My Cat Not Eating or Drinking Possible Solutions

Why Does My Cat Not eating or drinking? Your cat does not want to eat? Neither do you seem to want to drink water? Sometimes we see that our cats are inpatient and although it may be nothing, sometimes it means that something is not right. The causes that can lead to this change in the behavior of our cat are diverse and we find very simple reasons to serious complications which must be treated by the emergency veterinarian.

Some cat breeds will visibly express their needs, as Siamese cats do for example. Or they will “suffer in silence,” as the ragdoll cats do, which barely wail given their shyness. In this article by we will explain why your cat does not want to eat and/or drink and what you can do to help him.

My Cat Not Eating or Drinking

Why does Cat Not Eating or Drinking? Before starting, it is important to note that anorexia in cats is one of the first clinical signs of several diseases. Next we will explain the causes why a cat does not want to eat more usual. Remember that to help you and you must be able to identify what happens to your cat and what is the reason for its sudden behavior.


Cat Not Eating Much But Acting Normal

Many cats stop eating at a change of food, so if you have recently modified the diet of your best friend, you should value that he does not want to eat for this reason. Try to stimulate it with tasty food such as a piece of chicken, ham or wet cat food to know if it is really the cause of the problem.

Food is too close to the water or the sandbox

Believe it or not it is very important to adapt the home so that your cat feels comfortable in it. It is very common for cats to stop eating if they have near their food the sandbox, water, dirt and even a speck of dust. Some are more delicate than others, but in general it is a frequent cause of anorexia.

The heat

It is well known that during the summer cats usually reduce the intake of food and water. The heat and the fact that they sleep more in the cool areas they discover make their appetite godown. This reaction is accentuated if we are not aware that our cat has enough water in its drinking fountain to completely quench its thirst. There are cats more savvy in this aspect, who do not hesitate to climb up to the sink, the bidet, the kitchen tap or the cock of the bathtub to lick them in search of precious drops of water. Therefore thirst is one of the most common reasons for our cats to stop eating. Discover in cat drinking a lot of water so that it is always well hydrated.


Intestinal hairballs called trichobezoars are the most common cause of our cats stop eating suddenly. These balls whose formation is due to the accidental intake of dead hair from the mantle by the cat when licking itself to preen, these are the main reason that reduces the appetite in cats. To avoid said hairballs there are three very easy solutions. The first is a frequent brushing of our cat (especially during the molting period). This action subtracts many possibilities to the formation of trichobezoars. The second solution is to administer malt for cats to our cat to avoid the formation of annoying hairballs in cats in our body.

Finally if we have not properly brushed the cat or administered malt, and the balls are lodged in your intestine preventing you from evacuating (which causes an immediate cessation of food intake), the solution will be to spread with pharmaceutical paraffin one leg of our cat. The cat will lick the greasy area to eliminate the paraffin, ingesting it when doing it. Paraffin is an artificial fat that neither the stomach nor the intestines of the cat assimilate. Therefore all the amount that enters, exits, lubricating and dragging the intestinal trichobezoars outwards. In the event that this last solution does not work, you should immediately take the cat to the veterinarian to treat it without delay. The life of the cat will be in danger.

A Possible Poisoning

Sometimes without wishing we offer food in poor condition to our cat. It usually happens with fresh feed containers opened for hours and left outside the refrigerator. Or with leftovers from our food exposed to the summer heat that causes fermentation and insects put their eggs in these rotten foods and can damage the intestinal system of our feline. We must also rule out that the feline may have suffered a poisoning, something that frequently occurs in cats that have access to the outside. Reviewing the symptoms of poisoning in cats is fundamental. There are also poisonous plants: oleander, dieffenbachia and many others are toxic plants. The veterinarian should treat the poisoning without delay.


Many people go through this situation. “old cat not eating” is one of the owners most common concerns. The anxiety and stress caused in our feline by some traumatic circumstance can also cause that our cat does not want to eat. Change of residence, another new pet, the birth of a baby or death of a family member may be the cause of the cessation of feeding by our sad or jealous cat. The depression in cats is usually the most common reason for the cat stops eating and even drinking water. We will also observe that he is sad and depressed.

Various diseases

If you are thinking “my cat does not eat and vomits”, “my cat does not eat and is very thin” or “my cat does not eat and sleeps a lot”. Maybe it’s time to consider going to a specialist. A sudden cessation in food intake by our cat may be a symptom of having a disease. Therefore, if after one or two days the animal does not improve, the visit to the veterinarian is obligatory, since they may be the aforementioned trichobezoars, up to severe problems in the digestive system that may require surgery.

What if My Puppy Cat Does not Want to Eat?

Baby cats or puppies need special attention for their immune system is much weaker and they tend to dehydrate more easily if they stop drinking liquids. In addition they also tend to be more sensitive to changes in diet, so it is important to monitor what they eat as long as they modify their diet.

Puppy Cat Does not Want to Eat

Before a puppy cat that does not want to eat, it is always advisable to stimulate it with moist food, even mixing it with warm water to offer an extra hydration. This type of food is much more palatable and has a better acceptance than dry feed.

If a puppy cat has ingested absolutely nothing in 24 hours it is cause for concern and an emergency veterinary visit is required. Also remember that baby cats need to feed between 4 and 8 times a day, so if in 12 hours a newborn cat has not received food you should also go to the vet. You can also see how often should i feed my cat. Discover more about the feeding of newborn cats, the stimulation they need to urinate and defecate or the environment in which they must stay.

Symptoms of Disease in the Cat

Given this situation it will also be essential to assess the vital signs of the cat and the symptoms of the disease, through a general physical examination. Here’s how to do it:

  • Check your cat’s mucous membranes (gums, eyes, sex, and anus) and if they are of any color other than pale pink it starts to worry you. White, blue, yellow or deep red tones are a symptom of the disease.
  • Get a digital thermometer to take your cat’s temperature, which is done in the same way as a dog. It should be between 38ºC and 39ºC.
  • Take the pulse of your cat with the index and middle fingers, although it should be noted that it can be somewhat complicated. The heart rate should be between 140 and 200 beats per minute (PPM).
  • Check your breathing rate by placing your hand on your belly. Normally cats breathe between 20 and 42 times per minute (RPM).

If any of the vital signs of the cat are altered and you also observe symptoms of illness, do not think about it and go to the emergency veterinarian as soon as possible, calling him before to ensure they can assist you and receive instructions if necessary.

Read Also: How long do cats live? Life Span of Popular Cat Breeds

How to Make My Cat Eat

The first thing to do if a cat does not want to eat and/or drink after many hours will try to stimulate it with very tasty food, such as cans or homemade food. You will probably know some food that your cat cannot resist try to offer it and see if he eats or not.

Some extra tricks can be to heat the food or replace the water with chicken broth or fish (without salt or onion), to nourish it while we hydrate. If your cat seems to feed on your favorite food and accept the water, you may find yourself facing a depressed or overheated cat.

In order to solve this problem, knowing the cause that is causing the anorexia is fundamental. If our cat has stopped eating due to a change of feed, we should value its food modifying, but if on the contrary, it is about depression.

Other Similar Articles on Cats


In any case if you have not identified the reason that causes your cat to eat, call your veterinarian to explain the situation and he will tell you how to proceed and according to his assessment, what procedure to follow. Visit our Catsfud for more information.


  1. Witty March 17, 2019 Reply
    • catsfud March 20, 2019 Reply

Leave a Reply

cats communication