What is the Best Cat Food for Picky Eaters? (Wet and Dry for Old and Adult Felines)

best wet cat food for picky eaters

For pet parents with both cats and dogs at home, it would be easy to understand that the felines are a pickier species for food. Getting them to their food bowl and making them complete their meal can be a massive struggle. If they do like the food they eat, they might overeat.

So, it is essential to make them eat the right kind of food in the right amount. Ignoring this can lead to serious health complications. Let’s talk about the best wet cat food for picky eaters so they can get the required nutrition they need.

If your cat doesn’t like its food, you might want to give them some treat to keep them satiated. However, this would be a wrong move on your part. It would lead to eventual weight gain while your cat doesn’t get the proper nutrition.

Treats are formulated to entice your cat and might contain many harmful additives and unwanted ingredients that bode well for your feline when replaced as the main meal. 

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In case you are looking for food for a kitten then our resource best cat foods for kittens help you to choose the right one, which can provide the required nutrition to your little furkid.

Is My Cat a Picky Eater?

Does your cat sniff the food and turn away without eating it? You might assume that this is the sign of them being picky eaters. However, that is not the case. There are several reasons your cat might not want to eat the food being served in their bowl.

The key is to get them evaluated by the veterinarian. Doing this will confirm whether they have any underlying health condition or not. 

Several diseases might cause your feline to stay away from the food. So, simply ignoring it wouldn’t be a good idea. However, if your veterinarian gives your cat a clean bill of health, you can safely declare your cat as a picky eater. 

But, before you do that, make sure you check whether the food has gone bad or not. Cats tend to notice this very fast, so they aren’t consuming their food. Of course, a dietary change is a must for picky eaters, but you need to practice caution not to give your cat anything that can hamper their health. 

What Components of Food Do Cats Like Most?

Cats are carnivores by birth, and they prefer fresh meat over a portion of cooked food. The component of food that cats like most are protein. However, they might get bored after continuous consumption of protein content from the same source. Plus, providing food with just one protein content would make the nutrition source monotonous.

So, it would help if you switched it up now and then with protein acquired from a different source. For example, you can switch it from generic tuna or chicken to rare protein sources such as venison, turkey, or duck. Felines appreciate a difference in flavor now and then. 

Moreover, cats love to chew on a diet that contains:

  • Whitefish
  • Trout
  • Salmon
  • Other types of fish

Additionally, a bit of high-quality shredded meat can be a fantastic topper to be added to their regular diet. However, if you plan on feeding tuna-based protein to your cat, you need to practice caution. Tuna tends to be addictive for cats. The addiction level is so high that your cat might refuse any other food offered to them and expect another serving of tuna. 

Keep in mind that specific tuna variants contain high concentrations of mercury. In large amounts, it can affect your cat’s health. Cats thrive on meat, and a good-quality protein helps provide them good vision, a strong heart, & a healthy immunity. Options such as chicken, cooked beef, turkey, & small pieces of lean meat are relished by most picky eaters. 

What Dry Food Ingredients Do Picky Eaters Like?

Pet parents prefer dry food because of its convenience, ease to acquire, and cost-effectiveness. Moreover, dry food ensures free-feeding & this food can be out in the open for a long time without going bad. 

But, that is for the pet parents. Cats love dry food because of its texture. Picky eaters adore the crunchy and chewy texture. It doesn’t just entice the cats but keeps their teeth plaque-free due to its scrubbing nature. Moreover, certain pet food production companies don’t play nice when manufacturing dry cat food. 

They tend to coat the dry food kibbles with highly enticing sprays that contain animal digests. It can be very pleasing for the cat. However, this makes the poor-quality cat food desirable for the cat without providing any nutrition. 

Moreover, dry kibbles give your cat more energy due to the prevalence of carbohydrates and fat content. It is fine in a limited amount. However, it could cause your pet to gain weight in the long run. Cats are also wary of food that goes bad. However, dry food doesn’t go as bad easily as wet food. So, this food will stay fresh for the longest time. 

What Makes Wet Food an Attraction for Picky Eaters?

Cats love food that closely mimics the prey they hunt in nature. Homemade food is the closest that mimics hunted cat food. However, providing homemade food isn’t always possible. So, wet food is also something that your cat would love, especially if they are picky eaters. 

Canned cat food contains a high moisture content that helps ensure that your pet stays healthy and hydrated for a long. Dry cat food tends to be addictive yet unnatural for felines. Wet food doesn’t make your cat addicted in any sense.

Felines have natural wisdom that helps them understand that canned or wet food tends to be better for health than dry kibble. 

What Do Picky Kittens Like in Food?

Kittens require a lot of energy to thrive as they remain active throughout the day due to a high metabolism. Healthy kittens can effectively metabolize the carbohydrates present in their food for energy. 

Young kittens love to chew on dry kibbles, but make sure they don’t go overboard. Kittens will need more protein content as compared to adults and older cats. Dietary protein helps maintain and develop the following:

  • Muscles
  • Fur
  • Skin
  • Nails
  • Ligaments
  • Enzymes
  • Tendons
  • Cartilage
  • Antibodies
  • Hormones
  • Body immunity

Also, check for a good amount of fat in the cat food. It provides ample energy to the kittens. Fats also serve as transportation molecules within the body & help conduct the nerve impulses. 

What Do Picky Adult Cats Like in the Food?

Like kittens, even adult cats like to consume a good amount of protein in their food and some fat content for energy. However, as a pet parent, you need to keep things regulated not to induce weight gain. 

Adult cats have a slower metabolism as compared to kittens. Yet, it is still higher than older cats, especially the healthy ones. Therefore, you need to ensure that your adult cat gets enough protein and fat content and a small number of carbohydrates. 

There is a possibility for weight gain, but you need to keep it in check. Adult cats prefer dry food over wet food, especially if it has rare protein such as the ones acquired from duck or turkey. 

What Picky Older Cats Like in the Food?

Older cats tend to ail from age-related health issues. It can make them picky eaters. In addition, older cats have a low metabolism. So, it might seem that they need very little protein in their diet. However, that isn’t the case. They need a good amount of protein to deal with the health issues and stay healthy with a better lifestyle.

However, as a pet parent, you need to choose the protein source carefully and provide them with high-quality options. Your pet would want to stick to dry food options, given their enticing taste and flavor. However, you must pick your cat food with high moisture content with wet food or canned food. 

What Ingredients Can You Add to Attract Picky Eaters?

The first thing you need to do is serve your cat some warm food. It enhances the smell of the food. The scent is a base factor that attracts the cats and helps them decide if the food is correct. If your cat is bored of the dry food, you can add some tuna or low-sodium broth with chicken content. 

Doing this makes the cat food taste & smell better and brings a welcoming change for the feline. 

Do Tasty Ingredients Affect the Health?

Low-quality cat food contains unnecessary ingredients that might attract picky eaters but affects the pet’s health badly. It includes:

  • Sugar
  • Carbohydrates
  • Chemical preservatives
  • Non-descriptive meats
  • Fillers
  • Artificial colors

Manufacturers might slyly include low-quality meat into the formula, including meats belonging to the 4D meat category. It provides protein from dying, dead, diseased, or disabled animals.

It doesn’t provide your cat with the required amount of high-quality protein and could lead to nutrition deficiency in the long run.

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Handling the needs of picky eaters might seem inconvenient and challenging at times. However, with a bit of hard work and research, you can provide your cat with the right food and nutrients that help them thrive.

Try to understand your cat, and do not automatically assume that your pet is a picky eater. In case things don’t work out, do visit your veterinarian.