Maryland Pet

Cat Not Eating or Drinking Water? Reasons and Best Solutions Revealed

Everyone loves cats as they are adorable. The Pet Industry is worth over USD 95.8 billion, while dogs dominate this industry. But pet cats aren’t much behind the dogs as there are more than 370 million pet cats worldwide. Cats can undoubtedly become great pets as they keep unwanted pests away. Cats, by instincts, love to stalk, hunt, and jump on their prey, which is why they are great at keeping your home pests free. According to many studies, having a cat can help those suffering from depression and mental illness.

Indeed, cats can become a great companion, but the only problem arises while identifying their behavior. Many cat owners report that their cat has stopped eating and drinking water which confuses them whether he/she is ill or just being a cat. Cats are quite independent, and many times fill their stomach by hunting. So cat owners seem to ignore cats if they are not eating, but sometimes this can be problematic.  If you are a cat owner and observe any changes in your cat’s eating behavior or if your cat isn’t eating or drinking, you should consult a veterinarian. When cats don’t eat, their body starts burning fat present in their body. The liver processes the fat in a cat’s body, and for this task, the liver requires plenty of protein. When the cats don’t eat and drink, their liver doesn’t get protein which puts a strain on the liver and even leads to liver failure.

Reasons cats refuse to eat and drink


Cats love to eat, and if your cat isn’t eating or drinking for more than 48 hours, there can be a severe issue. If your cat is facing dietary indiscretions, then it will avoid eating and drinking. Many times, tumors are found in a cat’s digestive system, which can lead to vomiting. In these cases, immediate attention is required.

Dental Problem:

Cats can refuse to eat if they have dental issues like fractures, pain in the mouth, or infections in the mouth. These dental issues cause pain while chewing. As a result, cats avoid eating or drinking water. If the problem continues, then it can result in weight loss and serious issues. Further, not eating enough can cause deficiency of different vitamins which can also make cats immune to various diseases. These are not the only reasons for the cat to feel pain while chewing food as there can be several other issues. Thus, take your cat to the veterinarian for checking its mouth and see if there’s any other problem.

Kidney problem:

Kidney related diseases are quite common in cats globally. That is why cat owners should get their cat checked regularly. Besides, if your cat is vomiting, then it is likely that your cat is suffering from a kidney-related disease. Kidney problem causes nausea and vomiting, which can result in cats refusing food and water.

Gastrointestinal Issue:

Gastrointestinal issues like inflammation or infection of the GI tract can be troublesome for cats. This is one of the most common reasons for cats not eating and drinking water. Parasites and infection of the pancreas can also be the reason behind the cat’s refusal to eat or drink water.


The cats who are recently vaccinated are often seemed to avoid food and water. This isn’t a serious case as the refusal of food usually ends in a few days. But if it continues for a longer time, then there is a possibility that your cat is reacting to the vaccination. Additionally, if you don’t take care of this serious matter, it can become harmful for your cat.


Not every time your cat refuses to eat or drink is a serious matter. Sometimes, cats are very picky about food. They can refuse to eat due to small reasons. They might not eat food as they find it cold or stale. During such times, just heating the food can be helpful. Regarding water, you should know that cats have a weak sense of dehydration. So they won’t drink unless they are thirsty.


Cats love eating meat. So if you feed cat meat or something they love, then they tend to eat more. Cats have a small stomach, so when they eat a lot, then don’t feel hungry for quite some time. Besides, cats are lazy creatures which make their digestion slower. Due to these reasons, cats don’t feel hungry for a long time. So if your cat has eaten a lot and is refusing to eat, then consider it as a normal case. But remember that if it is avoiding food for more than 48 hours, then there can be a serious problem.

Monotonous Meal:

Most cat owners feed their cat with canned food which is good for them but eating the same thing every day will finally result in the cat losing its appetite. Homemade food is good for cats so you should sometimes switch canned food with homemade food. Feeding the cats with homemade food will keep them happy as they will get to eat tasty stuff every day. Besides, homemade food also has more moisture which can cover the lack of water in their body.

What to do when cats refuse to eat and drink

Humans can go without food for a few weeks, but that is not the case with your pet cat. So if your cat is refusing to eat, then try heating the food and clean the bowl in which the cat regularly eats. This helps improve the cat’s eating habit as it possesses a strong sense of smell and can avoid eating if the bowl is unclean. You can also try to switch canned food with homemade food and vice versa. Serving cat food with a pungent smell can also make them hungry. Besides, the cat is a creature of habit and routine. So don’t change their bowl, type of food, sleeping place, etc. frequently as these changes can cause them discomfort.

Change of house and surroundings can also cause a loss of appetite. Cats can sense the mood in an environment so provide them with an excellent environment to live in. Adding multivitamins in cat’s meals can be helpful. If you do all these things, your cat will surely eat and stay well.

Finally, suppose your cat isn’t eating or drinking well, and you have tried everything mentioned above, or you see some behavioral changes in your cat. In that case, it’s better to consult your veterinarian. Ignoring a cat’s refusal to eat and considering it is a normal behavior can be dangerous for your little pet.

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