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Cats, Healthcare

What To Do When Your Cat Quits Eating

The Paw Print

Essential Pet Blog


cat near food bowlWhen it comes to eating, cats can certainly have a flair for the dramatic. Whether it’s insistently voicing their concern that it’s five minutes past meal time and their bowl hasn’t been filled or turning their nose up at the food they’ve happily eaten for months, just about any cat owner has had some level of food-drama in their lives at some point. When your cat is refusing to eat altogether, though, it can go from slightly annoying to concerning quickly. If your cat is refusing to eat, here are some things to consider.

4 Things To Try When Your Cat Stops Eating

  1. Check in with your veterinarian.

First things first. You’ll want to rule out any underlying health issues that could be causing your cat’s decreased appetite. Your vet will assess your cat’s overall health and work to rule out liver, kidney, or pancreatic problems. Come prepared to talk about your cat’s weight and any vomiting or diarrhea you may have noticed. It’s also a good idea to have your vet look at your cat’s teeth to rule out any dental issues that might be causing pain while eating.

  1. Offer something different.

Even if your cat used to eat their food with gusto, they could be trying to tell you that it’s time for some variety. It never hurts to try a new brand or flavor of food. If you typically offer dry cat food, give wet cat food a chance. Also, if you’ve made it a habit to feed your cat from the table, it’s time to stop. Feeding your cat human food can sabotage their appetite and make their own food seem less appealing.

  1. Establish a routine and stick to it.

Consistency is comforting to many of us, pets and humans alike. Examine your schedule for any recent inconsistencies that might have upset your cat’s schedule, and make it a priority to feed your cat at the same time every day going forward. 30 minutes after you offer food, take away any that hasn’t been eaten. If you feed your cat treats, try eliminating them for a while to see if their appetite improves.

  1. Make mealtime comfortable and enjoyable.

Take your cat’s personality and preferences into consideration when it comes to mealtime. Perhaps your cat needs a quieter or less stressful atmosphere to eat; consider moving your cat’s dishes to a room with less noise and traffic. Conversely, some cats prefer a more social atmosphere. Try sitting with your cat at dinnertime and offer praise for eating.

Sometimes all it takes is a little creativity to get your cat’s appetite back on track. Cat-lovers, what have you done in the past when your cat wouldn’t eat? Share your tips here!

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