what does it mean when a cat stops eating

Illness. Loss of appetite is one of the key clues that something is wrong. So be sure to pay attention if your cat suddenly stops eating. A number of different conditions may be responsible, including infections, kidney failure, pancreatitis, intestinal problems, and cancer.

How can I encourage my cat to eat?

You can try a few different things to see if your cat will start eating again.

  • Serve them canned or moist food; seafood and other strong-smelling foods are good choices.
  • Keep your cat’s food and water bowls clean. Stainless steel bowls are easy to clean and disinfect.
  • Consider adding tuna can juice to their solid food.
  • Give your cat nutritional supplements as recommended by a vet.
  • Use warm water or a microwave to gently reheat the food.
  • Since stress may be a contributing factor, make sure your cat’s surroundings are secure and that the food dish is placed in a peaceful area.

Respiratory Infection or Allergies

A stuffy nose can contribute to a decrease in appetite in cats because, similar to humans, they are less likely to eat when they cannot smell their food. If your cat exhibits any signs of illness, such as a fever, lethargy, runny nose, or watery eyes, take her to the veterinarian.

Occasionally, cats may become disinterested in eating when it’s extremely hot outside. Both indoor and outdoor cats may experience this issue, although it should go away quickly.

The moderate reasons your cat isn’t eating are listed below:

Up until mealtime, cats with mild, moderate, or severe dental disease may behave normally. Then, particularly if they are only fed dry food, they might abruptly lose interest in eating. Cats with dental disease may prefer to eat wet food. Consult your veterinarian about your cat’s dental care and cleaning.

Stomach and Digestive Illness

A cat may stop eating due to stomach and digestive illnesses such as viruses, bacteria, and inflammatory disorders. However, if these conditions are not too serious, your cat might not exhibit any other symptoms and might carry on acting normally while ill.

Pain can cause cats to stop eating fairly quickly. Remember that pain is a symptom in and of itself, even though it may have a mild causal relationship with this symptom. To find out what’s hurting your cat and what you can do to help, consult a veterinarian.

Stress and anxiety may cause your cat to stop eating. If your cat exhibits certain signs of anxiety or stress, you might be able to simply wait for her to resume eating. But if she experiences extreme fear frequently, medicine might be necessary to control the issue.

One of the side effects of long-term or short-term medication for cats can be nausea and upset stomach. If the medication your cat is taking is only temporary, it might be best to let this issue go. However, if it’s a long-term issue, you can discuss your options with your veterinarian.

The serious reasons listed below would necessitate a visit to the emergency veterinarian.

Cancer is not uncommon in cats, unfortunately. A number of distinct forms of cancer may be present in cats who seem extremely ill and lose interest in their food. Though you can take her to the vet to rule out this risk, chances are good that your cat is not suffering from cancer if she is acting normally aside from her lack of interest in food.


What do I do if my cat stops eating?

The bottom line While the cause may be as simple as disliking their food, it’s still important to take a trip to the veterinarian if your cat hasn’t eaten for 24 hours or more. A professional can rule out any underlying health concerns and give you tips on how to encourage your cat to start eating again.

How long can a cat not eat?

The average cat can technically survive for one to two weeks without food if they have a water supply. However, without protein, it may be more like three to four days, even if they have enough water. With no water or food, it is unlikely that a cat would survive longer than three days.

Do cats go through phases of not eating?

It can be normal for cats to not want to eat much over the course of a few hours. It might be stressed or not feeling well, or, it might just not feel like eating right away. If your cat still hasn’t eaten any food after 24 hours, then you should make an appointment with the vet.

Is it normal for cats to go without eating?

Cats can go without food for two weeks and without water for three days. However, if your cat doesn’t eat for 24 hours, it’s a clue that you should monitor your cat for signs of sickness, pain, or a dislike for the current food.