I have taken the title from the Catster website as it troubles me because if a cat isn’t eating, they are not acting normally. The title doesn’t make sense. It is, I believe, asking why a cat is behaving normally except for one aspect of their behaviour namely eating. What might cause this?
Stress or anxiety: stress or anxiety can depress a domestic cat’s appetite. The stress might be brought about because of separation anxiety, a change to their environment or routine. The introduction or the presence of new pets or people into their lives is problematic. Cats are good at hiding stress or anxiety but there may be signs such as hiding which would indicate abnormal behaviour by the way.
Pain or illness: cats are good at hiding pain and/or illness. It can cause a loss of appetite as is the case for humans. Classic illnesses affecting appetite would be gastrointestinal health problems, gum disease, general oral health which might not be obvious to a cat caregiver and organ dysfunction.
Recent vaccination or medication: after a vaccination a cat might lose their appetite temporarily. This might be obvious to the cat caregiver in which case it would not be a cat behaving normally if you get what I mean.
Change in diet: diet should be changed gradually particularly a reduction in diet to avoid hepatic lipidosis, a serious disease. Cats can be quite choosy about what they eat as all cat caregivers know. I think it’s best to stick to tried and trusted foods which you know your cat likes and which you know is of high quality.
Dental issues: this is expanding on the pain or illness issues above. It is easy for cat caregivers to miss poor oral health through gum disease and teeth cavities et cetera. I would suggest that the first step on loss of appetite might be to check your cat’s mouth. If it’s sore for the reasons above your cat won’t want to eat. Smelly breath will indicate poor oral health. I have a test which you might try and apply to check for gum disease which you can read about by clicking on this link. You might need to take your cat to a veterinarian to check for gum disease and teeth decay because it’s difficult to keep a cat’s mouth open long enough to really check carefully.
Age: it is quite easy to gradually get used to your cat’s changing behaviour because of their advancing years. They may stop eating because of an underlying disease associated with old age namely kidney disease which is very prevalent in domestic cats of old age. An old cat that stops eating should be checked over by veterinarian.
Stomach issues/nausea: this, too, is expanding on the above. Nausea will obviously prevent a cat from eating normally and it might not be obvious to a cat caregiver that their cat is feeling nauseous. IBD might be a problem here and there might well be an underlying stomach health problem which needs to be checked out by veterinarian.
Response: If a cat continues to refuse food for more than 24 hours or if you notice any other concerning signs, it’s recommended to consult with a veterinarian.
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