Why Cat Only Licks Wet Food: Best 7 Possible Reasons

In this article, we’ll approach the topic of why a cat only licks wet food from different angles. This is just one of many possible causes for a cat that doesn’t eat but only licks its food.

Cats that don’t want to eat can be very frustrating for owners. Sometimes, the owner may not be offering a balanced diet. In other cases, the cat needs to go back to a regular feeding schedule after being on a diet.

There could be many reasons why a cat might only lick gravy from wet food. For example, if the cat has tooth problems or gum disease, they may only want to lick the gravy, which is more soothing than chewing dry food. A diet change could be another possible cause of licked wet food.

Why Cat Only Licks Wet Food?

There are many possible reasons why cats lick gravy from wet food. To avoid dental problems and to solve gum problems, there are two options:

1. Change diet

For some cats, it is better to change the diet and start with a fresh diet rather than keep them doing the same thing repeatedly. This is especially true when the cat has been on a diet for some time.

2. Address dental issues with a vet

There are cases where a cat will refuse to eat, even when they are hungry because they have dental issues such as gingivitis or gum disease.

Cat Only Licks Wet Food
Cat Only Licks Wet Food

In those cases, the cat should be given food softer than what the owner gives them and treated by the vet.

7 Possible Reasons Why Cat Only Licks Wet Food

1. Color Or Texture Of Food

Your cat does not like the texture or color of the food you feed them. You might have recently changed the brand, and your cat is not used to it. Try changing back to the old brand.

2. Diet Change

Another possible cause for cats licking gravy and not the dry food could be that the cat is sick of dry food or does not like it.

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This can happen, especially when there is a sudden diet change. A sudden diet change can upset a cat’s stomach, and this could cause them to refuse all dry food.

3. Bad Dental Health

Another reason cats lick gravy and not the dry food could be gum disease or dental issues. 5% of all cats suffer from gum disease. A cat with gum disease may only want to lick the gravy.

4. Body Fluids

Sometimes cats will lick their food because their oral glands are acting up. If you notice that your cat is licking their food, check out its mouth once in a while. If there is a lot of saliva in his mouth, the problem could be caused by overactive glands.

5. Offer Water

Cats need to drink Water regularly throughout their day. If they only want to lick gravy while eating, it is important to make sure that the cat has plenty of water available at all times.

6. Too Dry Or Too Wet

If the cat only likes the gravy, it may be because the dry food is too dry or too wet. If a cat has constantly been refusing to eat but licks gravy, it is important to change the diet and offer them something more balanced.

7. Other Offenses

It could also be caused by other offenses such as bad smell or flavor. When a cat only licks gravy from wet food, it is important to find out what they like.

Why Does My Cat Only Eating Gravy From Wet Food?

If you are feeding your cat dry food and only want to eat gravy, it could mean that they have gum disease or dental problems.

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You should look for a vet and see if the reason why your cat only wants to eat gravy is because of dental issues or gum disease. Once you resolve the problems, you will solve this problem.

Why Is My Cat Asking For Food But Not Eating?

If your cat is asking for food but not being offered continuously, you should check if they are over-grooming themselves or are not getting enough water during the day.

Why Is My Cat Not Eating Much But Acting Normal?

When a cat has a bad appetite and refuses to eat, it could be several reasons. Their age or illness may cause it. When a cat has lost its appetite, it normally indicates something wrong with the cat’s physical condition.

1. Dementia

Dementia is a serious disease that affects the brain and causes memory loss, confusion, and personality changes in cats. As dementia progresses in a cat, they will lose their appetite.

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This can be very difficult for owners to handle since it differs from case to case and may be a long-term disease.

2. Dystonia

Dystonia is a brain disorder that causes odd movements and abnormal postures, especially in cats. As the cat gets older, it will sometimes have difficulty swallowing or eating without vomiting.

3. Thyroid Problems

If a cat doesn’t eat enough and still wants to eat, there could be other problems, such as thyroid problems.

4. Cancer

Cancer in the mouth is usually an indication that more advanced cancer is present further down the line due to malignancy.

Cats with cancer are often unable to eat. Other issues can occur once a cat is diagnosed with cancer, such as weight loss and appetite loss.

5. Kidney Problems

If a cat refuses to eat, it could be due to kidney problems that usually cause vomiting or diarrhea and lack of appetite.

6. Bad Flavor

A cat may have a bad taste in their mouth when they are not eating enough, or they are being force-fed more than the body can process at one time.

7. Cold Or Flu

A cat can lose appetite when it is suffering from a cold. A cat may not eat on its own and look very unhappy, and if it has a cough, then this is another reason to call the vet.

How To Stop Your Cat From Licking Gravy From Wet Food?

There are three things that you can do to help your cat stop licking gravy from wet food:

1. Dental Care

Some cats can have bad dental health. This could be due to gum disease or dental issues. A cat with gum disease might only want to lick the gravy from wet food and not the dry food.

2. Reduce Preservatives

Many cats have a problem with preservatives in their food, so if you notice that your cat only wants laconic gravy and not dry food, then you must reduce the preservatives in your cat’s diet and make sure they are eating enough during their day.

3. Offer More Dry Food

Cat owners need to ensure that their cats get enough dry food, but if they do not want to eat that much, you should give them something more balanced.

Is It OK To Give Cats Wet Food every day?

The simple answer to this question depends on the cat and its overall health condition.

If you are feeding your wet cat food every day, it is important to make sure that they do not eat too much fat.

You should also check the food label to make sure that there are no preservatives and other added ingredients.

My Cat Licks Food Instead Of Eating, Does That Indicate Dental Problems?

If you notice that your cat only licks gravy from their food, it could indicate something wrong with the teeth and gums. A cat who licks gravy all the time could have gum disease.

If a cat is eating so fast that they choke while swallowing, they may have a dry mouth as well as bad dental health, especially if they keep licking their food or no longer chew their food at all.


There are quite a few possible reasons why cats lick their food instead of eating it. Sometimes, this is caused by a sudden diet change that upsets their stomachs or overactive salivary glands.

You can take your cat to the vet to see if the reason for not eating is dental issues or gum disease. You can also take your cat off the dry food and try some wet food.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Does My Cat Only Eat Gravy From Wet Food?

If your cat only eats gravy from wet food, it could be due to several factors such as bad dental health or gum disease.
When your cat refuses to eat dry food or moist food, it may simply be because they are hungry or not being fed enough during the day. It is important to check with your vet if this is the case.

What signs does my cat have if it has gum disease?

If your cat refuses to eat, and if you notice that a lot of gravy is coming from their mouth, then it could be an indication that your cat has developed gum disease or dental disease.
It is important to ask your vet if you notice these signs. If your cat licks gravy out of the bowl instead of eating their food, this indicates gum disease.

Why is my cat just licking her food?

If you notice that your cat is only licking their food, there may be a problem with its teeth.

Why is my cat hungry but won’t eat?

There are several reasons why a cat may be hungry but not eat. Here are a few reasons, and a possible solution: your cat is not getting enough nutrients
There could be a lack of vitamins in their diet, or they may lack minerals (i.e., calcium and phosphorus). You should add some to their food or feed them some supplements.

Will cats starve themselves if they don’t like the food?

There is no way to know if they are truly ill or just not getting enough. A cat may die of starvation, as well as choking on food.

Why isn’t my cat eating her wet food?

If your cat only wants to eat dry food, here are a few reasons why: dry food is easier to chew than wet food
Cats do not need wet food unless they are sick. If they are fed wet food every day, there may be issues with their teeth and mouth. See your vet to find out if your cat has dental issues, gum disease, or has a dry mouth.


Hi there! My name is Koushik; I am a cat lover. I specialize in writing about pet care & food. I have a wealth of knowledge on cat food niches and related subjects. I have worked in the pet industry for over 5 years and am passionate about helping cat owners provide the best care for their furry friends. With knowledge of cat food and nutrition, I aim to share their insights and help cat owners navigate the world of cat food niches. I enjoy playing with my two cats, reading, and exploring new cat food brands in my free time.

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