cat doesn't want dry food

My Cat Refuses To Eat Dry Food

Your cat has turned her nose up yet again at the dry kibbles you placed on the bowl and you wonder why is she being so stubborn? If your cat refuses to eat dry food there is usually a reason why. Generally, cats prefer to eat wet food because it approximates fresh meat. They  are obligate carnivores by nature so they will choose the wet food option over dry almost every time. Cats must eat meat protein as their main source of nutrients.

This Cat Refuses To Eat Dry Food

Dry food again? No, not eating it! 

Dry Food Is Not All That Bad

Some camps describe dry cat food as “species inappropriate”. This is due to its lower water and protein content and higher carbohydrates content. However dry cat food is not harmful providing the cat has access to and drinks enough water.

Providing water for your cat

Make sure fresh clean water is available all the time.

Dry cat food has its inherent advantages: (1) they can be kept longer after the pack is opened as long as they are placed in airtight containers, (2) they can be left longer in the bowl so the cat can have access to food even when the owner is away during the day, an advantage for busy cat parents and (3) they are cheaper than canned wet food for pet parents on a tight budget.

Why Your Cat Refuses To Eat Dry Food

The concern of owners whose cat refuses to eat dry food is how to encourage their cat to try it. If your cat persistently refuses to try dry food, first take her to the vet to rule out any problems especially painful dental conditions which may make your cat reluctant to eat the harder dry food. If she is healthy and she continues to reject dry food, it could be due to any of the following reasons:

(1) Some cats get imprinted on a particular food’s taste and texture and will be unwilling to try new food. It is therefore important to expose a kitten to a wide variety of food flavors and types while still young.

types of kibble

Kibble shape, size and hardness contributes to ease of picking up and chewing food for certain cat breeds and age, hence better acceptance.

(2) The dry food kibble size, shape, hardness and texture may not be suited and age appropriate for your cat.

Studies have shown that these kibble characteristics can contribute to the overall palatability of a particular dry food to a cat. Kibble size and shape should be designed for the jaw of specific breeds of cats to make it easier for them to pick up the kibble. Kibble hardness should be such that cat will be able to chew it for a better digestion and texture is important to help accentuate flavor and enhance palatability.

(3) Some cats refuse to eat dry food simply because they do not have access to fresh clean water most of the time and are in a state of chronic dehydration which is a deterrent to eating.

Introducing Your Cat To Dry Food

The following tips may help you to introduce your cat to dry food:

(1) Try different brands of cat food that are age and breed appropriate for your cat in regards to kibble shape, size, hardness and texture as described above.

Dry and wet food

Place dry food next to her wet food, soon she will become curious enough to try it.

(2) Try to set the new dry food side by side with your cat’s usual wet food as eventually she may become curious enough to try the dry food.

(3) If still the cat refuses to eat dry food then try some tough love! Make kitty hungry for about 12 hours and she may choose to eat what you give her. But do not withhold food for too long because it can lead to health problems.

(4) Try to wet the kibbles at first. You must remember not to leave wetted kibbles beyond 20-30 minutes because bacteria and molds could grow. Always remove leftovers immediately.

(5) Try to sprinkle food toppers to the dry food to entice the cat to try it.

(6) Try to appeal to the cat’s curious nature and make the dry food fun and interesting by placing it inside toys or containers with holes that cats play with and kibbles fall out.

(7) Make sure your cat always has free access to a fresh and clean drinking water supply. A well-hydrated cat is more inclined to eat dry food than a chronically dehydrated one. A water fountain is a good investment to provide a constant supply of filtered and well oxygenated water to your cat.

Check out the superior quality cat water fountains at These products are made of hygienic ceramic material with a quiet motor. They are extremely easy to operate and clean and come with a pot of cat grass!


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