My cat does not want to eat, what should I do?

My cat does not want to eat, what should I do?

Although the lack of appetite or anorexia in cats is a multifactorial process, in a vast majority of cases its origin lies in an eating disorder. Not surprisingly, kittens are neophobic (reluctant to try new foods) and accuse the absence of animal protein in their diet, as strict carnivores that they are.

This is not a minor issue, since their survival is at serious risk if they go without food for 2 or 3 days. Obese, elderly cats or puppies can perish as a result of the accumulation of fats in the liver , which in veterinary slang is known as hepatic lipidosis.

You may also be interested in: Symptoms of pancreatitis in cats

Why won’t my cat eat?

There are many reasons why a pussycat may stop eating. Triggers for feline anorexia are usually classified as internal or organic and external or non-organic. We analyze them below.

Organic or internal causes

The cat may stop eating as a result of discomfort caused by an underlying metabolic, inflammatory, infectious or cancerous disease. When the origin of anorexia is a systemic pathology, the animal usually manifests other symptoms such as fever, apathy due to pain and / or vomiting .

The lack of caloric intake leads to weight loss and a lack of vitality, reducing your quality of life. The accumulation of hairballs in the digestive tract can be an example of sudden loss of appetite that forces us to intervene to remedy it before the situation worsens and requires surgery.

The presence of trauma or fractures can also cause pseudoanorexia. The cat tries to eat but the pain it feels due to lack of teeth, foreign bodies or a fracture, for example, in the oronasal cavity prevents it.

Non-organic or external causes

Within this group we must mention recent changes in their eating patterns (you have started to give them a new feed or have modified the location of their feeder). These are irrelevant changes for us that kitties do not tolerate if they are carried out suddenly .

Environmental changes are also another source of stress for cats and the result is the same: they stop eating. If you have moved house, if you have bought a new, and very noisy, appliance, if a baby has been born or if you have welcomed a new pet into your home, it should not surprise you that your cat accuses him and feels his status quo destabilized .

Poisoning or poisoning from ingesting toxins, such as detergents or certain plants, can also cause your pet to stop eating and find a way to purge . For these cases, in addition to going to the vet as soon as possible, leaving catnip or catnip within reach helps them to recover naturally.


The periods of high or heat and sudden temperature changes can help lower your appetite. However, these situations are not pathological and your pet will eat again without you having to walk.

How should I proceed if my cat does not want to eat?

If you observe that your kitten has not eaten for 24 hours, you should not postpone the visit to the vet, mainly to rule out that there is an organic disease. Prolonged fasting leads to muscle wasting , muscle wasting, severe hypoglycemia and, in the most severe cases, liver lipidosis.

If your liver does not receive protein in a couple of days, it will have to resort to fat reserves and the liver will suffer its normal functioning, which may lead to the death of patients with previous or older pathologies. In some cases it is usually necessary to administer parenteral nutrition.

Likewise, it is necessary to identify the presence of signs of stress in their behavior (obsessive grooming, flight behaviors, irascibility, hypoactivity, marking, etc.) to adopt corrective measures such as greater environmental enrichment, synthetic pheromones or pharmacotherapy to mitigate stress and stimulate your appetite.

Food-related anorexia

Lack of appetite due to causes related to dietary changes represents the simplest picture to reverse. Always under the supervision of your veterinarian, you should incorporate small portions of your pet’s preferred food to appreciate an improvement in a short period of time .

In this sense, cans and sachets of wet food, being more palatable than dry feed, easier to digest and due to their high percentage of water, are the perfect dietary resource to regain your interest in food.

Always present it warmed because its aroma will whet your appetite and it will be more pleasant to drink. In their natural habitat, prey is hot. Place multiple feeders in different locations to make it easier for her to find the quietest and safest place to eat.

Show yourself patient

In short, if your cat has not eaten for hours, pay attention to his behavior. Do not postpone the visit to the specialist and follow the instructions that he or she gives you. If the origin of his lack of appetite is strictly related to eating patterns, turn to wet food and do not hesitate to pamper him. The improvement will not wait.


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