Uh-oh! Your cat has decided to stop eating. This is a common problem that most cat owners run into at one time or another. The reason behind their behavior can be as simple as a your cat is just a picky eater! On the other hand, not eating can be a sign of illness or stress. One way or another, if your cat has stopped eating, the problem must be solved. So what can you do if your cat says NO to food?
Illness or Medical Issues
This is the most important one to HOPEFULLY rule out as a possibility. Unfortunately, a sudden loss of appetite is a significant symptom of illness. You should contact your veterinarian as soon as you notice a significant decline in appetite. It is important to feed your cat measured portions each day, never free-feed. This way, it is easier to monitor how much your cat is eating. Sudden loss of appetite can be a result of everything from toothaches to infections, intestinal problems, kidney failure and cancer. The more quickly you can identify and respond to the problem, the more you will be able to help. To recap, the first thing you should do when you notice sudden appetite loss is take your cat to the vet to rule out any medical reasons, and then continue from there.
Have you made any sudden changes to your cats environment? Really think hard, what may seem irrelevant to us could be a big deal to your cat. Like many of us, cats are creatures of habit and should that habit be broken in any way can result in stress. Reduced appetite is a common symptom of one stressed out kitty. Listed below are some common causes of stress in your feline friend:
- Introduction of a new pet or family member
- Loss of a pet or family member
- Moving to a new home
- Visits to the vet
- A new job or a change in your daily routine
- Loud noises (outside construction, parties, etc.)
- The window view (outside birds, cats, squirrels)
One of the most important things you can do to minimize stress in your cat is to keep your own stress level down. It is understandable that some of these stress factors we can not control. So what can you do? Pisces recommends: Comfort Zone Calming Diffuser for Cats & Kittens, a drug-free pheromone emitter to help calm your cat and reduce stress.
You may just be unlucky enough for your cat to be a picky eater, plain and simple. Your cat may be avoiding her food because she is expecting extra treats sometime else. Stop feeding from your table scraps or extra treats. After some complaining, she will understand that the only food she will receive comes from the bowl. Your cat may not like the flavor of its food. For example, cat food with duck as the dominant flavor is loved by some cats but found to rich by others. It is detrimental to be constantly changing your cat food diet. Cats will happily eat the same food every single day of it's life provided it is a quality, nutritious and delicious meal. An effective method to train your cat to eat what you want her to eat is to give your cat a bowl of food to eat for a half an hour. If she doesn't eat it, take it away, and repeat until she eats. Pisces recommends: Purebites Treat Mixer. This is a great additive to help coax your cat into eating its food without changing the cat food.
Feeding time can be fun time too! Keeping your cat constantly entertained is the supreme challenge of any cat owner. Turning feeding time into play time will help entice your cat into eating. Remember feeding your baby with the airplane spoon? Yea, same basic concept. Luckily, there are a handful of products on the market aimed for this exact problem, like rotating feeding trees and rings. Our favorite is the Catit Senses 2.0 Digger. This bowl has different depth of cup like bowls that encourages instinctive digging. Not only is it fun for the cat, but it always forces your cat too eat slower, preventing choking and throwing up undigested food.