How to get a cat to eat more wet and less dry food

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  1. #1 Jan 28, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
    I want to switch my cats over to canned food with only a small amount of dry in their diet but they treat canned food as a "treat" and eat only a tiny amount at a time. How do I get them to eat more of it at a time?

    Cats cannot go long without food as they get fatty liver, which is very harmful, so if they are not eating the wet I have to give them dry, so the old "they'll eat when they're good and hungry" will not work.

  2. I don't have any advice about how to get them to eat wet food (my kitty loves it and went for it right away) but I do have a question...Why do you have to give them dry? I had read that they actually don't need dry at all, and that wet is much better for them? I'm curious because I have a cat for the first time, and so I'm very new to the kitty scene.
  3. I find that my cats go more for the wet food instead of the dry although one of my kitties prefers the dry food first! I always leave dry food for them all day & night & then give them wet food which they all love. Try different types. I don't know why but i usually buy them the fish kind, not so much chicken or beef. They really like those Friskies in the pouches (the cut up in juice kind) but when i bought the Wiskas kind, they can't seem to digest it right & regurgetate (sp?) it! I also buy some canned wet foods and again, usually fish flavours! Or you an try throwing a few pieces of teh hard food with the wet one? So at least they will dig into both!
  4. You only need to worry about your cats developing fatty liver disease if they are obese right now and then are completely taken off of food. So to an extent the addage of they will eat when they are hungry is true, but you have more flexibility if they aren't already obese.
    Here are the things I learned in veterinary nutrition:
    • You can try 'gravy'. It comes in these gross little packets that you can empty over their food to entice them. I wouldn't recommend it for long term, but to help attract them to it.
    • Try microwaving the food just a bit. The warm food is more aromatic and should attract their interest more.
    • Lastly, try mixing in some dry with the wet and slowly switch to all wet.
  5. From my experience when my cat ate more wet food, the liter box was much more smelly. Also when the canned food my cat liked was discontinued it took me forever to find another brand that she would eat. I literally bought one can of every variety of every brand, and tested them all until I found one that she liked.
  6. Hmmm I second warming it up a bit or mixing it with the dry food. My cat would rather never eat dry food and will pretty much eat any wet food :P And he does have stinkier poop imo afterwards because of it hehe
  7. Because if they are not eating the wet, they have to eat something. That is all I meant.
  8. #8 Jan 28, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
    Thanks. I won't be trying different types or feeding them low quality food that you can get at any grocery store. The whole point is to move them over to a cat food that is as close to a natural wild diet as possible with almost no carbs and absolutely no grains. Besides, it's not that they don't like this food.
  9. They like this food I am wanting to switch to, they just only eat it in very small portions - never the amount of a full meal. They only snack on their dry food, too, taking maybe three bites at a time and then wallking away. Maybe they just are not ones to have much in one sitting and this will make feeding them wet food quite difficult as it really shouldn't sit out for long periods.

    I did microwave their food this morning as it had been in the fridge since the can was opened yesterday and they had about three bites and then walked away.

    One of my cats is obese.

    Thanks for the responses, guys.
  10. Ah, ok! I see!
  11. I've always fed my cats dry food, I use Science Diet (it's a prescription from my vet).

    I've always been told by my vet that dry food is better for the cat because it is better for their teeth (so they don't get tartar buildup and subsequent tooth decay)???
  12. #12 Jan 28, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
    Regarding feline nutrition

    ETA: Just a disclaimer...I'm not saying this is right or wrong, just that this is what made the most sense to me.
  13. That's actually a myth. When I first switched my cat to an all wet diet, I was concerned about her dental health because I had always heard that dry food "brushed" their teeth, but all the research I found concluded that dry food doesn't have any dental health benefits.
  14. I always heard that about dry food too, that it cleans their teeth, but apparently it can get stuck in their teeth, start to break down and actually do more harm than good
  15. ^^does it have dental benefits for dogs?