Cat Not Eating? 8 Causes of Cat Appetite Loss

A cat not eating may be ill. However, lack of appetite may indicate an uneasy stomach, stress or even cancer. Loss of appetite can be accompanied by other symptoms which will simplify the diagnosis of the condition. Lack of appetite may go away on its own, but may need treatment, depending on the underlying cause.

1. Uneasy Stomach

A cat with an upset stomach is likely to vomit and have diarrhea, so he will lack appetite. Typically, stomach problems are not severe and the cat will recuperate without treatment. If the lack of appetite persists and leads to massive weight loss, you need to ask for a vet’s advice.

2. Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is among the top reasons for lack of appetite in cats. If the cat has recently lost his owner or he lacks the necessary attention, he will be lethargic and refuse to eat.

Stress can be caused by other changes or disease, so you need to monitor your cat and try to relieve stress or get proper medication.

3. Heart Problems

Cats with a cardiac problem may lack appetite. Your vet can prescribe supplements on top of heart medication to ensure that the cat maintains a normal weight.

4. Parasites

Intestinal parasites can cause uneasiness, vomiting and diarrhea, and the cat’s appetite may be also affected. Identify the parasites by running a few blood and feces tests, and get the suitable dewormers.

5. Dental Problems

A cat with dental problems will experience pain when eating, so he will not eat. Even if there are any sores or lesions in the cat’s mouth, he will lack appetite.

Inspect your cat’s mouth when you groom him and observe any abnormalities.

Gum and dental problems can be prevented by daily teeth brushing.

6. Depression

Depression causes lack of appetite. The cat will be less active, sleep more, will be aggressive, easily irritable and sometimes extremely vocal.

Depression may be caused by loss, lack of attention from the owner, hormonal imbalance or a disease.

Depression can be treated with mild antidepressants.

7. Poisoning

Cats often eat things other than cat food. This is how they sometimes end up ingesting toxic ingredients. Common house plants, rat poison and human medication are just a few poisonous ingredients for cats.

Lack of appetite may be a sign of poisoning; however, you are more likely to observe symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea or seizures.

8. Mating Season

During the mating season cats may not eat at all.

If a female cat gets pregnant, she will lack appetite in the first stages of the pregnancy.

Less frequent causes of a cat not eating may include:

  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Tumors
  • Pulmonary disease
  • Feline AIDS
  • FeLV
  • Aging

A lack of appetite in a cat may have physical or psychological reasons. If you notice that your cat does not eat for more than 48 hours, you should take him to the vet.