. Including diverse textures such as pate, gravy, and shredded can help stimulate their appetite.

What Can I Put In My Cat’s Food To Make Them Eat?

Try cat-safe food toppers such as plain, cooked chicken chunks and fish flakes. You can also sprinkle a small amount of catnip or add homemade gravies (without onion and garlic) to stimulate their appetite. 

How To Make Cat Food More Appealing?

Warm, fresh food with a strong aroma like seafood tends to be more appealing to cats. Use the following tactics to lure your cat into eating:

1. Keep Meals Nice and Warm

A study has shown that cats prefer slightly warmed food over cold ones. Besides, heating your cat’s food enhances both its taste and aroma. Therefore, before placing the bowl in front of your cat, ensure the food is still warm or microwave it for a few minutes. Another option is to add hot water to dry foods.

2. Add Toppings 

It takes some shredded chicken, warm broth, or tuna juice to get a picky eater to finish off the entire bowl. However, prepare broths and fresh meat at home as commercial stocks may contain chives, garlic, and onion that are harmful to cats.

3. Always Serve Fresh Food 

Cats abruptly refuse to eat if the food isn’t fresh. The longer it’s left out, the more likely it’s to become dry, hard, and inedible. Dry food can quickly turn stale, so it’s essential to store it in airtight containers to maintain. freshness. Remember to check the expiry date before serving.

4. Use Interactive Food Puzzles

Make mealtime more exciting for your cat by introducing interactive food dispensing toys and puzzles. These engaging toys not only stimulate your cat’s appetite but also encourage physical activity to make them feel hungry. 

How To Increase Appetite For Cats With Kidney Disease?

Mirtazapine is a prescribed stimulant that helps increase the appetite of cats with kidney disease. Other appetite stimulants include cyproheptadine, diazepam, and steroids. However, they shouldn’t be given without a vet’s advice.


Cats losing appetite isn’t always a cause for concern if your cat is otherwise healthy and active. It happens occasionally because your cat feels full or simply doesn’t like the food’s smell.

You can experiment with a change in feeding spot and schedule or consider adding tasty treats to their bowl. However, if the condition persists longer than 24 hours, it calls for immediate help.


How Long Can A Cat Go Without Eating?

A cat can typically survive for about 3-7 days without eating, though some may last longer. However, extended fasting can lead to severe complications. If your pet cat doesn’t eat for more than 48 hours, it’s a sign that they need professional help.

How To Increase Old Cat Appetite?

Elderly cats often lose interest in food due to dental issues or chronic pain. Hence, offering softer foods that are easier to chew and digest works. Note that older cats require fewer meals each day due to reduced physical activity. Therefore, consider serving them small portions of food.

Rico Alanan

Rico Alanan

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