What should I do if my cat isn’t eating?

Most cats have a fairly healthy appetite. However, if your cat unexpectedly stops eating and seems disinterested in food, it can be a very real cause for concern. As a caring and conscientious pet owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your furbaby gets the nutrition she needs to stay healthy. Therefore, if her appetite doesn’t return in a few days, you will want to do all you can to help her. To help you out, here is what we think it is important to know about what you can do for your kitty if she stops eating.

Reasons why your cat might stop eating

There are a number of different reasons why your cat might suddenly stop eating as she once did. Sometimes these reasons don’t warrant concern and your feline will regain her appetite in a few days. However, there can be much more serious causes behind your cat’s sudden lack of interest in her food, and these can warrant prompt veterinary attention.

Reasons why your cat might stop eating include:

- Recent vaccinations. Loss of appetite is a common side effects of receiving vaccinations, and your cat will probably start eating fully again in a few days.

- Stress. Cats are creatures of habit and if anything out of the ordinary happens it can cause them to become quite stressed. It doesn’t even need to be a big change. A visitor to the house, a change in room layout, the appearance of a Christmas tree or the sounds of fireworks can all cause your kitty to become stressed and lose her appetite.

- Travel sickness. Cat’s weren’t built for travel and even if your feline doesn’t become stressed by the process, she may suffer from travel sickness which could cause her to stop eating until she feels better.

- Underlying illness. This is one of the most common reasons for appetite loss and the list of potential health problems that have triggered this change can be extensive, including from kidney disease, diabetes, pancreatitis, fever, infection, hyperthyroidism and stomach or bowel obstructions. Your feline may or may not have other symptoms, but if you suspect her loss of appetite is down to underlying illness, you should seek an urgent veterinary appointment for her.

- Dental problems. You probably know all too well how painful and debilitating dental pain can be. Your cat can suffer from dental problems too and this could affect how she feels about food as well as her actual ability to eat.

What can I do if my cat isn’t eating?

Exactly what you should do if your cat isn’t eating really depends on what has caused her to lose her appetite.

If your feline furbaby isn’t eating and you don’t think there is a serious reason why, you may need to spend time encouraging her to tuck into her food. This can mean giving her her favorite foods, feeding something that will stimulate her appetite more (such as canned sardines), and using positive praise and reinforcement, even if she only goes as far as licking her food.

If you suspect that your cat has dental problems, she may also be seen dropping food. This is a common effect of tooth pain. If you suspect your cat may have dental problems, it is imperative that you book an appointment with your vet so that they can check for dental disease or other oral health conditions that could be affecting her appetite.

If your cat has an underlying illness that is causing her not to eat, the first thing that you should do it is to get her seen by a vet. The treatment she needs will depend on the diagnosis she receives, and could include antibiotics, antiemetics or intravenous fluids. She may have a long-term condition that needs careful management (such as diabetes), or even surgery. Listen and take the advice of your vet on board and ensure that you follow any instructions you are given regarding her care.

If you would like more information on what you should do if your cat stops eating, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly and experienced team.

cat refusing food