My Cat Doesn’t Like Wet Food Anymore (What Should I Do?)

If there is one thing that cats are good at, it’s being fussy. They can be picky and fussy about the smallest things.

From their food bowls, toys, beds and even how you pet them. Another thing that cats are known to be very fussy with is their food.

They can love a certain type or brand of food one day and treat it with such great disdain the next.

This can leave many cat owners perplexed when their cats won’t eat wet food anymore.

Some cats can stop eating their usual food due to a variety of reasons. It can be due to boredom, change of ingredients, whisker fatigue or underlying health issues. However, there are certain ways that cat owners can help to steer their cats back to eating their usual diet.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the reasons that can alter your cat’s food preference and what you can do to prevent it.

Why Won’t My Cat Eat Wet Food Anymore?

In a blink of an eye, your cat can go from obedient to downright fussy about its food. It is something that I’ve experienced many times as a cat owner.

It can be frustrating but not impossible to get your cat eating as usual again.

Here are some reasons why your cat has gotten fussy about its wet food.

Your Cat Is Bored Of The Taste

Not many of us are cool with eating the same food for breakfast, lunch and dinner day in and day out. It does take a toll on our taste buds and the brain will start craving something different.

The same thing can happen to your cat if it has been eating the same brand and type of wet cat food for years.

Your cat just got bored and tired of the usual taste. You can notice your cat licking its food but not eating it.

Try getting a few different types of meat for your cat to try. I know most cat owners will only feed their cats chicken meat or wet food.

Go for something more exotic like lamb, duck or beef to see if that gets your cat eating its wet canned food again.

Your Cat Is Spoilt

Cat owners are spoilt for choice these days with so many different types of wet food available. This makes it easy for us to spoil our cats by offering them something different all the time.

Some variety is good but if your cat knows that it has six different types of wet food to choose from, it won’t hesitate to show its diva side.

I know this first hand because there are times when my cat won’t eat his food until I mix it with another type that he likes.

I’ve gone through days when I have opened up many different cans until he is happy with one.

Cats in the wild kill and eat what they can find. It is our spoilt domesticated cats that are now smart enough to know that they have a menu to choose from.

Some variety is good but do not switch out your cat’s food daily.

If your cat has stopped eating wet food it could be due to you spoiling your cat too much.

Change In Wet Food Formula

The pet industry is competitive and cat food manufacturers are always finding ways to improve their wet food formula.

If your cat has always loved a certain food brand but has recently shown a dislike for the wet food, it might be due to a change in the food formula.

Take a look at the ingredients label to see if anything has changed.

The food manufacturer might have added something that doesn’t quite agree with your cat. It might seem like a small change but your cat’s acute sense of smell can pick up the difference.

If the new formula smells different from the regular wet food, it can make your cat stop eating it.

The Food Is Too Cold

The way to your cat’s stomach is through its nose. I’m not implying to feed your cat via its nose but cats need to smell it before eating it.

When food is cold, it doesn’t smell as appetizing to your cat. That is why we usually send cold food back to the kitchen when we eat out.

If you keep the remainder of your cat’s wet food in the fridge, heat up the wet food for a few seconds in the microwave before feeding it to your cat.

During the winter months, your cat’s food can get cold quickly so place a heat pack underneath the food bowl to keep the wet food slightly warm.

Always make sure that the food isn’t too hot for your cat or it can burn its mouth and tongue.

The food should just feel slightly warm to the touch.


Your Cat Has Whisker Fatigue

Not many cat owners understand the importance and sensitivity of a cat’s whiskers. Cats use their whiskers to hunt, detect danger and move about.

Whiskers help to provide a great deal of sensory input to the cat.

When your cat’s food bowl is too narrow and deep, your cat will be brushing its whiskers against the side of the bowl.

It isn’t a problem if it happens once or twice while eating. But if it is ongoing throughout the entire meal, it can give your cat whisker fatigue which feels uncomfortable and even painful for some cats.

In human terms, it might feel like someone tugging at your eyebrows or beard while you eat.

Your cat might stop eating its favorite wet food due to sensory overload from the food bowl.

To solve this issue, get your cat a food bowl that is wide and shallow. This allows your cat to eat from the bowl without its whiskers brushing against the side all the time.

Your Cat Food Bowl Is Dirty

The next time before you start filling your cat’s food bowl with its usual wet food, take a good look at the food bowl.

How clean is it?

Are there still food stains and pieces of food still stuck on the food bowl?

These leftover food stains can start to spoil and get off a bad smell which can put off your cat from eating its wet food.

Make sure to use a sponge with a rough surface and really scrub the food bowl clean. If you are currently using a bowl that is dark colored, switch to a stainless steel bowl which is best for cats.

Food bowls made from plastic, ceramic or glass can chip, crack and encourage bacterial growth.

If your cat won’t eat wet food like before, it could be due to its food bowl.

The Wet Food Has Expired

When we buy cat wet food from the pet shop, it is pretty much assumed that it is still good to eat.

However, there have been times when I bought wet foods only to realize that it has expired some time ago.

Pet food manufacturers do add some preservatives to help keep the wet food fresh. The canning process also helps to prevent bacteria from growing.

But the pet shop might have forgotten to remove the expired cans from the shelves. Call the pet shop up to make an exchange.

If you are buying greatly discounted wet food due to its nearing expiration date, make sure to feed your cat before it expires.

It is easy to forget and feed your cat a can that has already gone bad.

We might not be able to smell the difference but your cat most certainly can.

Your Cat Is Feeling Sick

Your cat’s appetite is usually a good barometer of its current well being. But when cats suddenly stop eating their favorite wet food, it could be due to them not feeling too well.

Here are some common ailments in cats that can affect their appetite.

  • Kidney disease
  • Hairballs
  • Constipation
  • Allergies

If you find your cat vomiting, having diarrhea and just looking more restless than usual, it would be a good idea to bring it to the vet for a proper examination.

Your cat might not be in the best of health and it is affecting the appetite for food.

If your cat has just gone through dental surgery, it can affect your cat’s appetite due to the discomfort.

Your cat might not be too keen to be eating much due to the discomfort that it is experiencing.

What Not To Do When Your Cat Stops Eating Wet Food

It is easy to start panicking when your cat no longer eats wet food out of the blue. Move your finger away from your panic button and read the below first.

Don’t Start Feeding Your Cat Dry Food

If your cat has transitioned well from dry food to wet food, don’t start feeding your cat dry food again when it stops eating the wet food.

Make sure it isn’t due to any of the above reasons that could be affecting your cat’s appetite.

Dumping dry food in your cat’s food bowl isn’t helping and will do more harm than good.

For those cat owners that do not know, dry cat food is actually very bad for cats for many reasons.

If your cat has been eating dry cat food or kibbles all this while, stop it.

Start feeding your cat canned food or get on a raw meat diet.

If your cat has been acting really fussy about its wet food, try mixing some dry and wet food together for now and slowly reduce the dry food portion over the next few days.

Don’t Start Feeding Your Cat Human Food

Besides not feeding your cat dry food, don’t start feeding your cat human food like Sunchips as well. When I mean human food, I’m referring to ‘junk food’ or anything that isn’t healthy for our cats.

If you are making plain boiled chicken or homemade tuna broth to try and whip up your cat’s appetite, these are ok for cats.


This problem of cats suddenly not eating happens more often than you think. Most of the time, it can be easily resolved with some trial and error.

But if your cat has not been eating at all for more than 24 hours, please take it to the vet immediately to make sure your cat isn’t sick.

Going without food for too long can cause major health issues when it comes to cats.

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