Cat Won’t Eat Wet Food – What Should I Do?

You put the dish of wet cat food down in front of your kitty, and she promptly turns her nose up at it and walks away. What’s the problem? Why won’t your cat eat wet food?

Why Won’t My Cat Eat Wet Food?


Cats are notoriously picky eaters. If they think they don’t like the food, they will often starve themselves before they decide to eat. Cat owners might think it’s a hassle, but you need to find the right diet to suit your cat.

As obligate carnivores, cats evolved to eat a meat-only diet. With the rise of kibble and wet food products, many cats are having trouble adjusting their digestive systems to their new diets. As a result, many cat owners find they need to purchase their cat’s expensive, specialized foods.

If your cat isn’t eating wet food, it could be for several reasons.

cat eating tuna

Your Cat Is Fussy


Your cat could just feel like causing a hassle with you. It might turn up its nose at the food and walk away, but if you leave the bowl there, they might return to it a few hours later.

Your Cat Doesn’t Like the Flavor or Brand


Cats have aversions to certain flavors and scents. If your cat doesn’t eat the wet food, try a different flavor or brand to see if it makes any difference.

Your Cat Doesn’t Feel Like Eating


If you have an outdoor cat, you have no idea what they were up to during the day. They might have caught a fat rat for lunch, and they just don’t feel like eating.

Why Should I Feed My Cat Wet Food?


Wet cat food is a good option for your cat and an alternative to kibble. Here are the top reasons why you should feed your kitty a wet food diet.

Prevent Kidney Problems and Better Hydration


Many cats deal with kidney issues relating to their diet. They form urinary crystals, which cause kidney problems and trips to the vet. With the use of wet food, you add more water into your cat’s diet, preventing kidney problems.

Promotes Lean Body Mass


Eating a wet food diet means your cats are getting zero carbs included in their diet. The carbs in kibble formulations can make cats gain weight. With fewer carbs in wet food, your kitty keeps a lean, trim physique, with fewer health problems related to obesity.

Adds More Variety


Wet food comes in plenty of flavors and textures, bringing more variety into your cat’s diet.

Wet Food – The Downside


However, it’s not all good news for wet food; there are some disadvantages to feeding your cat a wet diet.

The first problem is that wet food is usually more expensive than dry food. Cat owners can expect to pay up to 40% more for wet food than they do for a month’s supply of kibble.

Wet food rarely keeps in the fridge, so you’ll need to buy single-portion cans for your kitty.

Wet food also soils faster than dry food, and your cat may not come back for concurrent feeding sessions like they do with kibble.

How Do I Get My Cat to Start Eating Wet Food?


If you’re trying to transition your cat from dry to wet food, it might take some time. If your cat spent years on a kibble-only diet, they might struggle with moving across to wet food.

Transitioning your cat could take weeks or months, so it’s important for cat owners to have patience with the exercise.

Try using these guidelines when transitioning your cat from dry to wet food.

  • For cats that have a long history with dry diets, start breaking their feeding sessions into four meals a day.
  • After they are comfortable with that schedule, make the last meal of the day wet food.
  • To let your cat know that it’s their dinner, put the dish on the floor, make sure they see it and then walk away.
  • Leave the dish on the floor for 20-minutes, and then remove it, even if they don’t eat anything.
  • Some cats adapt to the change from the first meal, while others might take days or weeks.
  • If your cat isn’t eating the wet food, try combining it with kibble to see if there’s a chance.
  • If that strategy works, reduce the amount of kibble by 20% each meal until you have them eating wet food only.
  • After the cat successfully eats the entire meal, start replacing further dry meals with wet food until your cat is only eating a wet food diet.

Warning About Changing Cats Diets


Changing your cat’s diet can cause some damaging effects to their health if you don’t use the right strategy.

It’s important that you don’t change the cat food all at once. If your cat stops eating for more than 24-hours, it can lead to the development of a condition known as “fatty liver disease.”

If left untreated, this condition can be fatal in cats. It’s quite surprising how fast they can deteriorate when they stop eating.

If your cat stops eating for more than 24-hours, take her to the vet immediately for diagnosis and treatment.

Experiment with Different Cat Food Brands and Flavors


Cat owners don’t need to transition their poet away from kibble entirely. Kibble plays a valuable role in your cat’s diet, and it’s way more affordable than wet food.

However, pet owners can always do a better job monitoring their cat’s kibble intake to prevent overeating and obesity in their feline friends.

Wet food is a great way to bring more variety into your cat’s diet, giving them something different to eat. Finding the right balance between wet and dry food takes some experimenting, but you’ll find the sweet spot eventually.

Cats enjoy textures in food more than dogs, and they’ll appreciate the wet food from time to time. It’s also a great way to get cats eating that might be picky eaters.

Choose a few flavors and brands and see which one your cat prefers.

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