Eating Issues: Why Won't My Cat Eat?

Our Wake Forest vets know that cats can be incredibly picky eaters, so, if your cat is refusing to eat it can be quite difficult to know why. Here are a few of the reasons why your cat may not be eating and when you should take them to your veterinarian's office for assessment.

Cat Not Eating

There are a number of different reasons why your cat may refuse to eat, ranging from disliking their new food to experiencing varying levels of pain or discomfort. Sorting out your cat's reasoning for not eating can be a challenge and may even be upsetting to pet owners. 

If you notice your feline friend skipping one ro two meals, but then returns to their normal eating habits, there probably isn't anything to worry about. Inversely, if your cat stopped eating for more than an entire day, there may actually be an underlying health issue that is causing your cat their discomfort. 

Less Concerning Reasons Why Your Cat May Not be Eating

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

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

If any of these conditions may apply to your cat or their situation, it's more than likely that your furry friend will start eating again within 24 hours and will gradually return to normal. However, if your cat refuses food for more than one day, it may be wise to book an appointment with your veterinarians as soon as possible to get them checked out. When it comes to your pet's health and well-being, it's better to err on the side of caution.

More Serious Reasons Why Your Cat May Not be Eating

GI Trouble

Common gastrointestinal issues that are commonly found in cats can include: foreign objects lodges in their intestinal tract, urinary obstructions, colitis, cancer, parasites, pancreatitis, gastroenteritis or significant changes to their intestinal bacteria. 

GI issues can cause cats to feel nauseous and experience a lack of appetite. If your cat is suffering from a gastrointestinal issue they may show other symptoms such as weight loss, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea. 

If your cat is showing symptoms of a GI issue, it may be time to take them in to see your vet. Gastrointestinal issues like those listed above can be quite serious and may require emergency care. Because of this, early diagnosis and treatment is key to helping your pet make a speedy and safe recovery.

Dental Health Issues

Just like in people, cats can suffer from oral health issues such as gum disease, tooth decay or various other mouth infections. Your cat may actually be refusing to eat because of pain caused by tooth decay, mouth infections, broken or loose teeth or an injur to the inside of their mouth.

If you believe that your cat is suffering from mouth pain it's time to call the vet. Your Memphis vet can clean your cat's teeth and do a thorough examination of your cat's mouth to check for any oral health problems. 

Kidney Disease

Just like gastrointestinal issues experienced by cats, kidney disease can make your cat feel nauseous and curb their appetite. If your cat is suffering from kidney disease, you may notice other symptoms like frequent urination and drinking abnormal amounts of water. Kidney disease is a relatively common health issue in cats that are over 7 years.

Kidney disease can only be diagnosed and treated by your vet. If your cat has stopped eating and is showing other symptoms of kidney disease contact your vet to book an appointment.  

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.

Are you worried about your cat's refusal to eat? Our North Wake Animal Hospital vets are well-versed in diagnosing the source of behavioural issues in our feline friends. Contact us to book an appointment today.