Reasons Your Cat is Not Eating : Solutions & Advice

Reasons Your Cat is Not Eating

Cats have a reputation for being picky about their food, as well as, where and when it is served. Being particular isn’t always the case and if your cat stops eating for more than a day, a trip to the veterinarian is recommended. Liver disease can develop quickly from not eating and due to a lack of protein.

Common Reasons

Determining why your cat is not eating is the first step in protecting and finding a solution. Your cat’s loss of appetite could be caused by one of these issues:

  • Respiratory infection The ability to smell is a trigger for your cat to eat. If your kitty sneezes, suffers from watery eyes and/or sounds congested, he probably won’t show enthusiasm for its dinner.
  • Nausea If your cat frequently licks its lips, approaches the food dish, then backs away, he maybe nauseated. It’s difficult to tell if your cat has eaten something that upset its stomach or if it suffers from liver disease or other illnesses that cause nausea.
  • Pain or trauma Examine your cat for wounds or injuries. The resulting pain or underlying infection could understandably decrease your cat’s hunger.
  • Ingestion of foreign objects or poison Plants, string, ribbon and pieces of toys can become obstructions, possibly even poisoning your cat.
  • Age-related issues Older cats are more at risk due to kidney problems, bowel disorders, heart disease and cancer. Older cats might suffer from arthritis, limiting their ability to bend to food bowls located on the ground. As cats age, dental problems such as abscessed teeth and bleeding gums can make eating painful.
  • Change in food or location Changing your kitty’s food abruptly can lead to a loss of appetite. Moving the location of your kitty’s food dish may also cause problems. Cats won’t eat if their dish is too close to their litter box. Your cat will also avoid meals if it feels threatened by another animal in a multi-pet household.
  • Household changes The addition of a new pet, the departure of your son or daughter for college, or a move can all affect your cat’s appetite. Pay special attention to your cat’s food intake during times of transition.

Possible Solutions

If your cat will not eat, try enticing him with one of the following:

1. Heat the food. The aroma of warm canned cat food might tempt your kitty. However, just add warm water instead of microwaving. Microwaves can heat unevenly and risk scalding your cat’s mouth.

2. Offer food by hand. The attention you pay to your cat while you feed a few morsels by hand might make a difference.

3. Adjust for age. Consider soft or canned food if your elderly cat has tooth issues. Elevate the food bowl if your kitty is arthritic.

4. Provide a safe & quiet location. Make sure your kitty is comfortable with the location of its food dish. Set up several feeding stations in a multi-cat household. Never put food or water near the litter box.


It is recommended you rotate your cat’s food between different brands two to four times a year. This may help cut down on finickiness and decrease the development intestinal problems. However, a veterinarian can put your mind at ease if your cat stops eating and can help determine the appropriate medical treatment for your cat.

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