Cat Stopped Eating Wet Food


If your cat suddenly stopped eating wet food, I can only imagine how worried and concerned you are.  Obviously, eating their food is an important part of staying healthy for a cat.  So, if your cat has stopped eating, you may be wondering if they’re going to be alright.  Continue reading, and I’ll share more about the potential reasons a cat may stop eating their wet food.  I’ll also share some suggestions that can help you get your cat to start eating again. 

Why would a cat stop eating wet food?

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Reasons Cats May Stop Eating Wet Food

Why would a cat stop eating wet food?  Believe it or not, there are a few potential reasons that can cause a cat to stop eating wet food.  In the next few sections, I’ll explain each of these potential reasons to help you understand why your cat has stopped eating their wet food.

They Are Already Full

If your cat is already full from the dry food she ate and/or any other snacking she did, she may simply not be interested in eating the wet food.  Most cats won’t overeat if they’re not hungry.  If you think this may be the case, try offering them wet food before they have their dry food.

Dental Issues

Sore teeth and other dental problems can make it uncomfortable for a cat to chew.  If your cat hasn’t had a dental cleaning recently, it may be worth a trip to the vet.  Tell the vet that your cat won’t eat wet food and ask them to have a look at her teeth.  They can let you know if a cleaning and/or any tooth extractions will be necessary.

cat won't eat wet food

They Dislike the Flavor

Another possible reason that your cat won’t eat wet food anymore is because they dislike the flavor.  If you recently switched wet food brands or decided to try a new flavor from your current brand, your cat may be trying to tell you that they aren’t happy with this decision.  Some cats can be picky eaters.  If they’re used to one type of wet food, that may be all they want.

They Dislike the Texture

All wet food is not the same.  In addition to having different flavors, different types of wet food can also have different textures. The texture of a pâté will be quite different from that of a stew or a chunkier wet food.  If you switched to a different style of wet food, this may be why your cat isn’t interested in eating it.

Additionally, the texture of wet food can also change when it is cold.  If your cat doesn’t seem interested in the food that has been refrigerated, but will eat it when it is fresh out of the can, this could be why.

They are Feeling Sick

Can cats suddenly stop liking their food?  Cat’s can be finicky, but if your cat suddenly stopped eating their wet food and any other food, it could be an indication that they are sick.  It could be anything from a minor virus to a more serious illness.  So, if your cat doesn’t seem better within a few days, you should contact their veterinarian.

ginger cat getting pet

The Bowl is Dirty

If you don’t wash your cat’s food bowl after each meal, it can start to smell.  If a cat notices an unpleasant smell coming from their food bowl, they may decide that they don’t want to eat their food out of the bowl.  

Washing the bowl after each meal is also important to prevent germs from growing in the bits of food still on the bowl.


Do cats get tired of eating the same food?  They can.  While some cats are picky and only want to eat the same things, others may simply get bored of eating the same thing.  If your cat has been eating the same type of wet food for a while, consider trying something new to help make meal time exciting again.

What do you do if your cat won’t eat wet food?

The steps you’ll need to take if your cat won’t eat their wet food can vary.  For instance, if your cat is still eating dry food and has only stopped eating wet food, they likely aren’t sick.  They may simply be bored with the flavor or texture of their food. Or, they could be protesting a recent change to a new brand or flavor.

However, if your cat only eats wet food (or has stopped eating both wet and dry food), it is more likely that they are feeling sick.  You can try to change the flavor of the food first or offer a dry kibble. But if they still won’t eat, you will want to contact the veterinarian.  Your cat’s vet can perform an exam and work with you to determine whether a medical condition is impacting their appetite.

cat won't eat wet food anymore

Sudden Loss of Appetite in Cats

As a cat ages, it is normal for their appetite to decrease.  However, if your cat suddenly loses its appetite, it is more likely that they are not feeling well.  If the appetite change only lasts for a few days, your cat may simply have a virus that should clear itself up.  

However, if their loss of appetite persists for more than a few days, it is more likely that they are sick with something that will need treatment.  Some other signs you may notice that can indicate that your cat isn’t feeling right include sleeping more than usual, vomiting, and rubbing their face.

If it has been 48 hours since your cat last ate, or they are showing other symptoms of an illness, you will want to schedule an appointment with their vet.

How long can cats go without wet food?

In theory, a cat can go forever without eating wet food.  Some cats exclusively eat dry food.  However, if your cat only eats wet food, they’ll likely get seriously ill within a few days and will not be able to survive more than two weeks, at most.

Is wet or dry food better?

Which is better:  wet or dry food?  Can cats live on dry food only?  Cats can eat an entirely wet or dry food diet. They can also be fed a combination of both types of food.  Both wet and dry food offer their own set of benefits, which is why some owners choose to feed their cat a mix of both types of food.  Below are a few key benefits of each food type.

Wet Food Benefits

  • More flavorful and aromatic
  • Helps keep cats hydrated
  • Increased water content can be good for cats with urinary tract disease, kidney diseases, and constipation
  • Easier to chew for kittens, seniors, and cats with dental issues

Dry Food Benefits

  • Less expensive
  • Longer shelf life
  • Chewing kibble helps remove plaque from the teeth

This video highlights the pros and cons of wet and dry food.

How to Get to Your Cat to Start Eating Wet Food Again

If your cat has stopped eating wet food due to illness, the suggestions below likely won’t work to get him back to eating as normal.  However, if they have stopped eating for another reason, such as boredom or disliking the flavor or texture, these suggestions may help.

Try a New Brand or Flavor

If your cat has simply become bored with their current food, switching to a different flavor or food from a different manufacturer may do the trick.  They may become interested in the new flavor and start eating wet food again.

Similarly, if your cat stopped eating wet food shortly after you switched to a new food, they might be telling you that they simply don’t like the new flavor you chose.  Consider switching back to what they were previously eating or trying something else new.

Add a Treat to the Wet Food

If your cat appears to still be interested in treats, use it to your advantage. Use the treats to try to entice him to eat his wet food.  Mix a few treats in with the food and place a few additional treats right on top of the food.  This may help your cat start eating again to get at the treats. Plus, they may decide to keep eating and finish their meal.

Take a Break from Wet Food for a Few Days

Distance makes the heart grow fonder.  This can also be true with cats and wet food.  Stop offering wet food for a few days (and feed your cat dry kibble instead). When you offer the wet food again, your cat may have a renewed interest in it.

Add a Food Topper to Make the Food More Flavorful

You can find cat food toppers specifically designed to make food more appealing to kitties.  Food toppers are extra flavorful and aromatic. They can help attract your cat and get him interested in eating again.

cat licking lips after eating

Cats and Wet Food

If you came here wondering why your cat stopped eating their wet food, hopefully I’ve helped you find the answers you’re looking for.  If wet food is only part of your kitty’s diet, and they are still getting nutrients from other food sources, you don’t need to be as concerned.  However, if wet food is the only food your cat eats, or they have also stopped eating all their other food, look to schedule a visit to the vet if they don’t get back to the normal eating habits within a day or two.

Is your cat not eating but acting normal? Read our blog!


Why did my cat suddenly stop eating wet food?

A sudden change in eating habits can be an indication of an underlying health problem. They might have developed a dislike for the particular wet food you were offering. They can also be feeling stress or anxiety. If you’ve introduced new treats, human food, or changes in feeding times, it could affect your cat’s appetite for wet food. Or it could easily be that the food is spoiled.

Is it normal for a cat to stop eating wet food?

While it’s not uncommon for a cat to experience changes in their eating habits, such as suddenly refusing wet food, it’s not considered “normal” behavior. Cats are known for being creatures of habit, and any significant changes in their appetite or eating behavior could be indicative of an underlying issue.