My Cat Stopped Eating in Broward County, FL: What Should I Do?

Keeping track of your cat’s food intake is critical, going more than a couple of days without eating can have devastating effects on their health.

In adult cats, there are a variety of underlying conditions that could be causing your cat to stop eating. Many of them are health-related issues, but some may even be related to simply the type of food your feed your cat.

cat laying on couch

Common Conditions that Cause Loss of Appetite in Cats

Respiratory Disease

Upper respiratory infections are not uncommon in cats. When this happens, it not only affects how well your cat breathes, it can also have an impact on how well your cat can smell.

They can also create a discharge in the eyes, which makes it hard to see. Without the ability to see their food, or smell it, some cats may decide that they do not want to eat at all.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Trouble with digesting may also make your cat lose its appetite. Obvious signs that there may be a problem with the intestines, the stomach, or other parts of the digestive system, include vomiting and diarrhea. However, one of the first signs that there may be a problem is a lack of appetite. That is why it is so important to pay close attention to your cat’s feeding habits.

Some of the common gastrointestinal issues that can lead your cat to stop eating include:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Constipation
  • Cancer
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Obstruction/Ingested Foreign Object

Foreign Objects

We know that cats can be picky eaters, but that does not mean that they will not occasionally eat something that they are not supposed to have, or produce a hairball. These objects can become stuck in the digestive tract, and prevent food from passing through.

While some foreign objects can cause obstructions, others pass through on their own with some diarrhea, vomiting and could make your cat want to skip its dinner.

Dental Disease

Problems with teeth and gums can be very painful for cats. The inflammation and soreness may make a cat hesitant to enjoy their food like they normally would. Of course, it is not always an easy task to get a cat to allow you to look for obvious signs inside their mouth.

So, seeking the help of a veterinarian is suggested. Some of the common dental problems that cause cats to stop eating include:

  • Broken teeth
  • Abscesses
  • Inflamed gums
  • Oral tumors

While dental problems can be hard to detect, smelly breath, drooling, and bleeding from the mouth could all be signs of dental issues in your dog.


Taste: In some cases, the word “picky” is an understatement when it comes to cats. They can be particularly finicky when it comes to their favorite flavors. While this can be because of the cat’s preferences, there are times when a food manufacturer switches up ingredients, which could change the flavor. Your cat may refuse to continue eating the food.

Texture/Shape: Beyond flavor, cats are also particular about the textures and shapes of their foods. In foods with multiple shapes, you may notice that your cat picks out round or triangular shaped pieces over the other. Other cats may prefer crunchy food to wet food.

Freshness: You would not want to eat food that is not fresh, so why would your cat? If you do not already, make checking the expiration date of your cat’s food a part of your routine. You could also give the food a quick smell check, to ensure it does not smell spoiled

If it does turn out that your cat is just being picky, there are a couple of things you can do to encourage them to eat.

  1. Try new things. If your stops eating one food, try a different flavor. You may also look for foods that have different shapes or textures than what your cat has been eating. Wet foods may also entice your cat to eat if your normally serve them dry cat foods.
  2. Do not buy bulk sizes. Cats are not only picky about the flavors when it comes to their food. Just like humans, they want their food to be as fresh as possible. Once opened, some cat foods will become stale, or even spoil, more quickly than you might think. So, it is best to buy no more than a month’s worth of cat food at a time.

How Do I Encourage My Cat to Eat?

If you have sought advice from a veterinary professional, and your cat is healthy, there are some things you can do at home to try to get your cat to eat.

Create a Quiet Environment

Stress can impact your cat’s appetite. Be sure to find them a quiet place to enjoy their meals.

Cleanliness is Key

Cats are sensitive, so smells left on food and water bowls could be making them want to avoid their food. Make sure both are cleaned regularly.

Stimulate Their Sense of Smell with Juices

If you are trying to get your cat to eat a solid food, drench it the juice from a tuna can will entice them to eat. Remember to only give this type of encouragement in limited quantities, as not to cause an imbalance of nutrients.

Warm Up the Wet Food

Cats do not like eating cold food. So, if refrigerated food is part of their diet, make sure to warm it up. You can also try mixing it with broths or fish oil to make it even more appealing to your cat.

Rotate Your Cat’s Diet

It does not take much for a cat to change its mind about certain foods. For that reason, some veterinarians recommend switching up their diets up to four times each year. This may not only help them be less picky, but can also prevent food allergies and intestinal problems from starting.

If you notice that your cat’s appetite has greatly diminished, or they have refused to eat, for more than two days, get them to a veterinarian as soon as you can to figure out what could be causing their loss of appetite.