When it comes to mealtimes, most pet owners don’t often have many worries about undereating! Many pets will happily wolf down their food, sometimes to the point of it becoming a problem. If you’re using a healthy brand of cat food this can all go quite smoothly. However, sometimes our cats can stop eating. This can be really worrying. A cat that has stopped eating could be suffering from a serious health condition, which can take its toll on both owner and pet.
There are quite a few different reasons why your cat might have stopped eating. While it is easy to assume the worst, it is worth exploring every possible cause. Figuring out why your cat has stopped eating is going to help you get them back eating. The main thing that you have to do is stimulate your cat’s appetite gain. Not eating is only going to cause them further problems, so it is something that needs to be addressed. A change of food or situation can do wonders for restoring a cat’s appetite, there is a lot you can do to help your pet before you take them to the vet.
The reason why your cat isn’t eating can be as serious as a long-term disease. However, it could equally be just something about their food, a change in surroundings, or stress. Any of these reasons need to be addressed if you want to get things back to normal. A healthy cat should be taking regular meals, so it is natural to worry when they lose their appetite. The first thing you should do in these situations is to try some common solutions to stimulate their appetite.
How to Get Your Cat To Eat Again
If you need to get your cat to eat again, there are a lot of different methods you can try. A lot of the time, a cat who has stopped eating has done it because of a very minor stomach upset or a change in their food. In these cases, it is best to stimulate their appetite before taking them to the vet. If your cat has stopped eating because of a minor problem, then this should solve things.
You should take a methodical approach to this though. Try one of these methods, see if it works, then try another. This gives you a better chance of success than just overloading your pet with food additives all at once! Going from normal dry food to wet food, cooked in broth, with yeast in it, that has been microwaved is unlikely to produce the same results than trying these things independently.
Ways to Stimulate Your Cat’s Appetite
- Change Their Food – Changing their food to a different brand or flavour variety might be enough to get your cat eating again. Something new and different might be just what they need.
- Give Them Wet Food if They Normally Have Dry – Giving your cat wet food can be good for stimulating their appetite if they typically only eat dry food. The different smells might be particularly enticing.
- Give Them Some Seafood – If your cat normally eats meat or poultry-based food, try them with some seafood. The different smells might be enough to convince your cat to try out a meal.
- Add Some Broth – Adding some broth to their food can be a great way of showing your cat what they’re missing when not eating. However, try to make sure you don’t give them any broth with ingredients that may be bad for them, like onion powders, chives, or garlic. These, in particular, can be toxic in high-doses. Other broths are going to add a meaty texture and smell without any of these risks. A pet-specific broth is a good option if you have time to make it.
- Warm Their Food – Warming up your cat’s food in the microwave is going to make it more appealing to them. However, make sure it isn’t too hot. It should be warm, but not so hot that they cannot eat it.
- Nutritional Yeast – Nutritional yeast has a certain cheesy flavour that is likely to get your cat excited about eating again. Sprinkling a little bit of this on their food goes a long way.
If Your Cat Still Isn’t Eating
Those solutions should go a long way towards stimulating a cat’s appetite. If your pet isn’t eating for something minor or just because of a mood, then these solutions should be able to deal with things. However, if those short-term solutions don’t work then the situation might be a bit more serious. You should continue to monitor your cat’s eating and continue trying different ways of provoking them into eating. However, if your pet hasn’t eaten for two meals then it is time to try and consider why your cat has stopped eating and take a trip to the vet.
Why Has My Cat Stopped Eating?
The reasons for your cat stopping eating can be quite varied. This means you’re going to have to consider every eventuality. The first thing you need to do is rule out any bigger health problems that may be causing their loss of appetite. The best thing to do is to head to your vet. They should be able to give your pet a check-up, and test if the lack of appetite is a sign of something more worrying going on.
Outside of a bigger medical condition though, there are some other potential causes for a cat’s loss of appetite. These include:
- Stress – Stress can lead a pet to stop eating. In this situation, you need to help them to relax.
- Anxiety – If your cat is exhibiting other signs of anxiety then their lack of appetite might be related to this.
- Dental Problems – Dental problems might be causing your cat pain when they eat.
- A Change in Food – Cats can be picky eaters and hold out to eat for something that they’d rather have. In these stubborn cases, you have to be careful about how you stimulate their appetite.
- A Change in Behaviour or Surroundings – Even something as simple as this can provoke your cat to stop eating. In these situations, you need to make them comfortable around food again.
If Your Cat Isn’t Eating Because of a Medical Condition
If your cat’s lack of appetite is because of a larger medical issue, it needs to be addressed along with their other symptoms. Your vet will be able to give you advice on how to progress. However, general tips for stimulating a cat’s appetite might still be applicable and helpful for getting your pet back to feeling their best.
If there doesn’t appear to be much wrong with your cat, but they’re still not eating, then this might be because of Whisker fatigue. Whisker fatigue is related to a cat’s whiskers, as the name implies, becoming worn out and stressed over time. A cat’s whiskers are really sensitive. They are capable of picking up on sensations that other body parts aren’t. This can make them really vulnerable to being stressed out over time. Whisker Fatigue is caused by the repetition of a cat’s whiskers hitting the sides of a bowl.
If you’re using a bowl in a shape that forces your cat’s whiskers to touch the sides, then they might be getting whisker fatigue. This can make it painful for them to eat, which often results in a pet skipping meals. They can do this to avoid the pain of eating from a bowl. A cat’s whiskers are really sensitive organs, so it is understandable that this causes them some distress.
If your cat is not eating because of whisker fatigue, then the cause is likely the bowl that you’re using. You need to make sure you’re using a bowl that isn’t going to place unnecessary strain on their whiskers.
What To Do When My Cat Isn’t Eating
Cats stop eating for many different reasons. Some can be quite serious. However, a lot of the time there is very little wrong with your cat beyond a fussy rejection of food. If you’re concerned that your cat has stopped eating, there are plenty of quick and easy solutions you can try to make their food more appetising. These should provoke a cat with an upset stomach into actually eating their food. If these tips don’t work though, you have to look into why they’ve stopped eating.
A cat that won’t eat might be suffering from a health condition. In some cases, stopping eating can be the first sign of a potentially serious problem. In these situations catching it early by noticing their lack of appetite is going to help you get the treatment sooner. Sometimes a cat not eating is due to their dental health, or even their stress and anxiety.
In these situations, your vet should be able to recommend what you should do to get your cat back eating. With some patience and work, you can get your pet eating their food again pretty quickly for most minor problems.
Keeping a cat in good health means taking care of their food. You can reduce the likelihood of a cat stopping eating by ensuring that they’re using a proper bowl. A good healthy diet should also help them keep up a regular appetite. Getting your cat back eating will help you relax about their health, and help them enjoy their mealtimes again.