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The cat does not eat or drink

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The cat does not eat?

There are many reasons for a cat’s loss of appetite. Very often, loss of appetite in a cat is considered the first symptom of the disease. The cat, cat or kitten does not eat. if he has a disease of the digestive system (disease of the esophagus, stomach, intestines, liver or pancreas), kidney disease, blood, eyes, mouth, nose or throat, skin or other organs. Pain can also make your cat refuse to eat.

Do not worry right away, because there are many other reasons why a cat does not want to eat: he does not like new food, you have moved to a new place, or you have a replenishment in your family.

Despite the reason, a cat’s lack of appetite for 24 hours can lead to adverse effects on the body.

What to do when a cat (cat) does not want to eat?

Due to the many reasons for a pet’s lack of appetite, you should call your veterinarian for a diagnosis. What is needed and what tests may be required to determine the cause of a cat’s or cat’s lack of appetite:

  • Examination by a veterinarian. which includes: examination of the mouth area (buccal examination), listening to the animal with a stethoscope (auscultation), probing the abdominal cavity (abdominal palpation), checking the temperature and assessing the weight of the animal;
  • Taking a general blood test and urine analysis to search for hidden diseases of the cat’s organs;
  • X-ray of the chest and abdomen;
  • Stool analysis (search for parasites);
  • For a free consultation with a veterinarian, call the phone numbers listed on the website. Call now!

Why isn’t the cat or cat eating? How to treat?

In such cases, after the diagnosis is made, the veterinarian will prescribe specific or supportive treatment.

Specific treatment is treatment aimed at eliminating the causes of the disease. This treatment is aimed at restoring the cat’s or cat’s appetite. One of its examples may be the prescription of antibiotics to eliminate the infection in the body of the cat or, in the case of the presence of a foreign body in the body of the animal, surgery. It can also be a treatment for gum disease in cats, which makes chewing a painful process.

Supportive care is so called because it helps the cat maintain a weakened body. For example, it can be infusion or subcutaneous therapy, injections or pills that stimulate the cat’s appetite, etc.
Help at home when the cat is not eating.
Help at home, when the cat does not eat anything, can be provided only after establishing the reason why the cat has no appetite or does not eat.

Changes in the habitat in your house or apartment may be the reason for not eating your cat. For example, you have moved to a new place or a new person or animal has appeared in the house. The listed factors should be communicated to the veterinarian.

Look closely at the cat. Perhaps, in addition to the fact that he does not eat, you will notice other symptoms. In such cases, it is better to call your veterinarian at home sooner rather than later.

To prevent the cat’s body from becoming dehydrated. you can give him Pedialyte┬«, but before that, you should consult with your veterinarian on the subject: is it possible to give the cat medicine and how much.

Another nutritional technique. If your cat doesn’t eat or drink, or refuses to eat, hunger can be heightened using a time-honored technique: simply reheat the food so it smells stronger, then hand feed your cat. Of course, you need to reheat food very carefully, because if it is very hot, the cat can burn itself or harm itself (burns of the alimentary tract or stomach). This warning most often applies when you have reheated food in the microwave.

New food. When a veterinarian has prescribed a diet for a cat, he may refuse to eat at the very beginning. In order not to discourage the cat’s appetite, in this case, you should gradually mix the food from the new diet with the old food. Then there is a high probability that the cat will not refuse to eat and will eat with pleasure.

When a kitten does not eat at the age of 1 to 6 months and does not want to take food, it is at risk of health, since a loss of appetite for 12-24 hours can provoke death (especially for kittens at the age of 1 to 6 weeks). Regular cow’s milk is good for kittens, and homemade soups are very salty and do not contain enough nutrients to provide energy to a growing body.

Why the cat, the cat does not eat anything. Causes:

The reasons why a cat or a cat does not eat can be divided into two groups: psychological and medical.

  • Psychological reasons imply that something has changed in the cat’s environment. This provokes a lack of appetite and the cat does not eat. Similar examples have already been given above: moving to a new place of residence, a new person in the family or a new meal.
  • Medical reasons are a cause for greater concern, because they tell us that there is a disease process in the cat’s body that leads to a lack of appetite.

The difference between psychological and medical reasons for a cat’s lack of appetite is the presence of symptoms in the latter case. In addition to a lack of appetite, a cat or cat may also experience: profuse salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy or sluggishness, weight loss, heavy breathing, symptoms of infection (discharge of pus, blood, or changes in behavior).

Diseases in which the cat has no appetite and does not eat:

  • Gastrointestinal diseases;
  • Liver disease;
  • Diseases of the pancreas;
  • Diseases of the urinary tract;
  • Diseases of the blood;
  • Diseases of the eyes, mouth, throat, nose

Foreign body in the throat

If something gets stuck in the throat, the animal will try to cough it up and scratch its mouth and throat with its paws. A gag reflex may be present, the cat will burp, but nothing comes out of the stomach. The cat does not eat or drink water, as a foreign body in the throat interferes with it.

If the object is not visible and it is not possible to remove it on your own, help will be provided at the clinic. You can diagnose a foreign body in the throat using an X-ray.

Causes of loss of appetite and additional symptoms

The cat refuses to eat and sleeps all the time. the reasons for this condition can be very diverse. Lack of appetite is a serious symptom, which is preceded by changes in the body imperceptible to the owner. Sometimes the animal refuses to eat suddenly, but this happens only in acute pathologies, and then the question why the cat does not eat does not arise. and so everything is clear.

Symptoms accompanying or preceding a refusal to eat may be as follows:

  • diarrhea, blood or mucus in the stool;
  • worms in feces;
  • drooling, nausea (the cat will often lick its lips);
  • vomiting (undigested food, bile, water, foam);
  • strong fetid odor from the mouth;
  • drowsiness, apathy, depression;
  • lack of urination or bloody urine;
  • vocalization (screams);
  • high temperature (norm. 38.5-39.0);
  • sores on the nose, lips, tongue, and gums;
  • purulent discharge from the eyes and nose;
  • coughing, sneezing;
  • soreness of the abdomen;
  • trauma;
  • the urine is bright orange or vice versa. transparent;
  • dental problems;
  • stress;
  • convulsions;
  • new food that the cat did not like.

Important! Complaining that a cat is lethargic and does not eat is the most common complaint when contacting a veterinary clinic. A cat can react to almost any disease with a lack of appetite. Each case must be dealt with separately, without generalizing.

What can cause a lack of appetite and refusal of water?

Anorexia in a cat (refusal of food)

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder. In cats, it is manifested by refusal to eat, or vice versa. excessive gluttony. In case of overeating, it is necessary to control the portion that the pet eats, otherwise it will lead to obesity.

When hungry, cats refuse not only their usual food, but also any offered treats. The cat does not eat, only drinks water, is lethargic, the sides have sunken. any owner will sound the alarm. The thin look of the pet is very scary.

The reasons for fasting can be the following:

  • stress;
  • enzyme deficiency;
  • hormonal disbalance;
  • pancreatitis. inflammation of the pancreas;
  • gastritis. inflammation of the stomach;
  • enteritis. inflammation of the intestines;
  • renal failure;
  • liver disease;
  • infectious diseases;
  • gastrointestinal diseases;
  • pain syndrome;
  • inflammatory processes in the body;
  • shock.

A healthy kitten is active and has a good appetite

The kitten does not eat or drink, is lethargic and constantly sleeps when it comes to a new home. This can only be the norm if the animal is showing more and more interest in people and in a bowl of food every day. If something in the behavior of the little cat is alarming, it is better to call the breeder or the veterinary clinic.

Important! Kittens are absolutely not allowed to starve. They are usually not afraid of liver lipidosis, but babies lose glucose (blood sugar) very quickly. This can lead to hypoglycemic coma.

What to do if the cat is weak

A few simple steps will give you more information about your pet’s condition:

  • Temperature measurement. For cats, the temperature is measured exclusively rectally. The nose is not an indicator of body temperature. An electronic thermometer is ideal for measurement. At temperatures below 37.0, it is better to put the animal on a heating pad and cover.
  • Examination of the mucous membranes. Normally, the mucous membrane of the mouth should be pale pink and moist. White mucous membranes. a reason to immediately go to the clinic with the cat.
  • Inspection of the apartment before going to the veterinarian. You should pay attention to plants and household chemicals. Is this the reason for the poor health of the animal? Scattered powder and some flowers can seriously harm the health of the fluffy.
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If you can’t get to the clinic right away, then the best thing to do at home is to create the conditions for the cat to be completely calm before visiting the doctor.

Note! In no case should the cat be given any medications without examination and prescriptions from a veterinarian. Self-medication can end very badly.

When you can’t postpone your visit to the doctor

The following conditions are critical:

  • the cat refuses to eat for more than 18-20 hours;
  • indomitable vomiting, vomiting black (digested blood);
  • diarrhea with impurities of dark blood, diarrhea “water”;
  • unnatural posture. lying on the chest or on the back with outstretched legs;
  • the state of the “rag”. the cat is lying and does not react to anything;
  • the cat began to lose weight dramatically;
  • the cat began to breathe heavily, shortness of breath appeared after moderate exertion;
  • does not go to the toilet “in a big way” for more than two days;
  • it is difficult for the cat to get up, has difficulty walking;
  • the cat began to cough and sneeze often, but only breathes through its mouth;
  • convulsions;
  • yellowness of the skin.

If you have any of these symptoms, you must act immediately. Thinking that “it will pass by itself” is negligence in relation to a pet.

Foreign body in the stomach or intestines

The main symptom of a foreign body in the gastrointestinal tract is indomitable vomiting. Appetite and thirst can be maintained, but the cat will vomit after every meal or water in 5-10 minutes. This is an emergency condition that requires immediate medical attention. A foreign body in the stomach and intestines is diagnosed using conventional X-rays and X-rays with contrast.

Kidney disease

The kidneys are the body’s natural filter. They filter the blood by producing urine. In diseases associated with the urinary system, the most common symptom is a sharp weight loss of the animal. The cat refuses to eat due to intoxication, as the kidneys do not work at full strength and do not sufficiently purify the blood. Decay products are not excreted and poison the body.

The outcome of such diseases depends on the stage of renal failure and often the prognosis is poor simply because the disease was not noticed on time.


The most common side effect after vaccination is a short-term decrease in appetite, which can also be caused by anxiety and anxiety associated with a trip to the veterinary clinic.


Repair, guests, moving to a dacha or a new apartment, the appearance of a child or a new pet in the family. any of these events can provoke a refusal to eat and water, the cat may also not go to the toilet and hide in secluded places.

What to do?
In this situation, it is worth carefully considering all the details and preparing the cat or cat for the changes, as well as providing the pet with a quiet and safe place in the house and not forgetting to pay attention to it. Offer your cat her favorite food, persuade, feed from your hand, you can slightly warm up wet food. cats eat warm food more willingly.


In all cases of decreased appetite or complete refusal of food and water, the first thing to think about is illness. Only if the veterinarian has confirmed that the cat is healthy, you can move on to other possible reasons for not wanting to eat.

Diseases in which there may be a decrease in appetite or complete rejection of food: viral infections, diseases of the gums and teeth, acute or chronic renal failure, inflammatory diseases of the digestive tract, intestinal obstruction, neoplasms, poisoning, endocrine diseases.

Refusal to eat and drink are very common symptoms that can be observed in almost all diseases and are often accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, nasal and eye discharge, fever.

However, in some diseases, especially in the most insidious ones, refusal to feed may be the only symptom for a long time, until the disease progresses to the last stage. Cats may refuse to eat because of pain, feeling of nausea, general weakness, loss of smell, which often happens with respiratory viral infections, due to toothache, and intoxication.

Due to the peculiarities of metabolism, even in perfectly healthy cats, after 2-3 days of complete starvation, serious liver diseases (lipidosis) may develop.

Therefore, it is very important not to allow long breaks in feeding, not to force the cat to starve and contact the clinic in a timely manner to find out the reasons for refusing to eat and treating this condition. That is, if the cat does not eat or drink for 6-7 days, the chances of helping her, even when contacting a veterinary clinic, are much less.

The cat does not eat or drink. What to do?

Natalia Inyakina
veterinarian, specialization. dermatology, shelter medicine

Cats are known to be picky about their food. Most owners have repeatedly faced with the refusal of their pets to eat “unloved food” and know how difficult it can be to transfer a cat or cat to a new diet. However, these are completely different things. It is one thing when the cat wants to eat, but at the same time chooses only what she likes, and another thing when the cat does not eat at all. In the first case, the cat is okay with appetite, in the second, it is, most likely, a disease.

Reasons for refusing to eat:

Boredom and monotony of the environment

Cats that are constantly at home and spend most of their time alone can become very picky about their food preferences. Thus, cats may exhibit anxiety or depression.

What to do?
It is important to properly organize the living conditions of the cat, to use not only horizontal, but also vertical space, regularly offer new toys, devote time to daily active games and training. All this will make the cat’s life more interesting and varied. Variety should also be in the diet. offer your cat different tastes and different food textures. Wet breakfast food for a cat and a cup of coffee for its owner can be a good tradition for the whole family to start the day.

Useful video

How to use malt paste to remove hair from a cat’s stomach:

If the cat does not eat for the third day, is sluggish, there is a temperature, lacrimation, diarrhea, vomiting, urinary disorders, then this condition requires veterinary care. It is impossible to cope with a serious illness at home.

Reasons for refusing food

Refusal of food is often perceived by many owners as a formidable symptom of the development of a serious illness in an animal. It is not always so. There are quite harmless reasons why a cat’s appetite decreases:

  • Change in diet. Cats are very conservative creatures, and the slightest changes in the conditions of their housing cause them stress. Changing the brand of food when feeding dry or canned food, the inclusion of new products in the diet can be perceived by the animal with hostility, and it does not want to eat unfamiliar food.

At first, when the diet changes, the pet may go on a full hunger strike. Therefore, experienced owners, if necessary, make adjustments to the diet, do it gradually, gradually adding unfamiliar components to the cat’s usual products.

  • Some cats arrange fasting days for themselves, for example, after overeating the day before. As a rule, it is enough for the animal not to eat for a day to bring its stomach back to normal.
  • Stress. Domestic sluggards, despite the fact that they live in comfortable conditions, are nevertheless subject to stress. A variety of factors can provoke a stressful state: a new person in the house, new furniture, the appearance of another animal, etc. The response to stress is often food refusal or poor appetite.
  • Hot season or high indoor temperature. Refusing an additional source of energy in the form of food, the animal prevents the development of overheating of its body. At the same time, the pet remains thirsty.
  • The period of sexual activity is often accompanied by the refusal of favorite dishes. This is due to the fact that the hormonal surge activates all the forces of the animal to find a partner and procreate. Food at this moment falls into second place. If the cat has stopped eating, the owner needs to look for signs of estrus in the pet.
  • Pregnancy and the postpartum period. Not always the time of bearing kittens for a cat is accompanied by an increased appetite. Toxicosis in the early stages is often the reason for the refusal to feed and poor appetite of the expectant mother. Often, owners observe a refusal to feed in the postpartum period, when the animal is weakened by labor or is too immersed in caring for the offspring.
  • Postoperative period. Surgical intervention is associated not only with the action of anesthesia, stress, but also the manifestation of painful sensations. After surgery, an animal has a temporary suppression of the basic functions of the body, therefore, refusal to feed for 2 to 3 days after the operation is quite normal.
  • Disease. The reason for refusing to feed is often a particular disease or the development of a pathological process. In the event that the cat does not eat for more than 2 days, and all harmless reasons for hunger strike are excluded, it is necessary to show the animal to a veterinarian. Inflammation in the mouth, tartar formation, tooth decay, and other dental problems are common causes of poor appetite in adult and elderly cats.
  • The reason for a decrease in appetite is often parasitic diseases of the animal: fleas, ticks, as well as internal parasites. worms. Poisoning the cat’s body with waste products, helminths lead to intoxication of the body and a decrease in appetite.

If the cat has stopped eating and drinking, then such a condition indicates a serious illness, and it is impossible to delay the provision of veterinary care. Refusal to feed, loss of appetite accompany almost all diseases in animals. The owner should pay attention to the pet’s behavior, measure the temperature, monitor the stool and urine flow.

We recommend reading the article on how to treat urolithiasis. From it you will learn about the symptoms and diagnostic methods, the treatment of urolithiasis conservatively and surgically, the prognosis and prevention of the disease.

And here you can find out more about how to feed a cat with urolithiasis.

What to do or help at home

When a pet refuses food, it should be understood when fasting is a real threat to his life:

  • the harmless period of fasting for an adult and healthy cat is up to 5 days;
  • a pet aged 7 years and older can starve without harm to health for no more than 3 days;
  • in the presence of a chronic disease in an animal, refusal of food should last no more than 2 days;
  • a small kitten aged from 2 to 6 months can abstain from food for no more than a day.
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The indicated dates are valid if the animal does not refuse water and receives it in sufficient quantity. The presence of symptoms such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, apathy, painful reaction to touch are a reason for concern and taking measures to provide qualified assistance to the pet.

In the event that no accompanying signs are found in the pet, it is vigorous and playful, at home the owner can take the following measures:

  • revise the animal’s diet for the appearance of a new component;
  • inspect the contents of the bowl, perhaps stale food has been found there;
  • if a new bowl is bought or the feeding place has changed, then in case of a categorical refusal of the pet, everything should be returned to its place;
  • when moving, stress must be given to the cat to adapt faster.

It often happens that in addition to the fact that the cat eats little, the owner observes the urge to vomit. Wool is often found in vomit. Lethargy, dull coat, along with poor appetite may indicate a pet infection with helminths. In this case, the following steps can be taken at home:

  • treat the pet against worms;
  • remove wool from the stomach with a special paste.

The main reasons why the cat does not eat, and how to solve the problem

Furry pet owners tend to pay a lot of attention to nutritional issues. Therefore, such a phenomenon as a decrease in appetite or a complete refusal of an animal from food, alarming responsible owners. There are many reasons why a cat does not eat: from a banal whim of an animal regarding a particular product to symptoms of a serious illness. Therefore, it is necessary as soon as possible to establish a reason for a decrease or complete lack of appetite in a pet.

What tests need to be passed

When dealing with a pet in a specialized institution, a veterinary specialist, in addition to a general clinical examination of the animal, will prescribe laboratory diagnostics. Urine and feces can be brought already at the first visit to the clinic, this will speed up the diagnosis.

According to urine tests, you can identify urolithiasis, inflammatory processes in the urinary system, recognize some systemic diseases, for example, diabetes mellitus.

According to the results of a coprological study, helminths, protozoa, can be detected. Analysis of feces for occult blood will help detect intestinal pathology, diagnose tumor processes.

At the institution, the pet will take a blood test for general and biochemical research. The results will help identify diseases of the pancreas, liver, and detect inflammatory processes.

If the cat is sick and does not eat anything, to exclude the infectious nature of the disease, the veterinarian will prescribe a bacteriological or virological test.

Hospital treatment

Often, refusal to feed or lack of appetite is associated with a serious illness that takes time to heal. In this case, the pet is prescribed, in addition to treating the underlying pathology, supportive therapy. Typically, this is an intravenous infusion of nutrient solutions such as glucose. If during a long illness or recovery period the cat does not eat anything, what should be done to maintain the vital functions of the body? In this case, in addition to intravenous and subcutaneous injections, forced feeding of the animal from a syringe is used. This will allow you to restore strength and support the body for the period of treatment.

Why Won’t My Cat Eat? Reasons Your Cat Is Avoiding Food

The owner should closely monitor his pet’s appetite. It is not worth panicking right away if the animal refuses to feed, since often the cause of poor appetite can be a quarrelsome character, physiological state or stress. However, if additional symptoms appear along with refusal to eat, you should not hesitate to visit a doctor.

Psychological factor

Many diseases in cats can manifest themselves after stress. In this case, the cat is said to have been infected latently.

If it is based on a psychological factor, then the appetite is completely absent. This can happen for the following reasons:

  • moving to another place;
  • change of owner;
  • the appearance of a new person in the environment;
  • change of diet.

What to do if the cat is weak?

In the event that a cat refuses to eat for a long time, has grown thin and weakened, but he has no other manifestations of the disease, then for a period of up to 12-24 hours, the cat should be left alone, as well as change the food. perhaps, refuse to eat only psychological.

However, if at least one negative symptom is added to the refusal of food and weight loss, you should immediately contact a specialist for qualified help or advice.

In the conditions of the clinic, the necessary tests will be taken, an ultrasound study will be carried out. all this will help to establish the true cause that influenced such a reaction on the part of the cat.

  • examination of the oral cavity;
  • probing the abdomen;
  • temperature measurement;
  • weighing.

A general analysis of blood and urine is necessary to identify inflammatory processes, the presence of parasites, impaired renal function, and diabetes is also established. It is important to remember that if there are suspicions of serious illness, then it is best to start treatment on the first day after the manifestation of negative symptoms.

Treatment and assistance at home

When treating with antibiotics, it is necessary to determine the sensitivity to antibiotics in the body of the cat.

The main treatment is prescribed by the veterinarian according to the results of the diagnostics and the tests passed, since it is specific for each disease. The chosen therapy is aimed at eliminating not only the symptoms, but also the cause that caused the malaise and, as a result, refusal to eat, followed by weight loss.

So taking antibiotics is prescribed when it becomes necessary to get rid of parasites, to carry out activities aimed at maintaining the body after surgery.

Help at home should be provided after consulting a doctor, since the owner may not recognize the true reason for refusing to eat, therefore, the animal may become worse after self-treatment. It is necessary to carefully monitor the condition of the cat, as this will make sure the presence or absence of symptoms. You can warm up food (canned meat) a little, so its smell will be stronger. It is important that she is not very hot.

Anorexia in a cat (the cat refuses to eat)

A cat’s loss of appetite is called anorexia.

The desire to eat arises in the animal if it receives positive emotions, the absence of disease, or as a result of building an associative array, for example, packaging food will make the cat remember about food. Loss of appetite in animals is associated, first of all, with the appearance of a negative factor. a disease that requires the immediate intervention of specialists.

Important! You cannot self-medicate and test various methods on the animal, since various diseases can be the reason for the lack of desire to eat.

does, drink

Why does a cat eat poorly and lose weight?

A moderately well-fed cat suddenly began to eat poorly and lose weight.

The first and main reason for a cat’s refusal to eat and drastic weight loss is the presence of a focus of inflammation or other disease. Therefore, such a condition can be regarded as a symptom that requires special attention. The reasons for the refusal of an animal from taking food or water are divided into psychological and medical.

Gastrointestinal problems and other diseases

Similar symptoms may indicate problems with the gastrointestinal tract. indigestion, poisoning, an allergic reaction to a feed component, pancreatitis, problems with internal organs.

In addition, diseases such as:

  • kidney disease (including urolithiasis);
  • vision problems;
  • damage and injury;
  • diseases of the nasopharynx;
  • presence of parasites.

Each of the possible diseases requires a specific therapy, which can be developed solely based on the results of the tests passed.

Why the cat does not eat anything, has lost a lot of weight and weakened: treatment and symptoms

Many owners of domestic cats are faced with an unpleasant problem. the animal ceases to eat and drink, and accordingly loses weight and weakens. It is very important to know the main reasons for what is happening in order to take emergency measures and promptly contact the veterinary clinic for advice and follow-up treatment, if necessary.

The animal is under severe stress

If the cat does not eat and sleeps all day, she may have experienced a nervous breakdown. Stress is a mental condition that is caused by adverse factors. Despite the outward calmness, representatives of the feline family react sharply to what is happening, because they are real conservatives, and sudden changes unbalance them.

Stress manifests itself in different ways: some cats become lethargic, lethargic, sleepy, constantly lying down, while others, on the contrary, become overly excited. Often the pet does not eat anything, although the opposite situation also happens when it begins to revenge everything indiscriminately, including inedible things. clothes, filler, earth. The meal may end in vomiting.

Physiological signs of stress: a drop in temperature or pressure, diarrhea, urinary incontinence, rapid breathing, frequent yawning. The cat is noted for excessive cleanliness: it constantly licks itself, which causes bald patches and skin irritation. The pet can start going to the toilet in the wrong places, mark. Long-term stress not only increases the risk of developing skin diseases and diabetes, it causes a number of disorders: decreased immunity, deterioration of the cardiovascular, genitourinary, and digestive systems.

The following factors can provoke stress:

  • lack of food, poor quality nutrition, lack of vitamins;
  • cold or heat, high or low humidity;
  • disease, dehydration, intoxication;
  • pain due to injury or surgery;
  • moving to a new place of residence;
  • repairs;
  • transport trip;
  • a visit to the veterinarian;
  • change of owner;
  • lack of attention;
  • fright;
  • the appearance in the house of a child, another animal.

Some cats are more stressed than others. It depends on temperament, heredity, living conditions. The psyche of particularly sensitive animals can suffer from rearrangement of furniture, the appearance of new objects in the house, visiting guests, changes in the diet, eating schedule or daily routine. Bathing, brushing teeth, or trimming its nails can throw your pet off balance.

Why the cat has become lethargic, does not eat or drink for several days and constantly sleeps: what to do, how to treat the pet?

A cat’s behavior changes depending on its physical and psychological condition. Apathy, drowsiness, poor appetite can be explained by harmless reasons (bad mood, resentment against the owner, change of weather, pregnancy, recent vaccination) or indicate a serious illness. Why doesn’t the cat get up, refuses food and water? How to treat a pet? In what cases you need to urgently contact a veterinarian?

Why Your Cat Won’t Eat and What to Do About It

The cat refuses to eat, drink or play due to an infectious or parasitic disease

If a cat is lethargic and apathetic, sleeps a lot, eats and drinks little, it is possible that he is ill. Similar symptoms appear with the following infectious diseases:

  • Calcivirosis. Widespread illness affecting the respiratory tract.
  • Feline leukemia. Dangerous pathology leading to the formation of tumors and inhibition of hematopoietic function.
  • Herpesvirus rhinotracheitis. A disease with an acute or chronic course, from which the respiratory system and eyes first of all suffer.
  • Leptospirosis. The disease is of bacterial nature, dangerous to humans. Affects almost all body systems.
  • Feline distemper (panleukopenia). A deadly infection, accompanied by intoxication, fever, damage to the heart, respiratory and digestive organs.
  • Immunodeficiency virus. This dangerous disease affects the nervous and immune systems.
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A parasitic disease can be the cause of the lethargy of the cat. When an animal is sick with helminthic invasion, it almost does not eat, it vomits. The pet often visits the toilet due to diarrhea or constipation, his stomach growls, irritation and itching are observed in the anus, and the temperature often rises. Feces and vomit may contain eggs and worm fragments. The animal is losing weight, but the volume of the abdomen increases.

Does not eat, drink, and does not feel well due to inflammation in the mouth

Diseases of the oral cavity can provoke refusal to eat. With stomatitis, its mucous membrane becomes inflamed. It hurts the cat to open its mouth, it goes up to the bowl, but without touching the food, it runs away, sometimes hissing. Her saliva is flowing, her mouth smells unpleasant. With advanced stomatitis, the pet experiences dehydration, loses weight and weakens, which is associated with a lack of nutrients. Glossitis manifests itself in a similar way. inflammation of the tongue caused by infection, trauma, foreign bodies getting stuck.

Tartar is often the cause of oral diseases. It causes inflammation, leads to damage to the teeth and surrounding tissues. the development of caries, gingivitis, periodontitis, periodontitis. Regardless of the cause, these diseases are accompanied by pain, the pet does not feel well, refuses food and water, and weakens. Inflammation and pain can occur from burns (thermal, chemical, or electrical) and neoplasms.

Diseases of the oral cavity are indicated by:

  • poor appetite;
  • unkempt wool;
  • salivation;
  • unpleasant odor;
  • difficulty swallowing;
  • swelling and redness of the gums;
  • discoloration of teeth.

The cat can shake its head and rub its muzzle with its paws. When trying to examine the mouth, the animal shows aggression, tries to escape.

Refusal to eat, water and play is a symptom of the pathology of internal organs

If the cat is lethargic, does not eat or drink, does not want to play, the cause may be a disease of the internal organs. Diseases of the digestive system (gastritis, colitis, pancreatitis, stomach ulcer) are manifested by upset stools, flatulence, mucus or blood in the stool, sometimes by fever. The cat often burps, licks its lips (this happens due to nausea), it often develops a gag reflex.

Similar symptoms are characteristic of an obstruction of the digestive tract, which may be caused by a foreign body. A kitten or adult animal with sensitive digestion may refuse food and water due to indigestion, which can be caused by inaccuracies in feeding or changes in diet, such as switching from natural food to dry food and vice versa.

Urolithiasis is characterized by the formation of stones in the organs of the genitourinary system, which makes it difficult for the outflow of urine. With an exacerbation, the cat experiences severe pain, urination is difficult, and blood appears in the urine. He practically does not get up, does not eat or drink, as this leads to increased symptoms. If there is a blockage of the urethra, urgent help is needed. after 3 days the pet may die.

If the cat is thin, her sides have sunken, she is very weak, the cause may be a malignant tumor. Cancer affects not only adult animals, but also kittens, but the peak incidence occurs at the age of 10-12 years. Cancer symptoms can be very diverse depending on the location. The disease may be indicated by:

  • enlarged lymph nodes;
  • temperature change;
  • digestive problems;
  • blood in urine or stool;
  • cough;
  • dyspnea;
  • vomiting;
  • bumps on the body;
  • long lasting skin ulcers.

A similar symptomatology is observed in diseases of the musculoskeletal system. With diseases such as osteochondrosis, arthritis, dysplasia of the joints, as well as injuries, the cat experiences pain, especially when moving. She does not want to eat or drink, moves a little, does not wash, sometimes she can hardly stand on her feet. Lameness, change in gait, swelling indicate this kind of problem.

How to help your pet at home?

In some cases, the problem can be dealt with at home. If the animal asks for food but does not eat, it may not like the food or the bowls that have not been washed for a long time. You need to offer your pet other food and wash the dishes. The cat may refuse to eat when it is hot. it should be taken to a cool place. Appetite often suffers during pregnancy, after operations and vaccinations carried out under anesthesia, then nothing needs to be done.

In the treatment of stress, herbal sedatives are effective: Cat Bayun, Bach drops, Fitx, Stop stress. They can be given during heat, before traveling, visiting the vet, or visiting guests. If the depression persists for a long time, treatment with potent drugs is required. They are prescribed by a veterinarian, it is dangerous to use such funds on your own.

Refusal to eat, water, weakness and apathy are symptoms of many diseases, including those dangerous to the life of animals and humans. The pet must be closely monitored. If other symptoms join, attempts to cope with the situation at home can end in failure, an urgent need to consult a veterinarian.

When does a cat, cat or kitten need urgent veterinary assistance??

Loss of appetite lasting several days without signs of illness is not considered a pathology. Fasting is not dangerous if it lasts no more than a day in a kitten under six months of age, no more than 5. in an adult cat, no more than 2. in an animal with chronic diseases.

The help of a veterinarian is also necessary in cases where, in addition to a lack of appetite, there are:

  • increased body temperature;
  • vomiting;
  • diarrhea;
  • purulent and inflammatory processes on the skin and in the oral cavity;
  • blood in urine or stool.

You cannot do without a doctor if the onset of symptoms was preceded by injuries, burns, poisoning with chemicals or toxic substances. Veterinarian consultation required after snake bites, tick bites, etc.


During the period of tooth change, a young animal may temporarily refuse food if the milk tooth that is firmly held in the gum is loose, but does not fall out. Eating food causes pain in the cat, which causes it to refuse food. At the same time, one cannot say that there is no appetite. Simply by taking solid food into its mouth, the cat spits it out. As if she wanted to eat, but changed her mind abruptly.

In older animals, similar symptoms can occur with tooth decay. Toothache torments animals as much as humans. In this case, there may be a swelling on the face (gumboil). The cat will violently protest when trying to look into his mouth, even if he has not resisted such manipulations before.


Regardless of whether your cat is outside the apartment or not, prophylactic anthelmintic drugs are mandatory for all animals every 3-4 months.

Important! Do not underestimate the danger of helminthiases, because there are quite a few varieties of feline parasites, many of which can be dangerous for the owners.

When you urgently need to go to the doctor

Even if an outwardly healthy cat does not eat or drink anything, has become passive or shows anxiety, it is necessary to show it to the doctor even for prevention purposes. But there are a number of symptoms in which a visit to the clinic should be urgent.

First of all, it is a dry nose. Any changes in temperature are also a wake-up call. Also, you need to go to the doctor if the following symptoms appear:

  • sharp pain when touched;
  • plaintive screams;
  • strong oppression of the animal;
  • fever;
  • vomiting;
  • severe diarrhea.

Any of these signs in itself is already a reason to worry, and if, at the same time, the cat does not eat anything, then it is better not to postpone the trip to the veterinary clinic.

What to do if the cat or cat does not eat anything?

Sometimes it happens that the cat does not eat or drink anything and it is not possible to understand the reason right away. Today we will tell you about the possible reasons for this behavior and share recommendations on what to do in this situation. Of course, everyone has days when their appetite decreases. And I don’t want anything at all. But when this condition drags on, and especially for several days, it’s time to sound the alarm. Surely there are problems in the animal’s body.


Stomach inflammation in cats is difficult to diagnose, as it often does not manifest itself in the early stages. The causes of such problems in veterinary medicine have not yet been fully understood. In the analyzes of sick animals, the bacterium Helicobacter pylori was inoculated, but the relationship between its presence and the onset of the inflammatory process has not been scientifically established. It is also unknown if an animal can get the bacteria from humans.

Veterinarians rank among the provoking factors: unhealthy diet (in particular, the use of cheap low-quality feed), taking aggressive medications, helminthiasis, as well as stress.

  • loss of appetite;
  • disorder of the digestive system (diarrhea, vomiting);
  • lethargy;
  • anxiety.

In most cases, gastritis responds well to special medications. But, you cannot engage in self-medication. It is important to correctly establish the diagnosis, which is possible only after a complete examination of the animal. Without medical care, acute gastritis can become chronic, which in the future will lead to stomach ulcers, which can even be fatal.

Other reasons

Most often, hunger strikes are recorded in inflammatory processes of the digestive system. It is not only gastritis in cats (inflammation of the stomach) and enteritis (acute inflammation of the intestines). But hepatitis, pancreatitis, enterocolitis and cholangitis. poor animal health can also be caused by liver diseases, among which the most common are: amyloidosis, lipidosis or cirrhosis.

Of course, the list of possible reasons for refusing food is much wider and can include both seemingly harmless factors (not like a new food or stress when changing a place of residence or a new pet in the house), and serious diseases, including oncology.

Sex drive

A cat’s heat (especially the first one) is characterized by a sharp change in behavior. During this period, you can often observe the refusal of food in the first days. A cat may well lose interest in a favorite treat if there is a “calling” cat nearby. If there are no other warning symptoms, and the behavior of the animal speaks of a characteristic period of hormonal surge, do not worry. But, a visit to the vet is still worth it.

As a rule, the first such period in cats occurs at 6-10 months (but in some breeds, maturation may occur earlier, as early as 4-5 months or later, closer to a year).