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How Can I Get My Cat to Eat? (Explained!)

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that their bodies are designed to digest and use only animal-based proteins.

For this reason, it is important to make sure that your cat is getting enough of the right nutrients in their diet.

How To Get a Cat to Eat

If your cat is finicky about their food, it can be frustrating trying to get them to eat. Here are a few tips to help you get your cat to eat:

Try different types of food

Cats can be picky eaters, so it’s important to offer them a variety of foods to see what they like. Experiment with different textures and flavors until you find something they’re willing to eat.

Make sure the food is fresh

Cats are attracted to fresh, moist food, so make sure their meals are fresh and appealing. If the food has been sitting out for a while, it’s likely that your cat won’t be interested in eating it.

Smaller meals

Feed them smaller meals more often throughout the day instead of one large meal. This will help them feel less full and make it easier for them to digest their food.

Add some variety to their diet with new toys or treats that encourage them to eat.

Wet food

Add some wet food to their diet. Wet food is more aromatic and appealing to cats than dry food, so they’re more likely to eat it if they’re given a mix of both.

Feed with hand

Try feeding them by hand. Some cats enjoy the process of being hand-fed and will be more likely to eat if they’re given this attention.

Serve the food at room temperature

Some cats prefer their food warm or even cold, so serving it at room temperature may make it more appealing to them.

Comfortable environment

Create a comfortable environment for eating. If your cat feels stressed while trying to eat, they may not have a good appetite.

Create a calm and relaxed environment at mealtime – no loud noises or sudden movements that could startle them.


If your cat isn’t eating, it can be a sign of an underlying health problem. If you’re concerned about your cat’s lack of appetite, take them to the vet for a check-up.

How Can I Stimulate My Cat’s Appetite?

There are a few things you can do to stimulate your cat’s appetite.

The first is to make sure they are eating a high quality, nutritious diet.

Secondly, you can try feeding them smaller meals more often throughout the day.

Finally, you can offer them some type of food that they really enjoy and that smells good to them.

Why Do Cats Refuse to Eat?

There are a few reasons why your cat may be refusing to eat.

The first is that they may not be feeling well. If your cat is acting lethargic or has lost their appetite, it’s best to take them to the vet to rule out any potential health problems.

Another reason cats refuse to eat is if they’re stressed or anxious. A new pet in the house, a move, or even a change in routine can cause stress in cats.

If you think your cat’s refusal to eat is due to stress, try creating a calm environment for them and offering them some of their favorite foods.

Finally, some cats simply aren’t interested in food and need a little more encouragement to eat. If your cat falls into this category, try playing with them before meals and offering small portions of wet food or treats as an incentive.

How Long Can a Cat Go Without Eating?

While a cat’s digestive system is designed to extract nutrients from food, they are able to survive for extended periods of time without eating.

The record for the longest surviving cat without food belongs to Arf, a tabby from Sweden who went 37 days without consuming any solid food.

How long a cat can go without eating before experiencing health problems depends on several factors including age, overall health, and activity level.

Young kittens and elderly cats are more susceptible to developing complications from prolonged fasting than healthy adult cats.

Additionally, obese cats or those with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes may experience more serious consequences sooner than other felines.

The average healthy adult cat can survive for two to three weeks without food; however, they will start to experience symptoms of starvation after just a few days without sustenance.

These include weakness, lethargy, dehydration, and muscle atrophy. If you think your cat has gone more than 48 hours without eating, it is important to take them to the vet for an examination.

Why is My Cat Drinking But Not Eating?

If your cat is drinking but not eating, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue.

Some common causes of decreased appetite in cats include:

Dental disease

If your cat has pain when chewing, they may stop eating altogether or only eat soft foods. Dental disease is one of the most common health problems in cats, so if your cat isn’t eating, it’s worth taking them to the vet for a check-up.


This is an inflammation of the pancreas and can cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Cats with pancreatitis often have a poor appetite and may stop eating altogether.

If your cat has any other symptoms of pancreatitis (e.g. vomiting, diarrhea), it’s important to take them to the vet straight away as they will need treatment.

Kidney disease

As kidney function deteriorates, waste products build up in the blood and this can make cats feel unwell and lose their appetite.

If you think your cat may have kidney disease, it’s important to take them to the vet for tests and treatment as soon as possible. If your cat is drinking more than usual but not eating, this could also be a sign of diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes).

How to Get an Old Cat to Eat

If your cat is a picky eater, there are a few things you can do to try and get them to eat.

One is to mix their food with a little bit of water or chicken broth. You can also try heating up their food so that the smell is more appealing.

Another option is to buy special cat food that is designed for picky eaters. Be sure to talk to your vet before making any major changes to your cat’s diet.


If your cat is normally a good eater and suddenly stops eating or only eats a little, it’s important to take them to the vet to rule out any potential medical problems.

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