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Can u teach a cat how to chew food?

November 23rd, 2008, 06:16 PM

Willie is 6 yrs old and he has always licked his food, his dry food as well. I started him on wet food a month or so ago and I have to add a lot of water to it so that he can lick it up. I have tried the raw food too, but he doesn't know he has to chew it. I tell him to "bite" it, he knows that word, but he won't eat it if he can't lick it. How the heck can I teach him how to bite/chew his food so he can get raw/cooked food?


November 23rd, 2008, 06:34 PM
My cat is mostly a licker too. What you might want to do with the raw is chop it very finely or feed it ground up with extra water, like you do with the canned, and slowly start adding larger and larger pieces.

November 23rd, 2008, 06:37 PM
my cat does that too. SHe licks and there's always kibble around her bowl cos she doesn't know how to grab it. But eventually she licks it and chews it in her mouth. She's a table begger so we give her little pieces sometimes but they have to be held in a way so she can grab them with her teeth cos licking won't pick it up. She has gotten better though.

SO i thinky ou should start off small and maybe go from there. Cut the meat really small and grind it maybe

November 23rd, 2008, 10:01 PM
Thank you. :)

I have put the chicken into a blender with water, but he still won't eat it. I've tried hamburger meat too and he didn't even touch that. It is sooooooo frustrating! If I add too much water he doesn't like it either. *sigh*

He took forever to eat canned food, but if I add enough water and turn it into soup he will lick it, though it takes him a few tries at going back to his food dish before he eats 2 tbsp of it. I'v not given up, but it is sooooo frustrating!


November 23rd, 2008, 10:19 PM
you could also be that he doesn't like raw. My cats sure don't. You can try giving it to him gradually mixed with wet kibble. I don't know...i don't follow the raw threads and i don't know how you're going about doing this so so sorry if i'm giving you advice you're already doing :laughing:

But i know with my cat she will not touch anything non kibble or canned. The other cat likes a gourmet meal outside her kibble diet, but she demands it cooked and with spices :rolleyes: ( haha i don't know about the spices really, it just sounds fancier cos it suits her)

November 23rd, 2008, 10:54 PM
hey you knwo what?! mine were exactly the same way with raw!! no biters, only lickers..... so what i did was cut the raw into 1/2 inch thick strips and then stand them up. when they licked them it naturally went into their mouths. eventually they were biting and shaking it around, dragging a bunch.... from there they worked on chewing. it took a little over a week really but i think what finally did it was the strips. by then they were plowing through whole pieces and bones too.


December 8th, 2008, 10:55 AM
TQ, Q. Can u teach a cat how to chew his food?
A. Nope.

December 21st, 2008, 07:43 PM
TQ, Q. Can u teach a cat how to chew his food?
A. Nope.

it's actually rather easy, and as I was reading through the posts, I was SURPRISED I did not see someone else answer this.

in the wild, a natural wild cat will hunt and kill their food, so chewing is needed to get the flesh off of the carcass, and to crunch up the smaller bones they eat with the rest of the animal: bird, rodent, reptile, fish whatever.
they do not need to chew or masticate the food as we do, and in fact you will see wild cats swallowing horrifyingly large pieces of raw flesh without any chewing except to get the piece loose,......perfectly normal for all size kitties, even 650lb ones :eek:

I work as an animal/human trainer, and my usual solution for house cats that don't chew their food, is to simply choose a dry kibble where the pieces are large enough so that the animal is forced to chew the piece, to break it up enough to fit in the mouth and swallow, or cut your raw diet pieces larger forcing the animal to gnaw off a hunk and chew it enough to swallow.

now an animal that has been used to licking their food will take some time to get used to the new diet, be patient, if they don't eat the food within a specified reasonable time, remove the food, especially raw foods, where spoilage is a concern, and put out a SMALL amount of the large sized dry kibble, and then on the cats next regular feeding, repeat with the larger hunks of meat, again for only the specified time, so that kitty learns "eat now, or it's gone",....sometimes kitty will need to be pretty hungry for the tearing/chewing instinct so be brought back out, after basically learning to lick, instead of chew, or gnaw, so be patient, pretend you are mommy cat and keep at it till kitty picks up the new way.

also you MUST make an attempt to have the meat at room temp at feeding time, I have noticed many, many cats that just WOULD NOT eat any cold food, and instead would lick it till it was warm, then they ate normally once the food was warm.
in the wild you don't see cats eating much things that are cold, even polar region cats will drag a cold/ frozen carcass back to the den, and let it warm before eating much more then a few bites.

it might take several days of this for the animal to get used to the larger "chew diet" (we can invent a name if we want, right?:thumbs up ), just be patient, stay calm, don't pay any more attention to the animal when eating than you usually would, and when they get hungry enough, they usually tear the food apart, once they realize their mouths are efficient little meat shredding machines, and in fact you'll see most cats ENJOYING just tearing apart chunks of meat,....remember what they do to a ball of yarn which they are pretending is a mouse, or bird.

work within what your cat finds attractive, and transfer play time (hunting, stalking, wrestling, grappling) to meal time, just like mommy cat would, and you'll find that your cat will respond to raw diets, and for "lickers", bigger is better to get them started.

December 22nd, 2008, 03:48 AM
reckon thank u for your suggestions I will try that. :)