Our Gilbert vets know that cats are notoriously picky eaters for a reason. Because of this, if your cat is refusing to eat, it may be difficult to know why. Here, our Crossroads Veterinary Hospital veterinary team provides a few common reasons why your cat may not be eating and what to look for to figure out whether you should bring them in to see us.
Why is my cat refusing to eat?
There are numerous reasons why your cat refuses to eat, ranging from disliking their food to experiencing pain or discomfort around eating. Sorting our why your cat isn't eating may be a challenging, and even upsetting, process.
If your feline friend skips one or two meals but then goes back to eating as normal, there likely isn't anything to worry about. On the other hand, if your cat or kitten stops eating for more than a day there could be an underlying health issue causing your cat discomfort.
Less Serious Reasons Why Your Cat May Not be Eating
The following are examples of less-serious reasons why your cat may be displaying a lack of appetite:
- New food
- Recent vaccinations
- Motion sickness following travel
- Change in regular routine
- Stranger in the house
If any of these conditions apply to your cat's situation, you will likely discover that your cat has begun eating again within 24-hours time. Their appetite should gradually return to normal. If your cat refuses food for longer than a day, it may be wise to book an appointment with your veterinarian. When it comes to the health and well-being of your pet, it's generally better to err on the side of caution.
More Serious Reasons Why Your Cat May Not be Eating
Dental Health Issues
Just like people, our feline companions can suffer from tooth decay or infections affecting their mouths. Your cat may be refusing to eat because of pain that is being caused by advanced stages of gum disease, tooth decay, broken teeth or damage to their mouth from a foreign object.
If you believe that your cat is suffering from mouth pain it's time to call your Gilbert vet. A veterinarian can clean your cat's teeth and do a thorough examination of your cat's mouth to check for any oral health problems.
Some common gastrointestinal issues that may cause your cat enough discomfort to stop eating properly 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 cats 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 from a vet in the Gilbert area, early diagnosis and treatment are key.
Similar to gastrointestinal issues, kidney diseases can make your cat feel quite nauseous and refuse to eat. If your cat is suffering from kidney disease, you may also notice other symptoms, from drinking large amounts of water to frequent urination. Kidney disease is quite common in cats over 7 years old.
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 vet to book an appointment.