Many pet parents don't sweat it if their cat or dog doesn't show interest in eating for a little while, but this is a grave mistake for cat owners. Cats who don't eat are at risk of a serious health complication. Here's what you should know about your cat not eating and what you need to do to tackle the problem.

Health Risks

Not eating is never a good sign. For a cat, it can cause significant complications for their health.

For starters, starvation is terrible for a cat. Any kind of prolonged starvation can cause the body to start feasting upon its own resources, or in other words, turning stored fat and muscle tissue into energy to live off of. While this might not sound so bad, it actually is. If the body starts to consume its own muscle, it will not only make your cat feel weaker and sicker, but it could eventually cause heart damage, as the heart is a muscle.

Furthermore, your cat is likely to have health problems before they ever get to that point. Fatty liver disease is a condition that cats suffer from when they're starving for a prolonged period of time. This is because their bodies aren't very good at breaking down large amounts of fat to convert into energy, and the liver starts to get sick as a result.


Unfortunately, it's extremely rare for a cat to simply stop eating just because they don't feel like it. This is one more reason to not ignore this problem. If your cat isn't eating, it likely indicates that they have an underlying health problem, like kidney disease, which can kill a cat's appetite.

What to Do

The answer here is easy: you need to get to an animal hospital for treatment and testing.

Once you arrive, your cat will be examined and screened for health problems that could be causing them to not eat, like a gastrointestinal obstruction or the aforementioned kidney disease. If your vet isn't successful getting your cat to eat with appetite stimulants, they'll use a feeding tube to ensure that your cat receives the nutrients it needs. Then your vet will go to work tackling any underlying medical conditions that may have caused the lack of appetite in the first place.

Cat owners should always take note if a cat isn't showing interest in food. If they don't eat for 24 hours, you should immediately get help before their health worsens. To learn more information about your cat's health, reach out to a company such as Berlin Township Animal Hospital.