My cat seems a bit neurotic, only eating wet food when I take it out of the can. Here's where it gets weird. If she doesn't eat it all she will only eat it if I take it out of her bowl, put it back in the can and scoop it back in again! I find this very peculiar and annoying. I'm thinking this isn't normal. Thoughts or suggestions on how to cure her of this?

  • "Normal" in human terms rarely applies to pets. It could be she just wants the interaction with you. If you just leave the food out and it isn't eaten, the cat may simply not be that hungry or may be hoping to be offered another choice. But without knowing your cat well and watching the behavior, this is all guesswork.
    – keshlam
    Commented May 9 at 23:27

1 Answer 1


It actually sounds pretty normal for cats. When it comes to food, there are generally two types of cats. There's the ones that are food motivated. These will eat any scrap or crumb they can find, cry and pester you for at least an hour before mealtime, and wolf down whatever you give them. Then there's the picky eaters, that just didn't seem very interested in food, and often leave a lot uneaten.

Use a plate.

Many cats dislike bowls because their whiskers touch the sides of the bowl when they eat, and this seems to cause them discomfort. Feeding the cat directly out of the can is even worse as the can is smaller. The cans also often have sharpish edges that might hurt the cat's tongue if it licks it. It's just better to use plates.

You might try smaller portions more often.

Some cats aren't very food motivated, and tend to "graze." They might be happier with two meals a day instead of one, or three instead of two.

Make the food as smelly as possible.

Some cats are picky due to the lack of smell of their food. The longer the food sits out, the more the smell disappates, leading some cats to not finish. The food will smell more if you microwave it a little bit or top it with something really smelly, like fish flakes.

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