Having a cat is such a blessing, though they are bit moody and picky; they will always love you no matter what! But sometimes, cats are doing weird and one of the scariest problems cat owners will ever face is if your cat stops eating and drinking, maybe because of stress, tired or mental problems,.. But that is something sounds very serious and I have done research a lot about why cats and how long cats can live without eating and drinking recently
How Long Can Cats Go Without Eating?
I have searched a lot, ask the vet, and other experience cat owners. Some said 28 hours, others are 36 and 48. But in my point of view, I think 24-36 hours is the best answer. Why? Cats are just like humans, after 24 hours without eating anything, they will begin using their fat stores for energy, and after 36 hours consumed all the fat stores, cats will become tired and weak due to the lack of proteins and nutrients in her body, usually lies down in one place.
And after that, you should immediately take your cat to the vet for checking, Because it is a signal of disease, or just symbol why they skipping the meals
There’s a number of reasons your cat may have lost her appetite, Below are some in common why cats refrain from eating:
#1 They ate insects ( small bugs, ladybug,..)
This only happened only when your cat ate a lot of bugs, especially in insects with hard exoskeletons (grasshoppers, ants, spiders,...). This doesn't end well with your cat's tummy and digestive tract. But cats are one of the smart creatures so they know what should be eaten or what shouldn't
In some cases, cats might unwittingly eat them, some bugs containing or exuding toxins can be harmful if your cat ingested a lot it will lead your cat to fall sick
#2 They have a hairball making them feel weird
Hairball only available when you cats ate something yukky, this one is easy but you should solve that hairball immediately, avoid keeping it too long and it will lead your cat to shortness of breath.
How to remove the hairball in cats? Try using a lubricant, the gel one and other medicines that can help your cats and you deal with the hairball. You can also try to use a hairball laxative
However, after 12 hours and your cat still don't want to eat, then your cat is facing a serious problem (see number #6 for more information)
#3 They're stressed ( being alone, environment,..)
This is not common, but some cats might face this problem. After adopting a cat, you will need to provide them enough environment, toys, and a cat tree,... make sure your cat feels happy enough whenever you are at home or not. Check out 6+ Ways Cats Show They Love You
Even this is hard to believe, cats are smart creature and they do have their own ways of grieving (lost a beloved human or animal companion), much similar to ours.
#4 They have a cold
When your cat catches a cold, it is quite easy to know and solve this problem, the cat's cold symptoms are 90% the same as we do: runny nose, sneezing, and especially is the loss of appetite. that is the main reason why your cat refuses to eat anything
But don't worry, cats cold are usually harmless and everything will disappear in 8-10 days. Also, don't forget to warm all the foods before you feed your cat, you can also try baby food like meat-based to encourage your cat to eat
#5 Food issues
Food poisoning is the main issues I want to talk in here, 80% cats have food poisoning are refuse to eat, and do not worry, this is easy to take care of if you follow the vet’s supervision. Make sure to check their teeth as well
#6 Serious health condition
I don't want to talk about serious health conditions, but as a cat parent, this is a must. Because if your cat refuses to eat more than 28 hours and you have done all the things like using baby food, change the environment, remove hairballs,... and cats are still not want to eat. You will need to bring your cat to the vet right away.
Why? Because It is a sign of cancer (serious health I mentioned) or other bad problems. And also get a note: The older your cat gets, the risk gets higher
Can cats starve itself to death?
Yes, they can, and it depends on their livers process fat. Unlike us, cats will never feel hungry if they start to metabolize fat in their body to energy, you will need to avoid this at all cost in order to save your cat
Basically, all that you can do depends on your cat. In above, I have listed all 6 commons things tell why your cat refuses to eat
If your cat has no symptoms above, do not wait anymore and take your cat to the vet immediately.