Cat behaviour

Why Won't my Cat Eat

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
Why Won't my Cat Eat

If your cat stops eating, pay close attention to see what is wrong. There are some cats who eat well their entire lives, and others who tend to be picky eaters. Alarm bells should ring, however, if your cat shows no interest in food because it is a strong indication that something is up, and that their health is compromised. Observe your pet and try to find solutions to recover their appetite. We'll help you get to the bottom of the problem in this article on why your cat won't eat.

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Steps to follow:


You must ensure that your cat is not ill. When an animal is not feeling well one of the possible consequences is to stop eating, so make sure your cat is in good health.

If it have always eaten without problems, lack of appetite is a clear sign that something is wrong, especially if it is overweight. If your pet has recently lost weight, has diarrhea or is vomiting, don't delay any further: take it to the vet. After your visit to the vet, your cat should recover its appetite after receiving appropriate treatment. If you're not sure how to detect if something is amiss with regards to their health, we recommend you read our article on how to tell if my cat is sick for a list of things to look out for.

Why Won't my Cat Eat - Step 1

If your pet has no health problems, you must consider the possibility that your cat has started acquiring bad habits. You should be careful not to foster bad habits that can escalate. For example if you give your cat extra food that is far tastier than its usual, it might start losing interest in its regular food , to hold out for treats. Get your family on board in avoiding feeding your cat extra treats that could spoil its appetite.

Your pet should eat a balanced diet and proportionate amounts every day to stay healthy and at its ideal weight. In our article on how much should my cat eat we explain in detail the precise amount, in accordance with age.

Why Won't my Cat Eat - Step 2

The best thing to avoid reinforcing bad behavior is to stop feeding it extra treats, you should limit it to a daily scheduled feeding. It is recommended that you feed it a small amount of food several times a day so it can pick at it whenever it wants it. Also, small portions are always more tempting than large bowls.

Give your cat food at the same time each day and watch to see if it eats. If your cat doesn't touch the food but continues to be appear to be healthy and provided that the cat isn't diabetic and is at its optimum weight, wait a day and it should recover its appetite. This short period of fasting should stimulate the cats appetite and it should understand that it should eat the food that you give it daily.

Why Won't my Cat Eat - Step 3

If your cat will not eat, it may be that the food you are providing is spoiled or out-of-date. This is a regular reason for your pet to stop feeling hungry and eating the food you provide. Make sure the food is good, consistent, nutritious and complete your cat's needs.

Cats do not accept changes to food very well, so any necessary modification should be made gradually as they can alter the proper functioning of your cat's digestive system. If you want to change their feed to something of a higher quality, do so gradually by mixing it with it's existing food and increasing the proportion until you feed it just the new food. Often a change of taste can trigger you cat's appetite again.

Why Won't my Cat Eat - Step 4

If your cat does not really want to eat dry feed, you could start providing it with more high-quality wet food. For example, you could add some tinned food in its feed. This new addition could make it very appealing to your cat and could be the answer to restoring its appetite.

If you mix some wet food with some dry food, it will add a special touch to your cat's regular food routine. Another way to make the food seem palatable is to warm it for a few seconds in the microwave. A cat does not like food to be cold. If you don't heat the food, at least make sure it hasn't been sitting in the fridge straight before you serve it up.


Your cat may not want to eat because it is responding negatively to certain behavior during its feeding time. It may be that it is enjoying some extra scraps or treats when it does not eat its own food, which will only perpetuate the habit.

Another recommendation to get your cat to regain its normal appetite is to leave it eat alone in piece and quiet, away from any distractions. In addition, avoid leaving your cats food bowl for long period of time after it is fed. After a while, retrieve the bowl; doing so will help teach your cat to eat at more fixed times.

Our final tip is that you be patient and control your pet's eating routine. This is so that you are aware of any change or underlying health problems.

Why Won't my Cat Eat - Step 6

If you want to read similar articles to Why Won't my Cat Eat, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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