Why wont my cat eat hard food?

I had someone drop off their cat (maybe 3 months old) on my doorstep. The cat had the sneezes and we are taking him to the vet on Monday. In the meantime, I have been feeding him soft canned food because he refused the hard food. I tried two different kinds and although he is a bit younger, I have owned cats my entire life and he should be eating hard food by now. The soft food in the can stinks the entire house and I would rather my cat eat hard food so all of the kitties are eating the same thing. Any suggestions as to why he won't eat hard food? Any way to remedy this....

I prefer hard food because it helps clean their teeth and he needs some weight and muscle added to him. This soft food gives him the runs and I can't tell if he is just being picky and making mom buy him special food or if he just doesnt know any better.... HELP!

Asked by Member 610875 on Mar 22nd 2008 Tagged hardfood, softfood, healthissues in Food & Nutrition
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Best Answer

Izadore (Izzie)

If you're feeding adult canned food to this baby, that's what is giving him the runs. At 12 weeks old, it also made my Izzie vomit. Their little stomachs can't handle adult food. Try kitten canned food. If he looks skinny, get some KMR at the pet store. It's like infant formula for kittens. Izzie LOVED it! You can also add a little to hard food (also kitten food)to soften it up a bit. Kitten food has the vitamins and minerals they need to make them grow strong. God Bless you for rescuing this baby and doctoring him so he'll get better.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on Mar 23rd.

Other Answers


Freddie (Adopted!!!)

Just feed your kitty soft food for now. It is good for him, especially if he is sick right now. He needs the moisture. Get a high quality wet food with meat as the first ingredient. This will help him gain weight. Also, go to the local pet store and see what they have for kitties that are picky. Our picky kitty likes California Natural dry food. But, for now... just feed the wet and be happy he is eating. For a kitty this young... I suggest giving wet three or four times per day as much as he will eat(only leave it our for about 1 hour before removing it and tossing it). And, then leaving out dry for free feeding. Glad you are taking the kitty to the vet.

Freddie (Adopted!!!) answered on 3/22/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Oscar J. Cat

You know felines can be some picky, picky eaters. Oscar J. doesn't like the wet stuff. He'll only eat tuna out of a can. Go figure. MOL

You could try introducing a small amount kibble by mixing it in with the soft food and just steadily increase/decrease the quantities every day.

Izzie's right that it should be kitten food since he's such a little guy.

Oscar J. Cat answered on 3/24/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I imagine one of the reasons he will not eat hard food is because he can't smell it. The URI is probably affecting his sense of smell and depending on what is causing his URI it could be pretty off. Cats have a hard time changing food and you don't know what he has been eating until now. Thus, the upset stomach. It should get better within a week. Meanwhile, make sure he is getting plenty of fluids and the kitten soft food will help with that. You can slowly mix itwith hard when his stomach settles down.

Liberty answered on 3/25/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Ideally, cats should eat a mixture of wet and dry food. Most cats will not take in enough water on their own, and the wet food helps to hydrate their kidneys. The shelter where I volunteer (ASPCA in NYC) feeds a portion of wet and dry side by side. Cats should eat kitten food (wet and dry) until they are a year old, then transition gradually to adult food.

A 12 week old kitten should not be eating completely dry food. I foster kittens and what is recommended is to moisten the dry food with a bit of water (making it the consistency of oatmeal). Even though they have teeth, those teeth aren't yet strong enough to bite through the hard food, and some kittens (like my Jack) have a condition called gingivitis/stomatitis that causes them to have very tender gums and sensitive teeth).

Try softening the hard food with water and feed a high quality kitten food. You will get good results and make the transition to dry food easier for him!

Jack answered on 3/25/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer