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Why Won’t My Cat Eat Wet Food?
Cat Food

Why Won’t My Cat Eat Wet Food?

Any pet’s health depends on nutrition, so it can be concerning if your cat won’t eat their wet food. Cats who follow a wet food diet to increase their water consumption run the danger of dehydration as well. 

Don’t worry too early, it's possible that your cat is new to wet food or you are just switching brands. Numerous elements, including the food's texture and flavor, feeding schedule, and early connections, influence your cat's eating habits.

Why Won’t My Cat Eat Wet Food?

If your cat stops eating wet food, you may be confused and worried by the sudden change in their appetite. One reason your cat may be turning up their nose at wet food is the texture. Some cats have sensitive palates and prefer dry kibble crunch. Another possibility is that the wet food you're offering may not be their favorite. Occasionally, cats choose flavors or brands they don't like.

It's imperative to delve into the root cause of this behavioral shift. Several factors could contribute to your feline companion's reluctance to partake, including:

  • Underlying illness affecting appetite;

  • Excessive consumption of treats, diminishing interest in regular meals;

  • Boredom stemming from lack of variety in diet or feeding routine.

The Main Reasons for Ignoring Food

The recipe has changed

When the recipe of the wet food is modified, it means that the ingredients or how the food is made have been altered. This change can affect the taste, smell, or texture of the food, potentially causing your cat to reject it if they no longer find it appealing or familiar.

The type of wet food has changed

If the type of wet food offered to your cat has been altered, such as switching brands or flavors, your cat may resist eating it due to the unfamiliarity or dislike of the new variety. This change in food type can disrupt your cat's eating habits and may require patience and gradual reintroduction of food they find palatable.

Expired food

The expiration date is a good indicator that the wet food is no longer fit for usage. Cats may refuse to eat food if they notice changes in its flavor, texture, or odor—all indicators that it is about to spoil. Your cat needs fresh food that is stored correctly if you want it to remain healthy and hungry.

Changes in the weather or food storage conditions

If the weather or the way food is stored changes, it could affect the quality of wet food, which could make your cat not want to eat it. Changes in temperature or humidity can make food go bad faster, and storing it wrong can add germs or change the way it tastes and smells. 

A dirty bowl

Your cat may refuse to eat in an unclean bowl. Cats are very sensitive to aromas and tastes, so an unpleasant odor or smell of spoiled food may make them refuse food from an unclean bowl.

A recent trip to the cattery or veterinary hospital  

After a trip to the vet, your cat may feel stressed or unsettled, leading to a temporary loss of appetite. Changes in environment, routine, or interaction with other animals can contribute to this reluctance to eat. 

Personal preference

Personal preference refers to your cat's individual likes and dislikes when it comes to food. Just like humans, cats have specific tastes, and they may choose to ignore certain types or brands of food based on their preferences.

Eating elsewhere

If your cat eats elsewhere, it means they find food in other places besides what you provide. This could be due to hunting instincts or access to alternative food sources, causing them to ignore the food you offer.


Stress can cause your cat to ignore food. Changes in environment, routine, or interactions can lead to stress, affecting their appetite. Providing a calm and familiar environment can help reduce stress and encourage eating.


Inappetence means your cat has a reduced or nonexistent appetite. It can result from illness, stress, or environmental changes. Monitoring your cat's eating habits and seeking veterinary advice if it continues can help address the issue.

Too many snacks 

If your cat eats too many snacks, they might ignore their regular meals. This can happen because snacks fill them up, or they become picky due to frequent treats. Limiting snacks can encourage them to eat their main meals.

They might be ill

Illness can cause your cat to ignore food. When cats are sick, they may lose their appetite or avoid eating altogether. For a proper diagnosis and treatment, it is essential to consult a veterinarian if your cat refuses food and exhibits other symptoms of illness.

How to Tell If the Cat Doesn’t Like Their Food?

Pay close attention to the food your cat consumes to determine if it is something they dislike. If they approach the food, smell it, and then leave without eating, it could mean they dislike it. The same goes for if they never finish their food or look bored when they do. They might also scream or scratch at their food dish to show they are mad. 

Try giving your cat different kinds of food to check how they behave. This will help you figure out what they like about food. 

How Can I Get My Cat to Eat Wet Food?

Getting your cat to eat wet food can require some patience and experimentation. Here are some tips to encourage them.

Food Preparation Tips

Mix wet food with other ingredients

It may be a good idea to add some cooked peas or carrots, some shredded chicken or fish, or perhaps some cooked quinoa. Before feeding these items to your cat, check with your vet to be sure they are healthy and suitable.

Make sure the feeding bowl is always clean

When the bowl is clean, your cat feels happy eating from it and won't get any health problems. Just remember to wash the bowl regularly.

Impose a strict feeding routine

It is important that you set and follow strictly a feeding schedule for your cat. You should give them food at regular times throughout the day, such as first thing in the morning and last thing at night. By sticking to a regular schedule, you can help your cat develop a sense of predictable routine in their eating habits.

Provide a safe environment

Verify that your cat is in a safe and secure environment. Take away any tiny things or toxic plants that they might eat or play with.


It's important to know why your cat won't eat wet food. Maybe they don't like the feel of it, or they don't like how it smells, or they have problems with their teeth. 

You can try different kinds of wet food and make sure to feed them properly. If you're still having trouble, it's a good idea to ask a vet for help. Just remember, it might take some time and trying different things to find out what your cat likes to eat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I leave wet cat food out overnight?

It's not recommended to leave wet cat food out overnight as it can spoil and become unsafe for your cat to eat.

Is wet food bad for cats?

Wet food can be a healthy part of a cat's diet, but it should be stored properly and not left out for extended periods to prevent bacterial growth and potential health risks.