Read and learn four concerning causes of why your cat is not eating
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When a cat suddenly shows a lack of interest in food or stops eating altogether, it is often a sign of a more serious underlying problem. Take immediate action if your cat has skipped several meals or has gone a few days without eating. While home remedies can help improve a cat’s appetite, sometimes veterinary interventions become necessary.
Here are five alarming health issues that cause a cat to stop eating.
- Upper respiratory tract infections, such as runny nose, throat irritation, etc., can compromise a cat’s sense of smell and ability to breathe. As a result, the cats lose their appetite and stop eating food. In addition, upper respiratory tract problems can result in a temporary loss or restriction of sight and smell by clogging a cat’s nose and eyes with discharge.
On the other hand, lower respiratory tract diseases that affect a cat’s lungs give rise to breathing difficulties. The most common cause of these respiratory problems is bacterial or viral infection. Regardless of the severity and type of respiratory tract infection, if it affects a cat’s ability to breathe or smell its food, your cat will not eat.
Digestive System Diseases
- Problems with the digestive system, including the stomach, intestines, pancreas, etc., can also cause a cat to stop eating. Digestive issues can also lead to nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain, affecting a cat’s food intake.
Reduced appetite is usually the first sign of digestive issues. Digestive system diseases can range from bacterial overgrowth in the intestines, parasites, acid reflux, tumor, or irritable bowel disease.
- Cats can be tempted to eat things they should not, including hairballs. These items may get stuck in the stomach or intestines, leading to severe problems. These non-food items can lead to gastrointestinal obstruction.
The food won’t be able to pass through the digestive tract in cats with GI obstruction. As a result, vomiting and abdominal pain may occur. Thus, affecting your cat’s ability to consume food. Some GI obstructions are temporary and resolve in a few days, but others require surgery.
- Painful teeth and gums are another reason why most cats stop eating. Cats can experience several dental issues that affect their ability to eat. Usually, these include tooth fractures, the development of resorptive lesions on teeth, inflammation of the gums, dental abscesses, etc.
Like humans, a cat with dental problems may not want to eat or find it difficult to chew and swallow its food. Dental issues are tricky to identify at home. Taking your cat to a vet if you suspect any dental problems is better. The veterinarian may sedate your cat to evaluate the problem and perform the required treatment.
Helping A Cat Eat Again
- If the respiratory disease has affected your cat’s ability to eat, help clear the cat’s nasal passages with at-home treatments. Nebulize your cat in a steamy bathroom or place saline drops in its nostrils.
- Modify your cat’s wet food to make it delicious. Heat wet cat food or tuna in a microwave or offer canned food to induce its appetite.
- Choose different flavors, textures, or food shapes to feed your cat.
- Use home-prepared recipes to prepare a cat’s food from scratch with fresh ingredients.
At-home methods can be tried depending on why your cat has stopped eating. However, if you are unsure of the reason, a trip to the veterinarian is necessary to rule out the medical reasons.
Autumn Trails and Veterinary Center offers the most convenient and comprehensive care for your pets. We provide regular checkups, dental, and urgent care services for all pets. We are located in Charlottesville, VA. for more information, call us at 434-971-9800.