Our Harrisburg vets know that cats can be notoriously picky eaters, so if your cat is refusing to eat it can be difficult to know why. Here are a few common reasons why your cat may not be eating, and when you should head to your vet.
My Cat Won't Eat
There are a number of reasons why cats refuse to eat ranging from disliking their new food to pain or discomfort. Figuring out your cat's reason for not eating can be challenging and upsetting.
If your feline pal skips one or two meals but then resumes eating normally, there's probably nothing to worry about. If your cat or kitten does not eat for more than a day, there may be an underlying health issue causing your cat discomfort.
Less Serious Reasons Why Your Cat May Not be Eating
The following are some of the less serious reasons why your cat may be suffering from a lack of appetite:
- New food
- Recent vaccinations
- Motion sickness following travel
- Change in regular routine
- Stranger in the house
If any of these conditions apply to your cat, you will most likely notice that your cat starts eating again within 24 hours and gradually returns to normal. However, if your cat refuses food for more than a day, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. When it comes to pet health, it's always better to be safe than sorry.
More Serious Reasons Why Your Cat May Not be Eating
Dental Health Issues
Cats, like humans, can suffer from tooth decay and various mouth infections. Your cat may refuse to eat because they are in pain from advanced tooth decay, inflamed gums, broken or loose teeth, a dental abscess, or an injury to the inside of their mouth caused by a foreign object.
If you believe that your cat is suffering from mouth pain it's time to call the vet. Your Harrisburg vet can clean your cat's teeth and do a thorough examination of your cat's mouth to check for any oral health problems.
Common gastrointestinal (GI) problems in cats include parasites, foreign objects trapped in the intestinal tract, gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, urinary obstruction, colitis, cancer, or changes in gut intestinal bacteria.
Cats suffering from GI problems may feel nauseous and lose their appetite. If your cat has a gastrointestinal problem, it may exhibit other symptoms such as weight loss, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea.
If your cat is showing signs of a GI issue, it's time to see your vet. Gastrointestinal problems such as those listed above are serious and may require emergency care, early diagnosis and treatment are key.
Kidney disease, like gastrointestinal issues, can cause cats to feel nauseous and refuse to eat. If your cat has kidney disease, you may notice other symptoms such as excessive water consumption and frequent urination. Kidney disease is fairly common in cats over the age of seven.
Kidney disease can only be diagnosed and treated by your vet. If your cat has stopped eating and is showing other symptoms of kidney disease contact your Harrisburg vet to book an appointment.