Why doesn't my cat want to eat?

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¿Your cat does not want to eat? ¿Doesn't seem like he wants to drink water either? Sometimes, it can be normal to observe that our cat is inappetent without implying any underlying problem, however, in other circumstances it may be an alarm symptom that indicates that something is not right. The causes that can lead to this change in the behavior of our feline are diverse and we find from very simple reasons to serious complications, which must be treated by a veterinarian.

In this AnimalWised article we explain why doesn't your cat eat and we show the main reasons that can also cause the lack of water intake. Keep reading to find out and visit the specialist with all the data if necessary.

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  1. Why doesn't my cat eat I think?
  2. Why doesn't my cat eat anything?
  3. Why doesn't my cat want to eat or drink water?
  4. My kitten does not want to eat, what happens to him?
  5. Symptoms of disease in cats
  6. How to make my cat eat?

Why doesn't my cat eat I think?

One of the most common situations when making a change in the cat's diet is to observe that it completely rejects the new food. Likewise, it is possible that you will stop eating I think suddenly, accepting other foods such as cans of wet food or homemade food. This rejection of the feed can be produced for several reasons, among which the following stand out:

  1. Doesn't like new food. If you have modified your feline's diet and have observed that your cat does not want to eat the new feed, the answer is probably as simple as this, the cat does not like the new feed. To check, try stimulating him with tasty food, such as a piece of chicken, ham, or wet cat food. If you eat without problem you will know that the problem lies in this reason.
  2. The change in food has not been gradual. Cats are animals very susceptible to changes, so the slightest variation in their routine can destabilize them. To prevent this from happening, it is best to introduce changes gradually and progressively. This also includes changing your food, both to avoid stress and to ensure that your digestive system accepts it properly. In addition to the aforementioned, a sudden change of food can make the cat vomit or have diarrhea, so it is important to mix the old feed with the new one for a few days, gradually removing the old one until only the new one is left..
  3. The feed is of low quality. When the feed does not cover the nutritional needs of the animal, it is totally normal that it prefers to reject it and look for another food that makes up for those deficiencies. Check the nutritional composition of the feed and check if it is adequate or not.
  4. Food is too close to water or litter box. Believe it or not, it is very important to adapt the home so that your cat feels comfortable in it. It is very common for cats to stop eating if they have the sandbox, water, dirt and even a speck of dust near their food. Some are more delicate than others, but in general, it is a common cause of anorexia.
  5. Have an oral problem. If the cat suffers from gingivitis, periodontitis or any other health problem related to the oral cavity, it is usual that the first symptom we notice is that the cat does not want to eat dry feed. On the other hand, we will see that it accepts wet food or that it does not involve chewing.

These are the most common causes that explain why a cat does not eat feed but other foods, we will see below what happens when a cat does not eat anything.

Why doesn't my cat eat anything?

Anorexia in cats is one of the first clinical signs of various diseases. Therefore, when we notice that a cat does not eat anything, the first thing we should do is visit the vet. To get a better idea of ​​the seriousness of this situation, we show the most common causes that may be behind this lack of appetite in cats:

Hairballs, main cause

Intestinal hairballs, called trichobezoars, They are the most common cause of our cats suddenly stopping eating. These balls, whose formation is due to the accidental ingestion of dead hair from its coat when licking to groom itself, can obstruct the animal's intestine if it cannot expel them, reducing its appetite but also producing other symptoms such as apathy, retching or constipation..

To avoid such hairballs there are three very easy solutions. The first is to brush their coat daily, especially during the shedding period. The second solution is to administer cat malt to prevent the formation of the annoying hairballs in your body. Finally, if we have not brushed the cat correctly or given it malt, and the balls are already lodged in its intestine preventing it from evacuating, the solution will be smear with pharmaceutical paraffin a paw of our cat. The cat will lick the greasy area to remove the paraffin, ingesting it when performing this act. Paraffin is an artificial fat that neither the stomach nor the intestines of the cat assimilate. Consequently, all the amount that enters, leaves, lubricating and dragging the intestinal trichobezoars out. In the event that this last solution does not work, immediately take the cat to the vet for treatment as soon as possible, since the cat's life will be in danger.

Possible poisoning

Sometimes, without wanting to, we offer you bad food condition our cat or he picks them up from the trash. It usually happens with fresh feed containers open for hours and left out of the refrigerator or with leftovers from our food exposed to the summer heat that causes fermentation. All this can damage the animal's digestive system and cause intense discomfort in it, which will lead it to stop eating completely and to show symptoms such as vomiting, listlessness and fever. We must also rule out that the feline may have suffered a poisoning, something that occurs frequently in cats that have access to the outdoors. In this sense, reviewing the symptoms of poisoning in cats is essential. There are also poisonous plants such as oleanders and dieffenbachias. All these cases must be attended by a veterinarian.

The cat does not eat due to stress, depression or anxiety

Many people go through this situation: "My cat does not want to eat and is sad ". In fact, this is one of the most common concerns of cat caregivers. It is a serious situation that must be treated urgently, since a cat that does not eat anything and also stops drinking can die in This state of mind can occur for several reasons, the most common being a traumatic circumstance. In addition to the lack of appetite, we will observe that you are sad, down or depressed.

On the other hand yeah your cat is stressed and does not eat It is essential that you try to find the cause that is causing this stress. Anxiety and stress are very common disorders in these animals due to how susceptible they are to changes, as we have already mentioned. Thus, a change of residence, a new member in the family, the birth of a baby or the death of a loved one can be the cause of the cessation of feeding by our saddened or jealous cat.

Lack of appetite in cats due to illness

If you are thinking "my cat does not eat and vomits ", "my cat does not eat and is very thin "or " my cat does not eat and sleeps a lot ", perhaps it is time to consider going to a specialist. A sudden cessation of food intake by our cat may be a sign that he is suffering from a disease. Therefore, if after one or two days the animal does not improve, a visit to the veterinarian is mandatory, as it may be the aforementioned trichobezoars or more severe problems in the digestive system that may require surgery..

Why doesn't my cat want to eat or drink water?

¿Your cat does not eat or drink? The heat it is one of the main reasons that leads a cat to stop eating and drinking. During the summer, cats tend to reduce their intake of food and water because the heat and the fact that they sleep more in the cool areas they discover reduce their appetite. This reaction is accentuated if we are not attentive that our cat has enough water in its drinking fountain to completely quench its thirst..

On the other hand, the reasons mentioned in the previous section can also cause a cat not to want to eat or drink. Among all, the most frequent are usually depression, viral diseases such as feline panleukopenia, feline leukemia, or feline immunodeficiency virus (feline AIDS).

Both dehydration and lack of food cause a very serious state of health in the animal, so it is essential to go to the vet to find the cause of these symptoms and combat it..

My kitten does not want to eat, what happens to him?

Baby cats or puppies need special attention, since their immune system is much weaker and they tend to become dehydrated more easily if they stop drinking fluids. In addition, they are also usually more sensitive to diet changes, so it is important to monitor that they eat whenever we modify their diet. In this way, if your one-month-old kitten does not want to eat and you have just adopted him, it is most likely due to both sudden change of food like to change of home and family nucleus. Keep in mind that this is a very new situation for him and he needs to adapt. Respect his times and facilitate this adaptation as much as possible using synthetic pheromones, providing a space just for him, offering him affection but without overwhelming him, etc. For more details, don't miss this article: "¿How to prepare for the arrival of a cat at home? ".

For these cases, it is always recommended stimulate the kitten with moist food, even mixing it with warm water to offer extra hydration. This type of food is much more palatable and has a better acceptance than dry feed.

However, if the kitten has suddenly stopped eating or you have observed that your kitten does not eat and sleeps a lot or vomits, there is a possibility that it is a health problem. The feline rhinotracheitis it is a viral disease that tends to develop in baby cats more than in adults. This condition causes difficulties in eating food, so its symptoms include stopping eating. The kitten should be seen as soon as possible by a veterinarian.

If a puppy cat has not ingested at all in 24 hours it is cause for concern and a emergency veterinary visit. Also, remember that baby cats need to feed between 4 and 8 times a day, so if a newborn cat has not received food in 12 hours, you should also go to the vet..

Discover in AnimalWised more about the feeding of newborn cats, the stimulation they need to urinate and defecate or the environment in which they must remain.

Symptoms of disease in cats

In this situation, it will also be essential to assess the vital signs of the cat and the symptoms of disease, through a general physical exam. Here's how to do it:

  1. Check your cat's mucous membranes (gums, eyes, sex and anus) and if they are of any color other than pale pink you start to worry. White, blue, yellow or deep red tones are a sign of disease.
  2. Get a digital thermometer to take your cat's temperature, which is done in the same way as a dog. It should be between 38 ºC and 39 ºC.
  3. Take your cat's pulse with the index and middle fingers, although it should be noted that it can be somewhat complicated. Your heart rate should be between 140 and 200 beats per minute (BPM).
  4. Check your breathing rate placing your hand on her belly. It is normal for cats to breathe between 20 and 42 times per minute (RPM).

Cats do not usually show signs of disease as obvious as other animals, therefore, we leave you some common symptoms of disease:

  • Discharge from the eyes
  • Secretions in the nose
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Urine with blood
  • Bloody stools
  • Inability to urinate
  • Recurrent nausea
  • Insistent meows
  • Wounds and skin problems
  • Presence of parasites
  • Fetid breath
  • Fruity breath

If any of the vital signs of the cat are altered and you also observe symptoms of disease, do not think about it and go to the emergency vet as soon as possible, calling you in advance to ensure that they can assist you and receive directions if necessary.

After carrying out these tips, you may notice that your ability to examine your feline is greater than you expected and, therefore, you consider dedicating yourself to it in a professional way. Well, to learn how to check the vital signs of a cat and get to train as a veterinary technical assistant, making your passion your profession, you can do the VETFORMATION Veterinary Technical Assistant Course, one of the most complete and recognized due to the quality of its syllabus, taught by veterinarians specialized in training and doing internships in one of the 700 collaborating clinics or hospitals.

How to make my cat eat?

The first thing to do if a cat does not want to eat or drink after many hours is to try to stimulate it with very tasty food, such as cans or homemade food. You will probably know a food that your cat cannot resist, try offering it and see if he eats or not.

Some extra tricks may be heating up the food or substitute the water for chicken or fish broth (without salt or onion), to nourish it while you hydrate it. If your cat seems to be feeding on his favorite food and accepting water, you may be dealing with a depressed or overheated cat. In this sense, know the cause that is causing the anorexia It's fundamental. If your cat has stopped eating due to a change in feed, you should consider modifying its food again, but if on the contrary it is depression, you should act to improve its well-being and offer environmental enrichment.

In any case, if you have not been able to identify the reason that causes your cat not to eat, call your veterinarian to explain the situation, he will tell you how you should proceed and, according to his assessment, what to do about it.

Emergency hydration

If you suspect that your cat is dehydrated, it may be necessary to use a syringe (without a needle) and try to offer some water directly to his mouth. You can also consider the option of making serum at home. If after an attempt to hydrate your cat vomits or spits up water, you should worry and go to the emergency vet.

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