How Long Can a Cat Go Without Eating?

How Long Can a Cat Go Without Eating?

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Cats can be fussy regarding their food, where they take it, and how frequently they get fed. Your picky kitty may still refuse your well-prepared meals, even if you fulfil every nutritional need they require. You may ask How long can a cat go without eating if you have a picky eater or if your cat’s appetite has changed. 


If your cat skips meals for 24 hours, it’s a sign that they’re uncomfortable or don’t enjoy the food. If your cat won’t eat for a day but will drink water, experts believe there won’t be any long-term health effects. Cats can have serious health problems in a day if they don’t get food or water. 


How long Can a Cat Go Without Eating?


If they have access to water, the average cat can go around two weeks without eating. Even if they have enough water, they may only last three or four days without protein. A cat probably wouldn’t survive more than three days without water or food. A cat that hasn’t eaten for two days can become malnourished and sick, requiring emergency veterinarian care. Cats need to eat regularly and have access to clean water to be happy and healthy. 


You shouldn’t think that, if they have to, your cat will be able to catch their food and take care of themselves. Though many housecats have the natural ability to hunt and capture rodents, birds, squirrels, and other small prey, not all felines can do so. Domestic cats often get used to being fed at certain times, and if this doesn’t happen, they may not try to find another way to eat. 


Is It Possible for A Cat to Starve Itself to Death? 


Yes! Your cat won’t do it on purpose, but because of how its livers break down fat, it can and will starve itself to death. 


In contrast to humans, your cat will never be so hungry that it will eat anything. Instead, by the time your cat has reached this point, it is already in a state of liver failure. And too weak and tired to do anything, let alone want to eat. 


 If your cat hasn’t eaten in 24 hours, try some measures to get them to eat before they start burning fat. When a cat goes hungry, its body will rely on fat energy stores, which can strain the liver, which may become fatty.



Cats that go longer than 3–4 days without food usually develop hepatic lipidosis, especially if they are already overweight. This disease can develop quickly, and lack of food will cause organ failure in your cat. 


Causes of Your Cat’s Lack of Appetite


Even picky eaters usually give in in the end. Consider looking into more serious issues if your cat is hungry for long periods. Here are some of the most common reasons your cat might not eat enough. 


How long Can A Cat Go Without Eating? Adult cats can survive for about two weeks without food, but they may suffer serious consequences.

Sickness: When sick, felines often stop eating. You are the pet parent, so you must notify of abnormal behavior. If your cat stops eating and also exhibits symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea, you must schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. 


Respiratory Illness: Because of their keen sense of smell, cats have difficulty eating when their noses are stuffed up. Loss of appetite is just one of many symptoms that can accompany respiratory problems. 


Stress: Cats are susceptible creatures; therefore, this can be a real problem. They may stop eating because they feel they can’t handle the stress or anxiety caused by the changes. Help them through this by paying more attention.  


Dental Issues: It’s not fun to have to eat with a painful mouth. You should take your cat to the dentist if you notice the following: bad breath, trouble chewing on one side of its mouth, or obvious discomfort when you touch its head or mouth. 


Medications: Your cat’s vet-prescribed medications may reduce appetite. It’s essential to be aware of the potential adverse effects of any drug your cat may take. When cats learn their food contains medication, they may stop eating it. 


What Can I Do to Make My Cat Eat? 


If my cat doesn’t like its food, will it starve to death? If your cat refuses to eat because it doesn’t want what you’re giving it, it may end up starving to death. A cat’s lack of appetite is a dangerous feedback loop that can quickly lead to the cat’s weakness and illness. 

If your cat isn’t eating within the first 24 hours, try these methods to get it to eat: 


You want to know how long a cat can go without eating?  The short answer is that they are in grave danger if they haven't eaten for 36 hours.


Changing the food bowl: Your cat might stop eating if the food bowl is dirty or if it causes whisker fatigue. In that case, switching from the metal to the ceramic bowl could work. 


Food bowl relocation: Your cat might stop eating if the food bowl is in a high-activity area, near other cats, or the litter box or water. This is especially true for cats that are scared or stressed. 


Changing the type of food: Changing the type of food, dry to wet, could make your cat stop eating. So long as your cat is acting normally again, it would help if you let them eat whatever they want. There should be a gradual changeover to any new foods. 


Enhance the food smell: Cats are so sensitive to smells that you can add aromatic, smelly toppings to their food and heat their food to make it smell better to them if they are picky eaters or sick. 


Topping Treat: Your cat might start nibbling if you add flavorings to the food, such as flavored probiotics, meal toppings, plain turkey or chicken, or poached eggs. It’s not a good idea to make tuna a regular part of your cat’s diet, but it can be used if necessary. 


If your cat has trouble eating and you have tried home remedies without success, it may be due to a more serious medical issue. Please make an appointment with your vet immediately so he can diagnose the problem and recommend a course of treatment. 


After ruling out medical causes, it’s time to talk to the vet about how your cat’s environment may be contributing to its emotional distress. 


How Long Can a Cat Go Without Drinking Water?


Although it might appear that feline furballs need food far more than water, the reverse is actually true. 


Due to the fluids, they get from their prey, outdoor cats can go slightly longer without water than their indoor counterparts. But as a general rule, a cat can’t go more than 3–4 days without water before its organs start to fail. The importance of giving your cat water should not be underestimated, especially if it has lost its appetite and is refusing to eat.



Cats, unfortunately, do not have a particularly acute sense of dehydration. Even if your cat is eating well, it may still be in danger if it doesn’t get enough water. Fortunately, high-moisture wet canned food can extend the time your cat can go without drinking.


Water deficiency worsens health issues immediately. Kittens and hyperactive cats burn fluids faster than adult cats. That means they won’t survive long without water.


How Long Can My Cat Go Without Food? 


Cats, like humans, can survive for longer without food than water. Cats can go without food for nearly two weeks but just three days without water. However, you should call your vet if your cat hasn’t eaten in more than a day because it will become increasingly frail without food. They can figure out what’s wrong and help you get your cat to eat normally again. 


How Long Can a Cat Go Without Eating – Conclusion 


It’s important to take a change in eating habits seriously. Having no appetite may be a symptom of illness, stress, or the need for something else. Be sure to take your cat to the vet if it goes more than 24 hours without eating, especially if there are other symptoms of illness


However, it can be challenging to determine the cause of a cat’s hunger when they are sneaky, secretive, and picky eaters. Always consult your vet if you have concerns about your cat’s eating habits. 


Lastly, you must ensure that your cats are healthy and happy. Take pride in being the best possible cat parent. Make sure your cats eat each day by playing an active role in their diet. 


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