My 8 year old "rescue cat" refuses to even touch wet food!

by Bill
(Lafayette, IN.)

I adopted an 8-year-old female calico that was owned by one family for nearly 8 years. I got detailed information when I adopted this cat. I have read every piece of info/advice I can get ahold of and KNOW my cat should eat wet food or a combination of wet/dry for her health. She has adapted to her new home remarkably well. She is a sweet cat and will verbalize her desires-no problem!

She is 12#, is indoor only, and is mostly content to sleep or lay around. I have had her almost 6 months now. Previous owners of nearly 8 years feed her only so-so dry and said she has always refused every wet food offered.

I have had cats before and had a similar situation with feeding this cat only the best wet and she would just "lick off the gravy" and leave rest. I have tried to gently "wean" this Calico onto wet, but she just won't have it. I have tried various small portions of nearly every wet offering from Blue Bounty from shredded, chunks, small nuggets in gravy in fish, shrimp, chicken and beef.

She gets all the Sheba dry she wants as was her prior protocol. I keep her dish topped off with dry all day and she NEVER needs more than a 1/2-3/4 cup of dry per day doing this.

She drinks plenty of fresh water daily. Whether feeding wet or dry, I always dump whatever is left in the morning, clean
feed dishes thoroughly daily so she never sees stale food.

I will try a tablespoon of one wet Sheba for a week before trying a different kind of wet Blue Bounty. She just loves her dry. She would eat crap dry before trying wet, but I give her Sheba.

She hits her bowl probably ten times a day, but never consumes more than 3/4 cup on any given day. She is big at 12#, but can feel ribs. She can be quite active when she wants to.

Must I revert to a heavier-handed tactic to force her to eat a little wet at a time like no dry unless she eats (reluctantly the wet?

Oh, I have also tried Science Diet wet and she wants none of that either. At 8 years old, should I just keep going with what she is used to and hope for the best?

She gets no treats but treats her Sheba like a treat. Is it too late to teach an old cat, new tricks? Cost of food is not an object, but I can get what I believe is decent locally (Sheba and Blue) Help! Bill

Sorry for being verbose. I have read too many articles on how to get cats off dry and on wet. She will just not eat.

P.S. My vet, I think, is somewhat non-committal. He says just go with what has worked as she is healthy (from the outside and blood work). I am not convinced he is right.

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Some cats are dry food addicted
by: Sally F.

Some veterinarians will tell you that some cats can become "dry food addicted" and it's very hard to wean a cat off of dry food if that is the case.

Dr. Pierson has an article (which is an excerpt from her book) on trasitioning a cat from dry food to wet:

That article has tips on working with stubborn cats who are addicted to dry food.

Also, in my own experience, some cats love canned tuna, canned salmon, or canned sardines (not in oil, water only), even if they love their dry food. You can start by trying just some of the juice from the salmon can and seeing if your cat likes that. If so, you might be able to wean off dry by using salmon and transitioning to salmon flavored or tuna flavored wet food, then other flavors after that.

One brand of wet food to try is Fancy Feast. Most cats can't seem to resist it.

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