Why Your Cat is a Picky Eater – Simple Solution Explained by Science

Why Your Cat is a Picky Eater - Simple Solution Explained by ScienceThanks to a study published in a 2016 issue of Royal Society Open Science, we now know why your cat is a picky eater. Thankfully, there is a simple solution explained by the science and research done to help our feline friends with a healthy diet.

Related: Here Are The ‘Human Foods’ Your Cat Can Eat Too

Cats are very in tune with their instincts. While we humans may struggle with food ratios, cats instinctively know that they need nearly twice as much protein as fat. They can also easily recognize when their food doesn’t have that magical healthy ratio of 1 to 0.4 according to the study. Where humans prefer tasty treats, cats naturally crave protein-rich foods. Basically, if our brains worked the same as a cat, we’d choose tofu over donuts every time.

In fact, cat’s don’t factor flavor and taste into food the same way we do. Joseph Rucker, from Integral Molecular, and co-author of a study published in the journal BMC Neuroscience, explained, “Feline bitter taste has not been well studied. We applied our experience in studying membrane proteins, such as taste receptors, to enable this first glimpse into how domestic cats perceive bitterness in food at a molecular level.” And, low and behold, our furry friends are sensitive to bitter compounds, but have a limited range beyond that. “We were surprised to see that one of the cat taste receptors responded to a more limited range of bitter compounds compared to humans, suggesting that cats may be detecting a narrower, or at least a different, repertoire of bitter-tasting compounds.


Related: Is It Safe For Cats To Eat Bugs?

This healthy diet habit naturally built into cats brains may be a huge factor into why your cat is a picky eater. However, if your furry friend was doing well with a food, but had a sudden change of heart, that could be a cause for concern. Any sudden shifts in diet preferences should be discussed with your vet, but it could be as simple as a change in routine that your cat dislikes.

Of course, it’s always best to check with your vet when it comes to your pet’s health. Is your cat a picky eater? Share your experiences in the comment section below.

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11 Comments
  1. momtograndma says

    Will this post?

  2. momtograndma says

    Our cat, Tigress, is not to picky. She is still eating the first food we ever bought her as a kitten. We just switched to adult with kitten food a little at a time until she was on completely adult food. We chose to start with the same food we were giving our dog for years, this could be why.

  3. Heather says

    My cat never seems picky. She eats her dry food and wet food with no complaints.

  4. Marceline Dementori says

    This is something that I haven’t heard of before. I think it’s awesome that you shared this as I love learning more about cats and their behavior. Ours isn’t a picky eater and pretty much eats any food that we buy her.

  5. Guest says

    Oh this is an interesting read. I did not know that cats needed or craved for protein more than fat. I have to pay closer attention to my cats when they feed and see if there are any changes in their feeding habits.

  6. Nicole Escat says

    I always wonder why my cat is a picky eater. I really don’t know what to give her. Glad I found this. Very informative.

  7. Guest says

    My cat will literally eat anything, I am quite lucky in that aspect. However not so lucky when he is bringing headless birds into my house!

  8. Guest says

    All of my cats are eaters. They are only picky about some treats.

  9. Michelle Martinka says

    Cats have so many quirks! I am glad there is some explanation for it all!

  10. Guest says

    I don’t have cats and won’t because my fiance is allergic but this was an interesting read 🙂

  11. THEMrsT33 says

    This is really interesting. My Grandmother had several cats and I remember how some would eat one thing with no issues and others would literally turn up their noses… now I guess I know why.

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