My cat is not eating or drinking much. What is the cause and treatment?

Original Question: I have adopted a female cat that is about 3 years old that I found on the street. She doesn't like to drink and sometimes she doesn't eat her canned food I give her. - Yolanda

My cat is not eating or drinking much. What is the cause and treatment? Nov 29, 2017

Hi Yolanda,

Thanks for your question.

If your cat doesn’t eat or drink much on occasion, this is not a major concern – but if it continues for more than a few days or is accompanied by vomiting, diarrhoea, and lethargy, then it is important to investigate further. Some cats have very strong preferences for food texture or formula – many prefer canned food with some gravy, and others will only eat dry kibble. The shape and depth of the feeding dish can also be an important factor – so perhaps try a few different bowls or dishes. The other thing to consider may be stress. Are the food bowls in an area that is noisy or may be potentially frightening to the cat? Are there other cats or pets that may be competing for the food? More fearful cats would be inclined to avoid these situations and not eat. Consider moving the feeding area to a quiet, more cat-friendly area. Consider taking your cat into the vet if this behavior continues or is accompanied by other changes.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Kim Hester

Summary
My cat is not eating or drinking much. What is the cause and treatment?
Article Name
My cat is not eating or drinking much. What is the cause and treatment?
Description
If your cat doesn’t eat or drink much on occasion, this is not a major concern – but if it continues for more than a few days or is accompanied by vomiting, diarrhoea, and lethargy, then it is important to investigate further. Some cats have very strong preferences for food texture or formula.
Author
Publisher Name
Healthcare for Pets
Publisher Logo

Disclaimer: healthcareforpets.com and its team of veterinarians and clinicians do not endorse any products, services, or recommended advice. All advice presented by our veterinarians, clinicians, tools, resources, etc is not meant to replace a regular physical exam and consultation with your primary veterinarian or other clinicians. We always encourage you to seek medical advice from your regular veterinarian.

Related Q&A

  • Do you recommend a stool test for my cat who is on a raw food diet?
  • Answered by: Dennis Chmiel, DVM, MBA
  • Nov 25, 2020
  • When can you start brushing a cat’s teeth?
  • Answered by: Jeanne Perrone, MS, CVT, VTS (Dentistry)
  • Jun 13, 2020
  • Why does my cat have a runny nose and discharge in his eyes?
  • Answered by: Dr. Alex Avery, BVSc
  • May 16, 2019
  • What are some tips on how to get my cat to lose weight?
  • Answered by: Dr. Clayton Greenway
  • Feb 13, 2019