Why is my Cat Doesn’t Eat and Drink? The Key Things You Must Know

Why is my Cat

When your cat suddenly refuses to take food and water, it can be quite alarming. Although they experience this situation once in their lives, cats can sometimes be very picky. Changing the food or feeding routine might be one of the causes why your cat suddenly does not eat or drink.

As we all know, cat response easily to environmental changes or other types of stress. If this is the case, you don’t have to worry. Your furry friend will go back to their regular routine.

However, if there are any health problems that cause them not to eat and drink within 48-hour period, it’s best to consult this with your vet. Loss of appetite may be associated with dental infections and intestinal issues.

Some reasons why your cat does not eat and drink

Best Foods for Your Cat’s Sensitive Stomach

Health Problems

Loss of appetite is one of the main indications that something is wrong. Make sure to pay attention if your cat suddenly stops eating. Factors for health problems include pancreatitis, kidney failure, intestinal issues and cancer.

Although this is not always the case. There are times that a simple toothache results of not taking any food and water.


Another factor is a recent vaccination. Did you think your cat stops eating right after you took him to the vet? If yes, it can be due to the adverse effect of the vaccine. Although we know vaccines are safe, they can still experience the side effect like loss of appetite which only lasts for a short period of time.

Traveling and New Environment

Just like us human, cats do experience a change in routine in their food due to a new environment. They might also suffer from sickness related to traveling resulting to nausea and refusal for food intake.

Being Picky or Anxiety

cat eating sensitive stomach food

If your vet has assessed your cat for not being sick, then it could be related to anxiety and depression. Change of routine in the household can cause uneasiness, especially to sensitive cats. Even us human effect on the sudden change in the environment that affect our emotional feeling.

It can also be that your cat is just very picky when it comes to food. Just remember that it takes time for them to adjust to new kind of food. You don’t need to rush everything.

Dental Problems

As mentioned earlier, dental problems can also be the cause of why your cat suddenly stops eating and drinking. Check for any possible tumors and other inflammatory problems. They may experience pain due to infection resulting not to eat since the chewing process may be difficult in this case.

If the mouth is swelling or have gum redness, consult this with your vet to properly evaluate the mouth for dental examination and teeth cleaning if possible.

Gastrointestinal Problems

There could be something wrong with their digestive problem. In most cases, cats with gastrointestinal issues experience nausea and could be the reason for the loss of appetite. 

Here are some conditions that may be related to GI problems:

  • Intestinal parasites
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Colitis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Cancer
  • Bacteria in the intestines

Kidney Disease

Old Cat Not Eating

Another factor is the kidney disease, especially for older cats. Just like the gastrointestinal issues, the kidney problem also causes vomiting that may result in loss of appetite. If you think your cat is suffering from this condition, have them examined immediately by the vet.

How to Get Them Back on Track

To get them back on track with their food routine, you may try to offer him something he hasn’t tried before. If he is used to eating dry food, offer a wet food diet. Just buy a small can just to see if it will work out that way. Offer the good at different times a day. See if your friend may be interested in the new food and get him back to eating again.

Just remember to take everything slowly. It may take some time for them to eat again.

You can also try adding some tuna and chicken broth to their diet. Look if they want to add that extra food in their diet. In this way, it will help them start eating again.

What Else Can You Do?

Cats that do not eat and drink for a long period may be an emergency situation. It can make your cat very sick and losing weight which is not something you want to happen. If all the suggestions above did not work, try giving them a high-calorie diet. Put this on your hands and let them lick on it.

Make sure to wash hands before doing so. If this is not successful, talk to your vet about having them food via feeding tubes. Although the feeding tube may not be comfortable in the beginning and can be scary, it can be your best option to make sure they get the nutrition they need.

Treatment for Loss of Appetite

The treatment for this condition depends on the causes of why your cat stops eating and drinking. If the problem is due to dental issues, they may need to have their tooth extracted under general anesthesia. If your furry friend is anorexic because of some diseases, the treatment will depend on the diagnosis.  

Cats that are dehydrated may need to receive an IV fluid and those that have infection may need to take antibiotics. Cats that vomit several times may need to give anti vomiting medication like antiemetics. Those that have ingested something may need to undergo surgery.

Keep in mind that it’s important to get your furry friend to eat again immediately.

Final Thoughts

Always update your vet about the condition of your cat as much as possible and follow the recommendations on providing the right nourishment for your cat. There are also some simple ways you can take to stimulate their appetite, it’s just right to follow them. You can give canned sardines and liver food but should be given in moderation.

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My name is Puka and I am a great cat lover and a cat owner of two lovely cats. I have owned many cats till now and have dedicated many years to nurturing and caring cats. Through this blog, I am here to share my knowledge and experience about cats.


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