Cat Not Eating: Causes and Treatments
Is your cat not eating? Understand that cats are known as less food-oriented animals when it comes to their diet. Therefore it might seem like you’re wasting time and money on purchasing and serving them food that doesn’t get eaten. Sometimes they are just picky while on other occasions, and there will be an underlying health issue. Whatever the case, your cat needs to be eating to stay healthy. You can only fix an eating problem with your cat if you know the causes. In this article, some of the reasons your cat has no appetite will be discussed alongside the remedies to restore it. At the end of the write-up, you should be able to make the best decision for your cat to get its appetite back on track.
Why Is My Cat Not Eating?
The clinical term for a loss of appetite in cats is known as Anorexia and it must be taken seriously. It is a broad symptom that may or may not be a sign of health problems in your cat. An important question to answer is ‘how long can a cat go without eating’? 24 to 36 hours of no food can be life-threatening for your furball and anything beyond that is worse. When your cat does not eat for a while, their body begins to rely on its protein reserves to survive. This puts pressure on the liver to handle all the fat that is left after the protein synthesis. This leads to hepatic lipidosis, which can lead to liver failure. The weight loss that comes with the loss of appetite does not do any good to your cat and can sever the relationship between you two. The reason why a cat might not be eating will differ from cat to cat, but there are some general causes you can look out for. Here are some causes of your cat’s loss of appetite, which categorized into health issues and food issues.
- Dental disease: Dentition is a significant issue that can cause your cat to altogether reject food due to the role it plays in digestion. The mouth is the first point of contact for the food and if that area is not conducive your pet can’t eat. Dental issues that can cause your cat not to eat include fractured teeth, diseased gums, dental abscesses, among others. This creates a painful mouth that will make chewing very challenging. This is a normal phenomenon that not only cats experience, and so it is not far-fetched.
- Obstruction by foreign bodies: It is not surprising for your cat to put objects in their mouths that have no business in their bodies. Some cats are fond of eating things they should not ingest which causes problems for them later on. Also, a cat that sheds a lot has a tendency to get hairballs into their digestive system. Any time a material not meant for their digestive system goes into the cat, it is called a foreign object. Foreign objects are also one leading cause of loss of appetite in cats. Foreign objects have the tendency to get stuck in the digestive system, causing an obstruction. This means food will not be able to go through the track as usual, causing discomfort in your cat that makes it boycott food altogether. You might notice your cat throwing up and not eating at all, and they may develop diarrhea.
- Digestive system issues: This might be the most apparent cause of loss of appetite in cats since it is the primary channel with which they process food. It consists of the pancreas, stomach, intestines and other parts which form the digestive system developing defects, thereby hindering normal function. When this happens, your cat will experience a lower urge to eat, running them at risk of getting sicker. These issues can range from mild to severe in a cat and all stages must be taken seriously. Some of the problems that can arise include tumors, parasites, acid reflux, irritable bowel disease, and an imbalance of intestinal bacteria.
- Respiratory issues: Cats do rely on their smell to figure out their food and it is directly linked to their respiratory system. A defect in this body system will mean clogged airways and nose and can either be a problem with the upper respiratory system or the lower part. An upper respiratory system issue will mean clogged nose and eyes accompanied by a discharge, thereby hindering smell and sight. An issue with the lower part results in lung problems, and hence breathing difficulties. The problem can either be mild such that antibiotics can cure it or it can be as severe as cancer. In any case, your cat will not feel the same if it suffers from this health issue, but it can still choose what it’ll eat or not.
- Food spoilage: It is usual for any organism to reject food when it smells or looks funny. Since cats are very picky about their food anyway, they will not stand for anything mediocre. Their sharp noses will give it away that the food is gone bad, and you might need to change the meal. You will get the same response with food that has been recalled because your cat can tell when something is off with its food. They will not be forced or coerced into eating just anything, and so you have to pay attention.
- Food Aesthetic: Even as humans, beautiful food is attractive and appealing to us and will make us want to eat. It so happens that cats experience the same thing. When food is neatly packaged, a cat is more likely to eat it up. The shape, texture and flavor of food will also be a determining factor in whether or not your cat will eat its food. Your cat will eat less and less if its food does not look good and taste good. When you notice your cat not eating dry food, it might be because they just do not like it. Consider how you felt the last time your meal was less than expected and imagine your cat feeling the same way.
How To Get My Cat to Eat?
- Visit Your Vet: Most of the time, you cannot solve your cat’s health issues at home. It will become necessary to take them to the vet for medical attendance and treatment. The treatment the doctor will give the cat may include drips, to restore hydration and antibiotics. For cats with dental issues, they may have to be put on anesthesia to cater to the pain. If your cat has foreign objects stuck in their digestive system, they might need surgery to get it out. It is crucial that your cat gets back on a regular diet as soon as possible so that they do you develop further complications such as hepatic lipidosis. Medicine proves to be a better and faster way to solve health issues and your cat will be back to their old self in no time.
- Make food more attractive: This may seem like not a big deal but if you want a healthy pet, then you should be willing to go the extra mile for it. Pay attention to what your cat likes and provide that for your furball. If your cat prefers food in the shape of a triangle or circle, then endeavor to incorporate more of it into their diet. Find the brand or mixture of food that your cat enjoys the most and present it to him or her often. Generally, cats are attracted to stinky food, so try as much as possible to feed them more of that. As a bonus, you can heat food to their body temperature to make ingestion easier for them.
- Prevention measures: As they usually say, prevention is better than cure so in all you do, make sure your cat is on the safer side of life. For example, do you best to brush your pet regularly to prevent them from swallowing any hairs that could cause problems for them. Also, remove all objects that are likely to obstruct their digestive tract and replace them with safe pet toys. Always make sure your cat’s food is fresh and healthy so that they do not reject whatever you give them. To prevent dental health issues, brush your cat’s teeth, and clean their mouth with the appropriate tools to reduce the risk of infections.
As a pet owner, you should be able to tell when your cat is being picky, and when they require professional attention. Loss of appetite in these animals, also known as anorexia, can be a life-threatening situation depending on how you approach it. The information in this article gives you an insight into the dietary life of cats and the issues they may face along the way. It is either you go to the hospital or switch up their meals to get them back on track with their diet. Either way, you should not take it lightly when your cat is not eating.