cat not eating wet food

Cat Not Eating Wet Food? Here’s Why & What to Do

Does your cat not eat wet food at all? Or does your cat stop eating his favorite wet food all of a sudden?

Feeding wet food is important for your cat’s health. So it’s no wonder why cat owners will be concerned if cats not eating wet food. In this article, I would like to explore all the reasons your cat won’t eat wet food for your reference.

I will try to cover as many aspects as possible. Whether your cat not adopting wet food when you want to switch the diet from dry food, or your cat stops eating his favorite cat food all of a sudden, you can try to find the answer to make things clear.

Why Feeding Wet Cat Food is Important

Feeding your cat wet food has many other benefits to their health.

  1. Wet cat food is important for your cat’s health because it provides cats with vital nutrition.
  2. Wet cat food contains more water, which makes it an ideal solution to the common problem of dehydration in cats. It can be very important for cats who drink little or no water.
  3. Wet food is also better for cats with kidney disease because their bodies cannot process the extra protein and fat found in dry foods as well as those with healthy kidneys can.
  4. The canned wet food has a higher protein content than dry food and it is easier to digest for your feline friend.

Reasons why cats not eating wet food

They are being Picky

Cats can be pretty picky about their food. One common reason why your cat won’t eat wet food may simply be because he dislikes the flavor of it. And some cats may be sensitive to the textures or ingredients in wet food.

if your cat doesn’t eat the canned food, try another flavor or another brand. If you have a fussy cat, it’s always suggested that you buy the wet food a small pack at a time. You may be able to find his favorite canned food gradually.

They are tired of the same wet food

Do you feed your cat with the same wet food for a long time? Cats may get bored with repetitive meals. It could be the reason why your cats don’t eat wet food anymore. Your cat’s preferences may change as they mature and explore their tastes. This happens a lot for the finicky eaters.

If this is the case, making changes in the cat’s diet can help. You can try to create a variety in flavors based on what they have been eating so far- for example, maybe you have been giving them fish-flavored wet food so far, so try changing with chicken or beef flavored.

The wet food is cold from the refrigerator or during Winter

Most cats prefer their food to be warm (close to their own body temperature). So when you try to feed them wet food straight from the fridge they will most likely not eat it.

Besides, wet food gets cold quickly during winter which can be a reason for cats to refuse it even it is refrigerated.

To keep it at a desirable temperature, you can heat the wet food up in the microwave for a few seconds. Or you can add some hot water and stir it well before serving.

Not a Fan of Change

Felines are notoriously creatures of habit. If your cat has been eating dry food for a long time, changing to wet food can be met with suspicion. Transition at a snail’s pace by mixing just a tiny bit of wet food into the dry at first.

They are not eating due to bad teeth

If you notice that your cat is only licking the food and they are not eating it, it might be due to sore teeth. If this continues for more than a day, it is best to take them in for an appointment with your veterinarian.

Is the bowl the issue?

For some cats, the bowl itself can be a deterrent. Cats generally prefer wide, shallow bowls that don’t irritate their sensitive whiskers. Narrow or deep bowls can cause “whisker fatigue” making eating uncomfortable. Daily washing of food bowls is also important for freshness and clarity.

Getting older

For some cats, aging brings a dulling of the senses needed to enjoy wet food. Their needs change but with patience finding the right diet is possible. In that case, consider: 
Blend wet and dry: The crunchy dry and aromatic wet together suit changing tastes while ensuring nutrition and hydration needs are met.  
Offer fish flavors or other strong-smelling wet food: Flavors that make an impression are helpful when smell and taste fade. 
Discuss a vet-approved senior cat diet: Specially formulated to stimulate appetite and deliver essential nutrition for geriatric cats. The right solution can get senior cats eating hearty again.

Medical issues

Though infrequent, sometimes a cat’s refusal of wet food is due to an underlying health condition requiring veterinary attention. Possible issues include:
•Dental disease or mouth pain: Broken teeth, gum infections or other mouth problems may make chewing painful and discourage eating. 
•Gastrointestinal issue: Nausea, digestive upset, or other GI troubles can sap a cat’s appetite and interest in food. 
•Other illness: In rare cases, health issues like kidney disease, diabetes or hyperthyroidism may impact a cat’s hunger cues or food preferences.  
If refusal of wet food persists for more than a couple days, look for other symptoms and check in with your vet, especially for senior cats or those with known health conditions. Diagnosing and addressing any medical causes for appetite changes are critical to getting a cat eating normally again.

Anxiety or stress

Cats are sensitive creatures and prone to anxiety or stress from changes in their environment, routine or living situation. Sources of anxiety that may lead to wet food refusal include: 
•Moving to a new home: Adjusting to unfamiliar surroundings can be stressful for cats and impact their eating habits.
•Addition of new pets or babies: The chaos and activity of a new pet or baby in the home stresses some cats out and causes appetite loss.  
•Irregular feeding or mealtimes: For cats accustomed to a schedule, inconsistent feedings or constantly changing mealtimes can lead to anxiety and refusal to eat. 
•Lack of play or affection: Some cats become stressed or anxious without daily interaction, play and affection from their owners, resulting in appetite changes.

How to Get Your Cat Eating Wet Food

Make the Transition Gradually 

If your cat has been eating only dry kibble and you want to switch them to wet food, it’s best to gradually transition them to prevent digestive upset. Start by mixing a small amount of the new wet food in with their regular dry kibble. Over the course of 7-10 days, slowly make the wet food portion bigger and the dry portion smaller until your cat is eating exclusively wet food.

Feed Smaller, More Frequent Meals 

When changing your cat’s diet from dry food to wet food, it’s best to start with several small meals throughout the day instead of one big meal. Feeding smaller portions at each meal but more frequently throughout the day reduces any anxiety over large amounts of food at once and keeps cats eager for more. 

Warm the Wet Food

The strong smell will grab your cat’s attention and make the food hard to resist. Warm food just tastes better! Mixing in a bit of extra water or cat milk supplement will also increase hydration and may spark more interest.

Boost the Flavor 

Boost the flavor further by mixing in a teaspoon of fish oil or some of your cat’s dry kibble. The familiar smell and taste help make wet food far more enticing. 

Experiment with Different Flavors and Textures

Experiment with different brands, flavors and textures of wet food to find one irresistible to your cat. Try chicken, beef, fish and creamy options. Offer a variety!  

Rule Out Medical Causes

If your cat stops eating their normal wet food, have your vet examine them to determine if any medical issues are impacting their appetite before changing their diet.

At Last

With time and persistence, transitioning to wet food can absolutely be achieved for both reluctant cats and those needing appetite stimulation. Keep at it and don’t give up – your cat’s health and happiness depends on their nutrition. You’ve got this!

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