Your Cat Will Not Eat

Discover why it is your cat will not eat.

There are many possible reasons why a cat is refusing food.

Some of these reasons are serious and some not so serious.

Cats generally are happy with the familiar, this includes the food that they are familiar with.

On the other hand they cats sometimes become bored with the same old, same old food in their dish every day.

Your cat refusing to eat could be simply be her way of demanding a change.

However, try serving her a dish full of a new brand or flavor and she'll likely reject it! She wanted a change but refuses to eat the new food because she is not familiar with it!

The answer is to make any change to your cat's food slowly, mix in a little of the new with the familiar, gradually increasing the amount of the new brand.

Another possible reason that your cat will not eat could be because the food is too cold.

Cats are, by nature, hunters. In their wild state cats eat their prey when they kill it, while the prey is still warm. Cold cat food therefore may be unappetizing.

Try warming your cat's food slightly.

It may be that the reason your cat will not eat is because of a health issue.

Many feline illnesses will prevent your cat from taking in food. If there are other symptoms of illness, or you suspect that your cat is not eating because she is unwell, you should not hesitate in consulting your veterinarian.

Should your cat refuse food, even if there are no other symptoms, for more than twenty four hours - forty eight hours at the maximum – get her to the vet.

When your pet does not take food for an extended period the body fat is broken down to provide energy, and this can result in fatty liver disease.

Other Reasons A Cat Will Not Eat

Could your cat have a problem with her teeth? If your cat has problems with her teeth or mouth, eating could be difficult and painful for her.

You can try tempting her with softened food but if you suspect any dental problem a visit to the vet is necessary.

tabby and white cat

Changed your dish washing soap recently?

If you have your cat may be repulsed by the new smell.

Yes, the smell of cat food is very strong and may mask the detergent odor for some cats, but your cat may be able to detect it and so will refuse to eat from the dish.

Your cats dish does need to be rinsed thoroughly, much more exhaustively than dishes for humans use!

Do you use a plastic cat dish? Your pet may have been happily using a plastic dish for some time and then for no apparent reason your cat will not eat from it. Why? Some plastics become slightly absorbent as they age.

Your cat's plastic bowl may start retaining the smell of old food, no matter how well you wash and rinse it, so the fresh food gets rejected.

Refusing Food Because Of Stress

One of the reasons to consider as a reason for your cat not eating is – Cat Stress. Your cat can become stressed for a wide variety of reasons, most usually reasons involving some sort of change. Cats find change stressful.

One of the many ways the stress manifests itself is by your cat being off of her food.

You can try giving your cat a bit of extra fuss and attention, perhaps setting aside a little play time for your cat each day.

With reassurance that she is still loved your cat may not be so anxious about the change and return to her normal eating habits.

Older Cat Not Eating

Is your cat now an senior cat? As cats get older their eating habits change, an older cat may eat only a portion of what is in her dish at intervals, rather than eat it all in one sitting as she once did.

If you can, give your cat small meal three or four times a day, doing this will help prevent the food left in the dish becoming stale and unappetizing.

Also, as cats get older their sense of smell can deteriorate, even to the point of not being able to smell their food at all.

You can try heating the food slightly which may increase the aroma.

Someone Else Feeding Your Cat?

Is your cat allowed outside? Often the reason an outside cat will not eat is because she or he has been fed by somebody else.

You are providing your feline with good nourishing food but she wanders over to a well meaning neighbor and gets fed there. She returns home and, come her regular mealtime, she is simply not interested in more food.

cat eating
Remember that changes in your cat's feeding and drinking habits can be a signal that all is not well.

What can you do? If you can spy on your cat and discover where she is freeloading, you could ask your neighbor not to give your cat any food.

Explain that your cat is on a special diet or something. Other than that you could try affixing a label to your cat's collar saying “Please do NOT feed.”

An infestation of parasites could be the reason your cat will not eat. Naturally there will be other symptoms present and the situation should not be ignored.

Remember that changes in your cat's feeding and drinking habits can be a signal that all is not well. If your cat refuses food for more than twenty four hours - forty eight hours maximum - get her to the veterinarian.

This page is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice from a veterinarian.

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