Pets Who Are Picky Eaters: Merrick Gives Back
by shannon gonzalez
Wait. A cat? Picky? That can’t be. Cats are such easy going creatures!
Okay, okay. All jokes aside. Our feline friends can be rather particular when it comes to… well, everything. But especially their diets! At Tree House, we shelter an average of 102 cats at a time, and with their varied dietary needs and preferences, it can be challenging to find the right meal for everyone. Luckily, our friends at Merrick Pet Care provide us with a broad selection of tasty and nutritious options for our kitties, so with a little bit of trial, we can find the right choice for even the pickiest of felines.
If your furry family member can be fussy when it comes to dinnertime, here a few things to keep in mind:
- First off, talk to your vet. Dental problems, digestive issues, and many other illnesses can make it difficult for your cat to eat. If your pet suddenly loses their appetite or begins eating significantly less (or more) than usual, consult your veterinarian so they can rule out any possible underlying conditions.
- Find their preferred food texture. Anyone who has ever browsed the cat food aisle knows that there’s a plethora of options for our whiskery housemates. Sure, there’s wet and there’s dry. But what kind of wet food do they like? Does Mr. Biscuits prefer pâté or morsels or maybe even hearty cuts? Does he want them shredded or minced, flaked or chunked? And is he a broth or a gravy kind of guy? The options can seem endless, but through trial and error, try to identify your cat’s preference for morsels or minced.
- Find the right flavor. Just like us humans, our kitties have taste buds. It’s common knowledge around Tree House that Lil Bill has a preference for Surf & Turf. And we’re lucky to have a partner like Merrick who understands that what Lil Bill wants, Lil Bill should get. So Merrick stocks our feeding room with every option: Grammy’s Pot Pie, Thanksgiving Day Dinner, Chicken Casserole, Seafood Recipe, Salmon & Vegetables, the fan favorite Cowboy Cookout, and more. And when we find that a resident turns up their nose at a certain taste, we make a note of it and refrain from serving them that again.
- Consider their environment. Where is your pet being served their meals? Is it in a highly trafficked hallway in the middle of a busy afternoon? Some cats like to have a quiet, secure spot to eat alone. Others are what we call “social eaters” and prefer to enjoy the presence of your company while they dine. It’s important to consider the setting of your pet’s mealtime and how it may be affecting their desire to indulge.
- Lastly, establish a routine. Your cat wants to know when and what to expect when it comes to their meals. Some kitties prefer to eat smaller portions at more frequent meal times, and others enjoy gobbling up heartier portions served further apart. Find the meal time that works for you and your pet, and try to stick to the schedule. And if you find the perfect pâté to please them, stick with it! Cats don’t crave variety like we do. Finally, serve them in their established dining location every time. Consistency is key.
We know how important it is to keep your pet healthy and happy, and the right diet really can be the key to your kitty’s heart and health. We hope you find this guide helpful in navigating the wide world of the feline diet. As always, be sure to consult your veterinarian to make sure your cat’s diet matches their specific needs.