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I found my cat when it was very small. I took it home and since then, tried to feed it whatever I thought it would like, starting with milk, then fish, meat etc. It has never touched them or any cooked food. So I started to buy cat food from the supermarket. I have tried around 30 different brands and flavors and it only eats 2 - 3 of them. Also sometimes it likes toast cheese.

I have it since September 2012.

What is wrong?

  • 6
    Is something wrong with the 2-3 brands of food the cat will eat? – cimmanon Dec 9 '13 at 19:55
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    I think you're doing too much switching, cats are not big on variety. – John Cavan Dec 9 '13 at 20:49
  • It would be nice to add something more to this question, like if the cat was sickly thin or something. Right now it does not seem like a big problem if the cat is healthy and does indeed eat something. I have a too thin cat and answers to "How can I help my adult cat gain weight?" would be welcome. (I'm serious, even thou I borrowed the line from the rabbit tag) – Esa Paulasto Dec 9 '13 at 22:08
  • @EsaPaulasto that would likely be better off as its own question, I think. – Ash Dec 10 '13 at 2:14
  • I was just reading a research paper about this yesterday, but unfortunately can't find it again now. The gist of it is mostly covered by the answers below, but one interesting point was that cats prefer food to be blood or at least room temperature. They'll avoid cold food even if it's something they usually like. – toxotes Dec 10 '13 at 17:54
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From talking to my vet, I know that cats don't need a hugely varied diet. As long as they are getting the nutrients they need, and their diet is appropriate for their age (kittens need different food than adults, for example, and adults need different food than older aged cats do), you don't have to worry too much about varying the diet. If the cat is happy eating one or two different kinds of food, and those kinds meet their needs, then let them just eat those!

My cat has eaten the same kind of hard food and the same kinds of wet food for a year now, and that makes him happy. He has a little variation (between one or two kinds of dry food, and a handful of different wet food brands). He likes what he gets, its balanced, so there isn't any worry.

This fantastic guide to feeding your cat basically echoes that point, saying that

Once you have determined that a food is complete and balanced, choosing between the types of food may be a matter of what your cat prefers. Some cats like canned food, some like dry food, and some like a combination of the two. Today's market offers many well-formulated foods for cats at all life stages, so you can choose the ones that work best for your cat.

So once you find something that your cat likes, and that is balanced for its age and other needs such as size and breed and other factors, it can happily stay eating that for as long as it wants that particular food (taking other feeding considerations, such as amount, into consideration).

If you are concerned about the food not meeting its needs, you can always ask your vet about it. I know mine was great about discussing lower-cost options for my cat, because I am on a student budget, so I can't necessarily afford high end food.

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As Ashley said, as long as your cat is healthy and happy, there's no problem with sticking to the one or two types of cat food he likes. The only time you need to change is if the cat isn't healthy or if the cat isn't eating what you're offering (or as a temporary measure if your cat has a virus which blocks his sense of smell, add a particularly stinky brand of canned food - according to my vet, cats decide if something is food or not by sense of smell, so if they can't smell the food they won't eat it. This also works for geriatric cats whose senses aren't working that well any more).

My three have been eating the same two types of dry food and the same brand of tinned food (in one of 4 or 5 flavors) for several years now, without complaints (except that the food bowls are allowed to get empty - the horror!). Unless the only food your cat will eat is the super-expensive gourmet variety and you're on a tight budget, I don't think you have anything to worry about.

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