Two Different Cases of a Cat Not Eating

Why won't my cat eat?

by C J Hart
(Phoenix, Md USA)


My cat won't eat. I have gone to the pet store and spent $50 a week to buy cat food. If I try enough choices, he will eat. But the food that he will eat one day, he will not touch the next. He will keep coming to me and meowing, until I put some out that he wants. Honestly, I'm not rich. I can’t afford to buy this much cat food or go the veterinarian. But maybe that is what I will have to do. Can you help?

Dear CJ,

You would likely save money in the long run by going to a veterinarian for a thorough exam to rule out any medical causes for his eating behaviors and appetite problems. Metabolic diseases, dental health, and a number of other things could be contributing to the problem. Any time there is a concern with eating patterns, a trip to the veterinarian and possibly blood work would be recommended.

If, after a thorough physical exam and any recommended diagnostic tests, your kitty is cleared medically, then the problem can likely be solved by a change in your habits about feeding your cat. No offense intended, but finicky cats are created by their owners giving in too easily when the cat will not eat what they have been offered. I have seen this happen so many times.

Although it can be difficult to do when your cat is begging for a different food all of the time, offering something new every time he cries will only encourage the unwanted behavior. However, you absolutely first need to know that there is no medical cause for his finicky appetite.

Best wishes,
Dr. Neely

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Sick cat won't eat and is losing cat hair

by Scott
(Marion VA)


My cat has been laying around all the time. He won't eat and he has lost a lot of fur on his back. My cat has also lost a lot of weight and the only time he gets up is to sit on my lap.

Dear Scott,

Any time a cat is losing weight, especially if the cat is not eating, he needs to be seen by a veterinarian. You don't mention the age of your cat, but there are many things that can cause these cat illness symptoms, including feline diabetes, cat hyperthyroidism, feline kidney disease, and cancer, to name a few. Many of these cat illnesses can be treated if caught early and treated quickly by a veterinarian.

Your cat sounds very ill and needs to be seen right away. He may still be able to be helped, but if you postpone taking him to the vet any longer, it could be too late.

Dr. Neely

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