Why Is My Cat Not Eating Or Drinking?
As is the case for any concerned pet owner, changes in behavior can be scary. You are wondering why is my cat not eating or drinking? And need to know if it is serious or not.
The water bowl hasn’t gone down for a little while and she seems uninterested by her food tray, just how serious is it?
With so many questions circling around your head, we are going to alleviate the worry of some but also look into how serious it might be. Your cat could be giving you some cause for concern so look into some of the potential causes, and see what remedies might help.
When a cat stops eating, it is a definite sign that something is wrong. The seriousness can vary depending on the reason of course. If you believe it to be serious or if it has gone on for a prolonged amount of time, consult your vet.
Let’s take a look at some of the possible reasons.
Why Is My Cat Not Eating or Drinking – Is She Ill?
One of the reasons your beloved cat has lost their appetite is that they are fighting a disease.
The type can vary in seriousness and can include the likes of infections, kidney failure, cancer and others.
Try not to jump to the worst of conclusions from the get-go though, there are also some illnesses that are much less serious. Anything like gum disease or a toothache can be to blame.
Still, if you believe this to be the case, as you may notice that chewing has caused some discomfort for your cat recently, it is still advisable to consult your Vet.
Is It A Change In Her Environment?
This is a possible reason.
Any major change can be disruptive to your feline friend. If you think moving or repair works to the house is stressful for you, image what it is like for your little furball who doesn’t even understand why there is change.
If you have moved recently and your cat has been traveling a distance with you, this may have been unsettling for them. Some cats find it particularly stressful when in transit and it might just be taking them some time to adjust.
Motion sickness results in a lot of people asking us why is my cat not eating or drinking? Whether it is flying, driving or anything else, it can take its toll. Often this is even more the case for pets that are making long distance moves for the first time.
My Cat Had a Vaccination, Now She’s Not Eating
This is another potential reason for their lack of interest in food.
If she has recently visited the vet for its regular vaccinations or otherwise, the stress of the situation might lead to a lack of appetite.
It might seem like they are sulking or feeling sorry for themselves, but you can’t blame them really. A vaccination can be traumatic for anyone, let alone a pet. Also, a side effect of vaccinations can be that they are feeling unwell for a while, this could put them off their meal.
This should pass and your cat’s appetite should return to normal. If it has been going on for some time, or you are particularly concerned, it is a good idea to consult your vet.
Does Mood Affect Cat Appetite?
Of course, Cats can suffer in silence just as we do sometimes. Depression can be something you cat is enduring or they may feel anxious.
Be mindful of this and try not to create any major changes to their environment for a while.
A visitor whether it be human or feline or even a dog in your home might be the reason for their change in mood.
If this is the case, it might be a good idea to ensure they have a space that is their own so they feel safe. Also, try and keep any newcomers in your house away from their food and water bowl. If strangers are circling around their regular eating area, it might just put them off.
Have a think about any potential changes to their environment that have happened recently and do what you can to make them feel safe.
Why Is My Cat Not Eating Or Drinking? Because shes not feeling herself maybe.
A Change In Feeding Times
It is possible that the time of day that you feed your cat does not align with how hungry they are.
If you have changed your working hours for example, and now have to feed them at a different time can lead to them rejecting food and water for a time.
In most cases, they should still find their appetite before too long.
Your Cat Already Ate!
If your cat’s behavior has not changed, they are still affectionate or playful or whatever their usual self is like – there is a chance that they found food elsewhere.
This might be an overly generous neighbor that has fed them, or they may have caught their own food and are not hungry.
If you think this might be the case you could ask around your area to be sure.
What Can I Do If My Cat Is Not Eating Or Drinking?
The good news is that you aren’t alone. It is not uncommon for cats to become fussy all of a sudden. It can be a scary time.
Although it is believed that they can survive without food for around two weeks, you should consult your vet after only a couple of days to ensure there are no long-term consequences.
A cat cannot survive without water for more than 2 – 3 days in general so this is even more of a concern.
If this is a recent change in behavior then there are some things that you can do that might help your cat.
Why Is My Cat Not Eating Or Drinking? Some Possible Solutions:
Change Food Type
It might be as simple as this.
Have you considered that your cat just isn’t enjoying what they have in front of them?
If they are anxious because of their environment or have been ill, keeping their food plain has proven to be a good way of stimulating their appetite. A tin of Tuna is one example of a protein that cats often enjoy on its own.
Although this shouldn’t become their everyday meal, it just might be a way of helping to get their appetite back. If this shows signs of encouragement, maybe mix it in with some of their normal cat food before switching back fully.
Of course, if you have recently changed their food type then this is a good place to start. If they had no issues when eating the previous brand you fed her and there was no significant reason for you changing it, reverting back might be a good option.
You could give them more than one option. Different brands offer different smells, tastes, and textures that might be something your cat will appreciate. You can even mix dry food with wet to see if this tempts their taste buds.
Syringe Feed Your Cat
At option that some vets would encourage given certain circumstances.
Feeding your pet through a syringe might seem stressful for your cat, and even you but it might be something to consider if other options have not proven successful.
Sometimes you just need to make sure they have the nutrients they need but it is also something to consult your vet about.
A bit of advice on how to syringe feed a cat:
Move The Bowl
The area they usually eat and drink might be the problem.
If it is placed in an area that has a lot of foot traffic moving past it like the kitchen, then consider moving it to a quieter spot.
If you have more than one furry friend, then give them space. Some cats need a bit more privacy but also consider the fact that they are too fearful to go near one of the other cats as it eats. If you have a dominant kitty then be mindful.
Also, if it is too near their litter tray then they are less likely to eat near where they do their business so it is a good idea to consider moving one of them to another area.
Something as simple as this could be the reason you are wondering why my cat is not eating or drinking?
You may be placing your cats’ food next to something that frightens them such as the washing machine or even the hoover. Anything that makes a lot of noise can prevent a cat from feeling comfortable even when it is not being used.
Change the Bowl
Some owners change their cats’ food bowl to slow down eating but it might also help to encourage them to find their appetite once again.
They can be fussy so if they don’t like their bowl, try a plate.
It might even be the case that you changed their bowl and now you are asking why is my cat not eating or drinking?
Like we said, cats are fussy eaters, if you have the old bowl still, give switching back a try.
Why Is My Cat Not Eating Or Drinking? Conclusion
Every pet is different.
Although a lack of appetite might seem strange and can be worrying, some of the reasons can be simple and fixed with easy steps.
If they have skipped a meal and you notice their food or drink bowl is still full the next morning, start to keep an eye on them but it might just be that they weren’t as hungry as usual in this instance.
Even if you are trying to encourage your cat to eat a specific vet-advised meal, remember that there should always be something available that you know they like to eat if they are refusing this specific one.
Starving them to force them to eat a particular brand is not an option and is dangerous.
If the lack of appetite continues for an extended amount of time, or if you are concerned about their health in any way, consult your vet.