My cat no longer eats: what can I do to encourage him to eat?

No matter how hard you work every day to put the best things in the bowl for them, for a few days now the gentleman has been choosy and eats less – or even almost more. And logically, this behavior worries you. How to explain it, and what are the tricks to put in place to whet their appetite? 

Why does it refuse to eat? 

There are many reasons why cats disdain a generously filled bowl. In fact, a decrease in appetite is even one of the most common signs of ill-being in our dear felines.

It can be physical discomfort due to a disease targeting the stomach, for example, such as pancreatitis or intestinal problems. It can also be pain in the jaw or teeth.

Loss of appetite can also have a more psychological cause and reflect anxiety or depression. Of course, it is advisable to consult your veterinarian beforehand to make sure that it is not a physical concern.

Another option: it can happen that the side effects of a vaccine cause a temporary loss of appetite. In this case, it is completely normal, and the symptoms disappear within a few hours. Ditto for car trips, plane trips, etc., and changes in habits in general.

How to react? 

If your cat refuses to eat, do not hesitate to give them a little nudge to restore their appetite. To do this, don’t hesitate to use a little trickery to whet your hairball’s appetite! In agreement with your veterinarian and respecting your cat’s diet if necessary, here are some easy steps to take.

Try to change your habits

Basically, it is recommended, when possible, to rotate your cat’s food, at the rate of 2 to 3 different types or brands of kibble per year. This minimizes the risk of allergy and stimulates their stomach.

Don’t rush them 

No need to put the food under their nose for hours while waiting for them to deign to take it. This can in fact create a real aversion for the food you offer them and for food in general, in addition to associating the fact of eating with an unpleasant feeling.


We will indeed avoid providing the gentleman with foodstuffs that are not fresh. There is some truth in saying that cats have sensitive palates. It will know right away if what you are serving them is fresh or not. If it disdains their food, keep it in the fridge so it doesn’t spoil. On the other hand, do not hesitate to put the whole thing in the microwave for a few moments before feeding it: cats prefer slightly hot food.

Let your gluttony speak 

Like all living beings, cats have their sins when it comes to food. Some will love tuna or seafood, while others will throw themselves fangs out on raw meat or the forgotten slab of butter on the work surface. If their favorite food does not pose any threat to their health, do not hesitate to bait them with.

Attention: it is not a question of making it a meal, but of stimulating your appetite thanks to small quantities! For example, by pouring a little juice from the can of tuna or anchovies into the bottom of the bowl, or by adding a touch of grated parmesan on top.

Do not hesitate to appeal to their other senses. A well-smelling food (such as sardines or seafood) will undoubtedly bring them closer to their bowl. You can also encourage them to eat by mobilizing their hunting instinct with a pipolino.

Additionally, if it is receptive, you can hand feed your cat. By putting a little food on your finger, you then have to let it lick it off. This is the ideal technique for complicated cats who have difficulty eating new foods, for example, helping them to gain confidence. Of course, this solution should be temporary.

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