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Extremely Fussy Cat - Need Advice

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone, I'm new here.

I'm going completely insane trying to feed my cat. If you think your cat is fussy, you haven't seen anything.

Basically my cat, Jess, won't eat anything except for tuna. I've tried every brand and every flavour possible. I've tried wet food and dry food. I've tried meat in jelly and meat in gravy, I've tried tinned cat food and the food that comes in pouches etc. I've tried gradually introducing new food to her, I've tried leaving her hungry all day and then putting food out for her, I've tried leaving it there for her when she's turned her nose up at it, I've tried taking it away when she walks away to try and get her to understand that it's that food or nothing. I've tried different bowls, different feeding areas, different times. I've emptied MANY full bowls of food before now thinking that it was perhaps stale, even though it smelt and look fine. She just will not eat cat food at all.

I don't have a clue what to do. She will literally starve herself rather than eat cat food. I noticed a few weeks ago that she'd gotten thinner because she wasn't eating enough because she doesn't like the food. I was praying that if I just kept giving her the cat food, eventually she'd eat it out of pure hunger but she wouldn't. I got worried at that point and went out and bought some tuna as a last resort praying she'd eat it and she actually did! So I fed her that for a week and she gained weight and I just figured I'd have to feed her that if she wasn't prepared to eat anything else.

Problem is, I can't really afford to feed her tuna all the time, I'm a disabled student so money is a big issue for me. I'm having to feed her 3-4 cans of tuna a day whereas I'd normally feed her 1 can of cat food because tuna comes in much smaller tins.

I'm at a loss for what to do. I've asked my vet but he didn't really have much advice other than just keep putting the food out day after day and he said that she'd eventually eat it when she was hungry enough, but as I said, when I tried that, she just starved herself and lost weight.

I know there's nothing wrong with her appetite because when I was feeding her cat food, she would constantly come up to me whenever I was eating something and beg for food and she'd eat that no problem, just not cat food.

I've had cats before so I KNOW very well that cats can be fussy because my old cats only ate one brand and wouldn't even sniff at anything else, but this level of fussy is something new.

Does anyone have ANY advice? I don't know what to do with her.


(ps, sorry for the length of this).
post #2 of 11
Will she eat the cat food if you mix just a little tuna in with it? Try adding maybe a teaspoon of the tuna plus some of the water from the tuna.

What size cans of cat food do you get? The tuna I buy come in 6 oz. cans and the cat food in 5.5 oz cans. I know some cat food comes in 3 oz. cans, but I don't get those because they're more expensive and my cats won't eat them.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi GoldyCat,

Thanks for that advice, I hadn't thought about adding a bit of tuna to the cat food, I will try that, however, I have previously tried her on cat food that had real fish chunks (including tuna) in it and she wouldn't eat that either, but I'll try anyway and I'll pour some of the water out of the tuna can over her cat food and see if it helps.

The cat food I buy comes in large cans, a bit bigger than a fizzy drinks can, whereas the tuna cans are about 3 times smaller than that.
post #4 of 11
I know money is tight but some fussiness is a sign of illness ...

TUNA alone is a incomplete diet that can lead to Major health issues
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi Sharky,

Jess was at the vets just recently due to an injury after getting attacked by another cat in our street and while he was checking her, he also gave her a check over and seemed to think she was in good health, so I don't think it's an illness. I hope not anyway. She's got to go back soon for her jabs though, so I'll bring it up again and get him to check for illnesses.

I'm glad you mentioned that tuna was an incomplete diet. I had figured it probably wasn't as nutritious as cat food but I didn't know what else to feed her. I thought it would be better to feed her tuna rather than have her go hungry by feeding her cat food she refuses to touch.
post #6 of 11
I would within your budget try every flavor and texture of food in the stores your able to shop in....

One of my cats will eat anything with a fish gravy another likes shredded //

9 lives has a complete tuna formula that is 95% tuna
post #7 of 11
If you have a Trader Joe's near you, I'd check them out. I used to buy tuna cat food (tuna with added vitamins) there for under $0.30 per can. They also have a couple of other foods that might be worth trying.

How long ago was the injury? I'd at least call the vet and explain the situation. There are some diseases that could have been transmitted during the fight. The vet might also be able to give medicine to stimulate her appetite.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Sharky, I have tried every brand and flavour, literally. I think there's only one brand I haven't tried and that's because it's ridiculously expensive and the tins barely contain a mouthful of food.

cloud_shade, the injury was about 2-3 weeks ago, but her fussyness started months before. She's been fussy since she was a kitten but I managed to find a brand of kitten food she enjoyed then, the problem started when she got too old for kitten food and I had to switch to adult food.

I have mentioned the fussyness to the vet a few times but he just told me to keep putting food out for her and she'd eventually eat it, which she didn't. He also told me to worm her in case that was the problem, which I did, but her fussyness remained.

Also, I didn't realise this was an American site when I signed up, but I live in the UK and we don't have the brands of food mentioned here.
post #9 of 11
There are WONDERFUL Uk members on here ... I do not know brands real well on your side of the pond...

WHat kitten food did she eat ?? I ask because many foods are all life stage or for growth and maintenance
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
She ate a brand called Whiskas Kitten. It seems to be the only food she's ever liked. I kept with the same brand and flavour when I switched her to adult food, so I don't know why she's become so fussy. I guess the kitten food tasted better.
post #11 of 11
UK folks HELP ... is wiskas kitten a all stage or a growth and maintenance food??
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