Don’t immediately panic when you discover that your cat has started to refuse food. Decreased appetite or a complete refusal to eat will not always be a symptom of the disease. There could be many reasons for this, and every owner should be aware of them. This knowledge will help you determine when such a condition may be a symptom of the disease and require contacting a veterinary clinic.
My Cat Doesn’t Eat and Is Losing Weight: What to Do?
First, try to recall any events or actions that occurred before the loss of appetite. The main reasons why an animal may refuse food include:
Pickiness with food
Improper living conditions or low mobility
A sudden, one-time refusal of food may be a consequence of external factors. Remove irritating factors, and the appetite should return. However, continue monitoring your cat’s condition. Physical parameters should not change due to reduced appetite.
Additional symptoms and a gradual refusal of food may indicate illness. Symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, apathy, vomiting, weight loss, and fever require immediate examination by a veterinarian.
Reasons Why a Cat Doesn’t Eat and How to Fix It:
Overeating or unlimited food access: Adjust the feeding schedule and portion sizes.
Changing diet: Introduce new food gradually, mixing it with regular food in a 6:1 ratio. Gradually switch to the new food until you completely remove the usual one.
Poor eating conditions: Ensure a clean bowl and fresh water are always available.
Internal parasites: Conduct regular deworming every quarter to prevent infestations.
Poisoning from vaccines, antiparasitic treatments, or inappropriate food: Consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Food allergies: A veterinarian can help choose a diet that won’t cause allergic reactions.
Dental problems: Pay attention to oral hygiene and switch to canned food if the cat cannot eat solid food.
Reduced sense of smell: Offer canned food, which has a more intense flavor, to cats with smell problems.
Mating season: Consider spaying or neutering your cat to prevent hormonal surges that affect appetite.
Medical conditions: Diabetes, viruses, gastrointestinal issues, or kidney problems can also lead to poor appetite. Consult a veterinarian for assessment and treatment.
What to Do if Your Cat Doesn’t Eat:
Eliminate irritating factors.
Control treat portions, using them as a reward rather than a meal.
Prepare food properly: Wet food should be at room temperature, and dry food can be lightly soaked in water for enhanced flavor.
Try offering small portions of food by hand, as pets may perceive it as a treat.
Ensure a comfortable feeding area for your pet.
Remove unlimited food availability and establish a feeding schedule.
Conduct an antiparasitic course if you suspect internal parasites.
Monitor your pet: If food refusal lasts for two or more days and is accompanied by additional symptoms, contact a veterinary clinic immediately.