Help! Why won't my cat eat?

Help! Why won't my cat eat?

Our Seattle vets know that cats can be notoriously picky eaters, so if your cat is refusing to eat it can be difficult to know why. Here are a few reasons why your cat may not be eating, and when you should head to your vet. 

Cat Not Eating

There are a number of reasons why cats refuse to eat ranging from disliking their new food to pain or discomfort. Figuring out your cat's reason for not eating can be challenging and upsetting.

If your feline friend skips one or two meals but then goes back to eating as normal, there likely isn't anything to worry about. On the other hand, if your cat or kitten stops eating for more than a day there could be an underlying health issue causing your cat discomfort.

Less Concerning Reasons Why Your Cat May Not be Eating

The following are some of the less serious reasons why your cat may be suffering from a lack of appetite:

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

If any of these conditions apply in your cat's situation, you will likely find that your cat begins eating again within 24 hours, and will gradually return to normal. However, if your cat refuses food for more than a day it may be wise to book an appointment with your vet. When it comes to pet health, it's always better to err on the side of caution.

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 Seattle 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.

If you are worried about your cat's refusal to eat contact our Seattle vets today to book an examination for your feline friend. 

Caring for Pets in Seattle

Northgate Veterinary Clinic welcomes new and existing clients to our veterinary clinic.

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(206) 363-8421