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Pet Eating Problems: Why Won't My Cat Eat?

Our veterinarians in Denver understand cats can be picky eaters. If your cat refuses to eat, determining the cause can be challenging. Here are a few reasons why your cat may not eat and when you should consult your vet.

Why is my cat not eating?

Several reasons might lead to a cat ceasing to eat. The causes could vary from a dislike for their new food to an underlying issue such as physical pain or discomfort. Figuring out why your cat isn't eating can be frustrating for a cat owner.

If your kitty misses one or two meals but resumes eating normally, there's probably no need to worry. Conversely, if your cat refrains from eating for more than a day and persists in resisting food, another health issue may be at play. In such cases, it is advisable to consult your veterinarian.

Less Concerning Reasons Why Your Cat Won't Eat

Below are some of the less severe causes of a cat's lack of appetite.

  • New food
  • Stranger in the house
  • Recent vaccinations
  • Change in routine
  • Change in environment (new home or new pets)
  • Motion sickness following travel

If your cat stops eating for the above reasons, it will usually resume its normal appetite within 24 hours. However, if your cat refuses food for more than a day, it's advisable to schedule an appointment with your vet. Regarding pet health, it's always better to be cautious.

Serious Reasons Why Your Cat May Not be Eating

GI Trouble

Gastrointestinal (GI) problems in cats can cause physical pain or sickness, which leads to food avoidance. Some of these GI issues include:

  • Foreign objects trapped in their intestinal tract
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Urinary obstructions
  • Cancer
  • Colitis
  • Changes to the composition of their gut bacteria

Gastrointestinal issues can induce nausea and reduce appetite in cats. If your cat experiences a gastrointestinal problem, it may exhibit additional symptoms such as weight loss, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea.

If you observe signs of GI issues in your cat, promptly consult your vet. The gastrointestinal problems mentioned earlier are serious and may necessitate emergency care. In such cases, early diagnosis and a prompt treatment plan are crucial.

Dental Health Issues

Cats, like humans, can experience tooth decay, pain, and oral infections. If your kitty refuses to eat due to mouth pain or a gum condition, it could be too painful for them to consume food.

If you suspect that your cat is enduring mouth pain, it's crucial to contact the vet. Your Denver vet will clean your cat's teeth and thoroughly examine their mouth to identify any oral health issues.

Kidney Disease

Similar to GI issues, kidney disease can induce nausea and food refusal in your cat. If your feline friend experiences kidney disease, you might observe additional symptoms such as increased water consumption and frequent urination. Cats over seven years old commonly develop kidney disease.

Your vet is the only professional capable of diagnosing and treating kidney disease. If your cat exhibits symptoms like refusing food and other signs of kidney disease, contact your Denver vet to schedule an appointment. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If you are concerned about your cat's ongoing refusal to eat, contact our Denver vets as soon as possible to book an examination to determine the cause of your kitty's eating problems.

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