My cat does not eat, what happens?

The reasons why a cat that, in general, is a good eater, stops eating are very different. If your best friend has not eaten for 24 hours, you should go to the vet and inform him about the possible changes that may have taken place in his life. A long fast can lead to serious illnesses such as liver lipodosis.

The body of felines does not tolerate a lack of nutrients for more than 3-4 days, since the liver must manage the mobilization of fat reserves and if it does not receive protein its functionality is diminished. Therefore, you should observe the behavior of your cat and gather information, especially if it has recently lost weight, has suffered vomiting or diarrhea.

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Internal and external causes

The factors that can motivate your cat to show a low interest in food can be classified into internal and external, depending on whether or not the origin is foreign to the animal. We show them in detail below.

The most obvious internal reason for a cat’s lack of appetite is the presence of a disease, especially if it is somewhat overweight . Leukemia, hairballs or peritonitis usually manifest, among other symptoms, with anorexia and weight loss. If you notice that he does not eat, but drinks and urinates a lot, it could be diabetes .

Discomfort in the mouth from a bad tooth or from periodontal diseases such as gingivitis can cause chewing to cause pain and, therefore, you prefer to abstain from eating. Older cats tend to eat less, in part, because they have difficulty sniffing and food is less palatable.

The sexual awakening , both female and male, generates a smaller appetite. One more reason to consider castration. Remember that it also prevents certain types of cancer in both sexes.


External causes

In external triggers, the range is greatly expanded, since from a small change in the location of the feeder to the arrival of another cat, they can generate stress and, consequently, stop eating. Let’s delve into them.

Changes in your environment

Due to their territorial nature, cats control every detail of the space in which they live. Therefore, if you have decided to place the feeder in another place, which is noisy due to the presence, for example, of a working appliance, your cat may get scared and not want to eat because it associates it with a bad experience .

A reform at home, a more or less prolonged visit, a home move, the birth of a baby or the arrival of another pet are more than enough arguments for your minimum to feel threatened and seek to restore the order of things. While this process lasts, you will be alert and will prefer not to eat or do it to a lesser extent.

New feeding

The passage from kitten to adult or spaying motivates a change in diet. Likewise, opting for another brand of feed or that the food is cold will make them reluctant to try it. Ethologists call it food neophobia and it highlights the aversion of cats to dietary changes.

They are strict carnivores and do not tolerate food that does not contain protein of animal origin. Nor that it is cold, since by natural instinct they have internalized that the prey of their ancestors still conserved their body temperature. Therefore, try heating your food in the microwave for a few seconds or leaving it outside to warm it up.

Keep in mind that if your cat is on a facultative diet as part of the treatment of a disease, you should not make changes to it under any circumstances, since it could compromise its health.


Access to cleaning products, medicines or the intake of indoor plants, toxic to cats, can cause discomfort and, therefore, a lack of appetite. If you suspect that this could happen to your pet, go to the vet as soon as possible to stop the poisoning .


What should I do if my cat has stopped eating?

If you have detected that your cat has not eaten for 24 hours, it is already a reason to visit your veterinarian, especially if there is no event that can justify this change in behavior. He will know how to proceed and will indicate what guidelines and care you should seek.

However, there are certain recommendations that deserve your attention due to their usefulness. Take note:

  • Avoid at all costs overstimulating him with unnecessary treats. Your cat can get used to them and prefer them to their food.
  • Establish fixed times to eat and remove his feeder after the stipulated time. In this way, you learn that you have a limited time to eat.
  • Locate your feeder and drinker in a quiet place, without distractions.
  • Try mixing their feed with wet food. The novelty will stimulate your appetite.
  • Some cats prefer soft food. Therefore, you can leave their feed to soak in warm water. Never heat because it will alter its composition.
  • If you need to change the feed gradually introduce the new food to prevent gastrointestinal disorders. Add a small proportion each day. After 2 weeks the new feed should take up all of your diet.
  • Place several feeders in different rooms of the house. Surely in some of them you want to eat.

Why avoid liver lipidosis


This disease has a high mortality and is caused by prolonged fasting, of 3 or more days, or by a drastic loss of weight in obese cats. Fat accumulates in the liver with the consequent retention of bile. The probability of developing liver failure is very high with the risk that this poses for the cat’s survival.

By following the advice that we have provided and the guidelines set by your veterinarian, you will be able to overcome this episode of loss of appetite and, with it, the consequences that not eating could produce in your best friend. Are you ready to put them into practice?

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