My cat does not eat: reasons, solutions

If you have noticed that your cat does not eat as much as it should, or does not want to eat I think, it may be a sign that something is happening. It could be a lack of appetite of the moment, a stressful situation, but also the symptom of a serious illness. The reasons why a cat rejects food can be very varied. Let’s see then what are the most common reasons why a cat does not want to eat and what we should do, if we get to this situation.

Causes why a cat does not want to eat

Internal motives

  1. A new dog or cat at home. The arrival of a cat or dog at home can generate a stressful situation for some cats. Putting two cats together is sometimes not easy, especially if the host cat has a strong and territorial character. 
  2. Possible poisonings: It occurs if the cat has had access and has been able to ingest toxic or dangerous products for them , such as medicines, plants that can be harmful to them, cleaning products. In these cases we must act quickly if we have the suspicion and go to a veterinarian as soon as possible, who will take the necessary steps, depending on the product or substance that has been ingested.
  3. Changes at home: A simple change of the furniture at home can generate changes in the behaviour of some cats. If we are talking about a reform, changes of housing or new visitors to the house (a lasting visit), it is possible that some cats, look for safe places in the house and avoid eating. This happens because cats are very territorial and also have controlled household odours. Any alteration is a “danger” and many cats can eat less, until they get used to the new situation. In these cases, synthetic feline pheromones can help calm them.
  4. Changing the type of diet: Cats do not easily tolerate changes in their diet. If these changes are abrupt, we have a good chance that they will reject it directly. That is why it is important to make gradual transitions, so that you get used to it little by little. If the change in diet is caused by liver disease, kidney problems in cats , or any other disease in cats , always follow the veterinarians’ instructions and be as rigorous as possible in adapting to this new diet. .

External reasons

  1. One of the most widespread causes why a cat begins to eat less is due to problems in the mouth. From pieces in poor condition due to age, which move and can cause pain when chewing, to gingivitis in cats, which can lead to a decrease in food intakes, precisely because it causes pain. It can also happen that the food is swallowed without chewing, with which it is possible that vomiting is also common.
  2. When the cat is in heat, her behaviour changes. You experience changes in your behaviour, which can lead to you losing your appetite or eating too little. Sterilization in cats is always recommended . It is proven, the benefits that it entails, especially in an improvement in health and a lower incidence of breast tumors, uterus and cervical cancer.
  3. When a cat is sick, one of the first signs is an alteration in feeding levels. The cat will eat less or may even stop eating of its own accord. We have to be very vigilant and be able to detect it as soon as possible. Serious diseases such as feline leukemia or peritonitis in cats can be associated with a loss of appetite. ( or for example if you drink too much water and urinate a lot, it could be diabetes )
  4. Age in cats is also a common cause of decreased appetite. Adult cats are less active, they lose the ability to smell and sniff food, and therefore, they are less palatable.

What if my cat does not eat?

The first thing to keep in mind is that when your cat does not get enough nutrients, its body goes to work, consuming fat reserves. But in the case of cats, their liver helps process fat stores and manage energy. If the liver is not provided with a sufficient amount of protein, it will not do its job, leading to liver failure.

So it is important that you eat and gradually regain the urge to eat. Otherwise, and in the case of cats, you can compromise your own life in a few days.

What to do if you don’t want to eat?

Something that you can try, as long as your cat does not receive facultative or special feeding, due to some disease ( this is very important, because it could only be changed by veterinary recommendation ), is to change the feeding for another that may be more attractive to it. With this change we can see if our cat is encouraged to eat.

What we always recommend, at the same time that you detect that your cat is not eating, or does it in very little quantity, is to go to your veterinarian. Explain everything that surrounds your daily life and try to discard or recognize any of the points that we have mentioned before. This will help you identify the cause and severity of the reason for your poor appetite.

Finally, it is the veterinarian, who will carry out the appropriate tests, to be able to identify the reason why your cat does not eat and to put all the means, so that it can start eating, as soon as possible.

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