Why Do Cats Refuse to Eat from a Half-empty Bowl ?

Cat owners have probably noticed that their pets don’t eat from half-empty or poorly filled bowls. And this is not at all a whim of a representative of the feline family. There may be some reasons for this behavior.

The long whiskers interferes

Those very long mustaches on the muzzle have their own name – vibrissae. They can be surely considered real sensors that transmit signals directly to the brain about mechanical influences , for instance touching objects around them.

If the cat doesn’t want to eat from a deep bowl that is not filled to the top, the pet’s whiskers are probably very long and sensitive. This phenomenon is called “whiskers fatigue”, and its symptoms are precisely the refusal to use feed from some certain containers. The cat simply touches the bowl with its vibrissae, experiencing discomfort. The solution is very simple- just change the feed container to a smaller or wider one.

Anxiety and worries

If a cat is in a state of stress or anxiety, and is often alone for a long time, or it is in an unusual and unfamiliar environment, then it may not eat all the food from its bowl, but demand more. It is a self-preservation instinct that tells the animal to store more food in case of its possible shortage. For the same reason, cats bury bowls; in this way they create a certain food reserve.


The food left over from the last feeding could wind up and lose its previous smell. And then the pet, which is used to sniffing everything due to its physiological characteristics, simply will not perceive the contents of the bowl as a source of nutrition.  You can simply stir the food so that it smells again and attracts the catty.


Probably, the cat doesn’t finish eating everything from the bowl, as it is full and satisfies its hunger. While not all felines are aware of satiety (which can lead to vomiting), there are many smart, savvy individuals which understand that it is not necessary to eat everything at once.  You can leave some food for later.


If the owners themselves have taught the pet to a filled bowl, then it may require constantly feeling, even if there is still some food left. You can either indulge such a whim, or , on the contrary, ignore it and wait for the hungry pet to eat everything. You can also apply a little food so that the cat eats the portion right away and then doesn’t see the leftovers.

Does your catty refuse to eat from a half-empty bowl?

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