Do you want to know how long cats go without eating? Why they won’t eat and what should you do in case they won’t eat either because of health issues or food flavor? Then there are a few things you must know about.
What Happens When A Cat Doesn’t Eat?
How long can cats go without eating is a question that cat owners always look for and have different opinions about it. This is a thought that usually floats in their minds when their cat is showing any signs of sickness or not having its normal diet.
The phenomenon is quite complicated and depends upon several factors. You need to check out a few things related to the health of the cat and how its daily routine has changed over a few days or even weeks.
Quick Table Content
- Why Is My Cat Not Eating Like Before?
- Is The Cat Sick If They Are Refusing Food?
- Dental Issues
- Respiratory Issues
- Gut Problems
- Kidney Disease
- Food Issues
- Environmental Changes
- Side Effects From Medicines
- Pet Owners Not Providing Cat with Due Care
- Family Members Don’t Like Cats
- How Can I Get My Cat To Eat More?
- Can I Change The Food From My Cat?
- Final words
Generally speaking, cats can survive without food for a week or two, provided, they get enough of the water supply. Some cats with a deficiency of protein could survive for 3 to 5 days. If water and regular diets are both missing, then it would hardly go beyond three days.
Why Is My Cat Not Eating Like Before?
Loss of appetite could be due to various reasons and it should be checked over the behavior of the cat in the last few days. In the most serious scenarios, this could point to some critical underlying health issues.
It may include cat flu, fever, diabetes, pancreatitis, hyperthyroidism, and sometimes kidney disease as well. Sometimes, it could also be an issue with dental problems including sore gums, which makes it difficult for them to chew food.
Moreover, environmental changes are also a cause at times when you move it to your home from a foster house or any other location.
Is The Cat Sick If They Are Refusing Food?
They certainly are and this requires a proper diagnosis to be made by the veterinarian. The vet at first is more interested in the health history of a cat and if it is carrying any other disease for a long time. This helps them to pinpoint the issue and to start the required treatment.
Physical examination of the cat is equally important, which mostly for cats starts with the microscopic analysis of the cat’s hair and skin scrapings. Some specialized blood, urine, or skin tests may also be made for diagnosis. In some critical scenarios, a biopsy is also performed.
These could be completed in a day and treatment can then start accordingly to rectify the underlying disease.
1. Dental Issues
The dental issues in cats are quite normal and they may result in loss of appetite. Tooth resorption, periodontitis, and gingivitis are the most common dental issue in cats. The presence of any one or more of these conditions is one thing and their severity is another.
It is the severity that could alter the degree of the symptoms and their impact on a cat’s life. The cats with the least severity could still feel discomfort and in extreme cases, they could feel immense pain. This could not only impact the routine diet of the cat but their overall lifestyle as well.
2. Respiratory Issues
If you find your cat sneezing, coughing, fever, runny eyes, nasal or oral discharge then it could be an indication of some respiratory disease. This is usually the case with cats that have experienced recent environmental changes or live in the open. It is more so related to outdoor cats. Any such symptoms require immediate medical treatment before things get worse
3. Gut Problems
Gut or digestive problems would see an abrupt change in the diet of cats and this could result in loss of appetite as well. The most common and short-term disease in this category is the inflamed digestive tract.
This could be triggered due to eating spoiled food, rancid, or consuming anything that is not eatable such as toxic herbs or foreign objects. Some food allergies to cats could also result in the same.
4. Kidney Disease
Kidney diseases when diagnosing late in cats could be fatal. Therefore, you need to make a good note of the behavioral changes that are discussed in this section. It is a disease that could surface up in cats of all ages. Some toxic plants such as lilies or pesticides could be poisonous, which may cause renal failure.
There could also be some human medications or cleaning fluids that can also be highly poisonous for the kidneys. The pet owners require to be extremely careful at the first step to restrict access of their cats to such poisonous things. If it happens then they need to take immediate doctor help for treatment.
5. Food Issues
The pet owners in the early days of their cats tend to experiment a lot and this could be dangerous for them. It is better to do your research first and then come with a proper diet plan for the cat. There are certain food disorders as well that could result in food-related problems.
It could be overeating or eating too quickly which could result in health issues and may impact their diet or in anorexia, which is the loss of appetite. Pica is the case where non-edible objects are consumed which could cause the same dietary health issues in cats.
6. Environmental Changes
Environmental changes have a lot to do with the overall dietary habits of your cat. Let us start with seasonal changes where you could see an abrupt rise or fall in the diet of your furry friend. Cats in winters comparatively rely more on their pet owner for feed as hunting on their own is difficult in such extreme weather conditions.
Cats usually require to have a nice cozy place for their sleep and if that is compromised then so will be their diet. On similar lines, the cats are usually very affectionate with their owner. If the owner is away for one or more days and someone else is feeding, then again, the cat may be reluctant to eat.
7. Side Effects From Medicines
This is the most obvious cause of cats’ eating disorders or their loss of appetite. If your cat is on certain treatment then the medications used could have their share of side effects. Some of the common side effects in cats with medicine are diarrhea, vomiting, and some types of skin issues as well. You may see a definite change in the appetite of your cat, which may both increase or decrease. The symptoms, type, or severity of the side effects may vary from cat to cat or the type of medication used.
8. Pet Owners Not Providing Cat with Due Care
The cats are very affectionate animals and demand the same level of love and care in return. There are cases seen where people do bring cats home with a lot of excitement but due to their other commitments, they do not provide them with care. The cats in return suffer and are not provided with timely or quality food and sometimes, they don’t have a comfortable place to sleep as well.
With the changing weather, cats also experience a change in their mood and demands and if they are not addressed then they struggle a lot. A very obvious downside of such negligence is seen with their loss of appetite and this could then cause some other health-related and emotional issues as well.
9. Family Members Don’t Like Cats
On the flipside from the above section, some family members at home do not like cats. The pet owner himself may be friendly only but a few other family members deny them space at home. The cats could notice such hatred and this reflects on their mood swings and their low diet.
Such emotional issues of cats need to be addressed timely so that they enjoy a comfortable space at home with an excellent diet.
How Can I Get My Cat To Eat More?
If your cat is struggling with its diet then you can try different things to make it eat more. Try to go with some wet/ canned food, which will make them crave for more. You may also add meat food to their diet if it is not already there. Some low sodium white meat can also be good, no matter, if it is canned or kibble.
Can I Change The Food From My Cat?
Yes, you certainly can change the food of your cat if your cat is not liking it or has lost its appetite. Change always works and to make them eat good and more, seafood varieties could be considered. Stinkier food always works with cats and they gradually will have a definite increase in their diet.
Apart from that, white meat including kibble and meat baby food could also be the food items that you can adapt for your cat.
Pet owners shouldn’t just blame the quality of their cat’s food as soon as they notice a change in their eating habits. Loss of appetite could be due to so many issues. It could be due to environmental issues, respiratory diseases, kidney problems, and dental issues, etc.
The need is to make the diagnosis first where the vet could be the first point of contact if you are not able to sort out things in a day or two. Once the issue has been diagnosed then treatment could start and to have the diet back in order. Change of food could also work at times, which the cat owners must consider.
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