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I recently adopted a cat at 9 weeks old. He was already used to eating kibbles and also occasionally wet food (more as a supplement or treat).

I bought cat necessities before I adopted a cat, so when I brought him home, I had a different brand of kibbles and he would straight up refuse to eat anything. Given that moving is very stressful for a cat, I didn't think too much of it yet. To make sure he at least filled his tummy for the night, I gave him some wet food.

Over the weekend, he continued to refuse eating kibbles, and I ended up switching to just wet food because I was getting worried. I went to a pet shop right after the weekend to get his original brand of kibbles, because supermarkets don't sell that brand (it's a high-end cats and dogs brand).

I've mixed his original brand with the brand I want to switch to, starting with mostly his, hoping to gradually cross over to mine.

But not with much success so far. He does eat some kibbles now, but that's probably because he's hungry and I give him less wet food now, hoping he starts 'liking' to eat kibbles again.

His meows are becoming more like stretched cries and I'm unsure if he's testing me or if he's really hungry. I really want him to eat more kibbles and less wet food, but I'm not sure if refusing to give him wet food as long as possible is the way to go. How can I make my kitten eat more kibbles without fear of starving him?

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Hunger is the best spice, but sudden change isn't usually best with cats. Try mixing the dry and wet and working him to dry food. From personal experience I've found that it's easier to work cats onto new foods by mixing with the old. Give it a week or two, adding more dry food to the mix each time.

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You can try making kibbles into a game. My youngest will eat anything that I throw across the tile floor, and it exercises his hunting instincts. A kitten of 9 weeks would probably LOVE for you to throw a kibbles across the room for him (one at a time).

Generally I wouldn't consider only eating wet food a problem, wet food is generally more healthy for cats than dry food.

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  • it's also far more expensive and less convenient to have to feed them every day. They shouldn't eat entirely dry food, especially if male, but a diet that combines dry food with supplements of wet food avoids most of the health issues at less cost and hassle. – dsollen Jun 2 '15 at 23:31
  • @dsollen it's less expensive and more convenient to avoid the health problems that dry food contributes to. – Zaralynda Jun 3 '15 at 0:26
  • When I try your answer, the kitten runs over to the kibble, sniffs it, and starts scratching the tile floor, as if cleaning up his elimination. He repeats this a couple of times, trying to 'bury' the kibble and checking if he succeeded. After 3-4 times he gives up and wanders off. Any idea why your answer might not be working? It seemed like a solid solution when I read it. – Marc Dingena Jun 3 '15 at 12:47
  • @MarcDingena is he hungry? Sometimes they do the burying behavior to stuff they recognize as food when they aren't hungry (to hide it from other prey animals). You could try to throw a clump of wet food and see how he reacts to that as troubleshooting (is it the throwing or the kibble he doesn't like) – Zaralynda Jun 3 '15 at 12:50
  • @Zaralynda I will wait until next regular feeding time (I tried it now as a treat) to make sure he's (more) hungry to verify. Thanks :) – Marc Dingena Jun 3 '15 at 13:06

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