Cats are notorious for being picky eaters, but you shouldn't assume this is the only reason that they aren't eating. Here, our Torrance vets outline some common causes for your cat's refusal to eat and when you should see your vet about it.
What does it mean if my cat won't eat?
The most common reason for a cat to stop eating altogether is an illness. but, that doesn't mean that there isn't something else that may be affecting your kitty's appetite. Monitor your cat closely if you notice them not eating and if they continue to fast for a full day, you should all your vet as soon as possible. the sooner the reason for your cat's lack of appetite is identified, the better.
10 Reasons Why They May Not be Eating
- Dental/tooth pain, infections or injuries can all make eating or chewing painful. These can include inflamed gums, an abscess, a broken tooth, oral tumors, or other inflammatory issues
- New food
- Kidney disease
- Recent vaccination or medication
- Digestive obstruction, indigestion, or constipation
- Gastrointestinal issues (including parasites, colitis, gastroenteritis, or cancer)
- Anxiety, stress, or depression (this includes major changes to your cat's routine or home)
- Metabolism might be slowing down, especially in older cats
- They might be full (outdoor cats often find things to eat when outside)
How long can my cat go without eating?
Just like people, cats are able to go longer without food than without water. Cats are able to survive for about two weeks without eating, but only 3 days without drinking. The longer your cat goes without their proper nutrition, however, the weaker they will become. Because of this, it's very important to contact your vet if you suspect that your cat hasn't eaten in a day or more. Your vet will be able to diagnose the cause of your cat's refusal to eat and hopefully get them back on track.
How can I get my cat to eat?
There are several things you can try to see if your cat will begin eating again.
- 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.
- 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).
When to Seek Veterinary Care
Many of the possible reasons that your cat may stop eating can be quite serious. Your vet will be able to help you determine the cause and your best option for treatment.
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.