How To Get Your Cat To Eat Wet Food [Guide]

Having your cat eat wet food is essential. In addition to ensuring your fur baby is hydrated, it promotes lean body mass and adds variety to their meals.

Wet food also includes essential nutrients like zinc, iron, and biotin.

How to Get a Cat to Eat Wet Food

Unfortunately, getting some cats to eat wet food can be a challenge. On the other hand, their dry food addiction makes them susceptible to diabetes, obesity, and urinary disease.

Thankfully, nothing’s impossible. Follow the three steps below to get your cat to eat wet food instead of kibble.

Step 1: Understand Why Your Cat Isn’t Eating Wet Food

The first step is probably the longest since you need to understand your pet’s aversion to wet cat food. So, here are seven common reasons your cat may not seem interested in wet food.

Kitty Is Addicted To Kibble

Unfortunately, several pet food companies produce highly addictive kibble. For instance, some coat dry food with animal digest spray to make cats love every bite.

Luckily, you can still beat this addiction and get your cat to eat wet food with patience and lots of treats.

Cats Resist Change

Cats can be pretty stubborn and don’t like change. And if yours always had dry food, it may resist switching to eating wet cat food. But don’t worry, the following steps will help you overcome this obstacle soon enough.

Served Wet Food At The Wrong Time

You can’t expect your cat to eat wet food when it’s already full from eating kibble. It’ll probably nibble at what you’ve served or come back and eat some more later.

However, your wet food may waste if your fur baby doesn’t eat it within four hours.

Kitty Is Still New To Wet Food

It may be the case if you’re introducing your newly adopted cat or kitten to wet food for the first time. It may not understand that the wet chunks or pâté you place in front of it is food.

You may see this behavior if your cat tried eating human food was scolded with a firm “No.”

Cat Has Dental Problems

Unfortunately, cats are susceptible to dental problems. Especially if they’re older or have primarily eaten kibble. As a result, they may seem pickier about the food they eat.

So, if your kitty refuses to eat wet cat food, get its teeth checked. It can escalate quickly into a severe health condition, preventing your cat from eating altogether.

Kitty Dislikes The Flavor Or Texture

Cats are picky eaters, making them likely to refuse certain foods like wet food. If your cat doesn’t like the flavor, expect a death glare and a demand for kibble.

Similarly, a kitty may reject the food because of its texture. It means you’ll need to experiment a little for a while.

Cat Is Bored Of Everything

Fluffy may not be eating wet cat food because it’s boring. If you’ve been feeding it the same brand repeatedly, it may not trust the other options you serve.

So, you may need to be creative with the menu rather than serving fish-flavored wet food instead of seafood kibble.

Step 2: Choose The Right Wet Food For Your Cat

Once you identify the cause of your cat’s stance on wet food, it’s time to go shopping. Don’t be overwhelmed by the shelves stacked with cans and pouches. Instead, focus on getting the right food for your cat.

The following are some things to consider while shopping for wet cat food.

Difference In Wet Food Textures

If this is the first time you’re buying cat food, you may not be too familiar with all wet food textures.

  • Pâté – This food has a uniform consistency. It may be soft with more liquid, making it creamier. Alternatively, pâté can be firmer and comprise soft, large chunks.
  • Shredded – This texture of cat food typically comprises thin pieces of meat. These can either be in gravy or jelly.
  • Cubed – Cubed wet cat food is the most common texture you’ll find. Meat is chopped into small cubes and added to gravy or jelly.
  • Minced – Recommended for older cats and kittens, minced wet food is chunkier than pâté but smoother than other textures.
  • Sliced – Cat food of this texture is cut into thin, flat pieces soaked in jelly or gravy.

Recommended Wet Cat Food Ingredients

For cats to truly benefit from their wet food, the latter should mainly contain high-quality protein and moisture.

Since they’re carnivores, cats need animal proteins to get the nutrients necessary for their health. Ideally, the wet food cats eat should contain 8.8% crude protein.

Best Ways to Get a Cat to Eat Wet Food

Just make sure the protein isn’t in the form of meat by-products, meat and bone meal, or fish oil. These are pretty dangerous for your kitty and its health.

You should also make sure to study the labels for moisture content. It indicates how much water the food contains, which should be at least 80%. Ensuring this is especially important if your cat doesn’t drink water.

Things to Avoid When Buying Wet Food

Now that you’re aware of what to get, you should know what to avoid altogether. Below are three wet cat food no-nos.

  1. Carbs – While cats can digest carbohydrates from a plant source, they shouldn’t consume too much. So, make sure the wet food you pick has minimal carbs like potatoes, pulses, rice, wheat, or corn.
  2. Grains – Grain-free wet cat food is a must if your cat is allergic to grains like wheat, corn, or soy. Consult your vet beforehand if you’re not sure your cat has a food allergy.
  3. Artificial Flavors – If your cat eats wet food containing food additives, it can develop food allergies and ingredient sensitivities. These, in turn, will make your kitty’s tummy upset. So, look for foods that don’t contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Step 3: Coax Your Cat To Eat Wet Food

You can’t force cats to do anything. Instead, your focus should be transitioning your cat from dry to wet food. It would require a lot of patience as the process can take weeks or even months.

Besides, you have a lot of trial and error ahead to determine the texture and flavor your cat prefers.

That said, you can start making your kitty accept wet food with the help of the following tips.

  • If you’re free-feeding your cat kibble, limit its meals to three or four per day. Leave the food down for 20 minutes before taking it away during each meal.
  • Introduce wet food by mixing it with your cat’s favorite dry food. Once your cat gets used to the new taste, gradually increase the amount of wet food. Soon, your cat will eat wet food without the added kibble.
  • Add warm water to the kitty’s wet food. Doing so will dilute it and make it easier to chew. Also, experiment with different textures and flavors every day.
  • If your cat isn’t interested in the food, put a small amount on the tip of its nose or paws. A few licks may make it change its mind.

Still, Facing Trouble Getting Your Cat To Eat Wet Food

Then the chances are that you have a picky eater on your hands. If that’s the case, you may need these extra tips to get it to accept wet food.

  • Add more exercise to your cat’s schedule. It will stimulate its appetite and make it more likely to eat what you place in front of it.
  • Pet your cat while it’s in front of the wet food. Doing so will help it associate positive reinforcement with this new food.
  • Sprinkle tuna or crushed dry food to make the food more enticing for your cat. You can also consult with your vet on the use of FortFlora.
  • Warm the food a little before serving it. Kittens especially prefer warm food since they’re used to the warmth of their mother’s milk. Adult cats will love this as well since heat enhances the smell.
  • Use a wide, shallow bowl when serving wet food. Your cat’s whiskers may be bumping into the sides, making it feel uncomfortable.
  • Please wait until your cat is hungry before offering it wet food. Indoor cats tend to have low energy requirements, so they don’t demand food often. That could be why your cat is picky in the first place.

The Bottom Line

While it isn’t critical, getting your cat to eat wet food is essential. But until your cat makes the transition, make sure it has access to clean water to stay hydrated.

Also, make sure to have your vet check its teeth as kibble can stress its jaw.

Whatever you do, don’t give up on getting your cat to eat wet food. Continue exposing your kitty to new wet treats of different textures and flavors.

And soon enough, you’ll see your kibble addict munch on a bowl of pâté, minced, or cubed wet food.