9 Reasons Your Cat is Not Eating

It’s not uncommon for cats to stop eating food or treats for what seems to be no apparent reason and then, just as inexplicably, start eating again. However, there are times when cats stop eating for a specific reason, which may need addressing. Cats typically hide their pain and distress quite well, so it’s vital to pay close attention to your cat if he suddenly loses his appetite, as this can be an indication of a more significant issue.

As a feline parent, it is essential to be aware of the potential causes for your cat’s sudden refusal to eat. Knowing the reasons will help you determine if there is little to be concerned about, if there is a remedy you can try at home or if you need to consult with your veterinarian for a solution.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons why your cat may not be eating:

Underlying Health Problems Can Cause Cats to Stop Eating

1. Digestive Tract Diseases

While it may seem like cats have a very tough digestive system, as they happily eat mice, other rodents, birds, and any number of insects, they can have digestive health issues. Underlying issues involving the stomach, small or large intestines, pancreas, or liver can all cause your cat to stop eating. If your cat is experiencing vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain, this could indicate a problem in his digestive system, and a decrease in appetite may follow. Common diseases in the digestive tract include acid reflux, intestinal bacteria imbalance, parasites, irritable bowel disease (IBD), and tumors. While it may be a simple upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, or if his abdomen is sensitive to touch are all indications that you should immediately contact your veterinarian

2. Stress or Depression

Like humans, cats experience a wide range of positive and negative emotions. There can be emotional causes for a loss of appetite in your cat. For example, cats often experience anxiety or depression when a loved one—whether human or animal—is no longer in their life. When this occurs, your cat may show how he feels by refusing food. Giving extra attention can help him feel better, but some high-value treats like tuna may tempt him.



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