How do I transition my cat from wet to dry food?

  • My 7 mo th old kitty eats a little dry food but wants only wet food. How do I train him off the wet and to only dry. I'm tired of getting up at 2 or 3 am to feed hi.. He has dry food out but wants the wet food

  • Hi there!


    This is incredibly common. Most cats (and dogs) prefer wet food as it smells better, tastes better and is easier/quicker to eat.


    We need to gte a little more strict here; at his age, he does not need feeding past bed time so must learn to wait. Stop giving in as, by feeding him, we are making him think it is acceptable to ask for food in the middle of the night.


    He may protest (loudly) the first few nights but should soon get the message, as long as we are consistent.


    Cats do not need wet food so we can just stop giving it. This may sound a little 'cruel' but if you'd rather not feed it, you do not have to.


    A softer approach is to gradually transition off it, by offer less and less (and more dry food) each day.


    Once the wet food is not being given, he will eat the dry food, when hungry enough. When he learns nothing else is on offer, he'll eat it without fuss. Dry food is very good for dental health.

  • Despite what Linda says, I was told that cats get most of their water from wet food.  You need to give him 2/3rd dry and 1/3rd wet.  And cats can get overweight eating just dry food.  A lot more crabs in dry and less protein in dry.  And keep the water away from the food.  They will drink more water if the water isn't close to food.   Also mix the dry with the wet when transitioning. 

    Also I agree with Linda, don't feed your cat after you go to bed.  Put her in the room where her food and litter is, fill her food with dry and put ear plugs in til she stops meowing.  Make sure she has a cat bed to sleep on, toys to play with and a scratching post.  Do this for a week, then your cat will be stop asking for food at 3.


  • @Linda Simon Well hmmm..i can't agree with the dry food diet.

    For yrs any vet worth anything will tell u that it's  important that wet food is the primary diet. Any vet who does not,is not a great vet. And cannot have your pets best interests in mind. There is a lot that can be said about veterinary training and influence pet food manufacturers have during their training!! 

     Cats do not drink enough fluid. We may see them drinking, but it's known they typically do not drink enough from bowls to keep themselves fully /properly hydrated. It's said to be of some benefit to have more then one watering hole for cats. 

     They derive most of their fluids in the wild ,from the prey they eat.  Cats who are fed only dry food diets tend to live at a slight level of dehydration their whole lives. Which is what some vets will tell u has caused a higher kidney failure rate ,as cause of death in cats. 

    Dry kibble on average is not particularly healthy. They often have unwanted fillers, too much corn, starchs, grains.  And last i looked all have a type of mold on the surface. It's also been mentioned that they put certain ingredients in kibble to make the food more addictive to them. MSG comes to mind but there could be any number of other things/chemicals... While canned foods also have their down sides, -can liners-...and to be fair a lot of nutrients are likely lost in the heating processes. Also do need to look for any form of msg in canned foods.The Manufacturers of food,  people or pet foods, have found ways to rename MSG so they can get away with the additive w/out us knowing. I think last i looked there 8 or 9 of them! Also falling under the category of " Natural flavors".

    However.. we've seen a huge difference happen in just weeks  with a whole house full of cats. The 2 who were too fat both lost all the extra weight w/in first couple weeks,and maintained healthy weights after that. Everyone's fur looked better as well. In general a state of dehydration in any mammal human or otherwise has  myriad symptoms. Dry eyes ,gums,( leads to dental issues) sinus, skin ,more aches n pains, etc etc..

    The idea that dry kibble's can be total diets was and is propagated by the food manufactures themselves. It is simply not true.

    Doing a bit o research can show that there are health conditions w cats which rose shortly after the introduction of kibbles as total diets.

    We know even human foods are improperly labeled and well... ,they blatently lie as to ingredients and health benefits and health risks on labels. Animal food has even less oversight or regulation ! 

    Obviously a lot of people may not have the time to prepare homemade, whole real food for their cats or dogs. But..we can choose to feed them the higher quality foods offered. Aside from canned wet foods, which also vary in quality. There are now nicer choices for cats to have better ,real meat , low /no grain foods, Freeze dried raw or frozen raw.  Many people use veterinary help to switch cats From dry kibble to wet foods for their cats better health! 

    Also pet food stores vary as to foods they carry. Petco..tends to carry better brands of wet foods,as big chain stores go. But some smaller or specialy chain stores sell nicer foods for cats w better selections of the raw type foods, freeze dried or frozen. If starting kitty on raw ,it be can rich compared to the canned and certainly kibbles. So a mix w regular canned and raw might be a good way to do so. 

    Sometimes i use frozen raw patties and pour warm water over them,so it partially cooks the outside n keeps some raw inside.also the water from doing that becomes  meaty flavored so they drink it up! Win win more fluids! 

  • Please consider your cat's nutritional needs ahead of your own convenience. Wet food is more similar to their natural diet and provides the nutrition they need as obligate carnivores. Dry food is nutritionally deficient and contributes to a host of issues from obesity to cancers.

    For a cat that age, you can slowly transition feeding times. We feed our cats a small meal right before I go to bed which seems to eliminate most of the 3 am howling for food. 

  • Certainly lots of interesting (and passionate!) views on cat diets!

    Cats can lead healthy lives whether fed dry, mixed or wet foods.

    Those who eat dry diets will naturally drink more water and should always have frresh water (and ideally a water fountain) available.


    Wet diets are important for those with kidney or bladder issues (e.g. cats prone to cystitis). For healthy cats, they can eat which they please. Dry food, as an example, is better for those prone to dental disease and gingivitis as wet food can worsen periodontal disease.


    When an owner has a preference for dry feeding, I wouldn't discourage this unless there was a proven reason to do so for their kitty.

  • I would talk to you vet. I do feral cat rescue as well as socilaize feral kittens. It is very important for cats to have eat food. Dry food causes weight gain and can cause crystals. All my cats and kittens get canned wet food 3x a day and some dry. Kittens i do leave kitten dry food in a dish at all times until a year old. Watch Jackson Galaxy videos, he explains it well. Try feeding last meal later, at your bedtime. The way dry food is made take most of the quality of the food out. 

Please login to reply this topic!