"Here you go Tom -- another scoop of plain dry kibble." You probably feel guilty about feeding Tom the same thing every night. However, his specialized feline diet provides everything his body needs. If you continuously change his diet or add ingredients, you'll wind up with a finicky feline.
Kitties need very specific nutrients from their daily diet. They need a certain amount of protein, just the right amount of fat and an array of vitamins and minerals. Giving him a different type of food each night, blending food and treats together or chopping up meat and tossing it in with his kibble allows him to pick and choose what he eats. His little body may be missing out on important nutrients or he may wind up only eating the treats and meat, possibly leading to weight gain.
Wet or Dry?
Both wet and dry types of food give Tom everything he needs, and both have ups and downs. Wet food smells like meat, often making it more enticing. However, only giving Tom wet food may cause tooth decay because it sticks to his teeth. Dry kibble, on the other hand, keeps his pearly whites clean by acting like mini toothbrushes. Mixing the two types of food together is yet another way to go.
Don't make the decision on your own. Get your veterinarian involved in the process. He can help you figure out which brand best suits Tom's needs and give you insight as to whether you should opt for wet or dry. As long as you consistently feed him a high-quality cat food each day without making changes, he won't get bored. If he's hungry, he'll eat it.
He Seems Bored
Even if you provide Tom with the exact same entree every night, he may still be foraging for food when you're not paying attention. He'll hide out under the kitchen table during the family meal and grab the slightest morsel before it even hits the ground. Tom might just be bored with his eating process, and foraging under the table is fun. Cats in the wild hunt for hours, sometimes days. Tom doesn't get this experience since you put his meal out for him. Start putting bits of kibble in toys or hide pieces around the house. He'll have to hunt for his food, keeping his interest at an all-time high.
Is He Being Picky?
Maybe Tom is perfectly happy with his food but he's picky about surrounding factors. For example, if his food bowl is lightweight and moves across the floor while he dines, he's having a hard time eating. He's not being picky it's just that eating is truly a chore. Loud rooms may also distract him. If you keep his food bowl in the laundry room, he may be startled each time that noisy spin cycle kicks in. Move his food to a quiet place where he can eat in peace.
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.