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31st Jul 2023

Most common reasons your cat is not eating

by Burns Team Writer

Have you noticed your cat isn’t eating? If so, there is no need to panic.

There are a number of reasons why your cat may be turning their nose up at their favourite meals. From medical conditions to dental problems to routine changes, it is important that you understand the possible reasons behind your cat not eating. By familiarising yourself with the signs and symptoms, you can recognise when it is time to seek veterinary assistance.


Why is your cat not eating?

Dental disease

Dental disease is incredibly common in cats, particularly as they age. When cats experience oral health issues, it can cause discomfort during meals. You might notice your cat tilting their head while eating to avoid using the affected area of their mouth. However, even with this adjustment, some cats may still struggle to eat and eventually lose their appetite altogether. If you notice unpleasant breath, excessive drooling or pawing at the mouth, these are telltale signs of dental disease. Recognising these symptoms will allow you to schedule a dental checkup to confirm the diagnosis. By addressing any dental issues promptly, you can alleviate your cat’s discomfort and restore their appetite, ensuring they can get back to enjoying their meals.

Kidney disease

Kidney disease is a serious health concern for cats. If your cat’s kidneys stop functioning properly, this can cause waste products and toxins to accumulate in their body. This can lead to a variety of symptoms, including increased thirst and decreased appetite. Not only can the buildup of waste products in their system cause them to feel nauseous, kidney disease can also affect their sense of taste and smell. As a result, even their favourite wet food may fail to entice them to eat. If you notice your cat stops eating, you will need to speak to your vet immediately. They will be able to confirm the diagnosis, provide guidance on managing the condition, and help you maintain your cat’s health and wellbeing.

Upset stomach

While an upset stomach is typically not a cause for major concern, it can affect your cat’s appetite, and cause them to stop eating for a couple of days. These gastrointestinal problems, resulting from factors like dietary changes, food intolerances and the ingestion of foreign objects, can disrupt their digestive system. Surprisingly, one of the most common culprits of an upset stomach in cats is string, which they accidentally swallow during playtime. Signs to lookout for include frequent lip licking, excessive drooling, occasional vomiting, and a noticeable change in their eating habits. While most cases resolve within a couple of days, it is best to keep a close eye on your feline friend. Should the symptoms worsen or persist, you will need to consult with your vet.

Routine change

Routine change can easily disrupt your cat’s eating patterns. Whether you have moved to a new house or welcome a new pet, these events can be incredibly stressful for your cat. Consequently, you cat might stop eating for a few days. You might also notice that your cat spends more time hiding, and seems less interested in playing and stroking. If you have recently changed your cat’s routine, it can be helpful to provide them with a quiet feeding area, free from distractions. Maintaining a consistent feeding schedule can gradually restore their appetite and help them return to their normal routine. Patience and reassurance are key during these times of transition, allowing your furry friend to adjust to their new environment.

Ingredient change

A simple ingredient change can be why your cat suddenly stops eating particular food. Cats can be very sensitive to changes in their diet, and are known to turn their noses up at food for the smallest of reasons. To minimise their reaction to an ingredient change, it is best to transition to the new food over a couple of days. This can be done by mixing the old and new food together, to help your cat adjust to the changes. Fingers crossed, this will help them to accept the new ingredients and resume their regular meals. By taking these steps, you can ensure your cat continues to get the nutrients they need.

What to do if your cat is not eating?

Keep an eye on their behaviour

If your cat has stopped eating, we recommend you monitor their behaviour for any accompanying changes. Look for signs of increased drinking, excessive drooling and occasional vomiting. These can provide clues as to why your cat won’t eat, and will be helpful when discussing your cat’s behaviour with the vet.

Provide a quiet environment

When your cat is refusing to eat, providing a quiet feeding environment can make a big difference. If you can, avoid feeding them near loud appliances or high-traffic areas. Instead, choose a quiet area where your cat can eat without distractions or disturbances. This will allow your cat to focus on their food dish and eat without any added stress.

Offer a variety of options

If your cat seems to have lost their appetite, you can try to entice them with a variety of food options. Experiment with different flavours and textures to see what takes their fancy. You can even give them some human food, such as canned tuna or cooked chicken. However, this should only be used to encourage them to eat and should not replace their actual cat food.

If you are struggling to find food that your cat will eat, try our natural dry cat food. Made with the highest quality sources of proteins and wholegrains, our dry food is a nutritious and delicious option for cats.

Book a vet appointment

Despite your best efforts, your cat’s appetite may not come back straight away. If your cat continues to refuse food, you will need to book an appointment with the vet. They will be able to identify any potential health problems and determine the best course of action to restore your cat’s good appetite.

What to feed picky eaters?

Designed to entice even the pickiest eaters, our food is rich in nutrients and vitamins. We pride ourselves on using natural ingredients with absolutely no artificial preservatives or chemicals. With our natural cat food, you can feel confident that you are offering your cat a nourishing meal, that not only satisfies their taste buds but also supports their overall health and wellbeing.

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