"Why won't my cat eat?" is a common question our vets hear from concerned cat owners. Today, our Astoria vets discuss some possible reasons that your cat won't eat, and what you can do.
Cat Not Eating
If your cat won't eat several things could be at the root of the issue, 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 a meal or two but then goes back to eating as normal, there most likely isn't any cause for concern. On the other hand, if your kitty stops eating for more than one or two days there could be an underlying health issue 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:
- Change in regular routine
- Stranger in the house
- New food
- Recent vaccinations
- Motion sickness following travel
If any of these conditions apply in your cat's situation, you will likely find that your feline friend begins eating again within 24 hours or so and will gradually return to normal. That said, if your cat refuses food for more than a day it's a good idea 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
Dental Health Issues
If you believe that your cat is suffering from mouth pain it's time to call the vet. Your Astoria vet can clean your cat's teeth and do a thorough oral examination of your cat's mouth to check for any oral health problems. If your cat has a broken or severely decayed tooth dental surgery may be required.
Like people, cats can suffer from tooth decay, periodontal disease, and painful 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.
Common gastrointestinal (GI) problems in cats can 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 your kitty 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.
GI issues could also be caused by the ingestion of a foreign object such as the string off of a tasty roast. Ingestions of foreign objects are a very serious health risk for both cats and dogs and should be treated as an emergency. If you know that your cat has eaten something they shouldn't call your vet right away for further instructions!
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 consuming 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 veterinarian. 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.