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Pets Eating Problems - Why won't my cat eat?

Pets Eating Problems - Why won't my cat eat?

Our vets in Farmington Hills understand that cats can be notoriously choosy eaters, so if your cat is refusing to eat it can be a challenge to find out why. In this post, we list a few reasons why your cat may not be eating, and when to visit your vet.


Cat Not Eating

Cats may refuse to eat for any number of reasons, from disliking their new food to discomfort or pain. Discovering your cat's reason for not eating might be challenging and frustrating. 

If your kitty skips one or two meals but then returns to eating normally, you likely don't have anything to worry about. However, if your kitten or cat stops eating for more than 24 hours, there may be an underlying health condition causing your cat to feel uncomfortable. 

Less Concerning Reasons Why Your Cat May Not Be Eating

These are some less serious reasons why your cat might have a lack of appetite:

  • Change to regular routine
  • New food
  • Stranger in the house
  • Motion sickness after travel 
  • Recent vaccinations

If any of these are true for your cat, you'll likely find that your cat starts to eat again within a day, and will gradually return to normal. That said, if your cat refuses food for more than 24 hours, we recommend scheduling an appointment with your vet. It's always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to pet health. 

More Serious Reasons Why Your Cat May Not Be 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 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 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

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 their 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 seven years of age. 

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 Farmington Hills 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.

Are you worried about your cat's refusal to eat? Contact our vets in Farmington Hills to schedule an examination for your kitty. 

Looking for a veterinarian in Farmington Hills?

(248) 615-6500