What to do When Your Cat Has Stopped Eating
If your cat has stopped eating for a day or so, this is actually quite normal and it shouldn’t have an impact on their health. However, behavior lasting longer than this should see you contact a veterinarian. Often, their lack of appetite will be an indicator of a serious illness. With a simple trip to the vets, you can have an expert look over them and they can recommend potential treatments after getting to the root cause of the issue.
Dental Disease – Generally, issues in the mouth make for the most common problems including dental disease, inflammatory disorders, and oral tumors. Furthermore, an infection or injury can make chewing painful and the same can be said for inflamed gums, abscesses, cuts in or around the mouth, or even a broken tooth. With a visit to the vet, the mouth is normally the priority.
Gastrointestinal Issues – If the vet can’t find anything wrong with their mouth, they’ll then consider gastrointestinal (GI) problems. With your cat’s GI tract, problems can include;
- Pancreatitis (pancreas becomes infected or inflamed)
- Cancer (intestinal lymphoma)
- Colitis (inflammation can occur within the membrane that lines the colon)
- Increase in bacteria in the intestines
- Gastroenteritis (GI tract infection or inflammation)
- Foreign objects such as string
Of course, a lack of appetite is only the start of the problem because this itself leads to weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, and constipation. If any of these occur, the issue is more likely to be related to gastrointestinal problems rather than something in the mouth. Whenever the concern arises, we recommend visiting the vet as soon as possible because when a cat doesn’t eat it could be the first signal of a serious health issue.
Kidney Disease – More common in elderly felines, kidney disease can also cause a problem because it makes the cat feel nauseous and this makes them to avoid food. Once again, it’s pivotal you take the short trip to your vet because only a trained eye can diagnose the real issue. If nothing can be found on the surface, the vet will run tests to find the cause.
What Can I Do? – Considering cats often rely on instinct and behavior, their sudden decision not to eat has meaning; they won’t stop eating for the sake of it. Unlike us and even dogs, cats get sick very quickly without food so the most important thing you can do is visit a veterinary professional.
Possible Treatments – With any possible treatment, they will normally have a two-pronged attack; not only will they look to treat the cause of the issue, they’ll also try to boost your cat’s appetite. If the problem is small and this works, there is no need to go any further. However, the more severe cases will have you injecting a liquid diet to ensure your cat receives key nutrients. In other cases, feeding tubes can also be used but this won’t be a first choice and it will be used together with a treatment for the underlying cause.
When visiting the veterinarian, they will discuss the issue, potential solutions, and what you can do moving forward. With years of experience and the right skills, you can be confident they’re making the right decisions for your feline friend!
If your cat has stopped eating give us a call at Town & Country Animal Hospital (239) 353-5060.