Last Updated on March 8, 2023 by Woody Pet

How Long Can A Cat Go Without Eating? Survive Without Food

There’s this known belief that cats have nine lives. Well, this isn’t true. A cat’s life span is between two to sixteen years. They one has one life. This belief has been known as cats can survive serious accidents without getting any fatal wounds. But can a cat survive without food?

How long can a cat go without eating? What are the possible reasons why a cat would suddenly stop eating? We all know that food is considered as one of the basic needs of mammals.

If your pet started to refuse to eat, this might be very concerning. How can we tell if the cat is sick or unwell?

What are the things that we should observe with their eating habits? We will be having a discussion of how serious this behavior is and what steps should we take for our cats to gain back their interest with eating.

How Long Can A Cat Go Without Eating

How Long Can Cats Go Without Food

It looks alarming to see your cat eating less than normal. Questions would fill your mind whether your cat can go 24 hours without food or how long can a cat go without eating? A cat can survive without food in a span of 3-4 days or a maximum of one week. This is because their liver is not made to support their body for long living. While they can last for up to 14 days if they have access to water depending on their health status. Cats are also known for being self-sufficient, resilient and independent.

The cat’s body is mostly composed of water (75%). One thing that we must keep in mind as cat parents is to make sure that enough source is water is always accessible by our furry buddies as water is more necessary for their health and well-being.

Cats body organs rely mostly on water and some nutritional content found on food to be functional. Starving and dehydration can cause serious effects on the cat’s organs which may be irreversible. 

It pays to be observant to the behavior shown by your cats as they won’t be able to tell you what’s wrong with them. Cats have this ability to hide their sickness, you’ll just notice your cat eating less than normal.

Take note that the change noticed with their appetite is a serious indicator as this might lead for the owners to only notice that they are sick if it’s already too late for them to cure it. 

Reasons Why Your Cat Refuses To Eat

It’s not always illness that causes for a cat to lose their appetite.

  • Lack of flavor on foods – cats tend to dislike food that doesn’t taste good. Cats also like tasty dishes and if you can provide this, you will never worry how long can a cat go without eating
  • Felling pain while eating – you’ll notice this when your cat is eating dry foods. Problems with the teeth may arise for aging cats. As they grow old, they’ll have sensitive teeth which will make it hard for them to chew their food
  • Vaccine and medication side effects – disinterest is food is normal for cats under medication or recently vaccinated.
  • Stress – cats can easily get stressed and this can also be a factor for lack of appetite

How To Get Your Cat To Eat

Though, your cat can go 24 hours without food, that doesn’t mean we’ll stop trying to feed them. Consider changing the food they normally eat. If you are used to feeding your cat dry foods, try to change it and serve him a wet cat food and see it that works.

You can also try to patiently feed him slowly especially if he just recovered from sickness. Look for a quiet and peaceful place where you can feed him. Cats love the heat; you may heat the food before serving and observe what will happen.

If any of these ideas still did not work, 24 hours is enough time to observe your cat and keep in mind just how long can a cat go without eating.

Bring Your Cat To The Vet

Hepatic lipidosis is a disease developed in the liver because of starvation. The symptoms of this illness are:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Muscular weakness
  • Inability to hold the head up
  • Drooling
  • Lethargy and depression
  • Jaundice (yellowing skin and eyes)

Though we don’t wish that this is the reason why your cat is not eating, and we’ve just learned how long can cats go without food, it’s best to consult an expert. Have the vet conduct series of necessary tests to determine the cause of the behavior. Here is a list of medical issues that is serious enough to affect your cats’ appetite:

  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Pancreatitis
  • Kidney failure 
  • Urinary tract infections 
  • Ingestion of a foreign object
  • Hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease

These aren’t the results that we want, we should still be prepared whatever the cause of your pets’ behavior might be. Listen carefully to the instructions to be given by the vet after the consultation and make sure to have it implemented the best way that you can.

How Long Can A Cat Go Without Eating Conclusion 

Starvation and dehydration are serious symptoms that we should look out for. Do not disregard the signs that you are seeing from your pets.

Knowing how long cat a cat go without eating might be scary, and it’s unsettling to think about it. But what we need to make sure of is not to compromise the health of our pets.

They depend on us on everything and they are our responsibility. We should always be vigilant in observing the sudden changes with our pets’ behavior.

Let’s make sure to give the proper care to them to whatever they are going through.

It may not be a simple task, but as a pet parent, we must always think of their welfare and how we can make everything better for them.

They show us their love and affection though they are unable to speak, we must do the same way for them.


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