Nutritional yeast is one of the lesser known, yet extremely effective ways to get your picky cat to eat.
Sold as a yellow powder, or in the form of flakes, it is actually deactivated yeast and can be found in most supermarkets and health food stores. Increasingly gaining in popularity, its strong nutty and cheesy flavour makes it a key ingredient in vegan recipes as a cheese substitute.
Several online recipes even suggest that it makes a great popcorn coating. If it's good enough to flavour movie-time munchies, it's probably good enough for your cat's dinner.
Sprinkle A Bit
While not every cat will like the taste of nutritional yeast, most felines absolutely love it. Sprinkling a bit of it over Puss' usual meal will have her gobbling it up with glee. Give between a quarter to one teaspoon a day, depending on how much is needed to get your kitty to eat.
However, nutritional yeast contains phosphorous, which may be an issue for cats suffering from advanced renal failure. Otherwise, half a teaspoon of nutritional yeast will only add about 14 milligrams of phosphorus, which will not have much of a negative effect on healthy kitties.
In fact, not only does nutritional yeast boost the taste of your cat's food, it also offers a couple of health benefits. A great source of vitamin B, potassium, and protein, it is naturally low in fat, sodium and is completely sugar and dairy free. That's pretty neat for something that actually tastes good.
Not the Same
Do take note that nutritional yeast is different from brewer's yeast though. The latter is a by-product of the beer-brewing process, and while it contains many vital nutrients, it has a more bitter taste which Puss may not like. In addition, some manufacturers add garlic to their product, which is a toxic to felines.
The next time your cat pushes away her food bowl, give it a sprinkling of nutritional yeast. It's healthy, flavourful and may just be the "fairy dust" you (and Puss) have been looking for!
* The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified pet health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Always make a pet health care decision in partnership with a qualified veterinary or pet health care professional.
*This article was updated on 19 Dec 2020. It first appeared in PetsMagazine.com.sg on 25 May 2016.