Cat Health

How Long Can Cats Go Without Food?

How Long Can Cats Go Without Food

Part of being a good cat parent is knowing how often they need to exercise, how much water they need, and how much they should be eating.

However, sometimes cats tend to avoid eating for various reasons. If your cat is not eating as they should be, do not panic. Chances are, your cat needs some time.

Sometimes, cats are extremely picky eaters. Other times, they much just have a bug and need some time without food.

However, the danger comes when cats are not eating after a certain period. If your cat is not eating, there are a few things you need to know.

What’s the Cause?

Sometimes cats are picky and do not want to eat, but if your cat is going two and three days without eating, there might be a few underlying causes.

Dehydration and hepatic lipidosis are two common reasons that your cat might not be eating.

Dehydration in your cat can be caused by some things like fever, diarrhea, or even heatstroke. To check for dehydration, pinch an area of the cat’s skin on the back or chest.

If the skin stays pinched even after you let go, chances are they are dehydrated. You should take a visit to the vet as soon as possible.

According to Feline Nutrition, Hepatic Lipidosis is just another term for something called fatty liver disease. This disease is shown by several symptoms including the lack of appetite.

Many of the symptoms are vomiting, lethargy, and weight loss. If you do not get treatment for this disease, it will eventually cause death.

How Long Can You Cat Go Without Food?

Typically, cats can go about two to three days without eating anything, though if your cat stops eating you might want to check for signs of other issues.

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If your cat is not eating but is still drinking water, it might not prefer the food you are giving them. If your cat is not eating or drinking, a vet visit might be in order.

Finding the Best Food is Easier Than You Think

If your cat is not eating, it could mean that they do not prefer the food. In this case, you should look for better food according to Pets WebMD.

Focusing on things like the label and the nutritious ingredients inside are important for finding a better-balanced diet for your cat.

A better-balanced diet would include getting carbs in the right amount for cats, protein, and fat that will help them grow they way they should while they are kittens, and it will help sustain them with enough energy to last all day. You could even make your own food for them.

Another great way to ensure that you are getting a better-balanced food is by checking the statement from the Association of American Feed Control Officials, which should be located on the package of your cat’s food.

The label should have a complete and balanced note to ensure you are meeting the cat’s nutritious needs.

How Much Food Does Your Cat Need?

According to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, When looking for the answer to the question of how much food your cat needs, there are several things that you should consider.

In fact, the health of your cat might depend on certain factors like age and overall health.

Your cat’s age is going to determine how much food your cat can handle each day.

Kittens are going to require more food than older cats because they are growing faster.

With this idea in mind, kittens should be fed several times during the day to ensure that they are getting the nutrition they need to grow properly.

Older cats, on the other hand, do not need that much food, and feeding your cat about once or twice a day is plenty of food for their bodies.

According to Catster, Senior cats are no different matter since they are simply older. Once a day feeding should be enough to do the trick.

The health of your cat is also important for determining how much food your cat should be eating each day.

If your cat has a serious health problem like diabetes, more food might be required to give them insulin to survive.

Hyperthyroidism is another condition where the food should be monitored because these cats tend to be hungry all the time.

Once a cat gets older, they might develop gum disease and need softer foods.

This is important to their nutrition and health, and you should feed them canned, soft food accordingly.

How Long Should You Wait Before Taking Your Cat to the Vet?

The answer for this is going to be different for every cat and every cat owner. Some are going to go right away, while others might wait a bit.

According to PetMD, If your cat has behaviors that are unlike their normal, unique behaviors, you might want to call your vet for help.

It is common for cats to go without eating for a little while. Some may not enjoy their food, but some might have an underlying condition, like the ones mentioned earlier.

Waiting 24-36 hours to see if your cat regains their appetite is an appropriate waiting time before calling your vet.

If you have waited that long without any move to eat the food in the bowl, even after a food change, your vet should examine your cat for any conditions like dehydration to ensure that your cat is healthy.

Poor hydration and poor appetite are two things that should never wait in a cat’s life.

If your cat is dehydrated or not eating, it can pose serious problems to their health. This is why visiting your vet right away is an imperative thing to do.

Remember, to wait at least 24 hours before making an appointment with your veterinarian.


Your cat’s health is important both to you and your pet. If your cat is not eating, you might want to visit your vet to check for health issues or complications that might be posing issues to your cat.

As a cat owner, you want to keep your pet healthy. This is why watching their food intake and what they eat can be a crucial thing to do.

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