Home » other animals » Cat Loss of Appetite: What to Do When Your Cat Refuses to Eat?

Cat Loss of Appetite: What to Do When Your Cat Refuses to Eat?

Lack of appetite in the cat

Cats are domestic animals that differ slightly from dogs in terms of nutrition and the physiology of the digestive tract.

Cats eat more often and in smaller quantities because their digestive tract is less roomy.

Due to the specificity of these animals, the lack of appetite occurs in virtually every cat disease.

It is not a specific symptom, but a symptom that you can easily spot and know when something is wrong.

In this article you will learn when your cat's lack of appetite can be dangerous to his health and how to deal with it.

  • Lack of appetite in the cat
  • Why does the cat refuse to eat?
    • The older cat refuses to eat
    • Diabetes and kidney failure
    • Triaditis
    • Disturbed appetite is dangerous for obese cats
    • Gastrointestinal obstruction
  • What else can cause a cat's lack of appetite?
    • The cat refuses to eat after the operation
  • Treatment of the cat's lack of appetite
  • Prophylaxis of eating disorders
  • How much should a cat eat?

Lack of appetite in the cat

No appetite, is reduced or complete cessation of food.

Occurs in the course of many diseases, therefore its etiology is varied.

Often this condition is accompanied by nausea and sometimes vomiting.

Disrupted food intake can lead to protein and energy malnutrition.

It is caused by a poorly balanced diet and insufficient food intake.

Lack of appetite in a cat is manifested by:

  • weight loss,
  • anemia,
  • muscle wasting,
  • causes organ damage.

It is assumed that loss of 10% of body weight is already an invalid process that needs to be scrutinized.

Proper nutrition ensures the maintenance of an appropriate balance between the ingredients supplied to the body and the tissue demand for them.

When there is an imbalance, deficiency syndromes develop.

Why does the cat refuse to eat?

Why does the cat refuse to eat?

The most common causes of lack of appetite include:

  1. Oral diseases.
  2. Diseases related to metabolic diseases.
  3. Diseases related to insufficient diseases.
  4. Disorders of the gastrointestinal tract with obstruction and others.

Most often, the lack of food intake is caused by the inability to perform this activity.

This condition very often affects cats with oral conditions such as:

  • tartar,
  • gingivitis,
  • erosions on the tongue.
These are changes that cause great pain and discomfort to the animal.

The severe pain prevents the kitten from eating and possibly chewing food.

Such changes often they bleed, they are loose, occurs bad smell from the mouth.

You can prevent it - oral prophylaxis and regular dental checkups are very important.

The older cat refuses to eat

A very common patient in the veterinary clinic is an older senior cat.

The caretakers are struggling with the appetite problems of such an animal, remembering what kind of kitten was not greedy when young.

Adult cats are at risk of developing kidney failure, diabetes, and dental problems.

All of these factors come down to one thing:

to lack of appetite.

To get the best out of this situation, see your veterinarian who, after a thorough examination and blood tests, can determine the cause of the problem.

Diabetes and kidney failure

They are the most common metabolic diseases in cats.

Diabetes in a cat is associated with improper glucose management in the body, a kidney failure - with impaired filtration and reduced ability to excrete urea and creatinine in the urine.

Both of these diseases have something in common.

Both diabetes and kidney failure in a cat lead to the so-called uremia.

The development of uremia in a cat causes:

  • the formation of erosions in the digestive tract and on the tongue,
  • gingivitis,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting.

Already at the very beginning of the disease, there is a lack of appetite associated with an increased content of metabolites in the blood.

This situation is most common elderly cats, over 8 years and obese cats.

Only a control blood test will allow us to confirm the lack of appetite against the background of these two diseases.


Often diagnosed disease is the so-called triaditis.

It is inflammation biliary tract, pancreas and intestines.

In this case, there is:

  • severe soreness in the abdominal cavity,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea,
  • sometimes jaundice.

In this situation, nutrition through is recommended gastrostomy tubes, gastric probes, because the lack of appetite caused by the disease makes it worse.

We are making a vicious circle at this point.

Disturbed appetite is dangerous for obese cats

Obese cats have a very large amount of energy in the form of adipose tissue.

At the time of energy deficit, the deficiencies are covered from fat reserves, however, for such energy to be generated, adipose tissue must be burned.

During the combustion of fats, free fatty acids (PUFA) are released, which then accumulate in the liver.

The intensification of this process leads to the development fatty liver and then to liver failure.

In obese cats, fatty liver is a very difficult metabolic disorder that also leads to a lack of appetite.

Abnormalities in the digestive tract manifest themselves in the so-called. sharp belly.

The abdomen is painful, often tense and hard, animals walk with a tucked up belly, and of course it is present lack of appetite.

Various factors can cause such anomalies.

We often observe gastritis and intestines, which causes nausea and abdominal soreness.

This condition discourages cats from feeding, which is usually returned anyway.

Gastrointestinal obstruction

Apart from catarrh, they often occur, especially in cats obstruction.

They could be obstruction caused by a foreign body (in cats, usually a linear foreign body - strings, ribbons) or deposition of hair balls.

Hairballs fill the stomach, reducing its capacity, which is what fluffy cats often have decreased appetite together with downpouring of food contents.

Less commonly, problems are associated with obstructions against the background of cancerous tumors or intestinal twists.

What else can cause a cat's lack of appetite?

We include other reasons for the lack of appetite stressful situations or periodic reasons.

In case of change of place (move), introduction of a new individual home, cats very often show a lack of appetite.

Cats have a very sensitive psyche, and any change in the environment must be reacted by them.

Therefore, usually in the case of stressful situations, we observe either lack of appetite or pissing in unusual places.

Similar situations occur after the kitten sterilization procedure.

Postoperative clothing causes discomfort to the cat, the cat feels muffled and limited.

There are times when the cat will not eat food until the clothes are removed.

Lack of appetite in a cat after deworming, vaccination or antibiotic treatment is extremely rare.

Eating disorders can also be anaphylactic reaction on substances contained in drugs, however in this case other symptoms such as vomiting, swelling and nervous symptoms predominate.

The cat refuses to eat after the operation

Anorexia after surgery

Surgical procedures are application related sedatives and anesthetics.

These drugs affect the peristalsis of the gastrointestinal tract.

It is recommended after each treatment no food intake for 12 hours, whereas the cat can be given water after 6 hours.

A lack of appetite here is normal.

Normal appetite should return to the animal 24h after surgery.

In the case of reluctance to eat it applies parenteral nutrition, to strengthen the body.

Such a condition may be associated with a disturbance of the animal's psyche, as the operation is a stressful situation.

Given the type of surgery, post-operative pain can induce behavioral changes in a cat.

In the case of a long-lasting lack of appetite, we observe an energy deficit. This leads to the development of the so-called. protein-energy malnutrition, which you can read about above.

Malnutrition, in turn, also leads to the aforementioned fatty liver in cats, which is life-threatening condition.

Deficiency of protein, amino acids and energy results in weight loss, muscle wasting and a change in the animal's well-being.

The cat becomes weaker, less active.

It is reflected in the results of blood tests as it develops anemia and organ failure, among others liver.

Treatment of the cat's lack of appetite

Treatment of an eating disorder should only be started after the cause has been established.

We always start with the simplest things.

We should let cats go outside slowly deworm every 3 months, because worming belongs to the group of reasons for the lack of appetite.

Blood and basic organ enzyme tests will help to determine the body's efficiency.

Thanks to our blood analysis kidney picture and liver.

In the case of their insufficiency, we introduce:

  • fluid therapy,
  • drugs that stimulate liver regeneration,
  • drugs that maintain kidney function.

In the case of insufficient diseases, it is often accompanied by anorexia occur nausea.

They are fought against antiemetics and drugs to protect the stomach.

Medicines used by veterinarians include ranigast, hepatil, e.t.c., popular heartburn medications that can also be given to your cat.

In the case of the disease it is diabetes, treatment is carried out for life.

Applies here insulin in doses determined by the veterinarian and a diet for diabetics.

This will allow us to control blood sugar levels and keep the cat feeling well.

In some situations and conditions it is very important for the cat to start eating.

This necessity forces us to insert a tube into the digestive tract through which we will feed the kitten until the appetite returns.

These are called gastrostomy tubes, naso-esophageal probes.

Such tubes are inserted either through the nasal cavity or through an opening in the esophagus.

It is very rare to insert the cannula into the stomach wall.

Nutrition by probe, consists in feeding a semi-solid food, high-energy, with easily digestible and easily digestible protein.

Generally applies antibiotics with a broad spectrum of activity and acid-reducing drugs.

Prophylaxis of eating disorders

Cats are small eaters, but often eaters.

They can be given both dry and wet food, but it is worth adjusting the type of food to each cat separately.

Cats with gastric problems should be fed intestinal, cashew cats - renal, and with liver problems - hepatic.

In order to facilitate the removal of the hair balls, preparations can be used Bezo-pet, Malt in the form of a paste or dry food called Fiber.

Each food has a high aroma that should encourage cats to eat as we know cats are very picky.

In individuals undergoing convalescence, it is used drugs that increase the appetite.

We can apply here diazepam in a small dose, B vitamins be a preparation called Megace.

Each of these preparations may only be used on the recommendation of a veterinarian.

How much should a cat eat?

How much should a cat eat?

In fact, there is no predetermined, universal daily food ration.

Everything depends on:

  • age of the cat,
  • physiological state,
  • the body weight of the animal.

When using commercial foods, the back side of the package indicates the daily amount of the cat food to be used.

You can also add to any kind of food dietary supplements.

Supplements may include:

  • vitamins,
  • omega 3 and 6 fatty acids,
  • substances supporting the functioning of organs.
Ask your veterinarian about the best supplement for your cat.

If you've managed to read through the article and read up to this point, you already know when a cat's lack of appetite may be a symptom suggesting the need to visit a vet.

I also hope that I managed to explain why it happens.

If your cat does not want to eat, or you have questions related to the selection of food for your pet - now add a comment under the article, I will answer as soon as possible.

Sources used >>

Leave Your Comment