A cat can survive without food for about 10 days, but the time it takes for a cat to become malnourished — meaning beyond just being hungry — depends on a variety of factors. These include the health of the animal, its size and weight, the temperature of its environment, and the quality of care it received before going without food.

What Happens If Your Cat Stops Eating?

Did you know that cats can go up to two weeks without eating? However, that doesn’t mean that it’s safe for them to stop eating. You should always take your cat to the veterinarian if they are refusing food.

What Happens If My Cat Won’t Eat?

Cats will typically refuse food when they are sick, or when they have some other type of health problem. They may also stop eating if there has been a change in their environment, such as a new pet or a new baby. A cat may also refuse food because he is bored with his meals.

If your cat stops eating for any reason, you should take him to the veterinarian immediately. Cats can get very sick from not eating enough, and it can lead to complications like liver failure and even death.

Cats are known to fast for long periods, so it’s important to know what is normal and what isn’t. For a healthy cat that is used to eating twice daily, it may not be a cause for concern if he doesn’t eat for a day. However, if your cat normally eats multiple times a day, it’s probably time to call the vet if he misses two meals in a row.

However, in many cases, there is nothing wrong with your cat. Some cats enjoy sleeping more than eating. Others are simply picky and may turn up their nose at certain foods or at certain times of the day. If you’re concerned about your cat’s appetite, talk to your veterinarian about possible triggers or causes of his anorexia or lack of appetite, and ask about any changes you can make at home to help your cat eat better.

How Long Can Cats Go Without Food?

If you’re as much of a foodie as we are, the thought of missing a meal most likely leaves you feeling horrified. But your feline furkid has a different relationship to food and can survive for up to two weeks without their kibble as long as they have access to plenty of clean water. Without this, they would be unlikely to survive for more than 2-3 days.

That being said, just because your cat could technically survive for that long without eating, it doesn’t mean that they won’t become seriously unwell and malnourished. Just like us humans, food is where cats get all the necessary vitamins and minerals they need to thrive, so going without is far from ideal.

Domestic cats should never be left without a food source. While we often think cats could survive just fine without us, not all felines are good at catching their own food. This is especially true for indoor cats who don’t have the same hunting skills as their largely outdoor brothers and sisters.

But if you’re filling up your kitty’s food bowl with dry cat food or wet cat food every day and you’ve noticed they’ve gone from gulping it down at lightning speed to barely sniffing it, then it’s time to investigate why they’re not eating as much as they usually do.

Possible Reasons Why Cat Stopped Eating

Cat behaviour is not always understood; however, if your cat has recently stopped eating their food, there could be a few different reasons why, including:

  • Illness
    Cats often stop eating if they are unwell. If your cat seems off-colour and is vomiting, lethargic or has a fever, seek veterinary help immediately.
  • Dental problems
    When you have a sore tooth or inflamed gums, eating can be painful. If your cat seems reluctant to eat, only chews on one side of their mouth, or won’t let you touch their head or mouth, they might need a dental check-up.
  • Upset Stomach
    If your cat has eaten something that hasn’t agreed with them, they may not want to eat for a while until they have recovered. If your cat is vomiting or has diarrhoea, this could be a sign that they have ingested something they shouldn’t have. If the vomiting persists and their appetite does not return to normal after a couple of days, book a vet appointment to make sure there isn’t a more serious issue.
  • Medication
    Sometimes medication or feline vaccinations can cause cats to lose their appetite. If your cat has been given medication, check any side effects with the vet to make sure.
  • Stress
    Stressful life events can cause cats to stop eating, including moving house, new additions to the household, or changes in routine. 
  • Boredom/Fussiness
    Cats can be fickle with their food, and sometimes your cat may decide they don’t like a particular brand or type of food anymore. It’s also normal for a cat to refuse a meal or two every now and again simply because they don’t feel like it. 

In conclusion,

If you’re worried about your cat not eating for a long period of time, consider whether or not they’re still drinking water. If they are drinking water but not eating, you’ll want to take them to the vet for an exam.

If your cat hasn’t eaten anything for more than 24 hours and isn’t drinking water, it’s time to take them to a vet. It may be that your cat is sick and needs medical attention. It could also be that your cat is constipated or has some other medical problem that requires treatment. You can check with the vet to make sure there are no underlying problems causing your cat’s lack of appetite.

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