Why won’t my cat eat?


If you are worried about your cat not eating, here you can find some of the reasons why it may have lost its appetite or rejected food. Although we tend to think that it may be unwell or sick, in many cases our cat’s lack of appetite is due to external factors. And, many of the time, the problem has an easy solution.

Read on to learn the causes, consequences, and what to do if your cat doesn’t want to eat.

Causes why my cat does not eat

  • You don’t like your food. Gourmet cats may stop eating if they don’t like their new food or simply if they have become bored with their usual food. Sometimes it is enough to change their menu or offer them a more succulent dish such as cans to regain their appetite.
  • Feeder layout. Sometimes the cause is as simple as you don’t like where your bowl is located. You may have placed it near their litter tray, something they don’t like, or somewhere with a lot of noise.
  • Is stressed. Cats are very sensitive to changes in the environment and are easily stressed. A stressful situation such as the arrival of another animal or person, as well as any modification in the house or in their routine, can be the reason for them to refuse food.
  • Hairballs in the stomach. If your cat has a lot of hair, you don’t brush her often, and you don’t use malt, hair can build up in her digestive system and cause blockages. This disorder, in addition to causing discomfort, regurgitation, retching and vomiting, can also prevent the cat from eating.
  • He is sick. When cats are unwell, they stop eating. At the same time, other symptoms may appear such as weakness, vomiting, pain or fever. Diseases can be diverse and can be related to the digestive, urinary or vital organs.
  • I can not eat. It is also possible that your cat is hungry and wants to eat but there is something that prevents it. You may have pain in your mouth, in your pharynx, or even in your nasal cavity.
  • Intoxication or poisoning. If your cat has eaten something that it should not or cannot digest and it hurts, it will also stop eating. If you suspect possible poisoning, take him to the vet as quickly as possible.

Other reasons that can answer why your cat does not eat are temperature changes and heat, which reduce appetite.

What if my cat doesn’t eat?

If you stop eating you may suffer anorexy and this, in the long run, put your health at risk. However, that a cat stops eating is not always related to a disease, sometimes it has to do with eating behavior. If a cat goes several days without ingesting any food, its body will start to use up its fat stores and it can develop a liver lipidosis. This disease causes a retention of bile and a liver failure that can cause death.

What to do if my cat does not want to eat?

Knowing the cause of why your cat is not eating is the best way to solve the problem.

  • Try changing your food. If the reason you don’t eat is that you don’t like your menu, try to vary the ingredients, the format, the flavors, the textures until you find what you like. Wet food is always a good option and you can find it in many ways: patés, mousses, chunks in sauce or jelly … They are very palatable, have an intense smell and a lot of flavor. Also, if you serve them warm instead of cold, they will be even more irresistible. Natural, meat-rich brands are ideal for a non-eating cat to regain its appetite.
  • Help him to be calm and relaxed. If your cat is not eating because he is stressed, you should try to reduce his stress level through a calm environment, environmental enrichment or with the help of products such as Adaptil’s feline calming pheromones. Think about whether there has been any change at home or in your routine that may have caused that imbalance or spike in stress.
  • Go to the vet. If your cat still does not want to eat and begins to lose weight or you notice him listless, take him to your veterinarian to examine him and detect if he has any disease or illness. A long fast can kill you.

Veterinary Technical Assistant specialized in canine ethology. TANNIMAL has allowed me for years to work on what I am most passionate about: the animal world. I combine my work collaborating as a volunteer in shelters, sanctuaries, reserves and any related event or activity. I have done various seminars and courses related to canine education, birds, primatology and a long etcetera. I enjoy learning every day from these incredible colleagues with whom we are fortunate to live.


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