You are here:

Cats/Adopted kitty not eating canned food


We adopted 2 adult cats from a local shelter about 10 days ago, a 3 1/2 year old female Tortie and a 2 1/2 year old male Tabby. Both use the litter box and scratching posts without even being shown and both are very playful. There was some minor hissing at first, but now they get along surprisingly well this early on. She made herself right at home and eats well. He, however, didn't eat for the first 3 days we had him. After hand-serving him dry food a few pieces at a time on the kitchen floor, he started to eat it and now eats the dry food with no problems and drinks lots of water. However, he wants nothing to do with canned food. I gave them separate dishes and even moved his dish away from hers, but he has no interest. I tried giving it off my finger, on his whiskers, even on the floor. No luck. He's also not interested in canned tuna. I know he had a prior owner who couldn't care for him, I wonder if she fed him "people" food. He sometimes begs in the kitchen for...SOMEthing, but I can't figure out what it could be. He doesn't even sniff at the wet food, just walks around it like it's in his way. I don't want to try any "people food", I want him to learn to eat cat food, but he seems to be resigned to only eating the dry food. The vet says he's perfectly healthy so there shouldn't be any reason why he's avoiding the wet food. Sure, he's eating something, but I'm concerned for his long-term health. Do you know why he might be so put off by wet food? Any suggestions as to what I can try to feed him? I've tried every brand, texture and flavor of canned food I can think of. I was told to try warming it a bit, but still nothing. Thank you for any suggestions or help you can give.  

well it is always possible that he just isn't used eating wet food. My own cat eat only dry food for years and as long as they also drink then they will be perfectly nourished with this food as it is designed to contain everything they need and is indeed more calorific than normal wet food that is why they need less of it.

Normally cats are attracted to food by the strong pungent smell. So either he is unusual and is not enticed by this or he has a nasal issue which he has always had and that is why he is happy with just dry food.

I wouldn't worry too much, as long as he is eating and drinking etc, then he will be fine.

I have some web pages about different cat food issues which you may find of interest. Here is the first page

best wishes Kate


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Kate Tilmouth


I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.


I run my own cat website at and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

©2017 All rights reserved.