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Why is my cat not eating?

Why is my cat not eating?

If you've noticed your cat's food bowl hasn't been touched all day, you might be thinking 'why won't my cat eat?' It can be difficult to figure out why but here are a few of the most common reasons why your cat may not be eating. 

Cat Not Eating

If you've noticed your cat won't eat, there are a number of reasons to consider ranging from disliking their new food to pain. Figuring out the issues causing your cat to no eat can be quite challenging.

If your feline friend skips one or two meals but then goes back to eating as normal, there likely isn't anything to worry about. On the other hand, if your cat stops eating for more than a day there could be an underlying health issue causing your cat discomfort.

Common Reasons Why My Cat won't Eat

The following are some of the less serious reasons why your cat may be suffering from a lack of appetite:

  • New food
  • Stranger in the house
  • Change in regular routine
  • Recent vaccinations
  • Motion sickness following travel

If any of these conditions apply in your cat's situation, they will likely begin eating again within 24 hours and fully back to normal shortly after. That said, if your kitty refuses food for more than a day it's a good idea to book an appointment with our veterinary professionals. When it comes to pet health, it's always better to be safe and get them looked at.

More Serious Reasons Why Your Cat May Not be Eating

GI Trouble

Common gastrointestinal (GI) problems in cats can include: foreign objects trapped in the intestinal tract, parasites, pancreatitis, urinary obstruction, colitis, cancer or changes in gut intestinal bacteria.

GI issues can cause your kitty to feel nauseous and a lack of appetite. If your cat has a gastrointestinal issue they may show other symptoms like weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. 

If your cat is showing signs of a GI issue, book an appointment with your vet right away. Gastrointestinal problems such as those listed above are serious and may require emergency care, early diagnosis and treatment are key.

GI issues could also be caused by the ingestion of a foreign object such a rubber band. Ingestions of foreign objects are a very serious health risk for both cats and dogs and should be treated as an emergency situation. If you know that your cat has eaten something they shouldn't call your vet right away for further instructions!

Dental Health Issues

Like people, cats can suffer from tooth decay, periodontal disease and painful mouth infections. Your cat may be refusing to eat due to pain caused by advanced tooth decay, broken or loose teeth, inflamed gums, a dental abscess, or an injury to the inside of their mouth caused by a foreign object.

If you believe that your cat is suffering from mouth pain it's time to call the vet. Your Franklin vet can clean your cat's teeth and do a thorough examination of your cat's mouth to check for any oral health problems. Surgical options may need to be considered if your cat has broken or severely decayed teeth. 

Kidney Disease

Much like gastrointestinal issues, kidney disease can make cats feel nauseous and refuse to eat. If your cat is suffering from kidney disease you may notice other symptoms such as drinking large amounts of water and frequent urination. Kidney disease is relatively common in cats over seven years of age. Kidney disease can only be diagnosed and treated by your veterinarian.

If your cat has stopped eating and is showing other symptoms of kidney disease contact your vet to book an appointment.  

How can I encourage my cat to eat?

There are several things you can try to see if your cat will begin eating again.

  • Keep your cat’s food and water bowls clean. Stainless steel bowls are easy to clean and disinfect
  • Give them canned or wet food - strong-smelling food such as seafood is a good option
  • Gently warm the food in the microwave or with warm water
  • Give your cat nutritional supplements as recommended by a vet
  • Try drenching their solid food with the juice from a tuna can
  • Considering stress can be a cause, ensure your cat’s environment is safe and that the food dish is located in a quiet area

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your cat has gone more than 24 hours without eating, contact our Franklin veterinary professionals immediately to book an appointment and get them the help they require.

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Advanced Veterinary Care is accepting new patients! Our friendly and experienced vets are passionate about improving the health of Franklin companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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