Cats are notoriously picky eaters, but sometimes their food avoidance can be a cause for concern. Here, our Fort Worth vets discuss pet eating problems and some possible reasons your cat won't eat.
Why is my cat not eating?
There are several reasons why a cat may stop eating. Causes can range from disliking their new food to some sort of underlying issue, like physical pain or discomfort. As a cat owner, it can be a frustrating process to figure out why your cat isn't eating.
If your kitty skips one or two meals but then goes back to eating as normal, there's likely no reason to worry. On the other hand, if your cat stops eating for more than a day and continues to resist food, there could be another health issue at play, at which point it is best to consult your veterinarian.
Less Concerning Reasons Why Your Cat Won't Eat
Below are some of the less severe causes of a cat's lack of appetite.
- New food
- Stranger in the house
- Recent vaccinations
- Change in regular routine
- Change in environment (new home or new pets)
- Motion sickness following travel
When one of the above reasons is the cause of your cat stopping eating, they will typically return to their normal appetite after 24 hours. However, if your cat refuses food for more than a day it may be wise to book an appointment with your vet. When it comes to pet health, it's always better to err on the side of caution.
Serious Reasons Why Your Cat May Not be Eating
Gastrointestinal (GI) problems in cats can cause physical pain or sickness which leads to food avoidance. Some of these GI issues include:
- Changes to the composition of their gut bacteria
- Foreign objects trapped in their intestinal tract
- Intestinal parasites
- Urinary obstructions
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 signs of GI issues, it's time to see your vet. Gastrointestinal problems like those we've listed above are quite serious and may require emergency care. In cases like this, an early diagnosis and quick treatment plan are key.
Dental Health Issues
Just like people, cats can suffer from tooth decay and pain and oral infection. Your kitty may be refusing to eat because of mouth pain or a gum condition, which makes it too painful to eat.
If you believe that your cat is suffering from mouth pain it's time to call the vet. Your vet can clean your cat's teeth and do a thorough examination of your cat's mouth to check for any oral health problems.
Just like GI issues, kidney disease can make your cat keel nauseous and refuse food. If your feline friend is suffering from kidney disease, you may notice other symptoms like drinking larger-than-normal amounts of water and frequent urination. Kidney disease is a relatively common condition in cats over seven years old.
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.