Why Has My Cat Stopped Eating Wet Food: Best 10 Reasons

Many have this question in mind, why has my cat stopped eating wet food? Cat food is often formulated with water content in mind, so it’s not uncommon for cats to refuse to eat wet food after eating dry food for an extended period.

If your cat has stopped eating wet food, there are a few things you can do to get them back on track.

This article will discuss why some cats may stop eating wet food. Cats are often fed dry food, which some cats prefer to eat.

Other reasons for stopping eating can include diabetes, dental issues, parasites, and other illnesses.

Why Has My Cat Stopped Eating Wet Food?

Cat food is often formulated with water content in mind, so it’s not uncommon for cats to refuse to eat wet food after eating dry food for an extended period.

Why Has My Cat Stopped Eating Wet Food
Why Has My Cat Stopped Eating Wet Food

Typically, cats prefer dry food over wet food because it contains a higher concentration of fats and proteins.

If your cat has stopped eating wet food, it’s best to consult with your vet as there are many reasons why this can happen.

Can Cats Go Off Wet Food?

Yes. If a cat stops eating, you should not just assume it will eat again on its own.

While most cats do eat on their own and are still fine, there are some other things you can do to encourage them to ingest sufficient nutrients:  

1) Try offering small amounts of wet food each day.  If your cat is resistant to bite-sized pieces, try putting a little bit in your hand and offering it.  If they refuse the food, put it away and try again later.  

2) Feed your warm pet food; this gives it a scent that’s similar to as if it came from a mother cat.  

3) Give them a variety of different flavors of wet food.  

4) If possible, offer them wet food at the location where they prefer to eat dry food to be more comfortable with the transition.  Your cat may be more likely to take a couple of bites of wet food if they are used to eating dry food in that area.

Purina Pro Plan Urinary Tract Health, High Protein Adult Wet Cat Food


10 Reasons Your Cat Is Not Eating Wet Food

The following is a list of why your cat may not be eating wet food. Many will require a trip to the vet, so check with your veterinarian first before trying anything that could harm your pet in any way.  

1) Diabetes

Symptoms include increased thirst and urination, lethargy, weight loss, and decreased appetite.  Diabetes can be treated if caught early.  If not treated, you may want to consider feeding a flavor of wet food that’s lower in moisture content.  

2) Oral Disease

Common in older cats, this condition is characterized by sores on the mouth and reduced appetite.  It can be treated with antibiotics and pain medications but is usually managed by decreasing the amount of dry food fed or switching over to wet food.  

3) Allergies

Allergic reactions can stem from food, flea saliva, or even pollen.  Symptoms include itching, sneezing, redness, and rashes.  Your vet may prescribe a steroid-based medication to reduce your cat’s swelling and help with general itchiness.  

4) Dental disease

Signs of dental disease are commonly ignored because they are not always visible, but you may notice your cat has trouble eating or that it is drooling quite a bit.  

Your vet will likely do an endoscope to observe the inside of their mouth if they are displaying these types of symptoms.  

Treatment is a complicated process that involves antibiotics, painkillers, and sometimes extractions. If there is no improvement after a certain length of time, you may want to consider feeding wet food instead.  

5) Overweight

Excess poundage can result in arthritis and other more serious conditions that require your cat to stop eating altogether.  Your vet can advise on the best way to help your pet lose weight and whether or not they should stop eating dry food.  

6) Obstructive Bowel Disease

A blockage in your pet’s intestinal tract causes them to stop eating as they are in pain from abdominal cramping.  Diagnosis is easy with a routine x-ray, but treatment often needs to be done by an experienced surgeon.  

Bypass surgery can be done to restore the flow of food in a corset-like band.  First, it is important, to begin with, a very clean diet and low in fiber.  

7) Liver Disease

Many cats are more willing to eat wet food when their livers are functioning properly, so testing for it is often done when there are other potential issues.  

The liver is often involved when other organs are not functioning.  Treatment varies depending on the exact cause.  

8) Distemper

Infected cats often lose their appetites and will refuse to eat anything.  Cats with this disease experience vomiting, fever, dehydration, and seizures before succumbing to death in most cases.  

This condition can be treated with antihistamines, hydration, and appetite stimulants with success rates depending on overall health.  

9) Parasites

If your pet is a carrier, an external parasite may be caught on their fur and presented to you in the form of a flea.  You may notice it jumping around or sitting still and not moving at all.  

Other symptoms include changes in behavior, poor appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea.  Check their ears regularly for ear mites, and if any arthropod is found on the skin, treatment will be required.  

10) Illness

If your cat is not eating at all and has not eaten for a couple of days, it may be a sign that something is wrong.  Take them to your vet immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment if any other symptoms are present.  

Why Is My Cat Not Eating Wet Food?

If your cat suddenly stops eating wet food, it could signal many different things.  Some cats may have dental issues or trouble chewing or swallowing, so they prefer soft food while recovering.  

Other cats may not like the food as much as they used to, and some may have health problems that need to be addressed by a vet.  

Sheba Perfect Portions Cuts in Gravy Wet Cat Food


What Do You Do If Your Cat Won’t Eat Wet Food?

If your cat has gone off of wet food, you will want to take them to a vet.  The best thing you can do is feed your cat the same thing – if you’re worried about it being left out for hours, then mix it with warm water.  Don’t add milk or anything else that’s not part of the canned diet.  

If you’re not sure what to feed them, ask your vet.  Some will recommend baby food or a high fiber diet if they have problems.  A lack of appetite could mean an illness, so the sooner you get them to the vet, the better.

How To Help A Cat Eat Wet Food?

Cats can be very picky creatures, and it’s no surprise that some of them tend to prefer dry food over wet food.  If your cat has suddenly stopped eating wet food and you have to force it down, you can try the following methods:

1) Sucking It Up With A Straw

If your cat doesn’t eat their canned food, they will drink milk or water mixed, give them a straw and have them suck it up.  The milk will taste like food but may cause a choking hazard as your cat swallows rapidly.  

This method is not recommended if there is any chance of wet food being accidentally swallowed.  If a straw is recommended, nothing is in the bottom of the can so that you won’t risk an accidental choking.

2) Softening Them

If your cat does not eat the food cold but drinks it warm, you can gently warm it up in the microwave for a few seconds.  

If this works for your cat, continue with this method and feed as normal.  If not, you may have to try feeding them again but through a different method.

3) Feeding them treats

This works especially well if you have a cat that is used to dry food and is accustomed to nibbling on bits here and there.  

Try training them to eat wet food by always giving them a few bits and dry food to eat.  If they are used to eating their dry food first, this will train their brain to think they should eat the wet food first.

4) Mixing with gravy

Cats may not be so picky about their wet food if you mix it with gravy.  This works well for homemade meals, but this will only work if there is some sort of sauce included for store-bought meals.  

You won’t want to use a thick sauce because it will make the texture too hard for your cat to eat, but a little bit of gravy and ketchup can still do the trick.

5) Using More Wet Food

If all else fails, try feeding them more wet food by putting small amounts of wet food into a larger container and adding more canned food on top.  This way, they can only reach the small bits of the dry food without accessing the entire can. 

6) Adding Extra Water

Your cat may not be old enough or big enough to drink full cups of water by themselves, so you will have to pour it into their dishes for them gently.  Avoid giving them too much water too often as they need to be kept hydrated.  

Keeping a clean bowl is also important because if you allow their food to remain in the bowl for long periods, bacteria will grow on it and cause your cat to get sick.

7) Putting It Into A Blender

Blenders are designed for human consumption and a specific blend of ingredients.  If you put wet food into a blender, it will start to clump together and be very difficult for your cat to eat. This is not recommended.

Benefits Of Wet Food For Cats

Wet food has a lot of perks that dry food does not.  It can help reduce hairballs and problems with teeth and gums due to vitamins and minerals in the food.  

Some cat owners report less vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation when feeding their cat’s wet food.  This is likely because the water content adds water weight to their bodies which helps them feel fuller.  

Some owners even report that their cats have an increased desire to drink water when fed wet food. This could be because they are younger and still have a developing system, but the liquid breaks down food faster, helping to prevent constipation.

Dry and wet food can benefit a cat; however, one is not better.  Wet food can help prevent many problems as your cat grows older, but dry food does help keep their teeth and gums healthy.

Can Cats Go Off Wet Food?

Cats can go off wet food if they do not like it.  If you have a cat that has suddenly gone off of wet food, try adding water to their canned food and mixing it with a high fiber diet for them.  

If your cat is not interested in eating the food, try feeding them more treats or mixing it with gravy. Give them this for a few days until they get healthy and back to eating the canned food again.

What Causes Sudden Loss Of Appetite In Cats?

Cats are very fickle animals, and they may go through periods where they do not want to eat.  Like humans, cats can have a loss of appetite due to stress or health problems.  

If your cat suddenly loses appetite or stops eating canned food, you should bring them in to get checked out by a vet.

Can Cats Get Bored Of Their Food?

Cats can get bored of their food if they don’t have a variety. They may also be bored if they eat the same thing every day.  

Boredom can lead to them refusing their food or even leading to pickier eating habits. Prevent this problem by getting a taste of wet and dry food now and then and changing up the flavor once in a while.

Final Thoughts

The reason your cat might be refusing wet food is simply that it has outgrown the wet consistency. Instead, try incorporating some dry food into their diet and adding water to the most food for a more balanced meal.

As they grow older, many cats find that they do not enjoy wet food as much as they did when they were young. Cats’ natural tendency is to eat dry and crunchy foods, so this preference change should not be surprising.

This article has discussed how cats can stop eating wet food, which may be due to many reasons. These include the ingredients in the dish, lack of water intake, kidney function, or other medical conditions.

 You must consult your veterinarian to ensure no underlying causes for this issue before changing your diet. My cat stopped eating wet food, but my veterinarian advised me that it was not because of any major medical condition.

Please comment below if you have any other questions regarding wet versus dry food for cats.


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.