What To Do If Your Cat Stops Eating

Getting your cat to eat again is key to the animal's health since long periods of starvation can have serious consequences. Sometimes this can be due to an illness, psychological causes, or that they are tired of the same food.
What To Do If Your Cat Stops Eating

Last update: 25 July, 2020

People often joke that cats are picky eaters. However, if a cat stops eating, there can be serious problems that can affect their health. As a cat owner, it’s essential that you learn to distinguish whether or not your pet needs treatment. That way, you can avoid potential life-long issues

Why might your cat stop eating?

If you believe that this unusual behavior may be related to the causes in the following list, you should act as soon as possible to avoid compromising your animal’s health.

  • Possible illness. A loss of appetite is usually a bodily response to an external illness. A bacteria, virus, or parasite might cause this response from the animal’s immune system.
  • A recent vaccine can also cause an adverse reaction in your feline. This might cause them to stop eating for a while. However, vaccine-related symptoms don’t usually last long and are generally mild.
  • A trip or a strange environment can confuse your cat and change some of their habits. Cats are animals that love routine and the familiar. Don’t be surprised if a move or home remodel affects their appetite.
  • Psychological problems. If your vet ruled out physical problems, your cat might be experiencing anxiety or depression. As we mentioned, cats are very sensitive animals. They don’t like change and new situations or strangers can greatly affect them.
Often, a cat stops eating due to an illness.

However, your cat may also temporarily stop eating for a less worrisome cause, such as a mild mouth infection or a hormonal change. In fact, your cat might also just be sick of the kind of food you give them every day. After all, cats are picky animals.

Consequences of starvation in your cat

The most important thing when your cat stops eating is to reverse this behavior as soon as possible. Starvation can have severe consequences for their health.

When a cat stops eating, they are forced to draw on their fat stores for energy. However, to do this, the liver has to process what’s already stored. This requires certain amounts of protein.

As a result, rapid weight loss puts added pressure on the liver. In turn, this can cause illnesses, such as feline hepatic lipidosis.

This disease usually develops in obese cats that stop eating long-term as a result of stress. This causes the fatty acids of the liver to increase and can end up severely damaging the liver.

If your cat stops eating, you should take them to the vet.

What can you do to get your cat to eat again?

Considering that a prolonged period of starvation can have devastating consequences for your cat, if you notice that the situation isn’t improving, you should consult a veterinarian.

Then, if the loss of appetite is related to illness, you can come up with a nutrition plan with your vet. This can help get your cat interested in eating and make them want food. Canned foods, for example, might appeal to them more than regular dry food.

However, if your cat isn’t dealing with an illness, you can take certain measures to get their attention. For example, consider trying certain foods like liver or tuna to stimulate their appetite.

You can also use medications to promote food intake. However, you should only use these in extreme cases and with a vet’s prescription.

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