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Why Won't My Cat Eat? Causes And What To Do

Why Won't My Cat Eat? Causes And What To Do

Both cat owners and our Redding vets know that cats can be infamously picky eaters, so if your cat is refusing to eat it can be difficult to know why. Read on for a few reasons why your cat may not be eating, and when you should head to your vet. 

Why Is My Cat Not Eating?

Cats can refuse to eat for several reasons ranging from not liking a new food to pain, discomfort, or illness. As cat lovers, figuring out the reason for our pets' reasons for not eating can be challenging and distressing.

If your cat skips 1-2 meals but then returns to eating as normal, there's unlikely anything to be concerned about. On the other hand, if your cat or kitten stops eating for more than a day there could be an underlying health issue affecting their appetite or ability to eat.

Non-Emergency Reasons Your Cat May Not be Eating

The following are some of the less serious reasons that your cat may be less interested in food:

  • Change to a new food
  • Recent vaccinations
  • Motion sickness following travel
  • Change in a routine
  • Unfamiliar person or animal in the house

If any of these conditions apply to your cat's situation, you'll likely notice your cat eating again within 24 hours and gradually returning to normal. 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 the health of your cat, it's always better to err on the side of caution.

Emergency Causes Behind Your Cat Refusing to Eat

GI Trouble

Some common gastrointestinal (GI) problems in cats are parasites, foreign objects lodged in the intestinal tract, gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, urinary obstruction, colitis, cancer, or changes in gut intestinal bacteria.

GI issues can cause cats to be nauseated, leading to a lack of appetite. If your cat is suffering from a gastrointestinal issue it may show additional symptoms like weight loss, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea. 

If your cat is showing signs of a GI issue see your vet right away. Gastrointestinal problems such as those listed above are serious and may require emergency care, early diagnosis and treatment are key.

Dental Health Issues

Like people, cats can suffer from tooth decay and various mouth infections. Your cat may be refusing to eat due to pain caused by advanced tooth decay, inflamed gums, broken or loose teeth, a dental abscess, or an injury to the inside of its mouth caused 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

Much like gastrointestinal issues, kidney disease can make cats feel nauseous and refuse to eat. If your cat is suffering from kidney disease you may notice other symptoms such as drinking large amounts of water and frequent urination. Kidney disease is relatively common in cats over 7 years old. 

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 Redding 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.

If you are worried about your cat's refusal to eat contact our Redding vets today to book an examination for your feline friend. 

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Dana Park Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Redding companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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