One of the most alarming situations for cat owners is when their beloved feline pet suddenly stops eating. If you’ve ever wondered, “Why is my cat not eating?” you’re not alone. Cats are notoriously known for their picky eating habits, but a persistent refusal to eat might indicate underlying issues or behavioral changes that require treatment.
6 Reasons Why Is My Cat Not Eating?
As a cat owner, you should be aware of the possible causes of your cat’s sudden refusal to eat. Knowing the causes can help you evaluate whether you should be concerned, whether there is a home remedy you can try, or if you should visit your veterinarian for treatment.
Cats are good at hiding when they are in distress. It may not be clear that your cat has an underlying health problem that is causing them to lose their appetite. Pay great attention to your cat’s behavior in all of their habits, because if cats go without food for a long time, they might experience some serious health problems.
Anxiety or Depression
Cats, like humans, have a wide spectrum of emotions. There might be emotional reasons behind your cat’s appetite loss. Cats, for example, frequently suffer anxiety or depression when a loved one, human or animal, is no longer in their lives. When this happens, your cat may express its feelings by avoiding food or displaying other behavioral changes.
Extra attention can make them feel better, but treats like little slices of cheese may entice them. Treats provide comfort. Make sure that treats account for no more than 10% of your cat’s overall diet. Use the treats to get your cat excited about eating at mealtime.
You may reward them for eating their usual wet cat food with an extra treat. You can gradually reduce the treats once they have resumed their usual eating schedule.
Cats are highly sensitive to change, so any changes in your living environment might create anxiety and stress. These changes may appear small to humans, but they can be significant to cats. Remodeling, moving food and litter boxes, conflicts with other pets in the home, or the arrival of a new human in the home are all instances of environmental changes.
When your cat is stressed or anxious due to changes in their surroundings, it may stop eating. See if you can identify a change that may be causing their loss of appetite so that you may be able to address it and assist them in resuming regular eating habits.
Some changes are irreversible. If you relocated to a new house, you cannot return to your previous residence just for the sake of feeding your cat. You may have to wait it out if the change is major and permanent.
Digestive Tract Diseases
While cats appear to have a very resilient digestive system, since they happily eat mice, other rodents, birds, and a variety of insects, they can have digestive problems. Your cat may stop eating due to underlying problems with the stomach, small or large intestines, pancreas, or liver.
If your cat is vomiting, has diarrhea, or has stomach pain, it may have a digestive condition, and its appetite might decrease as a result. Acid reflux, intestinal flora imbalance, parasites, irritable bowel disease (IBD), and tumors are all common digestive system conditions.
Examine your cat’s litter box for any signs of blood or mucous in their feces. You may see parasites, like live worms in their litter box or eggs in their feces. This might signal gastrointestinal problems or that something else is wrong with your cat’s health.
While it might be a simple upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, or if your pet’s stomach is sensitive to touch are signs that you should contact your veterinarian right away.
Some cats have tooth and gum discomfort from time to time. Cats may break their teeth, end up with a fractured tooth, and develop resorptive lesions as a result of oral trauma. These lesions produce painful inflammation.
Cats, like humans, may build dental plaque. Plaque can collect germs, causing tooth decay and gum disease. When it comes to gum disease, if it is not addressed, abscesses can form, causing substantial oral discomfort. Whatever the source of your cat’s dental problems, if its mouth is painful, it will most likely refuse to eat.
Dental problems in cats are generally difficult to identify, although they are highly common, particularly with older cats. Dental surgery or cleaning may be necessary to relieve the pain and return your cat to comfort and feeding.
Presence of Foreign Bodies
As a cat parent, you’ve probably noticed your cat eating stuff it shouldn’t. It’s as easy as a hairball for some cats. Others see it as a strange item that they simply cannot digest. These hairballs and other items might become lodged in your cat’s intestines. This is referred to as “obstruction.”
When there is a blockage in the intestines, food cannot flow through the digestive tract, and your cat may stop eating and may vomit. A blockage might be extremely dangerous and need surgery if your cat is unable to pass it. Maintain track of his litterbox and overall mood, and contact your veterinarian right away if you suspect a blockage.
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Loss of appetite might be caused by respiratory illnesses that interfere with your cat’s breathing correctly. Upper respiratory system issues clog your cat’s nose with mucus and fluid, resulting in a loss of sense of smell. When your cat is unable to smell, they are unable to taste. It’s challenging to chew and swallow.
Because of their lack of a snout, flat-faced cat breeds such as Persian cats and Himalayan cats may be more prone to respiratory problems and infections. It is essential to keep an eye on your flat-faced breed’s respiratory health throughout its life.
Furthermore, many respiratory illnesses impair your cat’s lung function, making breathing harder. If your cat has difficulty breathing, eating will be more difficult. Many of these respiratory issues may be addressed with antibiotics; nevertheless, it can often be a more serious condition.