When your cat won’t eat

Until we adopted Lola, I had never had a problem with my cats eating, and wasn’t aware that when a cat doesn’t eat or drink in as little as 1 to 2 days, they can suffer serious health problems, such as liver disease. A cat can stop eating for many reasons; some are just picky eaters, while others can be suffering from a failing sense of smell, confusion, fright, or an illness. When we adopted Lola, luckily the humane society gave us a list of trouble signs to look out for and when to seek veterinary help, such as vomiting for more than 1 day, and not eating for more than 2 days.

At first both the humane society’s in-house vet and my vet thought that it was most likely upset due to coming to a new environment, but both told me to keep a close eye on her. When the vomiting stopped and she ate some tuna and drank water, I thought we were out of the woods. However, the next day, she wouldn’t even eat tuna, and it turned out she had an infection from her spaying. Antibiotics were all that was needed and her appetite returned within hours.

In my attempts to get Lola to eat, I found a very helpful site called The Amber Foundation. Here are some things you can try if your cat stops eating:
* if you normally feed dry food, try a fishy canned cat food
* try warming the food as it increases the smell (important for aging cats)
* try giving a favorite treat
* sprinkle a small amount of catnip over the food
* canned people tuna (packed in water) *don’t use tuna packed in vegetable broth as it may contain onions)
* try cheese, milk, cream, or yogurt in very small amounts
* keep the food fresh – if your cat doesn’t eat it within a short time, discard and try fresh food in a little while.
* Hand feeding is also an option if your cat won’t eat on her own. I thinned down some canned cat food with water, and spooned it into Lola’s mouth, and she did eat a little bit. It kept her hydrated until I could get her to the vet. A turkey baster can also be used.
* a teaspoon of pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) mixed with food can settle your pet’s stomach upset, soothe constipation, and diarrhea.

VERY IMPORTANT – Your cat needs ta urine in her diet, which is found in cat food. It is not in tuna, so tuna should never be fed as a cat’s sole diet.