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What to do with a cat on a hunger strike?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Several days ago, my cat went on a bit of a hunger strike for some reason. He occasionally does this, and I don't know what it's all about.

He was a year old in April; it was at about that time I weaned him off bagged kitten food onto adult food. He's always gotten free choice; I feel like he knows better than I what nutrients he needs and when. Besides, it's easier for me with my funky schedule.

For several weeks, he ate the adult food well enough (by the way, it's Eukanuba), but for the past few days, he has eaten little of it. I've mixed cat treats into his bowl to try to get him going, but it hasn't worked.

He's neither thin nor fat. He has a soft, shiny hair coat and is playful as ever. His eyes are bright and cheerful. People compliment his appearance.

Should I be concerned about this? What do I do to get him eating again? Or is he simply going through a Morris-like stage?
post #2 of 15
Does he have access to any other food (dog, another cat's or people)? Someone is feeding him without your knowledge. I know I've had cats that didn't eat a meal or two - but not as long as yours.

Try giving him some shredded boiled chicken.
post #3 of 15
any time a cat has eating issues - in your case not eating - the cat should be taken to the Vet for a thorough check-up to eliminate any and all medical causes. Once that is done you can start dealing with what might be a finicky feline.
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hell603
any time a cat has eating issues - in your case not eating - the cat should be taken to the Vet for a thorough check-up to eliminate any and all medical causes. Once that is done you can start dealing with what might be a finicky feline.
... TRY anything to get him to eat ... scrambled eggs often work..
post #5 of 15
A visit to the vet is definitely called for. If no medical problem is found, try switching to another brand of food. A lot of cats like variety, and will stop eating one brand/flavor after a few weeks. You may or may not have to gradually mix in the new food to avoid stomach upset. I've never experienced that problem, but others have.
Have you tried wet food?
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
GoldenKitty, I kinda doubt anyone else is feeding him; we're the only two in the house. But I can try a boiled chicken breast.

jcat, is canned food the same as the wet food you mentioned? I feed him dry food; thought dry food was supposedly better for them. At least, that's from the research I did before I brought him home. But you could very well be right--maybe he simply gets tired of eating the same thing for weeks on end. Dummus me, I hadn't thought of that!!
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxfire
GoldenKitty, I kinda doubt anyone else is feeding him; we're the only two in the house. But I can try a boiled chicken breast.

jcat, is canned food the same as the wet food you mentioned? I feed him dry food; thought dry food was supposedly better for them. At least, that's from the research I did before I brought him home. But you could very well be right--maybe he simply gets tired of eating the same thing for weeks on end. Dummus me, I hadn't thought of that!!
Canned food and wet food are the same. Actually a wet food diet is far better for your cat than an all-dry food diet, especially with neutered males. All dry food can cause crystals in neutered males particularly. It is a myth that dry food cleans their teeth since they shatter the particle with the tip of their tooth and swallow so it isn't likely to even reach the root area of the tooth.

As a rule, cats are not like humans re getting tired of the same food. If your cat isn't eating for a period of 48 hours, he can go into kidney failure. You need to get him to eat. Try heating the canned food a bit to make it more smelly, feed him some off your finger, whatever you have to do to get him to eat. Sometimes cats won't eat if they have an upper respiratory infection and cannot smell the food. If he does have an URI he needs medication.

You will also find that if you feed a good quality wet diet twice a day your cat will actually eat less because he is getting better nutrition from the quality wet food. Often dry foods are full of cereal and filler and are very fattening. Since we moved Bijou to more of a wet diet, he has slimmed out (he was over 16.5 lbs. which is pretty large for a Siamese although I must say he doesn't really look fat but very muscular).
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well, I took my boy to the vet today. She thinks he's probably making like ol' Morris. He's eliminating normally, not dehydrated, active as usual. She believes he's simply being obstinate for some reason about his Eukanuba. He does seem hungry, but just won't eat if it's put before him.

She said wet food's fine, but seemed to prefer dry food. If he's still not eating by next week, she may give him a shot to make him hungry. OOOOO, my finicky feline!
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxfire
She said wet food's fine, but seemed to prefer dry food. If he's still not eating by next week, she may give him a shot to make him hungry. OOOOO, my finicky feline!
Just a note - often vets don't know a whole lot about nutrition. Naturally their studies are concentrated on medical issues. A wet diet is really much better for your cat.
post #10 of 15
I am worried about your vet's seeming lack of concern over a cat that isn't eating.

Cats are not like dogs, they do not and cannot live on stored fat even though the body does try to convert the fat cells to engery.
When they go without eating for even a a couple of days, they are at risk for hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease) which can be fatal.

I would seek a second opinion.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn
I am worried about your vet's seeming lack of concern over a cat that isn't eating.

Cats are not like dogs, they do not and cannot live on stored fat even though the body does try to convert the fat cells to engery.
When they go without eating for even a a couple of days, they are at risk for hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease) which can be fatal.

I would seek a second opinion.
Cats are at times delicate creature s... they need to eat everyday ...
post #12 of 15
If your cat still isn't eating, even with a switch to another food, I would get a second opinion.
post #13 of 15
It's important to make sure he is eating something every day. It doesn't have to be a lot, but cats can develop very severe (and often fatal) liver problems if they go more than a day or two without eating. But even a few bites of food is enough to prevent this so as long as he's eating something, it's not a major cause for worry.

Canned food is definitely better for cats and is especially important for male cats.
post #14 of 15
cat's don't normally stage "hunger strikes" they are not like us in being able to reason this way. If your cat is not eating, I would be concerned. If your vet said let him not eat for a week, and I will just give him a shot, I would be seeking another vet.

You can read this article, inside are tips on how to get a reluctant cat to eat


http://www.thecatsite.com/Health/85/...Lipidosis.html

Cats are very skilled at hiding pain. I have held dying cats in my arms and they purr up to the last minute. I have had cats eating to the last second before they pass. Cats are prey animals, even if you have to go out and catch a grasshopper and put it in the room with your cat to stimulate his prey response and get him to eat, then you do whatever it takes. Unless you are feeding him garbage cat food he should be eating. Also another thought, if you are feeding him out of a bowl, use a flat plate instead. A cat's whiskers are very sensitive, if his whiskers touch the side of his feeding bowl, it may annoy him enough to not eat.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
My vet gave me a couple of cans of Fancy Feast which she said she gives to her sick cats. Evidently that really tends to get them eating. But not Jeremiah. I mixed some of that with dry food; he wouldn't touch it. Then I went out and got some Purina One, which he pretty much grew up on, and he dug right in.

But I had tried scrambling an egg (with a bit of water), another brand of canned food, and a bunch of other things; he wouldn't touch anything.

At least he seems to like Purina One, which he'll stay on for a while.
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