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Published: June 26, 2023
My cat won't eat

Author: Rick Scholtes
Rick is co-owner of the wholesale Veganpets and the webshop Vega Vriend. Together with Lisette Kreischer he wrote the book Dog.Eat.Plant, which was released in December 2020. It is the scientifically based guide to safely switch your dog to a plant-based diet.

Table of contents

My cat won't eat

Tips to train my cat againto eat

My cat won't eat

If your cat has no appetite, it could be due to health problems. Among the most common causes of eating problems in cats are:

  • dental problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Infections
  • Fever

If your cat does not want to eat and also vomits or suffers from diarrhea or lethargy. Then go to a vet immediately. 


Cats are often sensitive to stress and that can negatively affect appetite. Have you recently moved? Is there a new pet? Has a routine changed? These are all reasons that can cause stress or anxiety, so that your cat does not want to eat or eat less. 

Other feed

Some cats are very picky. When you switch to a new food, some cats will refuse to eat the new food. It is also possible that the manufacturer of the food has changed the composition slightly, so that the cat suddenly no longer likes the food.

Quality feed

Sometimes the food is no longer tasty because it has not been stored properly. The quality, and therefore the taste, of the feed can deteriorate if it has been in contact with sunlight and/or air for too long. 


A final reason why your cat does not want to eat is old age. As cats grow old, they may experience a loss of appetite due to a slowdown in metabolism and changes in digestion. This is a natural process. Adjust the amount of food, but make sure that the cat maintains a good weight. 

Tips to get my cat to eat again

It is not good for a cat not to eat for more than two days. If this does happen, this can lead to an increased risk of, among other things, fatty liver, dehydration and muscle breakdown.

It is therefore important to take action quickly if your cat does not want to eat at all. In that case, contact a veterinarian to determine and treat the cause of the medical problem. 

If it's ruled out that there's a health problem, try to find out why your cat won't eat. If stress is the cause, make sure the cat can eat in a quiet place in the house. Preferably without other pets.

It can also help not to be present in the room where the cat is. Frightened cats sometimes prefer to eat at night, because it is much quieter than during the day. Give the cats time, but also keep a close eye on whether the cat is actually eating. 

Switch to different cat food

Have you switched to a different food and is this less popular? Then it can help to make the transition gradually. Cats can be quite picky.

A slow transition from the old to the new food can help with this. You will find a step-by-step plan to slowly switch to the new food here.

Switching to new feed |
Switching to new feed |

Is your cat a fussy eater? Then try to make the food a bit tastier. For example by adding warm water, wet food or a little (algae)olie or nutritional yeast. What can also help is trying out different food.