Why won’t my cat eat wet food anymore? If your cat was used to eating wet food and suddenly stopped, you come to wonder what is going on with him. Is it the food, or is there something else?
Cats can stop eating when food because they get bored with eating the same food, the food brand changed the ingredients or cats have different taste, the cats are experiencing whisker fatigue, the food bowl may be dirty, or he may have health issues, or dental issues.
Let’s see what the details are.
WHY WON’T MY CAT EAT WET FOOD ANYMORE?
It can happen that a cat who was perfectly eating wet food for many years suddenly decides to stop doing it. Some cats may decide to go all the way to the other side and eat only dry food. When it happens, a cat owner doesn’t really know what to think.
We know that cats can be unpredictable and do the weirdest things, but they are also creatures of habit; how does this behavior fit with them?
Well, believe it or not, cats have their reasons; they are not trying to make you mad or annoy you. Maybe their reasons are silly, but they are enough for them.
There are several reasons why a cat may stop eating wet food, some of the are:
1. CHANGE IN TASTE PREFERENCES
Some cats may become bored with their food and prefer to switch to a different flavor or texture. It can happen more often then you think. Be prepared to search for a new wet foot that your cat will like. Good Luck!
2. DENTAL ISSUES
Dental problems such as tooth decay or gum disease can make it difficult for a cat to eat wet food.
3. CHANGE IN DIET
If the cat’s diet has changed recently, they may not be as interested in their food.
Changes in the cat’s environment or routine can cause stress or anxiety, reducing their appetite.
If you’re concerned that your cat is not eating wet food, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and to develop a personalized plan to help your cat get back to eating.
5. THE FOOD BRAND YOU USE CHANGED THE INGREDIENTS
Sometimes, a food brand changes the ingredients of their wet food. Therefore, when you feed it to your cat, he doesn’t want to eat it anymore. In addition, the food can have a different smell or a different taste that he doesn’t like.
If you discover this is the case, you must experiment with new wet food for your cat until you find the one he eats. I used my cats to eat different wet food every week, so they do not only get used to one type.
However, I had a bad experience with one of my cats; when he was a kitten, he would hardly eat wet food, and if he did, he only ate one brand. So I used every trick I could think of to make him eat different types of wet food. I will share some tips with you down below.
6. YOUR CAT IS EXPERIENCING WHISKER FATIGUE
It is possible that your cat is growing up, and his whiskers are now touching the bowl; he may be very sensible and decide to stop eating. It is mainly a bowl problem; try to change his bowl with a better one, and see if he starts eating again.
7. THE BOWL IS DIRTY
Cats are picky, and I am a living example of this statement! I have first-hand experience with this situation. My cat won’t eat his wet food if I do not wash it before I feed him. Likewise, if I out the wet food in his bowl that he previously used already, even if a few hours before, he won’t eat the food.
Our routine is the following: I feed him, recover his bowl, wash it, and feed him again. If I forget, I can throw the food away. He will sniff it and go away.
8. YOUR CAT IS SPOILED
This is a mistake most cat owners make. Of course, we want to make our cats happy, and sometimes we feed them too many treats. But, unfortunately, treats are a sort of junk food for cats and are also very addictive.
If you are coming off a period where you gave your cat many treats, he may think that it is their meal, and cats would get addicted, and demand only treats. As a consequence, they won’t eat wet food. In other words, they become like spoiled children demanding their candies.
To get him back on wet food, you may have to place treats near the wet food and trick him into it. For example, I place a little bit of wet food on my fingers, and he eats it from it, then continues eating it on his own. Then, of course, reduce the treats given to your cat.
9. HEALTH PROBLEMS
Sometimes a cat can have stomach problems or other health problems that make him not eat wet food. If you can’t resolve it in any way, the best is to bring your cat for a check-up to the vet.
Cats with digestive or medical issues, such as gastrointestinal disorders or kidney disease, may not have an appetite for wet food
10. YOUR CAT IS STRESSED
If there has been an environmental change or change in the place where he eats, it can be a stressing factor for a cat.
For example, he may want to have a quiet place, or he doesn’t like his new place. New people in the household or other changes that can stress your cat could explain his changing eating habits.
If you spot this, remove all changes and make our cat comfortable eating his food.
11. YOUR CAT IS PICKY
Sometimes cats can be very picky with their food. They may like something and the day after disliking it. Sometimes, there is no reason they want something else or are not in the mood that day for the food you are giving them. Once you know your cat, you may even figure out what is wrong. Unfortunately, in some cases, you may never find out.
What to do if you got a picky cat? First, arm yourself with many patients and learn all the tricks you can to deal with them. I’ll share some tricks below.
MY CAT WON’T EAT WET FOOD BUT EATS DRY FOOD
Dry food can be tastier for cats due to the ingredients in them. In fact, you can find carbs and ingredients that add flavors to make it tastier. But, unfortunately, this type of food is unhealthy, especially if it creates addictions.
Some of the ingredients in cat treats, which make cats addicted to them, can be found in dry food. This is why it is essential to read the labels. I wrote a full article on why treats can be addicting for cats.
In other words, dry food is more appealing to cats. It is like a human having to decide between a salad and Pizza. If you are in this situation with your cat, you must teach your cat to eat wet food. You can do it by placing some wet food with dry food or near it in the bowl. Once he starts eating it, he will get used to it.
MY CAT LICKS FOOD BUT DOESN’T EAT IT
Then we have the instance of smart cats that lick the food and the liquid out of the wet food and leave the rest there. They do this because the moisture is tastier than the rest of the food. In addition, some types of wet food have colorants and additional flavors; cats like the taste of it.
Some cats simply do not like wet food, but they can deal with the gravy and sauce. However, cats should have some wet food for hydration, and often vets recommend cats eats wet food if they have health problems.
Therefore if a cat is struggling with eating wet food, it can be a problem.
There are some tricks one can try:
- Add more water and smush the wet food to make it almost liquid. Your cat may lick it all.
- Try to give him soups; there are soups for cats in pet stores and stores. Those sups have some meat in them, it is not a lot, but it could be a start to get your cat used to eating wet food. My cats go crazy for those sups. Not only do they lick it all, but they also end up eating almost all the pieces of meat or fish.
- Use treats to lure your cat into eating more of the food.
MY CAT IS NOT EATING FOOD BUT IS EATING TREATS
Similarly, some cats eat only treats and not food. They are greedy cats.
Usually, they got spoiled with treats, and now they want only treats. Again, the quality of the treats that are commonly sold is low. There are a lot of addicting and not healthy ingredients in there.
I give an example here of what is inside treats: WHY DO CATS LIKE TEMPTATIONS SO MUCH?
A cat that eats only treats need to be educated on eating proper food. You have to use some of the best tricks to make your cat transition from treats to wet food or normal food. You could start mixing treats with the food you want to give him and diminishing the treats every day.
You can also see if your cat would eat raw food as a treat. There are healthy raw food treats in the market that could be given to a cat to be taken off treats.
TIPS TO GET YOUR CAT TO EAT WET FOOD
I have given some tips already through this article, here I wan to summarize them and add a few:
- Use treats to lure your cat into eating wet food. You can place the treats near the wet food in the bowl, over the wet foot, or in your hands and have your cat come near the wet food.
- Use dry food to lure your cat into eating wet food. Similar to what you would do with treats.
- Guide your cat: I used to have treats in my hand and give one to my cat, then place some wet food on my finger and have him lick it. He would get used to eating wet food. Sometimes you have to be there for him to trust eating a new type of food.
- Vary the brands to find the one he likes the most.
- Buy cats soups and see if he would start licking it at least. In those soups, there are pieces of meat or fish, and in this way, a cat may start eating wet food.
WHY MY OLDER CAT STOPPED EATING WET FOOD?
There are several reasons why an older cat may stop eating wet food:
- Decreased sense of smell or taste: As cats age, their sense of smell and taste can deteriorate, making food less appealing to them.
- Dental problems: Dental issues such as tooth decay or gum disease can make it difficult for an older cat to eat wet food.
- Health problems: Older cats are more susceptible to health issues such as kidney disease, liver disease, and digestive problems, which can impact their appetite and cause them to stop eating wet food.
- Changes in diet
- Medications: Certain medications can affect a cat’s sense of taste and make food unappealing.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do cats stop liking wet food?
Yes, cats can stop liking wet food. Some cats may become bored with their food and prefer to switch to a different flavor or texture. Other factors, such as changes in their health, appetite, or sensory perception, can also cause cats to stop liking wet food.
Is it OK if my cat only eats dry food?
Cats can survive on a diet of only dry food, but it’s generally recommended to feed a balanced diet that includes both wet and dry food.
Wet food provides additional moisture, which can be especially important for cats who do not drink enough water on their own.
Dry food has a longer shelf life and is convenient, but it is typically higher in carbohydrates and lower in moisture than wet food. This can lead to a variety of health problems, including urinary tract issues, dehydration, and obesity.
It’s best to consult with a veterinarian to determine the best diet for your individual cat based on their age, weight, activity level, and overall health. They can help you determine the right balance of wet and dry food to ensure your cat is getting all the nutrients they need.
Will a picky cat starve?
A picky cat may refuse to eat, but they will not necessarily starve. However, not eating for an extended period of time can lead to serious health problems, such as liver and kidney dysfunction, decreased immune function, and muscle wasting.
If your cat is being selective with their food and not eating enough, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and to develop a personalized feeding plan to meet their nutritional needs.
Your veterinarian may also recommend feeding smaller, more frequent meals, offering a variety of foods and flavors, or using food puzzles to encourage your cat to eat.