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Why Won't My Cat Eat?

Posted Feb 15th, 2022

'Why won't my cat eat?' is a common question our Ocala vets hear from concerned pet parents. If your cat is refusing to eat it can be difficult to figure out why but here are a few of the most common reasons why your cat may not be eating, and what to do. 

Cat Not Eating

If your cat is refusing to eat, it could be due to a variety of factors ranging from dislike of their new food to pain or discomfort. It can be difficult and upsetting to figure out why your cat isn't eating.

There's probably nothing to worry about if your feline pal skips one or two meals and then resumes normal eating habits. If your cat does not eat for more than a day, there may be an underlying health problem causing your cat discomfort.

Common 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 routine
  • Stranger in the house

If any of these conditions apply to your cat, you'll probably notice that he or she starts eating again within 24 hours and gradually returns to normal. However, if your cat refuses to eat for more than a day, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. When it comes to your pet's health, it's always better to be safe than sorry.

More Serious Reasons Why Your Cat May Not be Eating

There can be some more serious reasons as to why your cat isn't eating, which we list below.

GI Trouble

Parasites, foreign objects trapped in the intestinal tract, gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, urinary obstruction, colitis, cancer, or changes in gut intestinal bacteria are all common gastrointestinal (GI) problems in cats.

Your cat may be nauseous and have a loss of appetite due to GI problems. Weight loss, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea are all signs that your cat is suffering from a gastrointestinal problem.

It's time to take your cat to the vet if he or she is displaying signs of a GI problem. Gastrointestinal issues such as those listed above are serious and may necessitate emergency treatment; therefore, early detection and treatment are critical.

Ingestion of a foreign object, such as the string from a tasty roast, can also cause GI problems. Foreign object ingestion is a serious health risk for both cats and dogs, and it should be treated as an emergency. If you suspect your cat has eaten something, don't hesitate to contact your veterinarian for further instructions!

Dental Health Issues

Tooth decay, periodontal disease, and painful mouth infections can all affect cats, just like people. Advanced tooth decay, inflamed gums, broken or lost teeth, a dental abscess, or an injury to the inside of their mouth caused by a foreign object may be causing your cat to refuse to eat.

It's time to call the vet if you think your cat is suffering from mouth pain. Your Ocala veterinarian can clean your cat's teeth and perform a thorough examination of his or her mouth to look for any oral health issues. Dental surgery may be required if your cat's tooth is broken or severely decayed.

Kidney Disease

Kidney disease can make cats feel nauseous and refuse to eat, similar to gastrointestinal problems. If your cat has kidney disease, you may notice other signs such as excessive water consumption and frequent urination. Cats over the age of seven are more likely to develop kidney disease. Only your veterinarian can diagnose and treat kidney disease.

If your cat has stopped eating and is showing other symptoms of kidney disease contact your 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 your cat is refusing to eat and you don't know why contact Ocala vets to book an examination. If your cat is showing signs of severe illness or has ingested a foreign object contact us right away for urgent care.

New Patients Welcome

Paddock Park Animal Care Center always accepts new patients! Our team of experienced vets are passionate about pet health in Ocala and beyond. We welcome you and your beloved pet to our veterinary family.

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