Why Do Cats Never Finish Their Food?

As a cat owner feeding your cat is a must thing to do. After your cat is done eating however you may notice that they don’t seem to finish all of their food, they only eat the center of their bowl and there is a ring of food around it or they just don’t finish it at all in general.

Why is this exactly? Well the truth is there are many possible reasons on why this may be. Lets go into some possibilities on why this is.

1: Cats Have Sensitive Whiskers

This is one of the most common reasons this will happen. If you have very large bowls for your cats their whiskers will rub against the sides and cats don’t like the feeling of this since it causes discomfort. Some cat breeds also have more sensitive whisker than others. This is especially true for older cats. As a result they won’t eat the food on the edges of the bowl.

Larger deep bowls aren’t really ideal for cats. Instead you want something that is more shallow so your cat can eat their food easier.

I prefer to use plates for my cats food so they don’t have this problem and can eat their food without the discomfort. I will also elevate the bowls or dishes so they can digest their food easier as well.

2: They Have A Full Stomach

You may not realize this but cats have very small stomachs. They are about roughly the size of a ping-pong ball so as a result they don’t really need to eat too much. Cats would rather have many small meals rather than one big meal through out the day.

Cats will eat smaller meals on an average of 10 to 15 times a day on average so they will probably come back and finish the remaining food if some of it is still there. They could also be getting food from another source like birds/rodents from outside or maybe your neighbor is giving them food as well.

3: Instincts

Cats are a little different when it comes to hunger. Humans are driven to eat food because of hunger but cats however are driven to eat by predatory instinct. To make eating more enjoyable for your cat you could hide the food around the house. just make sure you don’t forget about it so it doesn’t rot if your cat by chance doesn’t find it.

4: Lack Of Variety

Cats are similar to humans in this aspect. If your cat is not eating, playing with their food and just staring at the food its very possible they are tired of eating the same thing you are giving them and is time for a diet change. Try getting them different flavored cat foods, gourmet foods. treats or switch it around and give the wet food as well.

5: Stale Food

Cats know when their food or water is stale or even when human food is stale and they won’t eat because of this. You also don’t want to give your cats stale food as they are disgusted by it and can cause them to vomit.

6: Dirty Bowls

If their eating bowl is particularly very dirty your cat will probably not eat out of it and just start playing with their food instead. If you want the best bowls for this I would get stainless steel, glass or ceramic ones as they are very easy to clean and I would avoid plastic as it can cause bacteria infections and can make your cat vomit as a result of this.

7: Location Of The Bowls

Some cats won’t finish their food because they don’t like the location of the food in your house. Some cats like there food bowl to be away from there water dish as it encourages their natural hunter instincts and they feel the food debris could get into the water and some cats would rather have the bowl next to their water bowl instead and don’t really care about this.

You will know if they have a problem with this if they move their food from the bowl and bring it to a different location away from the water dish to eat it.


If you examine your cat enough you can probably see what is going on with their eating habits. If you take all of this information into consideration you will probably fix their eating issues and they won’t waste their food anymore.