Most cats are kind of fussy eaters. I don’t know if it’s part of their instinctive make-up to be careful about what they eat, or if it’s just that they get used to being spoiled by their human slaves … ahem “owners,” but it’s quite normal for a cat to be very selective when it comes to food.
While this is kinda cute when your carnivorous connoisseur has a clean bill of health, it can be a big problem if your cat needs to switch to a kidney diet.
In this article, I’m going to walk you through eleven killer tips to convince Captain James T. Whiskerton to get on board with eating a kidney-friendly diet.
1. RAISE YOUR CAT’S FOOD BOWL
Not too much! We’re talking maybe the height of a thick book or a small flower pot.
Here’s why it often works. Cats with chronic kidney disease often experience gastric reflux. This is a condition where stomach acid travels up from the stomach and into the oesophagus.
If you’ve ever eaten really rich food and gone straight to bed you may have experienced this condition. It’s surprisingly painful!
Keeping food up higher than the stomach helps minimize the migration of acid and generally makes eating much more pleasant for your fluff ball.
2. THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT YOUR KITTY’S FOOD LOCATION
Cats are really picky about where they eat. If your cat is anything like my three eccentric bengals, they may suddenly get “spooked” about eating in one location.
Food trials have shown that cats have distinct preferences about where their food is located and even have strong preferences for which side of the bowl it’s located on!
In a healthy and energetic cat, this location specificity isn’t such a big deal. They’ll eventually figure it out. But when your cat is already weaker and dealing with chronic kidney disease (CKD), you may need to work with their odd eccentricities a little more.
Try moving food into a different room—one they can easily access and which is peaceful and quiet.
Maybe even try just moving it to a different part of the room!
3. MAKE SURE YOUR KNOW YOUR CAT’S WHISKER PREFERENCE!
If you’ve spent any time watching a cat keep itself clean, you’ll probably have noticed that cats are crazily persnickety with their whiskers. Mine will spend what seems like hours keeping those things clean!
If your cat goes in to eat its dinner only to pull back and slink away, you may be dealing with a whiskerphobic cat.
Try serving the food on a flat plate. It may make it easier for your cat to eat without their sensitive whiskers being sullied by a bowl.
4. SERVE DINNER UP WARM
I’ve personally found this tip to be amazing when dealing with cats with dietary issues. Warm their wet food up, just a little. By just a little I mean that it shouldn’t be hot. Most cats don’t like hot food in their mouths.
However, just bringing the food up to body temperature does two things which a cat dealing with CKD may really appreciate.
First, it enhances the smell of the food. Cats with CKD tend to lose some of their sense of smell and the aroma of fresh meat can be vital in stimulating their appetite.
Second, even the most debonair and gentile house cat is at heart a carnivorous hunter. As weird as it may seem to us humans, to a cat warm food resembles freshly killed prey.
5. TRY THE TRUSTY SLEEP TRICK
Then there’s the old sleep trick. Some of my equally cat-crazed friends with really old cats swear by this one.
Wave a plate of food under your cat’s nose as soon as they wake from a deep sleep. Before they can even think, many cats will instinctively begin to chow down. This is particularly good ploy if you warm the food first as the aroma will get right up their nose good and proper.
Oh and a great bonus to this approach is that your cat will think you’re awesome to bring food to them!
5. USE KIDNEY SUPPORT SUPPLEMENTS (LIKE THE KIDNEY VITALIZE CHEWS)
In the meantime, whilst youre trying to shift your cat onto a prescription diet, she's probably still going to be eating her 'regular kibble'.
This isn't a bad thing, because your cat needs to eat!
However, its worth looking at a 'transitional top up' supplement for your cat, whilst she is going through this process.
So what are they?
These are supplements designed to support your cats kidney health - when her diet isn't perfect! This ensures your cat is getting at least SOME kidney support. The only one available at the moment is our Scruffy Paws Kidney Vitalize Chews (check them out here).
Containing active ingredients that have been proven to support kidney health, reduce proteinuria and fight inflammation (check out the scientific backing section on the product page which shows this here). All it takes a 1-2 chews a day to support your cats kidney health.
Here's what some of our customers have said about the chews:
“I am so happy to have found your Kidney-Vitalize Chews. My 15 year old cat Cagney was losing weight and had his blood tested. It showed he was in the beginning stages of kidney disease. My vet suggested changing his diet to a prescription kidney friendly one. I had also seen your product advertised on Facebook. I ordered a jar and Cagney loved it and actually gave him his appetite back. I just had his blood tested 4 days ago and his numbers have improved tremendously and he gained almost two pounds! I am so happy with the results and will continue to use your product. Thank you also for all the information you share on your emails and Facebook.”
- Nancy H
“My cat bootsie seems to be doing better already! I think she has put on a little weight, more energy and hasnt had any problems urinating. I break up a chew and mix it in with her morning and afternoon feeding. Thank you so much for your product!. And Bootsie thanks you too!"
- Rita A
"I brought my Nicholas 18 years old to the vet today to have his creatine levels checked. Before I started him on this chews his levels were 2.4. Today they went down to 2.3. I've had him on the chews for around a month. I'm totally thrilled with them"
- Anita S
If you're serious about your cats kidney health, definitely check out our Kidney Vitalize Chews. Click the button below to take a look!
So that’s Part One of our two part guide to getting your cat to eat a kidney-friendly diet. If you’re ready for more tips to convince even the fussiest of felines to finish their dinner, click through to Part Two.
P.S.S I you do have a finicky cat and you want to make sure they’re at least getting SOME kidney support (if they’re diet isn’t helping), be sure to check out the Scruffy Paws Kidney Vitalize Chews. These are our ’Transitional Supplements’ which provide cats with kidney support, when their diets do not (or they’re transitioning to a new diet)! Check them out here: