If Your Cat Stops Eating

A cat that does not eat is sick. Treating the symptoms may improve the overall problem.

Posted: Wed Nov 20 00:00:00 PST 2002

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Cats that are depressed and not eating are sick and should be seen promptly by a veterinarian. These nonspecific signs are commonly caused by fever. Fevers will turn off a cat's appetite and energy. No safe over-the-counter treatment for fever is available for cats. Aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen are toxic to cats.

When examining a cat with symptoms such as a loss of appetite or depression, a veterinarian will try to localize a site of infection or location of a problem. Further diagnostic testing may be needed to assess the cat's condition. Often the cat may receive symptomatic treatment after an initial examination. This treatment is aimed at relieving the symptoms and making the pet feel better. Symptomatic treatment can involve fluids, antibiotics, appetite stimulants, force-feeding or an anti-inflammatory drug.

If a cat does not respond to supportive care within a couple of days, it is vital to follow up. Cats that do not eat can develop secondary health problems, such as hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease, that can be more life threatening than the original problem if the cat's metabolic functions are compromised.

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Reader Comments

Margie    Seattle, WA

2/6/2011 1:00:00 AM

Thank you for the information-my precious friend is 18+4months & I have been heating up her food & bringing it to her-she is eatting a little bit & drinking lots of =water. We have been to the vet & she has ashema

janet    bethlehem, PA

12/9/2010 4:28:07 AM

interesting information, thank you very much

Janet    Bethlehem, PA

9/5/2010 6:21:24 AM

good article thanks

Mark    Seattle, WA

12/8/2009 11:39:31 AM

My cat stopped eating after receiving an antibiotic injection for a small puncture wound to his lip - probably a cat bite from playing with my other cat.
I am currently in the process of getting him weighed to see if he's losing weight, vet has recommended a feeding tube.

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