Cats are the second most popular pet to keep in North America and Europe and with the majority of our readers coming from these areas it is easy to understand why we see so many questions about cats each month.
One thing that we have seen more and more people asking about is why their cat is only eating the gravy from its cat food and leaving the actual chunks of meat and due to there being a number of reasons this may happen, we have decided to publish our own article to help our readers having this problem.
The most common reasons that a cat may only eat the gravy from its food include the majority of the flavor enhancers in the food being in the gravy and the meat chunks being bland, the cat having jaw or tooth problems, the cat not like wet food, the cat having issues due to being a senior cat and old age setting in, and the cat having an upper respiratory infection.
At times, a cat may be having multiple problems that are causing it to only eat the gravy from its food too but this is rare.
The gravy from cat food is not nutritionally complete and is highly deficient in both macronutrients as well as vitamins and minerals so you should try to get your pet cat eating normal food as soon as possible.
If the problem does persist then we really would recommend that you book a video call with a veterinarian as soon as possible to have them assess your cat via your smartphone camera and offer you professional advice specific to your cats current situation.
Is It Normal For A Cat To Only Eat The Gravy On Its Good?
It is not considered normal for a cat to only eat the gravy on its food and this behaviour is usually an early indication that something may be wrong with the cat.
Two situations where a cat only eating the gravy from its food may be normal is if you have just switched the cat to wet food and the cat is only eating the gravy due to that being where the flavour enhancers are or due to the cat not liking wet food.
Both can be common reasons that cats, especially newly adopted stray kittens and cats will not eat the food you give them as they are not used to wet food.
In some situations, switching your cat to a dry food or a raw meat diet may be enough to help get the cat eating again without you having to do anything else as in these situations, there is nothing actually wrong with your cat’s health preventing it from eating.
The other reasons that we will cover below are usually due to there actually being a physical problem with your cat that is making it difficult for it to eat the food you are giving it.
This then results in the cat eating the gravy from the food as it is unable to actually eat the chunks of meat and the gravy at least provides some level of nutrition and is better than the cat not eating anything at all.
Why Does My Cat Only Eat The Gravy?
Some cats can have problems with their jaw or teeth, especially if they are older cats and this can cause your cat to have problems eating food so it will only eat the gravy.
Cats heavily rely on their sense of smell when trying to work out if they can eat something or not so if they have an upper respiratory infection and they are unable to smell many cats will simply lick the gravy off their food.
So many people, even those who have kept pet cats for many years fail to realize just how important a cat’s sense of smell actually is when the cat is eating.
This is why some people who know that their cat is having problems with an upper respiratory infection will intentionally go out and look for the smelliest cat food possible in a bid to be able to get cat to be able to smell the food and actually eat it.
We also have an article going over why cats throw up from wet food but not dry food too.
If this is the issue for your cat then it is unlikely that it will actually be licking the gravy off its wet food but it can still be worth reading if you are at an ends as to why your cat is only licking the gravy off its food and not eating anything.
There are some less common problems such as blockages, throat injuries, and other things like that but these will often require a vet to confirm the problem as they are hard to diagnose yourself.
Can Cats Just Eat Gravy From Their Food?
Ther gravy on wet cat food is not nutritionally complete and will leave a cat that is only eating the gravy from its food nutritionally deficient in macronuteitns, vitamins, and minerals quickly causing health issues in the cat.
This is why it is so important to get your pet cat to start eating real food as quickly as possible to help get nutrition back into its system as quickly as possible.
Although it doesn’t work well for all cats, you can sometimes give your cat who is only eating the gravy from its food a cat paté food that some cats who don’t like normal wet food will eat.
This can serve as a nice middle ground between wet and dry cat food for cats who have tooth or jaw issues that restrict what it can and can’t eat in most situations.
In some situations though, you may have to get specialist food from a veterinarian for your cat but this will depend on why your pet cat is refusing to eat the chunks from its food and is only eating the gravy.
This specialist food may be a temporary solution until your cat gets better and can eat normal food again but in some situations, it may be a permanent solution that your cat has to stay on but for the most part, this is rare and specialist foods will only be a temporary stop gap.
What Should You Do If Your Cat is Only Eating Gravy?
If your cat is only eating the gravy from its food then you will usually have to get a vet involved even if it is just for a check up due to there being so many potentially serious issues that may cause your cat to only eat the gravy from its food.
In other situations, your cat may just be a picky eater with this being common if you have recently switched your cats food out for a new food option.
You can try to switch up the foods that you offer your cat or revert your cat back to its old food if you have just switched the food that you give your food and some cats will start eating normally again.
Other cats can just be very picky and some cats will only eat their food if it is a certain temperature and if it does not meet their high standards they may refused their food or just lick the gravy from it.
We know that we touched on this earlier in the article but it is important and often overlooked by cat owners.
In a bid to save money, many cat food brands have switched the way that they make their wet cat food and have packed the gravy of their food with flavor enhancers while using bland meat.
This can be a common reason why your cat will only eat the gravy off its wet food as the gravy has all of the flavor while the meat chunks have no flavor so switching to a higher price point food can prevent this as they tend to have better cuts of meat in the food.
That brings our article going over why your pet cat is only eating the gravy on its food to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you and thankfully, for the most part, this tends not to be a serious, longterm issue and many people can fix the problem by switching the cat food that they offer their pet cats. In rarer situations, cat may have problems that need to be treat by a vet before they are able to eat as normal again and in very rare situations, your cat may have a long term problem that will restrict what it is able to eat for the long term.