There are several reasons that could lead to your cat not eating. Our Houston County vets discuss some of the common reasons why your cat won't eat, how you can help, and when to seek veterinary care.
Cat Not Eating
There are several reasons why cats refuse to eat ranging from disliking their new food to pain or discomfort. Figuring out your cat's reason for not eating can be challenging and upsetting.
If your feline friend skips one or two meals but then goes back to eating as normal, there likely isn't anything to worry about. On the other hand, if your cat or kitten stops eating for more than a day there could be an underlying health issue causing your cat discomfort.
Less Concerning Reasons Why Your Cat May Not be Eating
The following are some of the less serious reasons why your cat may be suffering from a lack of appetite:
- New food
- Recent vaccinations
- Motion sickness following travel
- Change in daily routine
- Stranger in the house
If any of these conditions apply in your cat's situation, you will likely find that your cat begins eating again within 24 hours, and will gradually return to normal. However, if your cat refuses food for more than a day it may be wise to book an appointment with your vet. When it comes to pet health, it's always best to err on the side of caution.
Serious Reasons Why Your Cat May Not be Eating
Common gastrointestinal (GI) problems in cats include parasites, foreign objects trapped in the intestinal tract, gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, urinary obstruction, colitis, cancer, or changes in gut intestinal bacteria.
GI issues can cause cats to feel nauseous and experience a lack of appetite. If your cat is suffering from a gastrointestinal issue it may show other symptoms such as weight loss, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea.
If your cat is showing signs of a GI issue, it's time to see your vet. Gastrointestinal problems such as those listed above are serious and may require emergency care, early diagnosis and treatment are key.
Dental Health Issues
Like people, cats can suffer from tooth decay and various mouth infections. Your cat may be refusing to eat due to pain caused by advanced tooth decay, inflamed gums, broken or loose teeth, a dental abscess, or an injury to the inside of their mouth caused by a foreign object.
If you believe that your cat is suffering from mouth pain it's time to call the vet. Your vet can clean your cat's teeth and do a thorough examination of your cat's mouth to check for any oral health problems.
Much like gastrointestinal issues, kidney disease can make cats feel nauseous and refuse to eat. If your cat is suffering from kidney disease you may notice other symptoms such as drinking large amounts of water and frequent urination. Kidney disease is relatively common in cats over seven years of age.
Kidney disease can only be diagnosed and treated by your vet. If your cat has stopped eating and is showing other symptoms of kidney disease, contact a vet right away.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.