How long can a cat go without eating or drinking?

I remember when our cat Nina came home her first day. It was a very exciting moment when I took it, off the transporter, at our house.

When you have your first pet, you feel lost, since you often do not know what to do. In my case, I was very scared when my pet stopped eating for a few days. If I had known  how long a cat lasts without eating or drinking , I wouldn’t have been so concerned.

Anyway, you should know that cats are experts in hiding their disease, and that when you realize that they suffer from an underlying disease it could be quite advanced and have no solution. An alarm that something is wrong is a change in appetite . There are many reasons for a cat to develop partial or complete anorexia. Medical problems such as kidney disease,  pancreatitis , cancer, dental disease, urinary tract disease, and  arthritis  can cause your cat to lose her appetite.

Since a change in appetite often does not manifest itself until the later stages of the disease, it is extremely important that we watch for any problems in your diet and seek medical attention at the first sign of a problem.

In addition to health problems, a lack of psychological well-being can alter a cat’s desire to eat.



Article content

  • Reasons your cat may have for not eating
  • How long can cats go without eating or drinking?
  • Hepatic lipidosis. One of the reasons for not eating
  • Dehydration Consequence of not eating
  • Tricks to get your cat to eat again
  • conclusion

Reasons your cat may have for not eating

A feline is a very complex being and there can be a variety of reasons why a feline refuses to eat, including:

  • There is a possibility that you are suffering from an illness or injury. It can also be due to feline depression or diabetes.
  • The fact that your cat is bored with the regular dietyou provide and wants to try new flavors.
  • Kidney failurecan also be one of the causes. During the initial stages, your feline may experience weight loss, but as the problem increases, your cat begins to show symptoms such as excessive fatigue, inability to move, exacerbating the lack of interest in consuming food.
  • Another reason for loss of appetite is  liver lipidosis. In this case it is essential to consult the veterinarian.


How long can cats go without eating or drinking?

Just as important as food is water for cats . They get most of their water needs from the food they eat and the rest comes from the water they consume. If your cat has stopped eating but continues to drink water, it will survive for two weeks . But if you have also stopped consuming water , it can be fatal, as you will only be able to survive for a few days.

Your body needs water to function properly. When your cat stops consuming water, dehydrated organs begin to steal water and energy from other organs. The first organs to collapse are the kidneys and the stomach. The last two organs to be affected are the brain and the heart. Unrecoverable damage can be caused to the organs of your feline friend if he refuses to eat or drink.

If your feline refuses to drink or eat anything for  more than 36 hours, you should take him to the vet immediately.



Hepatic lipidosis. One of the reasons for not eating

Hepatic lipidosis can be one of the reasons your cat refuses to eat . It is also known as  fatty liver disease . This disease is caused by the fat that accumulates in the tissues and cells of the liver, causing a retention of bile and liver failure, which can cause the death of the animal.

As a result of the lack of nutrients caused by not eating, the body begins to use the body’s reserves. It begins to move fats from the rest of the body to the liver, to be digested.

The problem is that the liver becomes saturated and fats begin to accumulate in it. As there is a protein deficit, this prevents the liver from functioning properly and causes those lipids to be unable to move outside the liver. A vicious circle then begins: the liver works worse and worse, digests less, thereby accumulating more fat.

This disease can be suffered by obese cats, but it is more common in cases of more or less prolonged fasting in cats.

You may have noticed that animals that are starving are very thin. This is because the organs begin to draw energy from each other. If your cat goes a long time without eating anything, the central nervous system will focus on fat cells to provide energy.

Here are some of the  symptoms of liver lipidosis :

  • Threw up.
  • Dehydration
  • It hides inside the closet and in other unusual places.

There are essentially two types of liver lipidosis:

Idiopathic lipidosis:  This problem usually occurs due to a change in diet, the death of a close companion, or the introduction of a new pet into the home. Felines are easily affected by changes taking place in their environment.

Secondary lipidosis:  This can happen due to the preexistence of a health condition such as pancreatitis, gastrointestinal disease, or diabetes. All of these health problems can cause anorexia, which in turn can cause lipidosis.

Dehydration Consequence of not eating

Dehydration is the first thing to worry about when your cat refuses to eat , as cats get most of their water content from the food they eat, especially wet food.

I indicate two ways through which you can discover that your cat is dehydrated:

Wear test:  stretch the skin on your cat’s back and see how long it takes for it to return to its original position. A healthy feline will recover quickly whereas if a cat becomes dehydrated, the elasticity of the skin will decrease.

Gum test:  place your finger on the gums of your feline, a white spot will appear in the place where you placed your finger. If your feline is healthy, in a few seconds the spot will turn pink again, but it will take longer if the cat is dehydrated.

Try giving your pet his favorite treats or tuna-based water so that nutrients and minerals enter his body. You can also try giving your cat water by pouring water into a container or through a water source. If, despite your efforts, your cat refuses to consume water, you should take him to a vet without fail.


Tricks to get your cat to eat again

If your cat refuses to eat, you may want to try a few tips and tricks before taking your pet to the vet.

  • Heat food with lukewarm water or microwave it.
  • Just add water and mix the food.
  • Put a couple of treats in the food.
  • Rotation of different flavors / proteins.
  • Rotate wet and dry foods. Sometimes it is recommended to mix some dry food with wet food, although be careful as some cats become even more picky and just want their wet food to dry out. This can be problematic if you have a cat that develops a urinary tract infection.
  • Try to find a certain consistency in the food that you like.
  • If your cat is only dry food, try changing the shape and size of the kibble.
  • If you give your cat new food and it refuses to eat it, then you should give it the food it used to eat.
  • If your cat doesn’t eat the dry food you’ve been feeding him for a while, the food may have started to rot, so replace it as soon as possible.



Our pets are our best friends and we would do anything for them. It is better to be informed on topics such as  how long a cat can go without eating  so that you know what to do in case it happens to them.




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