Cat Stops Eating

Find out what a vet recommends if your cat stops eating.

By Elaine Wexler-Mitchell, D.V.M.

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Q. What does it mean if my cat stops eating?

Elaine Wexler-Mitchell gives possible reasons behind why your cat may have stopped eatingElaine Wexler-Mitchell, D.V.M., says: Cats stop eating for a variety of reasons, including an unappetizing diet, dental disease, fever, loss of smell, and stress. Your cat can be in danger if he does not eat for an extended period of time. When your cat does not eat, the fat his body has stored is metabolized to provide energy. Too much fat breakdown damages the liver and leads to another condition called hepatic lipidosis, also known as fatty liver disease.

To tempt your cat to eat, try warming some baby food. Warm food generates an appetizing smell, which should encourage your cat to eat, and baby food is easy for your cat to digest. If your cat does not eat for two days, a veterinarian should examine him as soon as possible.  

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Reprinted from Ask the Vet About Cats © 2003. Permission granted by BowTie Press.

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Reader Comments

Janet    Bethlehem, PA

9/6/2012 2:43:15 AM

good information, thank you

Donna    Austin, TX

6/3/2012 12:56:59 PM

You have to be very careful about feeding baby food to a cat. Some of it contains garlic and/or onion powder, which can cause serious, even fatal problems in kitty. Check the list of ingredients!!

CatChannelEditor    Irvine, CA

2/13/2012 8:11:40 AM

Catherine -- That is an interesting question. Your vet would be the best person to ask about this. If you'd like further questions answered, visit our veterinary expert's page. You'll find a link to email him with questions: LINK

Catherine    Quincy, MA

2/11/2012 2:47:19 PM

My 5 yr old cat has stopped eating her food and is lethargic. She has been nibbling on our new kitten's food when I don't catch her. Could this be the problem? If so, can I do anything to counter these affects?

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