Cat Not Eating Wet Food

Are you worried about your cat’s sudden refusal to eat wet food?

While wet food is often recommended as a nutritious option for felines, cats can be notoriously picky eaters.

There could be several reasons why your cat has stopped eating wet food.

These include the texture, sensitivity to strong odors or flavors, dental problems, digestive issues, illness/disease, stress/anxiety, food bowl location and cleanliness.

To ensure that your cat receives a balanced, nutritious diet, it’s essential to identify the root cause of this refusal.

Reasons Why Your Cat is Refusing Wet Food

In this article, we’ll explore the common reasons why cats refuse wet food.

We’ll also provide tips on how to encourage your fussy feline to start eating wet food again.

So why is your cat not eating wet food anymore? Here are some of the most common reasons.

  • Change in Diet
  • Texture and Consistency
  • Preference for Dry Food
  • Smell and Flavor
  • Spoiled Food
  • Temperature
  • Health Issues
  • Stress and Anxiety
  • Food Bowl Placement

Change in Diet

Cats often refuse to eat because of a change in diet. Being creatures of habits, our feline friends tend to rather sensitive about changes in routine. And diet is often a biggy!

Sometimes of course, diet changes are unavoidable – a particular brand may go out of business or a specific flavor becomes unavailable.

Whatever the reason, your best option is to give your cat time to adjust to a new dish. Failing this, seek out the closest alternative you can find.

Texture and Consistency

Your cat might dislike the texture and consistency of wet foot that you’ve served up.

Wet cat food often needs to be broken down with a fork before serving.

And on occassion, us owners can overdo it by turning our cat’s highly-anticipated meal into a mushy mess.

Whether too mushy, too runny or too chunky, if the food doesn’t meet the cat’s approval, she’ll turn her nose up at it.

So it’s worth keeping an eye on the consistency of the food before laying it down.

Preference for Dry Food

Some cats have preferences for dry food because its crunchy and satisfying to chew.

Additionally, certain pet food companies coat their kibble with digestive sprays that can prove irresistible to cats.

Unfortunately, this often results in an unbalanced diet because the cat starts to refuse wet food in favour of coated dried variants.

Its fine to feed your cat kibble exclusively provided the brand offers balanced nutrition.

But you should provide plenty of water to replace the moisture found in wet food.

Smell and Flavor

Scent and flavor may also cause a cat to reject its food.

Given their highly-developed sense of smell, the scent of wet food can be very appealing – a strong, pleasing odor will stimulate a cat’s appetite

But it works both ways too.

Similarly, the flavor willl determine if your cat will indulge or not.

Despite being habitual creatures, felines will sometimes get bored with their food and probably give you a dirty look when its laid down before them.

So try changing it up!

Spoiled Food

Wet cat food can spoil quickly, especially if it is left out for too long.

Ever seen cat food that’s been left out too long? Not pleasant to look at is it! Your cat likely feels the same way.

It’s probably not going to taste all that great either and may also emit an unpleasant odor.

Should this be the case, you’re cat is probably going to stay well away.


Cats prefer their food to be at room temperature as its more in keeping with the temperature of their prey.

In addition, wet tood that’s too cold may cause dental discomfort.

Cats are known to prefer their food at room temperature because it’s closer to the temperature of their prey in the wild.

If the wet food is too cold, it may cause dental discomfort due to sensitivity.

To encourage your cat to eat wet food, try warming it up by placing the can or pouch in warm water for a few minutes before serving.

Health Issues

Several health issues have the potential to cause your cat to refuse wet food. Some of these include:

1. Dental Problems

2. Gastrointestinal Issues

3. Kidney Disease

4. Urinary Tract Issues

5. Aging

If your cat is consistently refusing wet and dry food, it’s essential to take her to the vet for an evaluation.

Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety has the potential to stop your cat eating all food, wet or dry.

It’s caused by a variety of factors, such as changes in their environment (e.g., moving to a new home), changes in routine or the introduction of a new pet or person to the household.

Stress also leads to digestive issues in some instances that can further decrease appetite.

Additionally, if your cat is feeling anxious or stressed, she may not be as willing to try new foods or flavors.

This often makes it difficult to introduce new wet food options.

Food Bowl Location

An apparent loss of appetite is sometimes the result of food bowl location.

Felines are very particular about where they eat and are known to refuse eaing if their food bowl is in an area perceived to be unsafe or unpleasant

For instance, placing feeding bowls in a busy environment or near to the litter box often leads to food refusal.

Noisy or high traffic areas can cause stress and distraction while the smell from a litter box is going to be very off-putting.

How to Encourage Cats to Eat Wet Food

It’s not absolutely essential to feed your cat wet food. But there are numerous benefits to including it as part of your pet’s overall diet.

In addition to providing nutrition, the moisture from wet food prevents dehydrations as well as warding off urinary tract infections.

With this in mind, here are some tips on how to encourage your cat to eat wet food.

Gradual Introduction

Try to introduce wet food gradually by mixing a small amount with the dry food.

Then gradually increase after over time to give your cat a chance to get used to the texture and flavor.

Experiment with Textures and Flavors

Not all cats like the same textures and flavors of wet food.

So it’s important to experiment with different options to find what your cat likes.

Some refer pate-style wet food, while others prefer chunky or shredded varieties.

Try different brands and flavors to see what your cat responds to best.

Improve the Feeding Environment

As we’ve seen, the feeding environment can also impact a cat’s willingness to eat wet food.

Cats prefer to eat in a quiet and comfortable environment, away from their litter box and other stressful stimuli.

Consider setting up a separate feeding area for your cat that is quiet and free from distractions.

When to Consult with a Veterinarian

If your cat continues to refuse wet food, speak to a vet in order to rule out potential healh issues. You’ll also get some great dietary tips.

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