Cats are resilient creatures, and we frequently hear of cats who were thought to be lost returning home after days, if not weeks, of seemingly surviving on their own.
Alternatively, some cats may decide to turn their nose up at their regular cat food and refuse to eat it when you set it down for them.
So, how long does it take for a cat to die if it stops eating?
It usually takes about one to two weeks for a cat to die if it stops eating if they have a water supply. However, it may be more like three to four days without protein, even if they have enough water.
This article will talk about why cats refuse to eat and how long they can go without eating.
How Long Can An Elderly Cat Go Without Eating?
An elderly can survive for about 10 days without food if enough water is available and there are no serious health conditions.
If they have access to water, the average elderly cat can survive for 8 to 10 days without food.
Even if they have enough water, it could take three to four days if they don’t eat protein.
It is improbable that a cat would survive more than three days without water or food.
When it comes to cat health, it’s vital to remember that a cat without food for as little as two days can become emaciated and ill, necessitating immediate veterinary attention.
To be happy and healthy, all cats require regular food and fresh water.
You should assume that your elderly cat will be unable to fend for himself or catch his own food.
Although some senior cats are capable of hunting and catching mice, birds, squirrels, and other small creatures, the majority of them are unable to locate food on their own.
Elderly cats become accustomed to being fed at specific times, and if this does not occur, they may not seek out another food source.
To survive, cats require nutrients, which they obtain from food and water. Hepatic lipidosis, a liver disorder that can be fatal if left untreated, can develop if cats stop eating or can’t locate food with enough protein.
Because cats’ livers are incapable of supporting their bodies in the same manner as dogs’ and humans’, this process can occur swiftly. The cat’s organs will begin to shut down as a result of continued malnutrition.
How Long After A Cat Stops Eating Will It Die?
An average cat can survive for two weeks after it stops eating.
Cats, like people, can last longer without food than they can without water.
Cats can go nearly two weeks without food, but only three days without water.
However, the longer your cat goes without food, the weaker they become, so contact your veterinarian if you think they haven’t eaten in a day or more.
They’ll be able to figure out what’s wrong and get your cat back on track with eating.
Many of the possible causes of your cat’s lack of appetite are major medical issues.
Your veterinarian can assist you in determining the cause and the best course of action.
The reasons why your cat has stopped eating can vary widely, but if it lasts longer than 24 hours, you should take your cat to your veterinarian.
It’s also critical to keep an eye on them and notify your veterinarian if they aren’t drinking or exhibiting other symptoms or behavioral abnormalities.
The small body of a cat will not be able to store nutrition for long. If a cat doesn’t eat, it won’t obtain enough protein. Protein contains amino acids, which are the building blocks for a variety of vital processes and reactions in the feline body.
A cat with diarrhea is the most vulnerable, as taurine is excreted in their waste. Taurine is not produced naturally in the feline body and must be obtained through food. When a cat does not eat, it develops a taurine shortage.
The most crucial aspect of food is that it offers energy to a cat. When a cat gets unwell, it becomes weak and drowsy.
Do Cats Stop Eating Before They Die?
Yes, some cats stop eating before they die.
Cats, like other animals, often lose their appetite as they approach the end of their lives. Their bodies are aware that processing food and beverages requires effort. It’s possible that your cat is too exhausted and weak to eat anything.
In older cats, weight loss is fairly prevalent. Some of this is due to natural muscle loss: as your cat gets older, her body becomes less efficient at digesting and constructing protein, resulting in muscle loss.
The weight loss may become extreme over time. The ribs, spine, and hip bones of some elderly or diseased cats might protrude through their skin, causing them to become exceedingly thin.
Cats frequently cease eating and drinking as they near the end of their lives. Check to ensure if your cat’s food and water dishes are constantly full. Physical indications of anorexia in cats include a drained appearance due to weight loss, loose skin, and sunken eyes.
Check the waste of the cat as well. Lower output and darker urine are signs of a cat who isn’t eating or drinking. As the cat’s health deteriorates, he may lose control of his urinary tract and intestines, resulting in accidents throughout the house.
When An Elderly Cat Stops Eating?
An elderly cat stops eating when: –
1. Suffering From Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is a medical disorder that affects a large number of senior cats.
The thyroid gland in cats with this disease is overactive.
Thyroid hormone, which is vital for metabolism regulation, is produced and released in excess by this hyperactive gland.
There are a few clinical indicators to look out for in cats with hyperthyroidism.
These may be minor and scarcely noticeable at first. However, as the disease worsens, it will become increasingly apparent.
The following are the most prevalent warning signs:
- Increased appetite
- Increased thirst
- Excessive urination
Please bear with me for a moment if you’re perplexed by this list. While the majority of cats will demonstrate an increase in hunger, they may possibly stop eating.
This is especially true if your cat suffers from a variety of other health problems in addition to hyperthyroidism. Their thirst, on the other hand, will always rise.
Other signs and symptoms to look out for include vomiting and diarrhea. Your cat may also be hyperactive, running around the house like a lunatic!
Changes in their coat were also noticeable. Especially in long-haired breeds, it can be oily, untidy, and matted.
If you suspect your cat has hyperthyroidism, you should see a veterinarian as soon as possible. If left untreated, cats might develop secondary illnesses such as heart disease and excessive blood pressure.
On the other hand, your veterinarian will be able to prescribe therapy to lower thyroid activity and prevent these secondary issues.
2. Diabetes Mellitus
Another reason your senior cat isn’t eating but acting fine and drinking plenty of water could be diabetes. This is yet another hormonal issue in cats, involving the hormone insulin produced by the pancreas’ beta cells.
Low levels of the hormone insulin are found in cats with diabetes mellitus for one of three reasons:
- Type 1: No insulin is created because the insulin-producing beta cells are completely or nearly completely destroyed. Type I diabetes affects just a small percentage of cats.
- Type II diabetes occurs when there are still beta cells intact, but there is a problem with insulin production or secretion. This is the most frequent kind of diabetes in cats, especially in those who are overweight.
- Type III: It’s also possible that the beta cells produce enough insulin to keep you healthy. However, their bodies’ receptor cells have developed resistance, resulting in Type III diabetes. Changes in other hormonal levels, such as those experienced during pregnancy, are frequently the cause of this resistance.
The effect on the body is the same regardless of the cause of the insulin imbalance. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood glucose levels.
Cats with insufficient amounts of this hormone or who are unable to respond to it develop high blood sugar levels and are unable to use glucose as an energy source adequately.
Why Did My Cat Stop Eating?
Some of the reasons why your cat stopped rating are: –
Illness: One of the most telling signs that anything is awry is a loss of appetite. So, if your cat suddenly stops eating, take it carefully. Infections, kidney failure, pancreatitis, digestive issues, and cancer are all possible causes. But it isn’t necessarily serious; a toothache, for example, can cause your cat to stop eating.
Recent vaccination: Have you noticed a change in your cat’s appetite since you took it to the vet for routine vaccinations? If that’s the case, your cat’s refusal to eat could be due to an allergic reaction to the vaccinations. Vaccines have saved the lives of millions of animals, yet they do have negative effects on some of them. The most prevalent of these adverse effects, which are usually short and moderate, is loss of appetite.
Unfamiliar surroundings and travel: Many cats, like many people, are creatures of habit. As a result, a change in routine can cause a decrease in appetite. Additionally, whether traveling by automobile or plane, some animals experience motion sickness, which can cause nausea and a refusal to eat.
Finickiness or psychological issues: If your veterinarian has established that your cat is not medically ill, your cat’s refusal to eat could be due to anxiety or sadness. Changes in the household can be upsetting to sensitive cats, and new individuals or changes in routines can have an impact on a cat’s emotional well-being. Alternatively, your cat could simply be a picky eater. Keep in mind that cats, on average, take a long time to acclimate to new foods, so a recent diet change could be to blame.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does an elderly cat not eating a symptom of kidney disease?
Your elderly cat could possibly be suffering from kidney problems. As cats grow older, their kidney function begins to deteriorate, increasing the risk of kidney disease. As a result, this is a very possible explanation for why your elderly cat isn’t eating but drinking normally. The kidneys are responsible for eliminating waste and poisons from the body. When the kidneys aren’t functioning properly, waste isn’t effectively cleared from the bloodstream, resulting in a variety of health problems.
Is my elderly cat not eating because of decaying teeth?
Another reason your cat isn’t eating but drinking normally could be tooth decay or other dental problems. Teeth decay occurs as cats age; therefore, this is very likely in older cats. Plaque can accumulate over time, causing the surface of the teeth to deteriorate. This wears down the teeth and exposes the roots, which are uncomfortable to touch.
How can I get my cat to eat?
If your cat has lost their appetite due to a medication side effect, you may only need to wait. Allow them to savor their food and praise them for eating. To encourage them, use familiar bowls and food. If you’ve checked out underlying health issues or stress, your cat may simply require a diet change to resume eating. Over the course of a week, gradually introduce small pieces of the new meal to their old food until they are eating full servings. Consider offering your tiny cat pieces of chicken or tuna to encourage them, but make sure it’s properly prepared and doesn’t contain any small bones, oils, additives, or flavors that could make your cat sick.
There are a number of reasons why your cat is not eating. They could be dealing with hormone concerns like hyperthyroidism or diabetes, kidney failure, food allergies, or tooth decay, making eating difficult and uncomfortable.
All of these problems necessitate medical attention, so get your senior cat to the vet as soon as possible. Senior cats’ health is more vulnerable, and early detection and treatment can help them live out their lives to the fullest. With the right treatment, most ailments can be cured or managed.
If you have any unanswered questions, feel free to ask us in the comments section.