Cat Not Eating - Possible Causes and Solutions

Katze frisst nicht mehr - Mögliche Ursachen und Lösungen

Cat no longer eats

Most cat owners know that cats can be picky eaters. Different types of food often have to be tried to find out which food the cat likes. However, if it can be observed that the cat is constantly refusing food or even refusing it altogether, in most cases this indicates that something is wrong. It is then important to either stimulate the cat's appetite again or to consult a veterinarian.


How long can cats go without food?

Depending on how healthy a cat is and what phase of its life it is in, the robust animals can certainly do this over several weeks get by without food. However, this is only possible if they have enough liquid to drink.

However, you should know that just because cats can hold out for so long doesn't mean it won't harm them! Already 38 hours suffice to most serious damage to health in the emaciated cat's body. Depending on the condition of the cat, it can also go considerably faster. That's why you should after about 24 hours the strict refusal of food necessarily one Consult a vet .

This is what happens when you refuse food

If the Cat refuses food in many cases this is a critical situation. A cat's body is not designed for storing food in the stomach. Besides, he can't Fat burning enzymes form. However, this is not necessary with a free-living cat. The furry noses capture during the day about 15 small birds and rodents . As a result, they are constantly on the move, which is why calories are almost completely used by the body and consequently no larger fat deposits can form.

However, when a cat stops eating, it quickly runs out of energy. That's why she gets tired and listless. Now a vicious circle begins, because at the same time the cat's feeling of hunger decreases. She doesn't eat anything when she actually needs it. This is a natural protective mechanism . After all, hungry cats would run out of energy at the latest when they go hunting again. If they don't succeed in catching the prey, they are finally completely exhausted. That is also the reason why cats need to eat as often throughout the day.

Since cats cannot store food in their stomachs, their bodies fall back on reserves when supplies are not forthcoming. It happens Burning fat and muscle. If there is no protein intake for more than 38 hours, there is a lasting disturbance of the balance in the lipid metabolism of the liver.

In addition, the liver is flooded with fats that can no longer be excreted due to a lack of enzyme supply. That's how it ends up happening fatty liver or the hepatic lipidosis . At worst, this leads to liver failure occurs, whereupon the cat dies of toxins that can no longer be broken down. This is especially dangerous for well-fed or even overweight domestic cats.

Cat won't eat - 10 common reasons

Loss of appetite in cats is not always a cause for immediate concern. However, you should not ignore this behavior and instead get to the bottom of the causes . Sometimes other symptoms go along with the refusal to feed, such as vomiting and fever, along. In this case, it is important to take the cat to a veterinarian and have it examined. If you understand why a cat is no longer eating, you can in most cases tell it much better help.

The food is the trigger

Cats are sensitive animals. That's why they notice quite quickly if something is wrong with the food. It is important that you always have one of them clean feeding place and washed bowls provides. Old leftover food, which may already smell a bit spoiled, is almost unbearable for a cat's sensitive nose and is a real appetite killer.

Besides, the following reasons can be considered when it is suspected that the sudden refusal of food could have something to do with the food:

  • unfamiliar food: With cats it is important to find the right balance. If you serve them the same food every day, they quickly become bored. On the other hand, if there is too much variety, this can lead to problems
  • Consistency of the food: Manufacturers of cat food sometimes change the consistency of the food slightly. However, this can mean that a cat suddenly has no appetite for something that it used to enjoy eating.
  • Sensitivity to certain ingredients: Cats sometimes notice very quickly when a particular food is not good for them. Cats are particularly sensitive to some ingredients. As a result, they might instinctively avoid the product in question.

            Unusual surroundings

            Many cats don't like it when they have to change places. After a move or on vacation, it can happen that the cat suddenly refuses any food. This should stop as soon as they settle down though settled in a bit has. If the cat eats poorly for several days, it is important to see a veterinarian.

            In order to make the change of location a little easier for the cat, you should first give them the necessary rest and space they need to settle in. Soothing words and gentle strokes can also help. This is how you show the cat that it is not on its own and that it is not in any danger.

            cat is in heat

            If a female cat is in heat, food intake suddenly plays a subordinate role. In the first place is then reproduction. The cat eats less and is anxious to find a mate with whom to have kittens. However, normal eating behavior should return after the end of heat.

            During this time treats can and feeding the favorite food make a major contribution to stimulating the cat's appetite. If the cat is in heat, you don't necessarily have to worry about the reduced food intake. On the other hand, it becomes critical when the cat eats the food refuse completely should. Then you need to see a veterinarian.

            Excessive stress hits the stomach

            Not only anxious cats sometimes feel a lot of stress in unfamiliar situations. This can occur if it new addition to the family with two or four-legged friends are available or a room has been newly furnished. The stress has a negative effect on the cat's appetite and can lead to the cat no longer touching its food or touching it only rarely.

            It is then important that one of the cat enough retreats provides. For example, many scratching posts have caves in which the house tiger can hide from time to time when the stress is too much for them. Nevertheless, one should not leave the cat completely alone and her again and again undivided attention send. This will make it much easier for her to get used to new situations.

            Outdoor cats find food elsewhere

            If you let cats outside, you give them a lot of freedom. However, this also means that you place a high degree of trust in them. Of course it can be that a cat then turns to the neighbors' food bowls served. Accordingly, she is full when she returns home.

            Reasons for this can be that the cat prefers the foreign food more than its own. Then it is important to find out which varieties she really likes so that she no longer has to use them elsewhere. Alternatively, it may also be useful to Conversation with the immediate neighbors respectively. Of course, people who have one or more house tigers themselves are the first to be considered. It can also be a burden for these cats if a strange animal regularly steals their food. Therefore, a solution to the problem should be sought together.

            Cat is elderly

            How much a cat eats also depends on its age. As cats get older, various signs of aging and diseases accumulate, just like in humans. The cat's body continues to deteriorate and becomes vulnerable. Often the liver, kidneys, teeth, but also the thyroid gland are affected. These problems should be clarified by a veterinarian.

            To encourage the cat to eat when it gets older, a change in diet may become necessary. This is because the kidneys and liver in particular lose their ability to function. Then specially developed feed supports the functionality of the organs in old age.

            However, one should also pay attention to whether the cat, in addition to the loss of appetite, other symptoms shows. For example, if she vomits frequently, this can indicate the onset of liver or kidney failure. However, an overactive thyroid must also be considered. Through this disease of metabolism the cat quickly loses weight, even though it actually eats enough food.

            If there is a suspicion of the diseases mentioned, a veterinarian should be consulted immediately in any case. He can prescribe the necessary medication and redefine the selection and amount of food.

            High temperatures

            Many people know the problem that they have less appetite when it is very hot. Cats can do the same. In addition, food that has been left in the heat for a long time becomes inedible for the cat more quickly. You can tell by the fact that she only smells it, but still refuses it.

            In summer temperatures, cats should be in the early morning or evening feed. At these times it is usually not that hot and the likelihood that the feed will spoil quickly is significantly reduced. Especially suitable in summer is also Dry food , because this stays in the bowl for a long time. However, it is particularly important that there is always enough water to drink ready for the cat.

            dental problems

            Behind a refusal to eat can also Toothache, gingivitis and periodontitis put. It is possible that these diseases are not initially recognizable. This is often because cats are masters at hiding their symptoms. This was also absolutely necessary in the wild, because it could be life-threatening for the cats if they showed weakness.

            For this reason it is important to the cat to watch closely . Eating behavior in particular can provide information about whether a cat suffers from toothache or not. For example, if she tilts her head while eating, this often indicates that she is trying to rest one side of her mouth. But it can also happen that she shows interest in the food, but this spits out quickly or even starts screaming.

            Furthermore are aggressive behavior or sensitivity Touching the cat's mouth possibly indications of dental problems. Many cats try to touch the painful area with their paw and therefore often stroke their face. Also profuse salivation and gnashing of teeth occur. If you manage to look the cat in the mouth, you should open red gums or tartar as well as one watch out for bad breath . If you suspect dental problems, only a veterinarian can help.

            After vaccination or surgery

            If the cat has just had a vaccination or even an operation, it can happen that it initially refuses its food. This is also related to the stress that occurs immediately as a result. The cat may then appear particularly tired. In many cases it is even important that a cat immediately after a treatment takes no food. It would then be wrong to actively encourage them to eat.

            For this reason, refusing to eat after vaccination or surgery in cats is not a cause for undue concern. It only becomes critical when this loss of appetite persists for more than a day or new symptoms indicate other diseases. In such cases, a veterinarian must be consulted.

            Possible diseases

            Depending on the symptoms the cat is experiencing, different diseases can be considered. These often affect the abdomen, Areas of the upper respiratory tract and mouth and throat. Possible diseases in cats with loss of appetite are:

            • dental problems
            • Infection of the pancreas
            • A cold
            • allergy
            • Intestinal parasites such as roundworms
            • kidney failure
            • Gastrointestinal Diseases
            • Digestive disorders such as constipation or diarrhea
            • liver failure
            • poisoning
            • Injuries and inflammation in the mouth and throat
            • thyroid problems
            • Infectious diseases such as FIP, FeIV and FIV

              Visit the vet or wait?

              If a cat doesn't eat, that's always a problem, even if there are no other symptoms. That's why it shouldn't be longer than 24 hours wait with a visit to the vet. Especially old cats or those with previous illnesses should be presented to a veterinarian as soon as possible. He can carry out precise examinations of the oral cavity and have blood and faeces examined in the laboratory. X-rays or an ultrasound examination also provide information about some diseases in a cat.

              Alarming Symptoms

              If other symptoms are observed in the cat in addition to loss of appetite, it is sometimes necessary to visit a veterinarian as soon as possible . Possible symptoms of the cat:

              • loss of weight
              • shaggy and dull fur
              • vomiting and diarrhea
              • Fever (body temperature more than 39 degrees Celsius)
              • severe thirst and increased urination
              • general weakness
              • apathetic behavior
              • 24 hours without food intake

                Cat doesn't eat and sleeps a lot

                The fact that a cat sleeps a lot is not a cause for concern. After all, cats are known to to sleep and rest constantly . In some cases, however, it happens that a cat not only sleeps a lot, but also sleeps eats little or nothing. This in turn is an indication that the animal is not doing well. There are many reasons for this. Sometimes it's just a harmless infection. But it can also be one Poisoning or serious illness underlie.

                Older cats generally have an increased need for sleep and often less appetite. As their activity decreases, they no longer need as much food. However, an old cat should be encouraged to eat if it no longer shows any signs of doing so.

                Unfortunately, refusal to eat when the cat is old can also indicate that it is about to die. Many cats notice this and then retreat to sleep. Her interest in anything eatable gradually wanes. In this case, you should pay attention to whether the cat is simply becoming sluggish or is tormented by it.

                Stimulate the cat's appetite

                In many cases it is useful or even necessary to Encourage cat to eat . The appetite can be stimulated by the following things:

                • treats
                • Use of catnip
                • warming of the feed
                • Hand feeding
                • Enriching the feed with treats such as tuna or chicken
                • Search and hunt games with the fodder

                  Proper bowl and feeding place

                  Sometimes when the cat doesn't eat, it's related to the type of food bowl and where it's placed. You should choose one flat and wide food bowl, because the cat will be able to eat well from it. But no less important is the place where a feeding place is located. Many cats do not particularly appreciate it when it is near the litter box and then refuse to eat.

                  alternate food

                  When feeding cats, it's important to strike the right balance between habit and variety to find. The cat no longer eats or only takes on a little? Then it can make sense to resort to other types of feed or to try different variations . Manufacturers of cat food often offer different types and food combinations. Even if it turns out that the cat likes to eat one type of food in particular, it should not be given all the time, otherwise it could quickly get tired of it.