Why Is My Cat Not Eating?

For a cat, not eating can indicate any number of feline illnesses. From cat upset stomach to poor nutrition, pet owners should identify a possible cause as to why their cat may have stopped eating. If your cat hasn't eaten in over 24 hours, it may be time to visit the vet to determine the severity of an illness.

Some of the most common causes of anorexia in cats include:

  • Poor diet
  • Outside food source
  • Stress
  • Illness
  • Mouth pain
  • Upset Stomach

Many cats stop eating because they're not getting the needed balance of nutrients in their diet. Cats require protein as the main ingredient in their diets because wild cats live on a diet of raw meat. Additionally, cats don't produce enough vitamin A on their own, and they need to supplement the levels of nutrients using vitamins.

Some cats have upset stomachs as a result of this imbalance, which causes them to stop eating. By changing your cat's diet from dry food to wet food, you increase the palatability of the food while upping the nutrient levels. Additionally, keeping frozen lean ground meat, like turkey, around the house for your cat can aid in the creation of a healthy diet.

Other Food Sources

Many outdoor cats find alternatives to canned food in the environment. If your cat isn't eating at home, he may be hunting in the wild, eating birds or mice. Though nothing is wrong with this on the surface, many animals in the wild have worms or parasites that can infect your cat, causing a serious disease. You may consider closing your doors to keep your cat inside more often.

Additionally, another house may be leaving food out for the cat to find, accidentally or on purpose. Watch your cat leave the house, and see where he goes. He will probably head in the direction of food.

Cat Not Eating Due to Stress

Cats are creatures of habit, and need to be treated as such. When you change your environment, by moving or adding another cat to your home, your cat will become stressed. Consequently, he will lose his appetite until he regains comfort. Try feeding your animal in a separate room, so that he will feel like he has space of his own.

Illnesses Resulting in Disinterest in Food

Anorexia can be a serious sign of illness. You may notice your cat lying in a secluded area, acting irritable and withdrawn. This may be caused by infection, parasites, tumors, or kidney disease. If you see any of the symptoms above, contact your vet to determine the cause of your cat's unwillingness to eat.

Not Eating Due to Mouth Pain

Cats with teeth or mouth pain will avoid eating in order to limit chewing, as this causes even greater pain. Cats are prone to certain cancers of the mouth as well, so if your cat is unwilling to eat, and seems to be experiencing oral pain, check out the cat's mouth. If you notice anything suspicious, make an appointment with your vet.