What to Feed a Cat That Won’t Eat

Skylar Dial
Written by
Last update:

Purchase Wet Cat Food

If your cat suddenly stops eating, it could be due to a variety of different reasons ranging from environmental stress, food allergies, or age-related health problems.

Cats that don’t eat regularly can develop hyperthyroidism which is attributed to stress that could lead to weight loss, muscle wasting, increased heart rate, vomiting and diarrhea, and may eventually result in a coma and death.

· If your cat won’t eat, he could be sick or have a tummy ache. It is essential to get your cat treatment by a vet. During the initial stages, you may give the cat chicken broth with gentle appetite stimulants, such as a little bit of olive oil or plain honey.

· If your cat will not eat, wet food can tempt your cat to eat. Some dry cat food could be added with water and sprinkled over wet cat food to encourage the cat to eat.

· If your cat is sick, taste or smell of the cat food may be unappetizing. Ask the vet for appetite stimulants or an appetite enhancer. An appetite enhancer can be placed on the inside of the cat’s mouth. If the cat still won’t eat after four days, ask your vet for prescription cat food or a special diet prescription that is specially formulated to help sick cats eat.

Feeding a cat the wrong food can have detrimental effects on its health. In some cases, food aversion in cats may be caused simply due to the change in taste or smell after the food has sat uneaten for days in your cat’s environment. In other cases, disease may be the reason behind a cat’s aversion for its food.

When your cats refuse to eat their usual food, you can try to relax. You may just be seeing the remanifestation of an alternate cost-benefit decision-making process that allows them to hold on to their food values. If the food produces adverse effects like nausea or is being offered in a manner that makes it unpalatable, the cat may hold on to a predisposition to prefer not to eat it despite the fact that it will starve otherwise.

Although we want our cats to be healthy and happy at all times, sometimes things go a little haywire and force us to tackle difficult feeding issues. In these situations, it helps to have a plan of action in place.

Try Baby Food

If you have a vet that you trust, if a vet is not available you hear what other owners have found or if you have had a friend who has gone through the same thing, you may only have those to rely on. In that case, in my opinion, it is better to go against what is in the internet.

As the saying goes, “Never feed your cat something you wouldn’t eat yourself.” I know, I totally get the appeal of food like gourmet salmon or premium beef. However, for your cat, those products may not be the best choice. Cats simply do not eat a diet of just salmon or beef. If you are concerned about the quality of your cat’s food, put your research into buying a pet food that has been reviewed well by pet owners.

Add Stinky or Tasty Ingredients

There are times when the cat will just not eat properly. He may not eat for days, and that can be very worrying.

Here are some ways that you can try to get your cat to eat again.

Feed Your Cat Differently

Maybe this sounds familiar. Your cat stops eating. You scramble to find out what’s wrong. Maybe you change the type of food you’re putting in the bowl. Maybe you even take your pet to the vet. Only to discover its just finicky and there’s nothing wrong with the food, or with your cat.

Here’s the thing, cats are only finicky when they feel like it. You might think that you’ve tried everything. But the feline mind works differently than ours.

Cats aren’t necessarily hungry, so they don’t always eat when you place food in a bowl in front of them. The question then is why don’t they eat? Cats eat for a few primary reasons: hunger, thirst, boredom and anxiety.

The challenge is figuring out which reason (or reasons) is behind the eating cessation. If the cause is behavioral, then changing the cat food brand or buying an expensive prescription food probably won’t work.