If you notice your cat not eating as it normally does, it could be experiencing health problems or having issues with the food. Either way, it’s vital to figure out what’s wrong for the sake of your furry feline friend.

Cats usually keep to themselves, so it can be difficult to detect if something is amiss. When your cat refuses to eat or drink as it typically does, you must look deeper into the situation. It could be experiencing stomach problems, disease, anxiety, or food sensitivity.

Figuring out the issue requires cat vet care to get your pet back on track.

Main Reasons Why Cats Stop Eating

Cats may refuse to eat if they’re in pain, not enjoying their food, or are dealing with an undetected health problem. It’s important to find out underlying reasons to fix the problem. In some instances, your cat might simply dislike its food, but it can be a larger concern than that.

Some reasons for your cat not eating are:

  • Allergies to food
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Bacterial infections
  • Cancer
  • Dental problems
  • Dietary changes
  • Digestive diseases
  • Food flavor or texture
  • Inedible objects
  • Old, stale, or expired food
  • Recent vaccinations

Cats and Food Problems

You might chalk up your cat’s lack of appetite to being a picky eater. While felines do have a reputation for being stubborn, quiet, and sassy animals, there is almost always more to the story. It’s always reasonable to be concerned when your cat suddenly stops eating, but the answer could be changing your cat’s food or learning about its preferences.

Cats may have food sensitivity and only enjoy certain tastes, shapes, types, and brands of food. Some cats prefer salmon or tuna flavors in dry food, while others may love chicken or fish wet food. Try different foods to see what your cat likes best, and always check the expiration date, as your cat could be refusing spoiled food.

Your cat might also stop eating if it is reacting to a food allergy or if the food’s flavor changes. If its favorite food suddenly tastes different, it may not like it and become upset. Some cat food manufacturers change their ingredients, sometimes to make the food healthier or taste better, causing your cat to refuse its meal.

What Health Issues Can Contribute to a Cat Not Eating?

One of the most serious health problems that can cause a cat to stop eating is cancer. Many kinds of cancer can make a cat extremely ill and uninterested in eating. However, you should seek cat vet care to verify that your pet doesn’t have any other health problems. If it does, veterinary care can make these issues more manageable.

Staying on top of your cat’s health is a good way to keep them healthy, happy, and eating meals as normal. Some diseases come with old age, and your cat may naturally be at risk as it gets older. Some health problems that may cause your cat not to eat are as follows.

Dental Diseases

When cats have inflamed or painful gums and teeth, eating can become a nightmare. It’s not always easy to detect dental issues in felines, but they could definitely explain why your cat doesn’t want to eat. A vet can give your cat medicine to examine its mouth and teeth for lesions or redness.

Kidney Disease

Toxin buildup and nausea from kidney disease will result in a cat not eating.

Digestive Diseases

If your cat’s digestive system is having trouble, it is understandable why your cat refuses to eat. It could have a parasite, pancreatic problems, IBS, a tumor, or an indigestible object stuck in its body. Your cat might have eaten something it shouldn’t or have problems with its GI tract.

How You Can Encourage Your Cat to Eat Again

As its owner, you can try to get your cat to eat again and see if it helps at all. Only a small number of these cases are due to non-serious causes, so you should always get professional cat vet care for the best treatment. Some methods of cat mealtime encouragement are:

  • Designate a Clean and Safe Area – We all want to eat our meals in a non-cluttered and clean environment, so why wouldn’t our furry friends? Make sure your cat’s food and water dishes are clean and in an unobstructed, quiet, and safe environment. Your cat should have easy access to its food and water, and not feel stressed or intimidated while eating by humans, objects, or other animals.
  • Change Your Cat’s Food – Flavorful wet food might make your cat excited to eat again, so try canned chicken or tuna. You could heat up cold food, mix it with warm water, or even pour nutrient-rich tuna juice over your cat’s dry food. Try out a new cat food flavor.
  • Supplement Your Cat’s Diet – B-12 is an excellent vitamin for cats to consume alongside their normal diet. Based on your vet’s advice, you might also try other supplements to aid your animal with digestion and increase its appetite.
  • Assess the Situation – Are there any environmental factors that might make your cat hesitant to eat? Is there a lot of noise, crowding, or commotion near your cat’s food dish that puts them on edge? You might need to adjust the location or factors that surround them.

Professional Veterinary Care

Ensuring your cat is in the greatest shape possible starts with a healthy diet and routine veterinary care. If you notice your cat not eating, the best course of action is to reach out to Penny Paws Animal Clinic for professional treatment and recommendations. A cat’s refusal to eat could be anything from food sensitivity or anxiety to poisoning or respiratory diseases, so reach out to us for an appointment at one of our Texas clinics.

Let Penny Paws Animal Clinic keep your best friend happy and healthy! Contact our team today to book an appointment and get your cat back on track with the help of our caring team.