Pet Eating Problems: Why Won't My Cat Eat?

No pet owner wants to find their cat refusing to eat their food. Today, our Ruckersville vets discuss why your cat may not be eating, and when to see the vet.

Why Your Cat May Not Be Eating

There are several different reasons why cats may refuse to eat, ranging from simply not liking their food to experiencing pain and discomfort. Sorting out why your cat has stopped eating can be a frustrating and challenging experience. 

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 or kitten stops eating for more than a day there could be an underlying health issue causing your cat discomfort.

Less Concerning Reasons Why Your Cat Isn't Eating

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

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

If any of the above conditions apply to your cat, you may well find that they start eating again within 24 hours and gradually return to their normal habits.

If your cat refuses food for more than a day, it may be a good idea to book an exam with your vet to sort out why. When it comes to your feline friend's health, it's often better to err on the side of caution. 

Serious Reasons Why Your Cat Isn't Eating

GI Trouble

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

GI issues may cause your cat to feel nauseous and experience a distinct lack of appetite. If your cat is suffering from gastrointestinal issues, they may show other symptoms too like vomiting, weight loss, and diarrhea. 

If your cat is showing signs of a GI issue, it's time to see your vet. Gastrointestinal problems such as those listed above are serious and may require emergency care. Early diagnosis and treatment are key.

Dental Health Issues

Just like in people, tooth decay and mouth infections can be quite painful for your kitty. Your cat may be refusing to eat because of the pain caused by their inflamed gums, tooth decay, broken and loose teeth, or an injury to the inside of the mouth by a foreign object. 

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

Kidney diseases, like GI issues, can cause your pet to feel nauseous and refuse to eat. If your cat is suffering from kidney disease, you may notice other symptoms like drinking large amounts of water and frequent urination. Kidney disease is quite common in cats over the age of 7.

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.

Is your cat refusing to eat and causing you to worry? Contact our Ruckersville vets to have your kitty examined.