Why is My Cat Not Eating?

Your cat doesn’t give a tired look at the filled bowl? Or does she sniff the food briefly, but only take two bites? Here you can read about the causes behind this when cats lose their appetite.

Five Reasons the Cat Has no Appetite

Does the appetite suddenly disappear completely or does the velvet paw eat less than usual? In both cases, this can have various, serious but also harmless reasons. If you know your cat and its habits, you will be able to track down the causes of the refusal to feed more quickly.

The Cat is Picky

Yes, they do exist stubborn complaining cats. However, the owners trained them to do this themselves. For example, by always serving up new food from the early kitten age as soon as the cat spurned its meal.

Dry food that is always available or lots of treats also prevents the cat from becoming hungry.

Some mackerel cats will eat a few bites. Others leave the meal alone.

Psychological Causes: The Cat Does Not Eat Because It is Stressed

Sensitive velvet paws do not touch their bowls when they are stressed. The reasons for this can be varied. Mostly there are changes in your everyday life. This can be a new two- or four-legged roommate (dog or second cat), a move, or a fight with the neighbor cat. Cats are creatures of habit. Grief, for example for an important caregiver, an exciting visit to the vet, and loneliness can also lead to the cat no longer eating.

The Cat is Sick

Especially if the cat completely stops eating from one day to the next, there could be an illness behind it. With cats who usually have good appetites and become more sensitive over a long period of time, it is a good idea to see a veterinarian. An unwillingness to eat in cats can be a symptom of the following diseases:

  • Dental problems: Anyone who has pain while chewing loses their appetite. This can be caused by inflamed gums, tartar, or tooth damage. Many, but not all, cats with toothache have increased salivation.
  • Diseased kidneys: In many cats with kidney disease, loss of appetite is the first symptom. At the same time, some velvet paws feel sick and the cat drinks a lot. You can recognize this, for example, from the fact that affected animals often lick each other’s snouts.
  • Stomach and intestinal infections: Like humans, cats can be affected by the stomach and intestinal infections. Diarrhea and vomiting are often associated with loss of appetite.
  • Inflamed pancreas (pancreatitis): Symptoms of pancreatitis include a lack of appetite with or without vomiting, fatigue, and pain in the abdominal area. The sooner a vet initiates therapy, the better. If left untreated, the disease can be fatal.
  • Medicines or hormones: If the cat is in “other circumstances” this can affect its appetite. Cats in heat or free-paced cats are not interested in eating. Some medications decrease appetite or can irritate the stomach.

Outdoor Enthusiasts With a Bad Appetite

If outdoor animals are healthy and neutered, but hardly ever eat from you, there can be two reasons. Either they are good hunters who capture a lot of delicious bites, especially in the warm season. Or there are generous neighbors who pamper the velvet paw. If you have a talented hunter, you should dewormer regularly.

An outdoor cat is also more at risk of poisoning than a domestic cat. Outside, the fur nose has access to plants, food, and liquids that are potentially dangerous. If your four-legged friend has diarrhea or vomits in addition to the reluctance to eat, you should consult a veterinarian.

Bad Nose

Healthy, fit cats are very good at smelling smells. But cold or aging processes weaken the sense of smell. Those who smell little hardly notice the tempting smells from the bowl.

This is How Your Cat Will Eat Again

Basically, it makes sense to encourage a cat to eat. This applies to stressed four-legged friends as well as to sick or older cats. Cats with stomach and intestinal infections are an exception. For them, it is better if the stressed digestive tract calms down first. It is now considered obsolete that animals affected by pancreatitis should not eat anything.

Always discuss a sick cat’s diet with your veterinarian.

  • The bowl should be in a quiet place. Prevent any disturbance while eating.
  • The litter box and water are as far away from the food bowl as possible.
  • If the cat is a sensitive eater due to age or illness, find a food that it particularly likes. Fillet feed or feed with juicy sauces or jellies is very popular.
  • Do not feed wet food straight from the refrigerator, but pour some warm water over it. This makes it more tolerable and activates the odor.

Beware of Mackerel Cats

Fillet meat and heated meals – a real land of milk and honey when it comes to opportunities for malevolent cats. Caution: With such measures, you worsen the complaints of the velvet paw. For spoiled cat gourmets, you should therefore take other tips to heart:

When to the Vet?

If a cat does not eat for more than a day, you should contact your veterinarian. Starving too long is life-threatening, especially in young cats, pregnant and lactating animals, and overweight velvet paws. Because with them it can quickly lead to hepatic lipidosis. The metabolism derails, which can be fatal even with immediate treatment. If the cat eats less than usual, you should consult a veterinarian after a week at the latest.

  • Choose a favorite food and stick with it. Be consistent and do not switch until the velvet paw eats regularly with an appetite. You can later expand the selection to a maximum of three varieties.
  • Do not give treats in between meals.
  • Food is ready for ten minutes – then put it away.
  • There is no dry food available.
  • Are you putting completely new food in front of the delicate velvet paw’s nose? Not a good idea! Mix unknown feed into familiar feed. Increase the proportion of the new by a teaspoon a day. This way the cat gets used to the taste and does not have any digestive problems.
Judy Taylor

Written by Judy Taylor

Judy Taylor combines her love of science and writing to educate pet owners. Her articles on pet wellness, published on a variety of platforms, reveal a deep passion for animals. With a teaching background and shelter volunteer experience, Judy brings expertise to the fields of writing and compassionate pet care.

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