How Do I Know if My Cat Is Sick?
Cats are very protective and defensive by nature, so they hide their
illnesses well. Often cats do not let us know that they are sick until a
condition is quite advanced.
Observant owners can learn to identify subtle changes in their cat’s routine and behavior that may be indicative of illness.
Major Signs :
1. Lack of appetite for food/ may not eat,
Reasons why a sick cat may not eat include:
• The cat is congested and cannot smell the food.
• The cat has a fever, causing a loss of appetite.
• Bad teeth or other dental disease is affecting the cat’s ability to eat
• Liver or other gastrointestinal disease is causing nausea.
• The cat is dehydrated and too weak to eat.
2. Lack of drinking water
3. Stopping grooming itself
4. Hidden in somewhere place
5. Throw up/muntah
Anorexia is a term used to describe a lack of appetite for food.
Veterinarians use this term when owners tell them that the cat is not eating or eating very little.
Being finicky and not eating are two different things. Some cats
hold out for their favorite foods and this makes them finicky, but
anorexic cats do not care what you put in front of them.
If a cat does not eat for 24 hours, you should be concerned. If the
lack of appetite lasts more than 48 hours, you should have the cat examined
by a veterinarian.
Cats, especially overweight animals, can develop a condition called
hepatic lipidosis if they do not eat. Cats with hepatic lipidosis break
down their body fat for energy, but the fat overwhelms the liver, injures
the normal liver cells and makes the cat sicker. Early intervention with
anorexic cats is needed to stop hepatic lipidosis from occurring. Left
untreated, hepatic lipidosis can be fatal.
When Your Cat Won’t Eat
If your cat is not eating, you need to determine if there is a problem
with his diet or if the cat is sick. Some reasons why a healthy cat may
not eat include:
• The food is spoiled.
• Ants or other insects are in the food.
• You bought the wrong flavor.
• There is competition at the food bowl.
• People food or treats have affected his appetite.
• The food bowl is in a bad location.
• The cat has been hunting and eating prey or snacking at a
If none of these reasons is valid, it is likely the cat is sick.
How to Make Your Cat Eat
Sick cats do not eat well, so it is important to encourage them. Offer
yummy foods, such as canned cat food, tuna fish, deli meat or meat baby
food. Lightly warming the food for a few seconds in a microwave oven
can help build a cat’s appetite by increasing the food’s aroma. Handfeeding,
talking gently and petting the cat can stimulate eating, too.You
can hand-feed your cat by offering him some soft food on a spoon or
on your finger and encouraging him to lick it off. If a cat seems uninterested
in eating, do not leave food sitting out for more than an hour.
Pick it up and reintroduce it a few hours later.
When none of these suggestions proves successful, a trip to the veterinarian
is warranted.Veterinarians may use prescription appetite stimulants
or may even force-feed an anorexic cat. Force-feeding is typically
done using a syringe without a needle and squirting some type of strained
diet into a cat’s mouth. For cats who are difficult or too sick to orally
force-feed, feeding tubes can be placed into the esophagus or stomach.
What About Water?
Water intake is extremely important. If a cat (or any animal) cannot
keep water down, he should be taken to a veterinarian immediately.
This can be a sign of an intestinal obstruction.
A cat who does not eat or drink can become seriously dehydrated
within a day.Vomiting and diarrhea can contribute to water loss leading
to dehydration. If your cat is not drinking, you can give him some
water with a syringe (minus the needle) or an eyedropper, but it is
almost impossible to get enough water into a cat this way.
Veterinarians can rehydrate cats by injecting a sterile, balanced electrolyte
solution under the animal’s skin. This practice is called subcutaneous
administration. Fluids can also be directly injected into the body
through a vein using an intravenous catheter, commonly known as an
IV. Intravenous treatment requires hospitalization but is necessary for
more seriously dehydrated patients.