Your cat might sometimes (or always) demand food. Sometimes they’re picky, and sometimes they’re not. When it comes to food, they can be especially picky about what brands, styles, and flavors they enjoy. It can be alarmingly surprising when they suddenly refuse the food they love and have always eaten, especially after you spent weeks and money finding exactly what they like and they’ve been eating it for as long as you can remember.
There are perfectly logical reasons for your cat to suddenly stop eating their favorite wet foods and even dry food, so there is no need to rush to the vet out of worry. So take a breath, and let’s break down the reasons why your cat stopped eating their wet food.
Changes Were Made to the Recipe
Some companies may make small changes to their recipes due to quality purposes or ingredient availability, and we as humans never notice it. But our pets do, and sometimes they don’t like the changes made to the recipe, causing them to not eat the food.
Pet food companies are not required to make announcements about minor changes to their recipes and very rarely do. They make an announcement or advertisement to make the changes known when it is a considerable change in the recipe.
The Temperature is Not Right
Some pets can be very finicky about the temperature of their wet food. If you give them a portion of a pouch or can from the pantry when it’s warm and refrigerate the remaining for later, your pet may prefer the room temperature food over the chilled, especially if the food is a gravy type.
When chilled, the gravy takes on a different texture by becoming gelatinized, changing the consistency of the food entirely. Your feline companion can find this unsavory and refuse to eat the food entirely or wait until the food gets to a more desirable temperature and consistency. The aroma from chilled wet food is not as strong as from room temperature or heated food.
To remedy the lack of appetizing aroma from chilled wet food, you can pop it in the microwave for 5-seconds or run hot water over the packaging if possible to change the temperature and increase the smell.
They’re Bored of the Flavor
Like us, our kitty pals can get bored of certain flavors, especially if it’s been their only option for a long period of time. If your cat has been eating the same flavor of food for over a year, with no variations, then they can become bored of the flavor and end up with no desire to eat the food. It’s like having pepperoni pizza every day for a month, soon, you’ll want nothing to do with pizza and crave something different.
Changing up the flavors of wet food you offer your cat can help keep them interested in their food and keep them eating. You can also try not offering them wet food for a few days if you feed them dry as well. If your cat only eats wet food, then switching the flavor profile around can help stimulate them to eat again. A cat should never go more than a day or two without food and water.
Bad Batch of Food
Sometimes batches of food just aren’t good and can cause pets to not want to eat their food, especially cats. The best response is to buy from a different batch and see if your cat will eat from the newer batch or if they’re still not interested in their wet food.
You can assume that it’s a bad batch of food last unless you’ve just switched the flavor or brand of wet food, and they suddenly stop eating it after a few times.
They Just Don’t Like the Flavor or Texture
Not all wet foods are created equal, nor do they have the same consistency, quality, or ingredients. Sometimes the texture of the food can put your cat off, and even the consistency can be unappealing.
Sometimes the texture of the food can differ from one can to another, just like how some cans of tuna are nice big chunks and others are a mushy mess that aren’t appealing in texture. Your cat could also prefer one type of wet food over another, like pate, stew, or gravy based.
Bad Experience Association
If you recently had your cat boarded at the vet or a cattery and they offered your feline their favorite wet food, they may no longer want the food after the experience and may associate it with the vet or being away from home afterward. Environmental changes can cause behavioral changes in your pet.
They Don’t Feel Good
If your feline companion isn’t feeling well, that can be a reason why they aren’t eating. If your cat isn’t eating their food or drinking, it’s best to seek veterinary care, so they stay healthy and happy.