What to Do When Your Cat Won’t Eat
Article Found on WebMD
People joke about cats and their finicky eating habits, but it’s actually a serious issue if your cat won’t eat.
Although a refusal to eat is concerning for all pets, it can be more dangerous for cats.
Why Your Cat Won’t Eat
Illness. Loss of appetite is one of the key indicators that something is wrong. So be sure to pay attention if your cat suddenly stops eating. A number of different conditions may be responsible, including infections, kidney failure, pancreatitis, intestinal problems, and cancer. But it isn’t always serious — something as simple as a toothache can make your cat stop eating.
Recent vaccination. Did you notice your cat’s loss of appetite shortly after you took it to the vet for routine vaccinations? If so, the reason your cat won’t eat may be an adverse reaction to the shots. Although vaccines have been lifesavers for millions of animals, they do cause side effects in some. Loss of appetite is among the more common of these side effects, which are usually temporary and mild.
What You Can Do
Whether your cat is sick, anxious, or just plain picky, remember that a complete refusal of food can have devastating consequences. So, even if you’re trying to make your cat eat a doctor-prescribed diet, never starve your cat into eating a certain type of food.
If illness is the reason your cat won’t eat, work with your veterinarian to design the best regimen for you and your pet. This may include a change in food type or consistency; some cats may be enticed to eat by offering canned foods when they are unwell. In more extreme cases, veterinarians may prescribe medicines that act as appetite stimulants or recommend syringe-feeding your cat a liquid diet. Or the vet may recommend placement of a feeding tube to ensure adequate nutrition.
When illness is not the culprit, there are things you can try to encourage your cat to eat.
You may have discovered that certain foods, such as liver or canned tuna, can act as appetite stimulants for certain cats. Remember to only offer these foods in small amounts. Large quantities may harm your pet by causing deficiencies or an overabundance of certain vitamins.
Instead of relying on people food, try encouraging your cat to eat commercial canned food. You may find that heating the food or mixing in fish oil, broth, or cooked egg could entice your picky cat to eat. If your cat still won’t eat, take the food away and provide fresh food later in the day. If the food is left to harden and become stale, your cat may learn to avoid it in the future.
Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital (OVSH) has been serving the Portland and Beaverton area community since 1979. Drs. Steven F. Skinner (Neurology, Neurosurgery) and Robert T. Franklin (Internal medicine.) We welcome referrals from veterinarians all over the Pacific Northwest. Our goal is to help your pet regain health and live a long and happy life.
Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital
9339 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy,
Beaverton, OR 97005.