How long can cats go without food? If you are a cat parent and always wondered about the eating habits of your pet, then you’ve come to the right place. This article throws light on how long can cats go without food and other questions that pet owners ask.
How long can cats go without food is a question vets treating cats with eating disorders have to answer on many occasions. Cats are interesting creatures. Often found to be the most common pets across cultures, cats have lived in close proximity to humans since time eternal.
Modern-day pet cats have spent their whole life being nurtured as pets. The pet parent takes care of their every whim and fancy and therefore cats depend on the owners for their basic needs. Humans have always showered their love for their pet cats and how a cat behaves has a lot to depend on the intrinsic personality the cat possesses and its early life experiences.
One of the very important aspects of owning a cat is that one needs to be careful about its eating habits. Cats are creatures of habit. Once you create a feeding schedule for them, they kind of stick to the schedule.
However, there are times when pet owners have observed that their cats aren’t eating or aren’t keen on consuming the food that is left for them in the feeding bowl. This creates anxiety for many owners and they often wonder out loud why their pets are showcasing this strange behavior.
This article tries to get to the bottom of the question of why do cats stop eating, how long can cats go without food, and what are the food items that cats can and can’t eat.
Why Do Cats Stop Eating & How Long Can Cats Go Without Food?
It’s quite a task to decipher the behavior of one’s cat. These can be some of the most exasperating animals that humans get to deal with. Cats usually are fussy eaters. Owners across the world tear out their hair trying to get their pets to eat. But sometimes they can even overeat and throw up undigested food!
Since cats follow a schedule when it comes to feeding, and can even wake you up from sleep if it’s feeding time, pet parents find it surprising when their cats refuse to eat.
With indoor cats, a break from the schedule can be a reason for the cat to not eat. Now with the pandemic over and with people traveling more and more, their pets at home need to be fed and cared for. In such circumstances when cats stop eating, it can make any cat owner anxious. Another common question that doctors on the internet keep getting asked by the pet parent is “Why is my cat not eating much but acting normal?”
Our research highlighted a few reasons why cats stop eating. If pet owners find that their pet cats are not eating then it could be any of the following reasons:
- Check to see if the cat is unwell. Often it has been observed that cats might be put off during some stomach upset issues or if they are unwell. Don’t go along the tangent how long can a cat go without food and water, just yet. Chances are the pet needs a checkup by the veterinarian.
- The problem could be with the teeth of the pet. A sore tooth, inflammation in the gums might make It difficult for pets to chew and swallow. Cats have been known to move away from food in such cases. Here however how long can cats go without food can be answered immediately after getting relief from pain.
- Sometimes the reason for a cat not eating is linked to some medication that the owner puts it through or even a periodic vaccination that the pets are given. Both are known to have an impact on the appetite of cats.
- The last reason that experts narrow down to questions of why a cat doesn’t eat and how long can cats go without food is stress. Believe it or not, cats have strong attachments to places and schedules. In case there is a change of location or a new addition to the household or maybe even a change in feeding time, cats will react adversely to it.
What To Do If Cats Stop Eating And How Long Can Cats Go Without Food?
What one can do other than being worried and merely asking how long can cats go without food is to identify the actual reason for the cat not eating. If one sees one’s cat not eating much but acting normal, then the issue is probably one of the points mentioned above.
What one can do is allow the cat to just be and create an environment that is as peaceful as possible for the pet. Cats are known to come around when it perceives an absence of threat or if the source of stress is negated. One can also take one’s pet to the vet if the same thing continues for more than 2 days, just for a routine check to make sure nothing is amiss.
A final word of advice is to just be patient with the pet if your cat not eating much but acting normal and allow it some time to settle down. Making a change from the regular or serving smaller portions of the same food might also just do the trick in case you are asking yourself how long can cats go without food.
What Can A Cat Eat And Not Eat And How Long Can Cats Go Without Food And Water
Cats which are reared outdoors are more receptive to all kinds of meat and bugs. However, cats raised indoors need special attention with food that gets consumed. One can’t go wrong with the typical cat food available across pet retail stores and the occasional treat of fish and meat to keep the novelty going. There are some food items that are an absolute no-no for cats. Though owners are particular about the food they serve to their pet felines. There are some mistakes that the owners end up making. This can be summarized in the following two questions:
“Can cats eat cheese? and can cats eat sausage?”
Both food items are regular in a human diet. However, sometimes the owners end up sharing these with their pets. So, can cats eat cheese, and can cats eat sausage? The answer to both these questions is a resounding NO!
Can Cats Eat Cheese?
Though it may be argued that cats need their share of proteins and nutrients and cheese is a rich source of both proteins and useful nutrients, cheese ends up creating digestive troubles for one’s pet. It is, therefore, best to avoid this from a cat’s diet.
Can Cats Eat Sausage?
Sausages again are a strict no when it comes to cat diet. Sausages have a high content of salts and preservatives and are highly processed food items. It’s advisable to not give cats any dairy products or processed food as it may interfere with the normal body functions of the feline.
How Long Can A Cat Go Without Food And Water
Now that a base is created, the most important question of whether a cat can survive without food and water can be addressed. How long can cats go without food depends on whether the cat has access to water or not.
However, something interesting that one needs to know about cats is that the feline is a natural carnivore. This means it has to have its share of proteins that occur in meat on a regular basis. Maybe even daily. Once the protein supply gets cut off, the cat’s body starts using up the excess fats present in the body. Unlike humans or even dogs, this process will put an unnecessary burden on the cat’s liver. How long can cats go without food will depend on how long the liver can pull the animal.
The longest reported instance of a cat surviving without food has been 8 weeks. This was in response to someone asking how long can cats go without food on a social media platform. A quick search on any search engine will elicit the response of one week to two weeks for how long can cats go without food. However, this is an ideal condition in which the cat doesn’t have any external stressors and has a sufficient supply of water.
However, to the question about how long can a cat go without food and water, the answer would be no more than 3 days, at the most 4. The reason is that without adequate protein the body will start shutting down basic functions. The liver will try the most to function, but prolonged pressure on the liver will have permanent damage to the system.
The cat will become weak with no access to food and water and will live till the point the energy reserves in the body aren’t extinguished.
Finally, there might come days when the owner of the cat needs to stay away from the cat for a prolonged period. It shouldn’t happen that the cat struggles to satisfy its basic needs. The owner can provide for someone to feed the cat or have an automatic feeder system for both food and water. This should alleviate the pet parent’s worries and fears regarding how long can cats go without food.
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