Do Cats & Dogs Get Tired Of Eating The Same Thing?

By Sarah Jeanne Terry

When it comes to food, let's face it, we have a LOT of feelings. And when it comes to our pets' food, honestly we have just as many. Every pet owner feels confident that they've chosen the best or most healthy food for their furry friend. But the truth is, there are plenty of great options out there for our dogs and cats. That variety often leads us to wonder if our dogs and cats get bored of their diets, and should we change up their food? Turns out, the views on food variety come in just as many flavors.

English Bulldog puppy, four months old, lying, white background.
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Some pet owners worry that their dogs and cats get bored eating the same food.

Of course, we humans wouldn't want to eat the same thing every day. Even the most delicious foods would get tiresome after a too much repetition. So why wouldn't our furry BFFs get similarly bored with the monotony?

But the truth is, we're not really sure if dogs and cats actually get bored of the same old food. However, if you're a pet owner with a finicky eater, it sure feels like they do. That's why pet owners and vets are in a bit of a conundrum. There's plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that dogs and cats suddenly seem to stop liking their food, but not a lot of hard and fast data to suggest it has anything to do with food boredom. So what's a pet lover to do? Well, it turns out that the answer is simple, though not really specific – do whatever is best for your pet.

One study has shown that cats fare better with a little variety in their diet.

Cute European kitten eating isolated on white background, animal portrait
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A study published in the _Journal of Veterinary Behavior_ tested how cats fare when switching from kibble to wet food. The first group was fed wet food, then kibble, before switching back to wet food. The second group was fed only kibble before switching to wet food. The group that had more variety in their diet had an easier time switching foods than the cats that ate only the kibble.

So there is at least some evidence that a diet with variety can be good for cats. The College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University added that cats can become too finicky about food if you feed them only one thing. And that can be a problem if, for example, a medical condition forces them to change diets. That's why they suggest rotating between 2-3 types of food, so your cat learns to like a couple of different things.

For dogs, the truth becomes a little bit murkier.

Bored and uninterested poodle puppies with a plate of kibbles
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According to PetMD, dogs don't need variety in their diet. In fact, they claim that a variety of food can upset their stomachs. This claim is also supported by Dr. Lauren Brickman, who admits that dogs might get bored with their food, but still suggests that any transitions be made very gradually so as not to upset their stomachs.

However, some vets recommend the exact opposite. Similar to cats, some vets think it's important to rotate our dogs' food. Dr. Jean Dodds believes that variety may be the key to their health. And that contradiction may seem frustrating, but we think it just strengthens the argument that you need to do whatever works best for your pet.

And if your pet has any dietary issues, experts agree that it's best to stick to a single food.

Most vets seem to agree that any symptoms that your dog's tummy isn't agreeing with a diet switch is a sign to keep things simple. But if you just can't get your furry ball of love interested in dinner, maybe a little variety could solve the problem. Regardless of how you want to feed your pet, be sure to discuss the diet with your vet. Because the most important thing is that your pet's diet is balanced, healthy, and getting them the nutrition they need.

Upside down white british shorthair cat on table glass surface
credit: palliki/iStock/GettyImages

And of course, we want our pets to be as happy as they can be.

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