What is Taste and Why Does it Matter?Posted 1/4/2017
If you have a finicky cat, you know how hard it can be to find the right food for her. You go from flavor to flavor only to find yourself back where you started—with the cat not eating. So, what do you do?
It may be time to redefine what delicious food means to your cat. Rather than looking for flavor, it’s time to start looking at overall taste.
So what makes up taste?
Taste is more than just flavor! It’s comprised of a few different factors that help the cat determine how appealing the food is. Some of these factors include:
- Aroma: What does the food smell like? You want to make sure the food is aromatic and fresh and not past its “best by” date!
- Kibble shape and size: How big are the kibble pieces? Are they too small, and your cat just swallows them whole? Or are they too big, and thus too hard to chew?
- Texture: How do the kibble pieces feel in their mouths?
- Flavor: Does it taste good?
- The right nutrients: Cats are carnivores above all else, so food with nutrients like protein and taurine are going to be more instinctively appealing to them.
- How your cat feels after she eats it: Does the food make your cat feel sick or uncomfortable after she eats it?
How to Find Food Your Cat Will Enjoy Eating
First, eliminate any possibility that the environment is creating a finicky feline. Some cats will refuse to eat if the litter box and the food source are too close together. Finding different places to place the food or slightly tweaking your cat’s environment might help quickly solve your problem.
If environmental tweaks don’t seem to help, it may be worth considering a new feeding schedule. Cats normally eat 10 to 20 small meals a day. Trying a new feeding schedule, where your cat is getting a fresh meal several times a day, may help stimulate her appetite. It also might help to put meals in toys for your cat. This will stimulate their natural hunting behaviors and keep them active and entertained.
Another option to help your cat is conducting your very own taste test. Pick three foods that you think your cat will like and weigh them at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day for an entire week. You can find out if there is a food your cat consistently ate more than the others by checking the weight.
Visit Your Vet
Your veterinarian can always help you find the right food for your cat. Consult with him or her to help develop a nutrition plan for your cat.