Cat Not Eating? Tips & Reasons Why

    How To Stimulate Your Cat's Appetite

    Have you ever had a cat that just wouldn’t eat, no matter what kind of food you’re feeding? You certainly wouldn’t be alone.

    While there are many potential reasons (see below) for a cat to be refusing food, here are some simple “tricks” you can try to tempt their appetite:

    • Add some canned/wet food (the stinkier the better - go for seafood varieties)

    • Add some water from a can of tuna or anchovies

    • Gently warm the food in the microwave or with warm water (don’t make it too hot!)

    • Sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese on their food (Kraft in the green tube is often used in the ICU)

    • Sprinkle some Purina FortiFlora probiotic on their food, mix a little bit in and then sprinkle a bit to stay on top (often works great as an appetite stimulant for cats)

    • If these tricks fail, or if your cat refuses more than 2 meals, it’s time to go to the vet for evaluation and care.

    Here are some potential causes why your cat might be a picky eater

    • Dental/tooth pain: broken tooth, abscessed tooth root, oral tumor
    • Pancreatitis (inflamed pancreas)
    • Urinary obstruction
    • Digestive obstruction
    • Constipation
    • Upper respiratory infection (“kitty cold”)
    • And many others

    The tricks above are truly a short-term fix. If they start eating after using one of the tricks then you can possibly chalk it up to an upset stomach that will pass, a change in the weather or something non-threatening. However, if your cat is refusing food for a significant period of time, anything over 1 day (even less if they have certain pre-existing conditions - such as Diabetes or obesity), then it’s imperative that you seek out hands-on veterinary evaluation. After all, something very serious could be causing your cat’s hunger strike and delay can make matters significantly worse.


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    Topics: Cat Behavior, Cat Health, Diabetes in Cats, cat health questions, cat health issues, Pancreatitis, Obesity, Loss of appetite

    Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

    Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

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