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Pet Eating Problems: Why Won't My Cat Eat?

Pet Eating Problems: Why Won't My Cat Eat?

Our Apple Valley veterinarians know that cats can be very picky eaters. If your cat is refusing to eat, it can often be quite difficult to know why. Here are a few of the reasons why your cat may not be eating and when you should take them into your vet.

Cat Not Eating

There are numerous reasons why cats may refuse to eat. These can range from disliking their new food to experiencing pain and discomfort. Sorting out your cat's reason for not eating can be an upsetting and frustrating experience. 

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 Won't Eat

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

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

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

Some common gastrointestinal problems in cats that may cause them to stop eating can include: foreign objects trapped in their intestinal tract, intestinal parasites, urinary obstructions, cancer, colitis and significant changes to the composition of their gut 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 GI issues, it's time to see your vet. Gastrointestinal problems like those we've listed above are quite serious and may require emergency care. In cases like this, an early diagnosis and quick treatment plan are key.

Dental Health Issues

Just like people, cats can suffer from tooth decay and various mouth infections. You kitty may be refusing to eat because of pain caused by advanced tooth decay, broken or loose teeth and inflamed gums. An injury to the inside of their mouth may also make it too painful to them to eat. 

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

Just like gastrointestinal issues, kidney disease can make your cat keel nauseous and refuse food. If your feline friend is suffering from kidney disease, you may notice other sympsomts like drinking larger-than-normal amounts of water and frequent urination. Kidney disease is a relatively common condition in cats over seven years old.

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 Apple Valley 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 concerned about your cat's ongoing refusal to eat, contact Apple Valley Animal Hospital as soon as possible to book an examination to determine the cause of your kitty's eating problems.

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