You may have a cat that has not been eating its food.
This can be scary and nerve-racking. We know that cats need to eat to survive, so why isn’t your cat eating?
Today, we are going to talk about how long cats can go without food as well as water.
Once this time is established, I want to talk about reasons why your cat might be refusing to eat and ways that you can coax your feline friend into eating again.
All being said, you may also want to call your vet if your cat has not been eating.
How Long Can A Cat Survive Without Eating?
Cats are like humans, and food is essential for their survival.
When it comes down to the amount of time, they can live without eating any food, the time may vary.
Your cat may be fine without food for three or four days on average. The absolute maximum your cat can go without food, though, is one week.
Any longer than a week and you have a problem. If your cat has not eaten for a day or two, you should contact your vet immediately.
They can make sure your cat is being taken care of before a tragedy occurs.
How Long Can Cats Go Without Water?
Water is essential for a cat’s survival. It does not take long before they become dehydrated.
The consequences of a cat not getting the fluids that they need can be fatal, so you want to watch your cats and make sure they are drinking the water you left out for them.
As far as water goes, three days is the absolute longest a cat can go without water before becoming severely dehydrated.
Some cats can stay alive for longer, but as a pet owner, you should be contacting your vet right away if your cat has not had water for two days.
If you get to the three-day mark, vet care is going to be critical for your cat.
Why Won’t My Cat Eat or Drink?
Your cat not eating, or drinking is a sign of them being sick.
In some cases, it could just mean that your cat is struggling to eat dry food, especially if they are older.
In this case, eating dry food may hurt their mouth. However, a cat would likely still be drinking water if this were the case.
If your cat happens to be sick, this is a little bit different.
Your cat may also be sick with something called gastrointestinal distress.
Your cat may also vomit or have diarrhea with this issue. Another sickness your cat could be showing signs of is kidney failure.
This is more common in older cats, but younger cats can experience this sickness as well.
No matter what your cat is sick with, it is extremely important to be having them properly diagnosed by a professional veterinarian.
Your veterinarian will be able to figure out the reasons as to why they are not eating as well as a solution to the problem.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible for your cat to get better, but the veterinarian will be able to find the best options for you as well as your cat.
What are other reasons your cat is not eating?
There is a possibility that something has changed recently in your cat’s life. Maybe you moved into a different home or have been traveling with your cat.
Even something as simple as moving the cat’s food and water dishes can cause it enough stress to stop your cat from eating.
Another reason that your cat may not be eating, or drinking is if it recently got vaccinated or had surgery.
Your cat may be stressed from this or they could still be recovering. Your cat could also just be adjusting to the vaccination.
However, whether there has been a recent change in your cat’s life or your cat has been getting their shots, you should contact the vet if they have not eaten or drank anything within two days.
How to Coax My Cat into Eating?
So, your cat has not been eating, and it has been less than forty-eight hours.
You can still attempt to coax your cat into eating some food before you reach the time limit for calling the vet.
We all know that vet bills can be unpleasant, even though they are necessary. Of course, if you have reason to believe your cat is sick, you should call the vet anyway.
However, if you think your cat is just stressed, there are a few things you can do to try and get your cat to eat their food.
Try giving your cat wet canned food. You can even water it down a little bit to help with dehydration if they are not drinking water.
If the reason your cat is refusing to eat is due to a dental issue, wet cat food will be easier and less painful for them to eat.
If your cat is stressed, the yummy taste of their favorite canned food could be a good incentive to convince them to eat a little something.
If you have recently moved the food dish, you can try moving it back to its original location. Maybe this just is not doing the trick.
You can see if your cat will eat tuna or other foods that they love. You can also put a low-sodium broth in their food or try cat gravy to go over their food.
If your cat is not sick, more appetizing food could be a good incentive to get him to eat.
How to Get My Cat to Drink Water?
We have come up with a few ways to coax your cat into eating, but what if he is not drinking?
Water is far more important to cats than food is, and organ failure can occur much sooner if your cat is not drinking water compared to if your cat will not eat their food.
As was mentioned above, you can always opt to water your cat’s food down.
You can use regular water or a low-sodium broth to keep your cat from dehydration.
It may also be time to change your cat’s water with something a little fresher tasting.
Another option involves a new water dish for your cat. Did you know that cats love running water?
You may have noticed that your cat likes to drink water from the sink.
This is because cats like their water to have more movement like in the wild. Consider buying a water fountain for your cat.
You will have to clean it a little more regularly, but it may be one way to get your cat to drink their water when they are supposed to.
If you have tried these options and failed, look at how deep your cat’s food and water bowls are.
Cats have very sensitive whiskers, and they do not find enjoyment in their whiskers touching things.
You might want to get more shallow bowls for food and water so that your cat can eat and drink without their whiskers rubbing against the sides of the bowl.
When to Call the Vet
I have mentioned the vet a lot in this article, but the reason is that getting the proper care to your cat when they are sick is extremely important.
It could be the difference between life and death.
If your cat is not eating food or drinking water, your vet is going to be the person who can get fluids in them so they can survive and do not end up in an even worse state.
Always listen to what your vet has to say about caring for your pet.
Remember, if your cat has not had any food or drink for two days, you should call your vet as soon as you can.
I hope this article has been helpful to you in knowing how long your cat can go without food or drink.
We talked a lot about how important it is to keep an eye on when your cat is eating their food and drinking water.
If they go any longer than three days without water, it can be fatal to a cat, and cats can normally only go three to four days without having eaten properly.
We also discussed the reasons that your cat might not be eating or drinking.
Not wanting food or water is a common sign that your cat is ill, and they should be taken to the vet immediately in that case.
However, your cat may also just be stressed or anxious.
If so, there are ways that we mentioned you can coax your cat into eating their food and drinking their water. Finally, I once again stressed the importance of talking to your vet if your cat has not had anything to eat or drink within the timespan of forty-eight hours.