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Why won't my cat eat?

Our Murfreesboro veterinary team knows that cats have a well-earned reputation as picky eaters. So, when they refuse to eat, it can be difficult to figure out why. Here are a few reasons your cat may not be eating and when you should bring them into your vet.

Why is My Cat Not Eating?

There are a number of different reasons why cats may refuse to eat, ranging from simply not liking their food to experiencing pain and discomfort. Sorting out why your cat has stopped eating can be a frustrating and challenging experience. 

If your feline companion skips one or two meals but then resumes normal eating habits, there is likely nothing to worry about. In contrast, if your cat or kitten stops eating for more than a day, there may be an underlying health issue causing discomfort.

Less Concerning 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
  • Stranger in the house
  • Motion sickness following travel
  • Change in regular routine

If any of the aforementioned conditions apply to your cat, it is likely that they will resume eating within 24 hours and gradually return to their normal routine. If your cat refuses to eat for more than a day, it may be advisable to make an appointment with your veterinarian to determine the cause. When it comes to your feline companion's health, it is usually best to err on the side of caution.

More Serious Reasons Why Your Cat May Not be Eating

GI Trouble

Common gastrointestinal (GI) problems in cats include: parasites, foreign objects trapped in the intestinal tract, gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, urinary obstruction, colitis, cancer or changes in gut intestinal bacteria.

Your cat may experience nausea and loss of appetite as a result of gastrointestinal problems. In addition to vomiting, weight loss, and diarrhea, your cat may exhibit additional symptoms if it has gastrointestinal problems.

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.

Dental Health Issues

Similar to in humans, tooth decay and mouth infections can be extremely painful for your cat. Your cat may be refusing to eat due to pain caused by inflamed gums, tooth decay, broken and loose teeth, or an injury to the inner mouth caused by a foreign object.

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

Similar to gastrointestinal issues, kidney disease can cause your pet to feel nauseated and refuse to eat. If your cat has kidney disease, you may observe additional symptoms such as excessive water consumption and frequent urination. Kidney disease is quite prevalent in cats older than 7 years.

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 Oakland 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.

Is your cat's refusal to eat causing you to worry? Contact Animal Medical Center today. Our vets have experience in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of illnesses affecting our feline friends.

New Patients Always Welcome

Animal Medical Center is happy to welcome new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about improving the health of Murfreesboro companion animals. Contact us today to book your pet's first appointment.

Book Online (615) 867-7575