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Dr. Kris
Dr. Kris, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1049
Experience:  I am a small animal vet and I see mostly dogs and cats and an occasional exotic pet, pig and goat.
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Cat Has Suddenly Stopped Eating Cat Food.

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Cat has suddenly stopped eating.

She ate Friday morning after asking to be fed like normal and hasn't wanted to eat since then. She normally is the one who is waking you up at 6:00am for prompt feedings. We have seen her urinate and she doesn't appear to be dehydrated since the skin between her neck and shoulder blades snaps back when we pull it up.

Is this normal for an otherwise healthy cat?

What can we try?

Elise may be anorexic because she is sick. Any number of diseases or problems can cause anorexia so she'll need to go to the vet for a fecal exam and possibly blood work and radiographs to evaluate organ function and check for any abnormalities in the abdomen and chest.

If she is not drinking anything, dehydration becomes an issue. You can take her to the vet for either IV fluids or fluids under the skin or you can try to force feed some fluids. Get some plain flavored pedialyte (it's better than water since it will replace electrolytes) and give her one teaspoon an hour for five hours then try to get her to drink 2 teaspoons and hour. You can also try giving low salt, low fat, unseasoned chicken broth, lactose free milk or tuna water to see if she's interested.

You need to make sure she eats. When cats stop eating, they develop hepatic lipidosis which causes liver problems. Smelly warm foods are appealing to cats. Try some canned kitten food, tuna, sardines, boiled skinless boneless chicken or hamburger meat (no salt, seasonings or oil added), meat flavored baby foods (make sure they don't have onions or garlic). If she refuses to eat anything then you'll have to force feed her with a dropper or syringe. The baby foods will be the easiest to force feed.

You can also ask your vet about getting appetite stimulants. Nutritional supplements like Lixotinic can stimulate the appetite and can be an alternative to the injectable ones. You can also ask your vet (or get it online or at a pet store) about giving you some Lixotinic or Nutrical. Both are nutritional supplements that are rich in vitamins and minerals. The Nutrical is more complete as it contains proteins and fats too.

If you can't get her to eat, if she begins vomiting or develops diarrhea then you should get her to the vet.

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

She normally will go crazy when I open tuna fish but this is the first time she has flat out refused to eat ever. She weighs about 10 pounds and this literally happened overnight. She wanted to eat Friday morning but by Friday evening she had no appetite and hasn't had one since. She is a very loved and spoiled cat. Could she maybe be constipated?

If she is not eating then she would not defecate. Since Friday was the last time she ate she should have defecated then. If she has not had a bowel movement since before Friday then she could be constipated. If that is the case, you can give her a 50 mg docusate sodium (aka DSS or Colace) stool softener capsule once daily until the constipation resolves but do not give it for more than 3 days. If she did pass stool on Friday then don't give it. Force feed as much as possible and wait to see if she will pass some stool in the next 24 hours.