Food avoidance in cats, also known as anorexia, happens if they change their eating habit and consistently refuse to eat. This can be a sign of underlying diseases include dental problems, cat flu, fever, diabetes, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism or pancreatitis. Loss of appetite can have a serious influence on cats’ health if it persists for 24 hours or more. If your kitty is showing signs of refusing food and you feel it is an emergency situation, you should speak to your veterinarian as soon as possible because cats can starve themself to death
-> If you are not sure what additional food he or she can eat, you can check out What fruits my cat can eat.
There are many factors that affect on cat’s anorexia. It may belong to health status, behavioral problems like stress or anxiety, depression, or even a change in the environment. Below are some reasons why my cat is not eating and treatment for anorexia in cats.
-> Extra tips: How Long Can Cats Go Without Eating?
1.CHANGES IN FOOD AND SURROUNDINGS
Cat is known as a sensitive animal to their food when there is any change in the texture, shape, odor, and taste. Storage conditions, the temperature of the food and even surroundings can also have an impact on their food preference.
Changing food brand might cause food avoidance in cats
If your cat is familiar with and showing his interest in a food flavor, a change in food type or brand can make his appetite increased or decreased. It would be good if there is a good reaction, but if the opposite happens, it should be time to explore his favorite recipe or return to the original flavor.
-> You can also refer to How much should I feed my cat so as to build up a balanced diet for your kitty.
Storing food improperly results in smell and spoiled food, which can be another reason why your cat refuses to eat. In the summer, cats tend to avoid wet food which has been left to dry out under the sunlight all day; so instead of filling the bowl up, you should offer smaller amounts of moist and fresh food so that they can be consumed immediately. Another way can be changing into dry food, you can leave it out during the day without worrying about flies or drying out. But do not leave it exposed to the sun for too long, otherwise, its nutritional value will be reduced. Feeding your cat with water after that is also important to avoid urinary tract problems.
Do you know: Dry food is convenient and cost-saving than wet food? More detail at here
Cat food bowl
It can be one reason for food avoidance in a cat. If the bowl is too small and narrow, it will make an adult cat uncomfortable when eating. While if it is too deep, a kitten will find it hard to reach food at the bottom of the bowl. Therefore, it is a good recommendation to choose a food and water bowl that fits your cat’s shape and size.
Choosing a food and water bowl fits your cat's size will help your cat eat and drink easier
Another issue regarding the cat bowl is cleanness. Every cat owner should know that a domestic cat’s sense of smell is twenty times stronger than humans. He or she is sensitive to a very little smell in the bowl, which can affect his or her food appetite; so it is necessary to keep the bowl hygiene.
Temperature and Seasons
In the summer, cats tend to eat less than they do in the winter. But you don’t have to worry, this situation has been explained by many studies: in the hot season, cats do not need much energy as they do in the cold weather when their body burns more calories to keep warm. This means that your kitty will eat more food (by nearly 15%) in the cold season than they will in the summer.
When the temperature turns high, you may not see your kitty nearby as usual because he or she is busy to self-relax: lying somewhere and enjoy the shade with closed eyes, sleeping, hunting small animals and little things like insect or toy, then sleeping…. This is the reason why your cat doesn’t go home in the mealtimes. According to pet nutrition experts, there is no need to force your cats to eat because they won’t do if they do not really want, so you just need to make sure they are fed with a nutritious diet these days.
Either feeding cats with dry or wet food, proper storing is very important to remain nutrients and good taste. Food should be kept in a cool and dry place, out of direct sunlight in the summer, and away from the radiator in the winter. The temperature in the room and cupboard should also be kept stable.
New home or new member
When cats are moved to a new home which brings their unfamiliar feeling, or when there is the presence of a new member (a guest, a new baby, a new pet) in the house, cat’s eating habits may change relatively. But do not worry, these appetite changes will disappear soon once your kitty has to get used to those so-called new things.
2 HEALTH AND BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS
Mental health issues
Cats are known for their diverse personalities: anxious, reserved, inquisitive… One day you are on a business trip for a while and have to send your kitty to your friend or neighbor, whom the cat is not familiar with. Just like a human’s feeling when his beloved one goes far away to somewhere, your cat may feel alone, miss their owner and be overwhelmed by depression. These signs will be shown in a sleep disorder or anorexia, which makes the cat less active and even changes in behavior.
If you find your cat with one of the above mental issues, spend more time with her. You can offer some small games or take her from going outside with you for fresh air. These activities will help strengthen the bond between your kitty and you.
Physical health issues
If your cats have no interest in food, or sometimes show interest and attempt to eat, but then give up, and you worry about their physical health, you should speak to your veterinarian and follow their advice. They may ask you about the recent medical history of your kitties and whether you have noticed any other signs like weight loss, vomiting or lethargy. Since there are many possible reasons for loss of appetite, your cats may be performed a clinical examination or some tests such as x-rays, ultrasound, blood tests or urine tests.
If cats have dental diseases and sore teeth, they might need teeth extracted under general anesthesia. If cats have eaten something foreign like nylon or elastic band, they may need surgery to take those substances out. For other illnesses or diseases, treatment will be performed based on the diagnosis.
There are many reasons why a cat is not eating and the important thing is to get your cat interest in food again as soon as possible. It is also necessary to consult the vet on providing nourishment for your kitty. In the meanwhile, you can take out some simple short-term methods to stimulate cat’s appetite by offering strong-smelling foods such as liver or canned sardines (should be given in moderation), adding a little beef broth or cheese to their regular food, or heating up the foods to their body temperature (around 100°F or 38°C).
Besides, if you feed your cat too much, it might cause overweight on cats, see more at here for more information to keep an Ideal Weight For Cat