Tuesday, July 16, 2024
HomeExclusiveHow Long Can A Cat Go Without Eating Or Drinking

How Long Can A Cat Go Without Eating Or Drinking

Is Your Cat Not Eating Or Drinking Anything

Cats go without food, water for about 2 weeks

If you have experience of living with cats before, then you apparently have found your feline being annoying at times. Maintaining a cats health cannot be easy always.

Sometimes they do absurd things and put you into worries. Whereas in many cases they just start acting weird for no clear reason, like eating and drinking nothing.

So what would you do if your kitty suddenly stops eating and drinking? Instead of panicking, try to find out a few reasons why your cat is avoiding food and water.

Schedule A Visit Every Second Day When You’re Gone

Speaking of routines, Dr. Welch says that cats typically do best when they can stay in their home when their owner is gone, versus being boarded elsewhere. If you’ve got post-pandemic vacation plans in mind, have someone check in on your cat every second day or so, she says, with daily visits if your pet requires regular medication or has known medical issues.

While Dr. Welch normally advises against a grazing feeding schedule, if you’re heading out of town, she says it’s okay to adopt this model for a short time period. She suggests leaving out one cup of dry food for each day you’ll be gone, plus another cup or two just in case, as well as multiple bowls of water, and one more litterbox than the number of cats you have at home.

“I always end up leaving out more food than they need though, just in case you get delayed or, you know, they have a cat party with all their friends,” she laughs.

What If A Cat Doesnt Get Enough Water To Drink

Just like humans, cats too want abundant water to drink to keep themselves alive. Drinking scarce or no water will result in highly adverse effects on the cats health. Moreover, it will put you in frustration, particularly when you have no idea how to tackle the situation.

  • Your kitty will get dehydrated especially when she does not drink sufficient water but keeps urinating regularly. Because of losing excess fluids and nutrients from the body, she will experience a damaging effect on her strength.
  • When the cat will become too dehydrated, she might get constipated, start vomiting, feel a dry-mouth, or an increased heart rate.
  • Your cat lastly will become extremely weak and feeble. She will also get agitated because of fatigue and thirst.
  • Later with no water, the cat will undergo a hepatic failure. Her muscles will catabolize, moving towards a slow but torturous death.

Rarely any cats survive if left without water at home for long. It is essential for you to leave a plentiful amount of food and water when you leave your cat alone at home. Confirm twice that the food and water are conveniently accessible to your cat.

Our Latest Review: We tested 30+ The Best Food & Water Cat Bowls of the year.

You May Like: How Much To Feed A 3 Month Old Kitten

Predators And Large Animals

Cats are aware of their position in the food chain and understand that a predator could pick them off. If a cat believes that an enemy is in the vicinity, it will grow stressed.

You will notice this more at night, as many feline predators are nocturnal. Your cat may hear or scent predators exploring your yard. Examples of a cats natural enemies include:

  • Birds of prey
  • Foxes
  • Dogs

Naturally, cats can also be stressed by the presence of neighborhood dogs or aggressive wild animals. Anything that chases a cat, especially if it is also noisy, will spark stress and anxiety.

What Happens When A Cat Stops Eating And Drinking

How Long Can A Cat Go Without Eating? You Need to Know This!

A healthy cat can survive up to a week without food and three days without drinking water. However, your feline refusing to eat for more than 48 hours should always be a cause for concern.;

Going off food for prolonged periods can be dangerous for felines because it can severely affect their health. When your pet doesnt eat enough, its body starts relying on the stored fat reserves. However, before fat can be utilized for energy, it needs to be processed through the liver, which creates a danger of the liver becoming overpowered by the fat. This situation can lead to a condition referred to as hepatic lipidosis, and in severe cases, can lead to liver failure.;

You May Like: Little Alchemy Cat

Cat Poop In Adult Cats

Jack experienced a bout of cat diarrhea during his adult years caused by an allergy to his food. The main source of protein for the diet was chicken, so with the encouragement of my vet, I gradually transitioned him to a food with beef and salmon protein sources. The change in food solved the diarrhea issue, and the overall condition of Jacks coat and skin improved, too. Diarrhea in adult cats also can be caused by inflammatory bowel disease or colitis and inflammation of the colon. Both of these conditions can be diagnosed by your vet. In adult cats, constipation is most commonly linked to hairballs that a cat has difficulty passing, though your cat should be examined by a vet to rule out other causes such as megacolon.

Dont worry: If your vet rules out more serious concerns, you may be able to treat your cat for constipation at home. Hairball ointment, when given two or three times a week, is good for controlling hairballs, Dr. Plotnick said. When given daily, it may work as a stool softener. A change in diet might also help. Cats who are prone to constipation should be given mainly canned food, rather than dry food, which can be more constipating, Dr. Plotnick explained.

Whatever The Reason Be

Try everything to feed the cat by changing the type of food or cleaning the bowls. Give her options, like a fountain to drink water. If nothing works and the cat keeps refusing to eat or drink for a couple of days, then rush to the vet. As said earlier a cat cant live long without drinking water.

Describe her situation to the vet. Elaborate if any changes have occurred in the cats life and surroundings. Tell about all the attempts that you have made to resolve the issue.

Your furball possibly isnt eating or drinking because of a serious health problem or pregnancy. The vet can examine her to determine what is the underlying cause. Cats, by such behaviors, convey to us that they are unwell or disliking something. Hence, never compromise her health and well-being.

Also Check: Is The Snake Plant Toxic To Cats

How Long Can A Cat Go Without Water: Why Your Cat Needs To Drink Regularly

While cats and people may seem as unlikely as two species can be, there is a lot of similarity inside the bodies of felines and humans.

For example, your own body is estimated to contain 63 percent water.

Your cats body contains even more according to Pet MD, up to 80 percent of the feline body is made up of water!

So when a cat doesnt have access to water or chooses not to drink water, things can get serious very quickly.

In this article, learn how long a cat can go without water. Also, find out why a cat would choose not to drink water. And discover how to encourage your cat to start drinking water again to avoid preventable health issues.

How Long Can A Cat Go Without Water

Can You Survive Without Food And Water?

Skip To

Though it can sometimes be hard to fathom, your adorable domesticated kitty cat is descended from ancient desert-dwelling African wildcats. This hearty heritage has led some to suggest that cats are better adapted to surviving on less water than dogs or other domesticated species.

While its true that cats tend to require less water than dogs on a per pound basis and may also better tolerate mild cases of dehydration, its unsafe to assume they can exist under the same conditions as their ancestors.

Though they are both part of the same family tree, the lifestyle and diet of ancestral wildcats is very different from todays domestic cats. Wildcats obtain most of their water from the prey that they eat and maintain high levels of activity. Meanwhile, many domestic cats eat kibble containing little moisture and are often quite sedentary. This may make domestic cats more prone to dehydration, which can lead to or exacerbate certain health conditions.;

But how much water do cats actually need and how long can a cat go without water? Continue reading to find out everything you need to know to keep your cat safe and well-hydrated.;

You May Like: How To Sedate A Cat For Travel

How Much Water Should Cats Drink

A cats daily amount of water depends on how much it weighs. For example, if your cat weighs 10 pounds, it must drink between 79 ounces a day. Thats about 4.5 ounces per 5 pounds of the cats body weight.

If your cat doesnt drink water but has wet food, that may account for hydration too because the cat is getting enough water content.

When Should You See Your Vet After Your Cat Refuses To Eat

The reasons for your cats sudden loss of appetite can vary. And the decision to finally take your cat to the vet also depends on your cats individuality.

As a cat parent, you must know your cats unique behaviors. For some cats, not eating a meal or two may not be unusual. Other cats also have an occasional loss of appetite due to vomiting caused by hairballs, or plant ingestion.

However, whatever the reason, you have to bring your cat to the vet if he fails to eat for more than 24 hours. Like what was mentioned earlier, many of the reasons why cats wont eat are connected with their health.

As such, the best person that could help determine the exact cause and develop a treatment plan is your nearest veterinarian.

When it comes to your cats, we are sure you dont want to leave anything to chance. If you are in doubt, dont delay, and head on to your vet right away.

Also Check: How To Deworm A Kitten

Should I Feed My Cat Her Regular Diet

In order to recover, your sick cat needs to have both food and water. When cats are ill;they will often stop eating and drinking, therefore, it is important to monitor your cat’s food and water intake so that you know when intervention is necessary. It is important to separate your ill cat from other pets in the household so you know who is eating the food.

Fresh water should be available at all times. Healthy cats that eat canned food often drink very little because the food contains a high proportion of water. If your cat stops eating, she will need to have additional fluids. Fluids can be administered by mouth using a syringe. Your veterinarian will give you specific instructions on how much and how often to administer fluids. If it is not possible for your cat to be given fluids by mouth, your veterinarian will hospitalize your cat to provide the necessary supportive care.

“Your veterinarian will advise you if there are any foods that you should not offer.”

Encourage your cat to eat small, frequent meals of a palatable, high energy, highly digestible food. Warming food to body temperature often makes it more appealing. Some sick cats can be encouraged to eat more by hand feeding. Your veterinarian will advise you if there are any foods that you should not offer. If your cat cannot be tempted to eat voluntarily, your veterinarian may suggest giving liquid food via a syringe. An alternative is to hospitalize your cat in order to feed her via a feeding tube.

Do Cats Stop Eating When They Are Dying

How Long Can Cats Go Without Eating? What You Need to Know ...

Cats show varied changes in behavior when their end days are coming close, one of which also includes reduced appetite and weight loss. As most of the energy in their body is spent to keep them alive, they do not feel like eating anything to spend their energy in ingesting the food, and hence they might stop eating.

Anthony Brooks has an undergraduate degree in veterinary science and is a managing editor and regular contributor for catlovesbest.com. Being an avid pet enthusiast, he lives in Wisconsin and is a guardian to three snow-white Maine Coons mom, dad, and their kitty. In his spare time, he loves to review products that cats find delightful and loves to share his insights with other fellow cat enthusiasts on this website.

Also Check: How Many Times A Day Should A Cat Eat

How To Get Your Cat To Eat

  • If you have recently switched your cat to a new diet, try feeding it the old one.
  • Encourage it to eat by feeding it a diet high in water content such as tuna water.
  • Anorexia can also be treated using medication to stimulate the appetite. Sometimes if the anorexia is due to an underlying illness, medication to treat that illness is also essential.
  • If your cat has not eaten anything for 2 to 3 days then it is recommended that you take it to the vet immediately.
  • If your cat has been refusing to eat for a long period of time, such as more than 5 days, then it is likely that your vet will advise a feeding tube. At this stage your cat is under the threat of developing liver or kidney failure and you should follow your vets instructions.
  • What To Do When Your Cat’s Not Eating

    L C David

    I have rescued and fostered many pets over the years. Keeping my pets healthy and happy is my number one priority.

    This article will help you troubleshoot why your cat may not be eating and provide options for what you can do to help restore their appetite.

    Cats can get off their food for various reasons ranging from stress and illness to changes in their food preferences. It is important to identify why your cat is not eating and then figure out ways to get it back on track.

    Here are some reasons that cats stop eating, what you can do, and tips for getting a cat to eat again.

    If your cat is not eating, you need to try a soft, canned food. Worry less about nutrition at this point and go for taste and appeal.


    Recommended Reading: How Do You Tell The Sex Of A Cat

    The Dangers Of No Water Intake

    Not eating is bad, yes. But not hydrating can be worse, and at a faster rate. Its so crucial to make sure your cat is getting fluid by any means that they will take it.;Going long periods without drinking can cause irreversible issues, wreaking havoc on their system.

    Your cats body is mostly waterjust like usmaking up over 80% of their being. Every organ, tissue, and vessel needs it to function. Cats are already prone to dehydration, so for them to stop drinking completely is a highly time-sensitive matter.

    When your cat stops drinking, things will rapidly decline and your cat will start suffering from dehydration. The longer the body goes without fluids, the more organs will begin to shut down, one by one. Their body will stop the flow to less vital organs first, making sure the most important ones stay up and running.

    The more fluids lost, the more organs fail. By the third day of no water, the body will shut down completely. If your cat refuses to drink, intravenous fluids administered by your vet could be necessary to prevent permanent organ damage or death.

    Signs Of Dehydration In Cats

    3 Things Your Cat Should Not Be Doing

    It is important for pet parents to become familiar with the signs of dehydration in cats, especially if their cat has a chronic illness like kidney failure. The following are signs of dehydration:;

    • Dry or sticky gums

    If any of the above symptoms occur in your cat, consult with your veterinarian immediately.;

    Read Also: How Do You Treat A Cat’s Sore Bottom

    What Happens When A Cat Doesnt Eat

    When a cat or any animal stops eating it dips into its fat stores for energy. This is a normal function.;

    The problem arises when the cat does not have enough protein in its diet to bind with the fat in its bloodstream because it has missed too many meals. The fat begins to build up and swamp the liver awaiting a protein supply to bind with and move out to body cells for metabolism.

    Essentially if no protein supply arrives from a recent meal this build-up of fat in the liver creates fatty liver disease or hepatic lipidosis in very short order. In itself, this can lead to a massive reduction in appetite which deepens the problem. The fatter the cat, the worse the problem as more fat is circulated and clogs up the liver whilst awaiting a protein supply.;

    So how long can a cat go without food? Unfortunately, the condition can prove fatal in as short a period as 2 10 days.

    You can read an excellent write-up on the condition here at feline-nutrition.org. Essentially, as the article suggests, feline hepatic lipidosis is a very serious condition and the treatment of the condition is difficult and can take weeks of tube feeding to overcome. A cat that has suffered from the condition rarely fully recovers they often suffer longer-term organ damage at a minimum, even if they cheat death.;;

    This is why a cat missing meals for any period of time is an emergency.

    How Long Does It Take For A Cat To Die Of Starvation

    Its challenging to provide an accurate timeline of how long felines can safely survive not eating because it involves multiple factors. For instance, your cats health, age, activity level, etc., can all play a factor in how long it can remain safe without eating.;

    Generally, healthy cats can survive for seven days without eating . However, if your cat has an underlying health condition or happens to be a senior, not eating for two days can put its life at risk.;

    Don’t Miss: Do Cat Colds Go Away On Their Own


    Most Popular