10 Reasons Why Your Cat is Not Eating

Cats are notorious for being picky eaters. But, you shouldn't assume that this is the only reason your kitty isn't eating. Here, our Ventura vets explain some other possible causes and when it is time for a veterinary visit.


What does it mean if my cat won't eat?

The most common underlying cause for your cat to stop eating, is illness. However, there may also be something more affecting your cat's appetite, so you should monitor them closely. If you notice that your cat hasn't eaten after a day, you should call your vet as soon as possible. The sooner the reason for your pet not eating is identifies, the sooner your vet can start treatment and your feline companion can begin to feel better. 

10 Reasons Why They May Not be Eating

  1. New food
  2. Kidney disease
  3. Dental/tooth pain, infections or injuries like inflamed gums, an abscess, a broken tooth, or oral tumors that can cause pain when chewing
  4. Gastrointestinal issues (including parasites, colitis, gastroenteritis, or cancer)
  5. Pancreatitis
  6. Recent vaccination or medication
  7. Digestive obstruction, indigestion, or constipation
  8. Anxiety, stress, or depression (this includes major changes to your cat's routine or home)
  9. Metabolism might be slowing down, especially in older cats
  10. They might be full (outdoor cats often find things to eat when outside)

How long can my cat go without eating?

Just like in people, our feline friends are able to go longer without food than without water. Cats are able to survive for two weeks without a meal, but only three days without water. The longer your cat goes without their proper nutrition, though, the weaker they will become. Because of this, you should contact your veterinarian if your cat hasn't eaten for a full day or more. Your vet will be able to diagnose the cause of this behavior and get your cat back on track with their diet.

How can I get my cat to eat?

There are several things you can try to see if your cat will begin eating again.

  • Cat's don't like cold food, so you can try heating it (just be sure to mix carefully after to avoid overly-hot areas).
  • Give them canned or "wet" food, or meat baby food.
  • Considering stress can be a cause, ensure their dish is in a quiet area.
  • Check to make sure both their food and water bowls are clean.
  • Try drenching their solid food with the juice from a tuna can.

When to Seek Veterinary Care

Most of the potential reasons why your cat might lose their appetite are serious medical issues. Your vet can help to determine the best plan of treatment for your cat. 

The reasons why your cat has stopped eating can vary greatly, but despite the cause, it's important to bring your cat to your vet if it lasts more than 24 hours. It's also extremely important to monitor and contact your vet if they are not drinking or are displaying other symptoms or behavioral changes.

Are you worries about your cat's noticeable loss of appetite? Contact our Ventura specialty and emergency clinic today for more information or to inquire about referrals.

10 Reasons Why Your Cat Is Not Eating | Ventura Animal Hospital

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