how long can cats go without water

How Long Can a Cat Go Without Eating: All You Need To Know

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Imagine just coming home after an overnight trip and seeing your cat has not eaten anything from the food bowl. This leaves you wondering what happens to your cat and how long can a cat go without eating.Cats are small and cute animals compared to humans, but both have many things in common. Like us, felines also crave good nutritious food, a safe place to sleep, and lots of clean water to drink to survive in this world.  Cats also sometimes seem quite picky about the food and place they eat; they’re also resilient animals. Cats often leave their homes one day and come after days or weeks to survive on their own. If you own a cat, you might have experienced this or will soon be. And sometimes, your kitten suddenly refuses to eat anything, even their favorite food, for many days. 

This raises the question: how long can kittens go without food? 

Not only food, but some cats also stop drinking water too! This is a popular belief that cats just hate water, but that’s not completely true. Felines hate bathing in the water! So, can a cat survive without drinking water? If yes, how long can a cat go without water?

You’ll get all the answers in this post, so keep reading this until the end.

Today we’ll tell you how long can a cat go without food. As loving cat pet owners, we all want to know why our beloved cat has stopped eating or drinking anything. From selecting their favorite dry and wet food to giving treats, cat owners will do anything to make their pets eat something. 

So what’s the reason behind this strange and unusual behavior of cats? 

As we already told you that felines are resilient, so going away for a few days without anything doesn’t mean that there is something horribly wrong with them. However, there can be numerous reasons behind this behavior. 

Let’s know more about this. 

How Long Can Cats Go Without Food?   

how long can a cat go without eating

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On average, if a cat has regular access to water, it can usually survive from one to two weeks without food. However, if your cats do stay in this situation, this always means that they’re seriously sick.  

One more thing if your furry friend doesn’t have enough protein, they will only like to survive for three to five days. Even if you offer enough water, still they’ll die. That’s because even if they’re hydrated, a cat’s liver doesn’t support its body for too long. 

How Long Can Cats Go Without Water? 

how long can a cat go without eating

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As mentioned above, a cat can survive for weeks without food, but without water, it can hardly survive for only three to four days. Also, don’t think you don’t have to worry about providing water to your cat for three days or when they’re not drinking enough water. 

All cats required water as per their body weight. This means a cat needs about 3 – 4.5 ounces of water daily for every 5 pounds of body weight. If cats don’t have enough water, they can experience irreversible organ failure.  

Sometimes felines get moisture from their food, such as wet foods. But still, it is good to provide them with at least one cup of water per day. 

How Long Can Cats Survive Without Food or Water? 

how long can a cat go without eating

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Without any food and water, a cat only survives for three days! When cats don’t eat any food or water within two days, they can become malnourished and ill. All felines need regular, good-quality food with enough protein and nutrients along with fresh water to keep them completely happy and healthy. 

However, This only applies to healthy cats. So, what about unwell and ill cats? They need immediate medical attention.  

Many people start to think when their pets, especially cats, stop eating anything that they will feed themselves. Yes, many domestic felines can catch and hunt small animals like mice, birds, and squirrels, but not every cat has these skills to catch their food.   

Why Is Your Cat Not Eating or Drinking?  

This behavior will leave you shocked when your kitty isn’t eating anything. Are you also wondering what’s wrong with your cat and why has my cat stopped eating?

Here are some causes as to why your cat suddenly seems disinterested in mealtimes:

There are some specific reasons why your cat is refusing to eat or drink anything. Cats are picky eaters and like to make choices when it comes to food. So, if you’re thinking, why is my cat not eating anything, below are some reasons: 

1. Sickness

how long can a cat go without eating

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Many times cats don’t eat anything because they’re unwell and sick. The illness makes it painful to eat. If you notice symptoms like nausea, fever, and fatigue in your cat, consult the vet immediately.  

2. Food Allergies

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Check whether your kitty is behaving differently or she has a lack of appetite. This may indicate that your cat has food allergies. Symptoms like skin issues and tummy upset can happen within a few days to several weeks. If you’ve changed the diet and food and your cat has these symptoms, this means they may have an underlying dietary allergy.  

3. Lack of Flavor

how long can cats go without food

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Cats only eat food that they like, even if they’re hungry. So another reason why your cat isn’t drinking or eating anything is that your kitty has been bored with the food. Try to add some flavors and treats to make the food interesting.       

4. Pain 

how long can cats go without food

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Sometimes dry food can cause problems in a cat’s teeth. This usually happens with older cats or cats with sensitive teeth, creating pain while eating food. 

5. Respiratory Problems

how long can cats go without food

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Cats like to smell food when they eat, and if your kitty is suffering from respiratory illness like a stuffy nose, she will not eat anything. 

6. Digestive Issues

how long can cats go without food

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Why my cat isn’t eating? Maybe because your feline has digestive issues! 

Whenever any cat suffers from gastrointestinal distress such as abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting, they stop eating food.  

7. Anxiety & Depression

how long can cats go without food

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Just like humans, cats can also go through anxiety and depression. One of the major signs that kittens are in sadness is when they stop eating. And sometimes, they even refuse their favorite meals and treats. When it comes to anxiety, every cat has different reactions. Some felines stop eating and freeze in posture, while others become more vocal.   

8. Travel

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Travel can actually make your kitty sick and unwell. Any kind of change in a cat’s daily routine can cause stress and a decrease in appetite. That’s why it’s vital to consult the vet about the traveling schedule and ask them whether it is safe for your cat to travel or not. 

9. Medications or Vaccinations

how long can cats go without water

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Is your cat on medication? Or has your kitty taken any vaccination recently? 

If yes, this might be the reason behind their lack of appetite. Vaccines and medicines have minor side effects, usually lasting from a few hours to a day.  

10. Underlying Serious Health Conditions

how long can cats go without water

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Sometimes there might be a serious health problem. When your cat has suddenly stopped eating, there are chances that there may be some severe medical problems such as:      

  • Pancreatitis
  • Kidney disease 
  • Liver issues
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Parasites

Also Read: Why Do Cats Lick You? 7 Reasons Why Cats Lick Their Owners!!

How Can I Get My Cat to Eat Food?

how long can cats go without water

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Whether it’s because of vaccination, medicine, or illness, if you know the real reason behind your cat’s lack of appetite, it will be easier for you to understand their behavior. 

Below are some ways to make your cat eat or drink: 

  • Make sure that your kitty is getting a sufficient amount of food and water. When a cat is hydrated, she will recover soon. 
  • Add tuna juice or low-sodium chicken broth in low quantities in water.
  • If your cat refuses food, you can try feeding other food options to entice the diet. You can give boiled chicken, warm food, white rice, or meat-flavored baby food.
  • Cats don’t like to eat in a noisy atmosphere. So, put your cat’s food in a quiet place where it can eat peacefully. 
  • Clean your kitty’s food and water bowls or replace them if necessary. You can also switch the bowl from plastic to metallic or ceramic ones.
  • Try to add flavored toppers to their diet, including flavored probiotics and meal toppers. You can add homemade food such as plain turkey, chicken, or scrambled eggs.

When To Visit a Vet? 

how long can cats go without water

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Even after trying all the above methods, your cat still refuses to eat or drink anything; it’s time to consult a vet. Felines can survive for around one to two weeks without eating, but it is not advised to wait that long. 

If your cat has symptoms like weight loss, lack of appetite, and allergic reactions, you should immediately schedule an appointment to visit a vet ASAP. Doctors can check for the underlying health problem and give your cat the best treatment.  

How Long Can a Cat Go Without Eating: Final Thoughts!

So this is all about how long can cats go without food or water. Felines are sly, secretive, and resilient animals who are also particular about their food choices. Compared to wild cats, domestic ones rely more on a safe and secure environment. 

From change in routine due to traveling or food options to not liking the food and having stress, there are several reasons why your cat has stopped eating or drinking. Ensure that there is rough water and food all the time to make your kitty happy and healthy. 

And even after 24 hours, your cat still hasn’t eaten anything, immediately visit your nearest vet.   

I hope this in-depth guide on how long can a cat go without eating has helped you understand this sudden behavior of your cat.

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