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Why Is My Cat Not Eating? Here Are Some Ideas To Fix It

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Is your cat not eating? Like many of us, you may be thinking that it’s a sign of them being spoilt or picky towards their food. So, you head to the nearest shop and get the best quality food but to no avail. Your cat has skipped its meal again.

First of all, if your cat can’t eat, it’s a major red alert for your cat’s health. It may seem that your cat is being ungrateful, however, the reason behind this behaviour could be more serious than you think. Your cat’s loss of appetite may indicate some sort of illness, which is why you should consult your vet as soon as you notice any change in your cat’s eating habits.

The more quickly you respond to this problem, the more you can do something about it to save your cat. 

Why My Cat Cannot Eat?

Here are some of the possible diagnosis for your cat why they cannot eat:

1. Dental Problems

Cat Dental Problems

Cats often face severe dental problems. This is one of the biggest causes why they don’t want to eat. They could be suffering from oral tumours or other inflammatory disorders that can make chewing and swallow their food difficult and painful. Other oral issues may include inflamed gums, an abscess, broken tooth or a cut in their mouth. These make your fluffy little creature deny food altogether and this results in rapid weight loss. If you immediately take them to a vet, they should be able to analyze your cat’s mouth and perform a dental cleanup.

2. Gastrointestinal Issues

Lazy and well-fed cat looking for food and not eat

Another one of the reasons why your cat may not be interested to eat is due to gastrointestinal (GI) problems. There are several problems that could go on in your cat’s GI area such as pancreatitis, cancer or parasites. The symptoms usually start with them not eating their food, vomiting, diarrhoea, rapid weight loss and constipation. In such cases, it is advisable for you to take your cat to the vet instead of trying DIY home remedies. Your vet will be able to diagnose all these GI problems and as a cat owner, it is very important for you to take note of such problems. This could lead to some major disorders and may even cost you your cat’s life.

3. Kidney Issues

This is relatively a common disease among cats, especially older ones. Your cat’s kidneys are very sensitive and it entirely depends on what food you’re providing them with.

Feeding them too much protein could lead to kidney diseases and may cause nausea, which could be why your cat cannot eat properly. Your vet will examine if any such disease exists and provide them with medical care accordingly.

4. A Recent Vaccination

You took your cat to the vet for vaccination and shortly after coming back, she/he wouldn’t eat. If that’s the situation, this is an adverse reaction to the vaccination. Vaccines are lifesavers for cats in the long run, but it does have some short-term side effects too. Loss of appetite is one of those regular side effects of the vaccine.

However, this is temporary and won’t last long. The next day itself, your cat would be wobbling off that tuna cat food. You may also try treating your cat once she’s back from the vet after a vaccination. This may encourage their appetite and allow them to eat something.

5. Travelling

Cats are introverts! They love new places but at the same time, they also love to stay indoors in their own comfort zone. As a result, when you take them to new places, they might feel “awkward” and feel a loss of appetite. Some cats may also experience motion sickness while travelling by plane or by car, causing nausea. So don’t worry too much. Let the cat settle down and it will resume eating in good time.

6. Psychological Issues

Portrait of a Siberian cat opened his mouth in surprise and looking on a bowl full of dry food on a gray background

Some veterans have confirmed the fact that your cat may not be physically sick, but anxiety and depression may be the cause of your cat denying to eat. Cats are very sensitive to loud noises, disturbing households and new people. A little change in the atmosphere may disturb their inner peace. As a cat owner, you also need to ensure their emotional well-being or your cat could be a finicky eater. They also need time to adjust to new food. So even a change in their diet could be the culprit!

How to get back my cat to eat?

Cute cat eating food at home

Now that you know some of the possible reasons behind why your cat wouldn’t eat, here’s how you can revive their appetite and make them gobble down their food again:

  1. Play with your fluffy friend before feeding time: We are sure your house is full of your fluffy friend’s toys. Get one of those bouncy balls and play fetch with him. This would make him exercise that would stimulate his appetite. It’s time you get your cat a gym membership card!
  2. Cat’s love eating with their human: Try feeding your cat while you’re eating. In that case, both of you would be engaged in an activity both of you would feel you are a part of each other’s life. 
  3. “Work for Food”: This is a game that any cat loves. Sprinkle some dry food around the kitchen area to stimulate some activity and hunger in your cat. Once they love the dry food, they would be staring at you for more food and that’s when finally, you can serve them some canned or raw food.

Water Fountain and Food Containers for Your Cat

American short hair cat thirsty so drinking water from water fountain

You cat loves new stuff. Your cat is probably nagging with food and not eating because they don’t like their existing bowl. You may try getting a new food container that comes with a water fountain to encourage your cat to eat. Water fountain will capture your cat’s full attention with its sound and movement mimicking the natural waterfalls. The water fountains are an interesting toy for your cat with food and water in it. These are open containers which allows cat toys to drop in and causes the water to splash out against the adjacent surfaces. In fact, cat food containers are automatic food dispensers and storage solution for over time. These are fun toys that engage your cat in mealtime and alleviate boredom.

Some of these food containers are tech smart! They have a built-in camera for you to monitor whether your cat is eating from time to time on your smartphone or tablet. They also come with compartments to deliver dry food, wet food and treats whenever you want. Now you can relax in peace while your cat gets their meals properly on time. 

Appetite Stimulants for Cats:

Cat eating food at home

Cats are picky-eaters. You have to ensure that it should be food cat can eat. If they are denying the food that you have to offer, here are some appetite stimulants that are sure to provoke their appetite by a good notch:

  • Vitamin B: Crush a multi-vitamin B tablet in your cat’s food and they will be attracted by the smell of the food. Vitamin-B stimulates their sense of smell that is connected to their appetite and will trigger your cat to eat at least some of the food that you served.
  • Catnip: Catnip is a natural stimulant that promotes their desire to eat. Add some catnip to their food and their pheromonic receptors would bring them to finish the food in minutes. Catnips are available in almost every cat store and are a useful stimulant for your cat’s appetite.
  • Warm Your Cat’s Food: Just the way you warm your own food before eating, you can microwave your cat’s food for a few seconds as well. This usually releases an aroma of the cat food and entice your cat towards the food. Warming your cat’s food also kills any bacteria present in the food and makes the food fresh and yum.

Bottom Line

Remember that your cat is a part of your family. It’s your responsibility to keep your feline healthy. Find out food your cat can eat and food your cat cannot eat to provide them with the best. Keep it in mind that there is a HUGE difference between human food and cat food. Don’t give them anything that can be harmful to them. If your cat continues to deny food for two days, take them to the nearest vet immediately! If your cat is following a prescription diet, you may abandon the diet for the time being in order to inspire their appetite back on.


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