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What to do when your cat's not eating


Time to read 5 min

When Your Furry Friend Turns Up Their Nose: Tips for a Cat Who Won't Eat

It can be alarming when your feline companion suddenly loses their appetite. Here are some supportive steps you can take and practical advice to tempt your cat back to their food bowl:

Check for Underlying Issues:

We understand how worried you must be when your furry friend isn't eating. While it's natural to want to tempt them with something special, there could be an underlying reason why your cat's lost their appetite.

Here's why a visit to the vet might be necessary:

  • The 24-Hour Rule: If your cat hasn't eaten for more than a day, especially if they're also lethargic, vomiting, or showing other concerning signs, it's best to consult your veterinarian. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for many medical conditions

  • Looking for Clues: Pay close attention to your cat's overall behaviour. Are they playful and energetic, or withdrawn and lacking their usual spark? Changes in personality can sometimes be the first sign of an issue

Remember, you're not alone! Your veterinarian is there to help you navigate your cat's health concerns. By providing them with this information, they can get a better understanding of what might be going on and recommend the best course of action.

Cat Licking Paw

Entice Their Senses:

Cat Looking at Camera

Once your vet gives you the all-clear, let's explore some ways to tempt your picky eater! 

We all know cats can be particular about their food, so a little creativity can go a long way. Here are some ideas to spark your cat's interest:

  • Temperature Magic: Cats rely heavily on smell, so try warming up a small portion of canned food in the microwave for about 15 seconds. This releases a more enticing aroma that might just get their whiskers twitching!

  • Freshness Matters: Instead of leaving a large bowl of food out all day, offer smaller, fresher portions throughout the day. This keeps things interesting and prevents the food from drying out, which can be less appealing

  • Texture Time: Some cats have a preference for wet food over dry, or vice versa. Experiment with different textures to see what your feline friend enjoys most. You can even mix them together for a bit of variety!

  • Location, Location, Location: Just like us, cats appreciate a peaceful dining experience. Place their food bowl in a quiet, stress-free area, away from busy household zones and other pets

  • The Power of Novelty: Intrigue your cat with a small amount of a new, high-quality food as a temporary topper.This can add a burst of flavor and excitement to their regular meals. Just remember to introduce new foods gradually to avoid any tummy troubles

By trying out these tips and keeping a close eye on your cat's preferences, you can find the perfect way to get them excited about mealtime again!

Right Type of Cat Food Bowl:

Creating a Pleasant Dining Experience:

It might seem like a small detail, but the right food bowl can make a big difference in your cat's enjoyment of mealtime. Here are some things to consider:

  • Material Matters: Choose a dishwasher-safe bowl made from non-porous materials like stainless steel or ceramic with a lead-free glaze. These materials are easy to clean and prevent bacteria build-up, which is important for your cat's health. They also won't absorb food odors that can make their meals less appealing

  • Whisker Comfort is Key: Cats have incredibly sensitive whiskers, and deep, narrow bowls can irritate them. Opt for shallow, wide dishes that allow your feline friend to comfortably eat without their whiskers brushing against the sides

By providing a clean, comfortable bowl, you can help ensure your cat feels relaxed and happy during mealtimes. And of course we're biased but if you're in the market for a new cat food now check out our height adjustable, hand made feeding station called Dine!

Address Environmental Changes:

Understanding Your Cat's Stressors:

Cats are creatures of habit, and even seemingly minor changes in their environment can trigger stress. This stress can manifest in many ways, including a loss of appetite. Here are some common culprits to be aware of:

  • New Arrivals: Whether it's a new pet, a baby, or even a houseguest, introducing a new member to the household can be overwhelming for your cat. Provide them with plenty of hiding spots, like cat trees or cardboard boxes,where they can feel safe and secure. Offer familiar objects with their scent on them, like a favourite blanket, to help them feel comfortable

  • Travel Trauma: Car rides, trips to the vet, or even boarding can be stressful experiences for cats. If you know travel is on the horizon, try using calming pheromone sprays or diffusers to create a more relaxing environment. It's also a good idea to practice short car rides with positive reinforcement beforehand, if possible

  • Loud Noises: Whether it's construction work outside or a particularly rambunctious visitor, loud noises can be very unsettling for cats. Create a quiet, designated "safe space" in your home where your cat can retreat during these times. You can use calming music or white noise machines to help mask disruptive sounds as well

By being mindful of these potential stressors and taking steps to create a calm environment, you can help your cat feel more secure and hopefully get their appetite back on track. Remember, a happy cat is a healthy cat!

A cat sitting on a stool

Maintain Hydration:

Just like us, cats need plenty of fluids to stay healthy. Dehydration can contribute to a loss of appetite, so it's important to make sure your feline friend has access to fresh, clean water throughout the day. Here are a couple of tips to encourage them to drink more:

  • Water on Demand: Cats can be very particular about their water source. Place multiple water bowls in different locations around your house, away from their food bowl and litter box. This gives them options and allows them to find a spot they feel comfortable drinking from

  • The Fountain of Fun: Some cats are naturally drawn to moving water. Consider investing in a water fountain for your cat. The gentle bubbling sound and movement can be more enticing than a still bowl of water. Just be sure to clean the fountain regularly to keep the water fresh and free of bacteria

By providing multiple water sources and keeping them clean and inviting, you can help ensure your cat stays hydrated and support their overall health.

Consult Your Vet:

Cat on Ledge

If none of these tips work and your cat continues to refuse food for more than 24 hours, seeking professional advice is crucial. Your veterinarian can diagnose the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment.

Remember, early intervention is key. By following these steps and consulting your vet when needed, you can help your furry friend regain their appetite and get back to their purring, playful self.