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Why won't my cat eat?

Why won't my cat eat?

Our Mechanicsburg vets know that cats can be notoriously picky eaters, so if your cat is refusing to eat it can be difficult to know why. Here are a few common reasons why your cat may not be eating, and when you should head to your vet. 

Why is my cat refusing to eat?

Cats may refuse to eat for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they do not like their new food or that they are in pain or discomfort. Finding out why your cat isn't eating can be a challenging and upsetting process.

If your feline companion skips one or two meals but then returns to eating normally, there is probably nothing for you to be concerned about in this situation. If your cat or kitten has gone more than a day without eating, there is probably an underlying health problem that is making your cat uncomfortable.

Less Serious Reasons Why Your Cat May Not be Eating

The following is a list of some of the potential causes for your cat's lack of appetite, some of which are less serious than others:

  • New food
  • Recent vaccinations
  • Motion sickness following travel
  • Change in regular routine
  • Stranger in the house

If any of these conditions are present in your cat, you should observe that it begins eating normally again within the next 24 hours and gradually returns to its normal self over the next few days. However, if your cat continues to show signs of reluctance to eat for more than a day, you should make an appointment with your pet's veterinarian. When it comes to the health of your pet, it is always best to err on the side of caution rather than regret.

More Serious Reasons Why Your Cat May Not be Eating

The following is a list of possible medical causes for your cat's lack of appetite.

Dental Health Issues

Cats, just like humans, are susceptible to developing cavities and a variety of mouth infections. There are a number of dental issues that could be causing your cat discomfort, including advanced tooth decay, inflamed gums, broken or loose teeth, a dental abscess, or an injury to the inside of its mouth caused by a foreign object. If your cat is refusing to eat, consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.

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. 

Gastrointestinal Issues

Parasites, foreign objects that become lodged in the intestinal tract, gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, urinary obstruction, colitis, cancer, or changes in the gut bacteria can all cause gastrointestinal (GI) issues in cats.

Nausea and a loss of appetite are two symptoms that can be caused by digestive problems in cats. If your cat has a problem with its digestive system, it may also exhibit other symptoms, such as a decrease in body weight, vomiting, or either constipation or diarrhea.

Visit your veterinarian as soon as possible if you notice any of the following symptoms in your cat: Problems with the digestive tract, like the ones listed above, can be quite serious and may call for immediate medical attention; therefore, early diagnosis and treatment are essential.

Kidney Disease

A cat's refusal to eat and feeling of nausea are common symptoms of kidney disease, which can also cause gastrointestinal problems. You may notice other symptoms, such as your cat drinking an abnormally large amount of water and having frequent urination if your cat has kidney disease. After the age of seven, cats are at an increased risk for developing kidney disease.

The only person who can diagnose and treat kidney disease is your pet's veterinarian. Contact your Mechanicsburg veterinarian to schedule an appointment if you notice that your cat has stopped eating in addition to exhibiting other symptoms of kidney disease.

If you're concerned about your cat's lack of appetite, contact our Mechanicsburg vets today to book an appointment.

Walk-in Patients Welcome

At Rossmoyne Animal Emergency Trauma Center you never need an appointment to access our full complement of emergency services. We treat both walk-in patients and referrals for urgent veterinary care.

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Contact (717) 796-2334