Pet Talk: How Can I Entice My Cat to Eat?


Q: We have a cat that’s around 17-18 years of age, and he has lost about half his weight and has no energy. About the only thing he eats is sour cream and very little soft canned food. Any suggestions you may have of things he might like to eat would be greatly appreciated.

A: Whenever a cat stops eating, it can become a serious health problem very quickly. I would highly recommend a visit to the veterinarian as soon as possible to help determine why your cat has weight loss and lack of appetite. In the meantime here are a few suggestions to try and help you get your kitty to eat.

  • Try different kinds of canned foods and flavors. Some older felines like canned pate cat food mixed with water to make a gravy to lap up.
  • Warm food in the microwave. Cats like their food warm and the warming will release more of the food’s aroma, which may help tempt him/her to eat.
  • Parmesan cheese sprinkle works for many cats. Sprinkle on top of the food you are offering.
  • FortiFlora (a probiotic) is intensely attractive to some felines. Sprinkle some on top of a meal.
  • Boil a boneless skinless chicken breast and offer that in small pieces along with the broth to drink.
  • Tuna or tuna juice. Salmon in the packets.
  • Baby food such as chicken, beef or turkey, but be sure to check ingredients. No onions or garlic!
  • Leaving out a smorgasbord with small amounts of different foods may entice him/her to find something that is appetizing to eat.
  • Try and coax your kitty to eat by putting a little food on your finger to lick off or hand feed small tasty morsels. Be patient and give your cat your undivided attention. Cats do respond well to tender loving care.

Hope some of my ideas will help get your kitty eating.


Sally Salopek is the owner and operator of Attend-A-Pet pet sitting services in northern Door County. She has also worked professionally with animals in health care, pet grooming, training, wildlife rehab and rescue. Send your pet-related questions to her at [email protected].

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