Why is My Cat Not Eating in Ukiah, CA?

Cats are often good at hiding what they are feeling. This can make it hard to take care of them or to know that they are not feeling very well until a serious health concern makes itself known. One of the first signs that your cat is not feeling well can be that they stop eating.

There are some reasons that your cat might not be eating that are not related to a health concern, but it is always a good idea to know what to look for when you notice this behavior. Cats do not do very well health-wise when they stop eating or drinking. You need to be paying attention to these kinds of changes in your cat’s behavior so that you can spot the early warning signs of health issues.

cat not eating in ukiah, ca

Changes to Food

If you change your cat’s food, they might decide that they are not happy with the change to their diet. They could skip a few meals because they aren’t sure that they like their new food and then go back to eating. However, if your cat continues to be unwilling to eat after a few missed meals, you need to start looking at other reasons that they are not eating.

Changes to diet can also cause stomach upsets, so be sure that you pay attention to your cat’s drinking behavior and that you look out for vomiting and things like diarrhea. If your cat’s stomach is upset, you might need to put them back on their other food and then make a much slower transition to the new food after their symptoms of stomach upset have gone away.

Being in Pain

Cats who are in pain almost always stop eating. This is likely due to them feeling nauseous due to being in pain. Cats that are in pain might also walk around with their shoulders “hunched,” or they might yowl or meow a lot. If your cat does not want to be touched, you should be worried that they are in pain as well.

A loss of appetite can be the first symptom of a variety of conditions that might be causing your cat pain. You will probably need the help of a veterinarian to isolate the reason that your pet is in pain. Calling your vet is always a good idea if you think that your cat is in pain.

Dental Issues

A common reason for your cat to stop eating are issues with their dental health. Broken teeth or inflamed gums can be very painful and can lead to your cat refusing to eat. If the problems in your cat’s mouth are significant enough, they might even stop drinking. Sometimes you might not be able to see the problem teeth near the front of the mouth. It is not uncommon for your cat’s molars to be the reason for their discomfort while their front teeth look just fine.

Some cats are more prone to dental issues than others, and some breeds are more likely to need extra dental care each year. It is a good rule of thumb to make sure that your cat gets a teeth cleaning at least once a year. Your vet can schedule these appointments on a routine basis to help make sure that your cat does not have to suffer from oral health issues that can cause pain and can lead to significant infections.

Kidney Disease

Cats with kidney disease don’t feel good at all. They might be nauseous, or they might be very thirsty all the time but not feel hungry. If your cat is drinking a lot and urinating a lot, along with going off their food, you should suspect kidney issues. This is a condition that can be managed in a variety of ways, but you will need the help of your vet to treat this problem.

Kidney disease is more common in older cats, but it can impact young animals as well. Cats often struggle with kidney health at some point during their life, so you should be on the lookout for the classic symptoms of this health concern. The sooner that your cat gets treatment for kidney disease, the better their prognosis will be long-term.

Gastrointestinal Issues

There is a wide array of gastric issues that could cause your cat not to feel hungry. Obstructions from eating something that should not have been ingested, cancer, tumors, and parasites can all lead to your cat stopping eating. Your vet will need to be involved in helping you to get a diagnosis for the root cause of your cat’s lack of appetite.

Even eating something that should not have been ingested but passes can cause a lot of damage to your cat’s GI tract. Your cat might have passed the item that they should not have eaten and still feel sick. Your vet can make sure that there is a course of treatment provided to your pet that will help get them back to feeling their best. For more serious issues like cancer, surgery might be needed, and your vet can help you explore things like chemotherapy.

Cats Can Stop Eating for Many Reasons

Cats can be picky eaters, but they often stop eating for very specific reasons. It is always a good idea to work with your vet to make sure that you know what kind of health concern is causing your cat’s lack of appetite. You need to remember that cats cannot go without eating and drinking for long without ending up with secondary health issues. You will need to get your cat back to eating and drinking before too much time goes by so that they can get back to feeling their best.

Cats often stop eating when they feel nauseous, but they can also choose not to eat due to being dehydrated or in pain. Working with a vet is key to figuring out what is wrong and helping your cat to get back to eating like normal again.

If you need to talk with a vet about your cat not eating, give Mendocino Animal Hospital a call at (707) 462-8833 or book an appointment online.

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About Mendocino Animal Hospital

At Mendocino Animal Hospital, we believe in fostering the human-animal bond with excellent veterinary medicine. Our full-service veterinary practice operates in Ukiah, CA with a team of skilled veterinarians and a passionate, talented support staff who make you feel like a part of the family.

As an AAHA-accredited animal hospital, every service and aspect of our practice meets AAHA’s Standards of Excellence. No matter what your pet comes in for, they’ll receive only the best in care, compassion, and service.