Sunday, January 4, 2009

Reasons Why Your Cat Won't Eat

If your cat won’t eat, keep in mind that stress can be a large cause of a cat’s loss of appetite. Just as stress in humans can lead to loss of appetite, the same can happen in cats. Felines can be very sensitive animals and your cat may be under more stress than you are aware of. Your cat can become stressed for a wide variety of reasons, most usually reasons involving some sort of change.

For instance, if you should move, it's possible that the stress of the move might have thrown the cat off of its food. A sudden change in food will sometimes cause your cat to lose its appetite. Stress may also be caused by conflict with another cat especially when a new cat is introduced into your home. Cats are very territorial creatures, and if your cat spends some time outdoors, territorial disputes may occur. Territorial disputes can also occur for indoor cats. You need to remove the problem, if not health related, in order to get the cat to eat.

Pets with poor appetite may also be sick, and if you wait until the appetite is completely gone it may be too late for recovery. This is particularly true for cats. Veterinarians worry about a cat not eating for a long period of time, and that this could result in liver failure.
Another situation you may need to be aware of is that when a cat is overweight and is on diet food, the overweight cat that stops eating is very prone to developing something called hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver).

If the cat won’t eat, talk to him and let him come to you for attention. If the problem is stress related, this one-on-one with him may help. If he still won't eat after a couple of days, talk with your vet and ask what options there are. If a visit to the veterinarian is advised and your cat cannot leave the house because he is stressed out by that, find a vet who will make house calls. Many do and even your regular vet may come to your house.

Veterinary care and advice costs money, occasionally a lot of money, but this should not prevent you from using a vet's services when you have to. At some point your cat will need the attention of a veterinarian; it's a fact of life, even if it is just for shots or for neutering.

Remember that veterinarians often disagree about the best treatments for pets. There are often several perfectly acceptable ways to treat the same condition.

When your cat won’t eat, it may be something as simple as the fact that he preferred what you gave him for dinner last night over what you gave him for dinner tonight. Or he could be stressed because there is a new cat in the house or some other change he really doesn’t like. Or he really could be truly ill. Sometimes you can figure out what the problem is simply by being observant and other times you will need a veterinarian to help.

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NOTE: This article is for information only. See your veterinarian for medical advice.

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