🐱 WHY DO Cats NEVER FINISH Their FOOD? ( The Answer Is Simple!)

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So, you are here because your cat never finishes his food, well;

Ellen Perry Berkeley once said, “As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat.”

People who have cats as pets would understand this and second Berkeley’s thought. While getting a cat, we are all excited to have a beautiful little fluffy addition to our family that will brighten our days. It is as accurate as we think about it. But, if you have not studied about cats’ behavior prior to getting the cat, things might get difficult for you.

Cats are the cutest pets, yet no one owns them)

From feeding to sleeping, it is all up to their choice and mood how they want it. Cats leave their food or never finish it because of any seemingly normal reason. That includes changing the food brand, color, taste, or feeding bowl/place. A narrow bowl can also make a cat not finish her food because it cannot go deeper in the bowl. Your cat’s whickers can interfere with the eating process if they are too long as well.

Cats have always loved to be pet and stay around their pet-parents while they feed or play. At some moments, your cat might not sleep properly, eat her food, or leave some of it. These behaviors seem strange initially, but it is important to find out the reason behind such actions. The identification of the root cause can only help to find suitable solutions.

Eating behaviors of cats

Cats exhibit different eating behaviors depending on their atmosphere and physical condition. Cats are strict meat-eaters and do not appreciate a vegetarian diet. Usually, the cats are attached to their owners and expect them to be around while they have their food. However, there are times when cats do not want to eat or do not complete their meal. If not taken care of in time, this kind of response can cause severe illness leading to fatality.

Reasons why cats never finish their food?

Has your cat been leaving food and not having all of it? Don’t worry; your cat is not the only one.

Cats exhibit this behavior sometimes and do not finish their meal all at once. The reason for all cats behaving like this might not be the same, but it might be one of these.


1. The apparent reason

Yes, you got that right! When our cat is not eating her food properly and leaving some of it, her stomach might be full. It is true that cats have small appetites and do not eat a lot at once; instead, they take little portions several times a day. If your cat is not eating enough throughout the day, your cat is possibly filling its stomach from somewhere else. To rule out this possibility, you should keep an eye on your cat and find out the neighborhood it visits. You can also ask the neighbors if your cat has been feeding in their yard.

If your cat is not feeding on anywhere else, you need to be more vigilant to ensure your cat is not suffering from any issue.

2. Hereditary habits

Cats have been predators and have hunted for animals to fulfill their nutritional needs. The instinct of hunting in cats is not related to hunger. Cats hound for their prey a few times a day to keep up their food requirements, independent of them being famished or not. The behavior depicts the need of food numerous times a day up to 15 times, on average. It is advised to keep your cat’s food out to eat and wait a few hours to let him devour his meal. Always remember to change the food when it spoils.

3. Saving food

Saving the food is another ancestral instinct, like other characteristics of wildlife animals that cats possess. Though pet cats are not accustomed to living in a wildlife atmosphere, some inherited abilities cannot be forgotten. After hunting animals to fill their stomach, they keep some for later use if they do not have prey to catch later. This happens quite seldom, but it can be one reason for your cat leaving food in the bowl. To stop this from happening, it’s better to keep lesser food at once to avoid wastage.

4. Scattered food

While having food, the cats keep on eating from the center, and the food keeps on accumulating on the sides. Due to the rubbing of whiskers against the wall of the container, they try not to eat from the side. This results in food finished from the center, and the rest left at the corners. Your cat leaves the bowl, assuming nothing to be left to eat.

To make your cat finish all of the food, you would have to make a bit of effort and put the leftover food in the center of the bowl. It will make it easy for your cat to have his food comfortably without any problems.

5. Cats need change

Every living individual gets tired of the same routine if repeated for days and months, so is with cats. Cats can go many days eating the same kind of food and not get bored with it. Yet, sometimes suddenly, your cat might stop having the food or leave some of it. Try changing the flavor of the food you give to him or give flavored water to provide change to the cat. Moreover, you can also alternate dry food and wet food to keep your cat happy with the food you’re giving.

6. Sensitive whiskers

Whiskers are sensitive organs in a cat’s body that feel the sensitivity while the cats try to dig into the bowl of food. While having food, the whiskers touch against the container and make it painful for the cat to eat comfortably. Whiskers are essential for cats to see in the dark and help them hunt. The interaction of whiskers with the bowl is uncomfortable for cats and makes it difficult for them to enjoy food. One way to make it easy for your cat is to place the food in a less deep and narrow bowl to provide more surface and convenient eating.

Your cat may also lick the food and not finish it. This maybe a medical problem if your cat has an empty stomach. However, if it has been eating normally beforehand, it might be because it doesn’t want to eat. Leave your cat for a while and notice if it does the same thing the next time you feed it.

How to make your cat eat all their food?

It can be challenging to make your cat finish his food when you are unaware of what is causing this behavior. A few changes in the eating setup of your cat’s diet can make him complete all of the food without any leftovers.

1. Change the food bowl

An effective way to make eating pleasant for your cat is to change its bowl. Typically, your cat might be uneasy with the size of the pot that is presented to him or finds the bowl unclean. Besides changing the bowl, cleaning it is also an effective option if your cat does not finish his food.

You can also use automated food bowls and set-up a feeding schedule for your cats. This may be a bit of hit and trial at first but eventually you’ll find the best routine.

2. Change the food

Cats judge their food majorly by evaluating the texture, odor, and taste of food. If your cat refuses to eat or leaves food in the bowl, any of these factors might be one of the primary causes. It depends if your cat eats dry or wet food, and the preferred kind of food should be presented to the cat in such situations. If the food is according to your pet’s choice, changing the food and offering something else is an excellent solution to the issue. Additionally, always provide fresh food to your cat and discard food that is a few hours old.

3. Offer less food at once

Its simple rule – if less food is present, the wastage would also be less. If you put less food in the bowl, it would not gather at the sides and provide less opportunity for your fur baby to leave any food in the container.

Cats may stop eating when they are full. Giving them less food at a time will help you control the feeding process.

4. Learn your cat’s eating habits

It is one of the essential characteristics of making your cat eat all of the food you offer.

If your cat does not finish his food on a regular basis, it would be best if you understood what is healthy for your cat and what’s not and change the food plan as per your findings.

If the condition persists, check for any health concerns and take your cat to the vet for necessary evaluation.


All in all, if your cat is not finishing her food and you have noticed a sudden change in her eating habits, it might be because of any of the above-mentioned things. You will need to rule out many options based on the guide we have provided above.

If these still do not help, we recommend getting veterinary services as soon as possible. It is not recommended to let your cat stay hungry for more than three days even if he/she can live up to two weeks without food.

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