Can or should you add catnip to dry or moist cat food to get your cat to eat it? Should you even try to do so? If not, are there any substitutions that you can recommend? Granted not all cats like catnip, but most do.

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    is there a problem with getting them to eat particular foods or just certain types?
    – user6796
    Jun 25, 2017 at 5:45
  • @YvetteColomb we just don't have much luck getting them to eat dry cat food Jun 25, 2017 at 5:46

1 Answer 1


Cats are very good at picking out what they do and don't like in food, you may not have much luck with catnip.

Cats rely mostly on smell and texture, taste is also a factor but it's very low on the list - they don't have very many taste buds (Article #1 - Article #2) like us so smell is very important.

Some things to consider with wet food:

  1. Canned food must be warm before feeding, straight from the fridge is a no-go. When food is heated up it smells much stronger, this entices the cat to eat it. You can microwave it for a few seconds before feeding, mix it well to be sure it's not too hot.
  2. Remove any uneaten food in 30-60mins, sooner the better. Wet food spoils and dries fast, you may wrap it up and place it in the fridge for another meal.
  3. Paté vs Chunks & Gravy. Since texture is important some cats may prefer one or the other.

Dry food also comes in different shapes and sizes as well as smells, try different brands. Ask pet stores or vet hospitals for samples, worst case scenario you buy a bag and return it if they don't like it. Try a type with chicken, if that doesn't work try one with salmon or venison.

You can even try mixing wet with dry, but again you'd have to remove uneaten portions and preserve for later.

It's definitely a challenge, the food I found cats seem to go nuts for is the PVD essential care line. Feel free to give it a try, you can always return the bag or food and unopened cans (though check with hospital prior to buying).

Now to directly answer your question, yes you can try sprinkling catnip on their food.

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    just to add to the answer.dont over heat the food 35-40 degree celsius is perfect,cats often have strong opinions of what they like so one might have to try many types of food. Jun 26, 2017 at 19:06

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