Driven by the (right) idea of not wasting it, we will have asked ourselves many times: is it good to reheat cat food or is it a practice that is harmful to its health? Here’s what to know.
‘Nothing is thrown away in my house!’: How many times have we heard this phrase repeated? Certainly many, but does it also apply to the food of our beloved domestic feline? Certainly the idea of wasting baby food does not please anyone, much less our wallet. But is heating cat food really a solution or can it even be harmful to the health of our cat? Everything you need to know about this popular practice among pet owners.
The cat: a demanding animal when it comes to food
It seems incredible that an animal accustomed to living (and surviving) in nature is so picky about food: yet it is. The cat is very attentive to the diet that is given to him, he is not satisfied and wants the food to always be fresh.
In addition to the type of food, he would be able to fast if the conditions in which he finds himself eating his meal are not to his liking: his most common ‘whim’ is to refuse to eat from a bowl placed next to his litter box. Food container and box for the needs are indicative of two moments that must remain far apart (after all, he’s not completely wrong!).
But with such a demanding feline it is normal to wonder if heated food can please him or if he has a preference for fresh food or perhaps at room temperature. In short, asking these questions is more than fair, especially if we do not want the cat to turn its back on our bowl full of food.
Reheating cat food: good idea or not?
Although it may seem obvious, the advice is always to choose high quality foods, never poor and pay attention to low cost ones: often the convenience does not correspond to an equally optimal quality.
What do cats appreciate in the food they are given? As haute cuisine experts, our beloved domestic felines will be very attentive to some characteristics of the food we have prepared for them.
So it is not an unjustified anxiety of the owners: the cat has preferences between hot and cold food, and much prefers the former. How come? Let’s say that felines always have a predilection for heat: let’s think about how many times we have seen the cat stick to the window to enjoy a ray of sunshine, or how it manages to find the most comfortable and warm corners of the house on cold winter evenings.
But there is also another reason why felines prefer hot meals: being hunters, they are used to immediately consume the ‘booty’ of the animal-prey, in short, when it is still hot. Certainly a meal taken straight from the refrigerator and placed in the bowl is not their favorite.
Reheating cat food: how to do it and what to avoid
So we understood that cat food should be served hot or at least at room temperature, but how can we fully ‘satisfy’ its needs? We can use the oven, even the microwave one, or heat broth or water on the stove to soften all the baby food.
If, on the other hand, you do not want to use any appliance, we can certainly bring the food to room temperature or at most put it, covered, in sunlight. What is the biggest risk to a reheated food? That of being excessively hot and causing burns to the feline’s mouth.
Finally, there is another mistake to avoid: that of not letting the cat get used to the hot dish: even in this case, in fact, the animal will have to gradually get used to the change and it does not mean that at the beginning it likes it. Let’s try to heat it up a little more every day, and not go directly from fridge to oven temperature.
It’s also a question of smell …
Finally, we must not underestimate the importance of the smell of the heated food that is administered to the cat: the high temperature enhances the flavor of the dish and also its smell, a particular not insignificant especially if we consider the cat’s sense of smell.
More than the taste, therefore, the sense of smell wins, therefore also for this reason the heated food far exceeds the cold one. In particular, in cases of lack of appetite in the cat, it can be a good trick to make him eat.