Will A Cat Starve Itself To Death
Cat Facts

Will A Cat Starve Itself To Death? 5 Surprising Facts

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Will A Cat Starve Itself To Death? Well, both water and food are basic needs of any animals including felines.

Can a cat go 24 hours without food or eating? Not really but this is dependent on several factors. You should note that starving your furry friend can lead to death.

Both feral and indoor cats need daily fluids as well as food to enhance their well-being and increase the lifespan. Therefore, cats need food and water regardless of their age or breed.

However, sometimes felines tend to refuse to eat and drink water. This is unusual and it is good to consult your vet.

So, this article is going to answer the question of how long can cats go without eating or food. Take your time to read through the step by step to have a deeper understanding.

How Long Can Cats Go Without Food

Will A Cat Starve Itself To Death?

Cats tend to become finicky with food and sometimes most owners normally joke with this behavior. However, If a feline refuses to eat, it’s a serious issue and  needs to be taken with concern.

It’s usually one of the most scariest thing cat lovers face in the petting realm. And in most cases, felines refusing to eat never ends well.

While there might be a myriad of reasons why felines refuse to eat, as we have explained in detail in this post, it’s primarily because of physical or psychological problems.

Stress and discomfort can cause loss of appetite for felines. For instance, introducing another pet at home, moving to a new neighborhood, or even the birth of a baby are some noticeable factors that can lead to cats losing their appetite.

Also, changing your cat’s favorite meal or changing brand kibble might cause some rebels, consequently starving themselves to death.

It’s typical for kitties to lose appetite and this can make the majority of them not to eat. But this behavior normally lasts for a couple of hours.

While it might be possible for cats to go for a day without food, in case your feline goes for about three to four days without food, it can lead to kidney failure which is a deadly disease.

Also, unlike most animals, felines’ bodies may fail to convert fat stores to energy. As a result, if your cat goes without food, the fat breakdown reduces liver functions.

This causes swelling of the liver, resulting in jaundice, other complications and eventually, death.

Therefore, it’s vital to consult your vet if the feline stops eating for more than 24 hours for examination and treatment.

Still, before consulting the vet, and if the starvation isn’t that serious yet, you might try some remedies to see if your cat will retain her appetite.

For example, offer them their favorite treats, give them some tuna fish, buy various wet foods, and observe which food the cat likes the most.

All in all, without proper care and examination cats can literally starve themselves to death.

How Long Can Cats Go Without Eating?

The eating behavior of cats tends to vary depending on an individual cat and this is the reason why it is difficult to spot exact days of going without food.

However, if the felines are deprived of food for over one week then they are likely to experience some the body changes that can even cause death.

Well, to enhance the well-being of your feline friend then it is advisable to offer adequate food and drinking water daily.

Depriving feline’s food for about two days or more, they will start using the reserve body fat to provide energy. This implies that the kidney will be overworked.

If the kidney receives an insufficient amount of proteins then it will automatically fail and this will result in the death of the feline.

Therefore, on average the indoor cats can go without food between one and two weeks. This will depend on their overall health and amount of water intake.

How long can a feral cat go without eating? According to research, feral cats never go hungry due to plenty of food in the wild. However, when all other factors are kept constant, they can go for about one to two weeks.

How long can an elderly cat go without eating? Well, both older and kittens won’t last long without eating or food. The activity level of kittens is too high and this needs more energy from food.

What Are The Possible Causes Of Cat Not Eating?

How long is it safe for a cat not to eat? Approximately 24 hours since anything more than that can trigger kidney disease which is fatal for cats.

Therefore, we recommend cat owners to provide their feline friends with food and water daily. In case the feline’s stops to eat suddenly then consult your vet.

Here are some of the possible reasons while cats suddenly stopped to eat.

They include:

1. Indigestion Problem

If the feline is experiencing an indigestion problem, it is likely to find food unpleasant and therefore avoid eating.

The indigestion problem could be due to the growth of the tumor or entry of foreign objects that block the digestive tract of the cat.

2. Pain while Eating

According to research, cats with dental problems and spine injuries cause pain that makes the cat not to eat.

Chewing and eating posture tend to interfere and this will render your furball not to eat for a couple of days.

3. Kidney Diseases

The disease tends to result in nausea and anytime a cat eats will experience throwing up. This is one of the reasons why cats won’t eat and it needs immediate treatment.

4. Side Effect of Vaccination

Vaccination tends to make cats experience fatigue and loss of appetite. These two factors make the cat avoid eating even the best treat.

However, the side effects tend to last for a couple of hours and the cat resumes their normal eating habits.

What Do You Do If Your Cat Won’t Eat?

If you notice that your furry friend is not eating or drinking water, take time to determine the cause since this could definitely result in a serious problem.

If your feline is refusing to drink water from the water bowel then consider purchasing a cat water fountain. This will excite and activate the desire to drink water.

In the case of food, try to switch to another tasty and delicious food brand. If the feline refuses completely then you need to consult your vet immediately.

S0, Will A Cat Starve Itself To Death? The good news is that the cat can go without water for 3 days but not food. Eating helps to provide energy and foster their well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is My Cat Anorexic?

Anorexia in cats happens when they partially or entirely lose appetite. Anorexia is primarily a sign of an underlying disease or health complication. So, if your cat is starving itself to death, there is a likelihood they are anorexic.

Other detectable signs of anorexia in cats include weakness, weight loss, excessive salivation, vomiting, diarrhoea and yellowing of the skin. Always consult a veterinarian if your cat exhibits these symptoms and if their appetite significantly decreases. 

Is My Cat Eating Enough?

The most effective method to ensure your cat is eating enough, especially indoor cats, is checking if they are gaining weight.

You can occasionally weigh your cat and refer to the average weight curve of cats according to their age to determine if your feline friend has a proper diet.

Also, scrutinize their coat, teeth and gums, and poop. A shiny, lustrous coat indicates cats have balanced and nutritious food. Strong white teeth with healthy moist and pink gums also show your cat is healthy.

Finally, by observing your cat’s litter box, you can determine if they are hydrated and eating enough. 

Check out this video.

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  3. Can Cats Eat Chocolate?

Final Remarks about Cat not Eating

According to our research, felines can go for about one to two weeks without food though this is dependent on their overall health and amount of water intake.

How long can a sick cat go without eating? Well, if it is a serious disease then they are likely to have a short lifespan. We recommend you consult your vet for advice on how to feed a sick cat.

On the other hand, how long can a sick cat go without water? Well, if the sickness makes them be dehydrated then it could result in a fatal problem. Normally, cats tend to go about three days without water.

If your feline refuses to drink water and eat food then this is a clear indication of a health problem that needs medication. Consider taking her for veterinarian checkup.

Sources and References

  1. How Long Can A Cat Live Without Food and Water? Head-Fi Forum.
  2. How Long Can a Cat Live Without Food?   References

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