I still do remember when my first cat arrived in my house. I was so excited to have a new furry friend, and I wanted to make sure that everything was perfect for her. So when she started eating less, I got really worried.
So I did a little bit research on google and found out that there are a couple reasons why cats might not be eating as much as they should.
The first possibility is that the food just doesn’t taste good to them. Just like people, cats can get bored of their food and sometimes need a change in diet. Another possibility is that something is wrong with their mouth or teeth and they’re in pain when they try to eat.
If your cat is acting normal in every other way, but just not eating as much as usual, it’s probably nothing to worry about too much. Continue read on to know more about the reasons for your cat not eating much but acting normal.
7 Reasons Why Your Cat is Not Eating Much But Acting Normal
As a pet owner, it’s normal to worry when your cat isn’t eating as much as usual. While a loss of appetite can be a sign of a serious health problem, there are also many benign explanations for why your cat may not be interested in food.
Here are 7 common reasons behind a reduced appetite in cats:
1. Your Cat May Be Stressed
A new pet or baby in the home, a move to a new house, or even changes in your daily routine can all lead to stress in cats. And when cats are stressed, they often reduce their food intake.
2. Your Cat May Be Sick
A number of illnesses, from gastroenteritis to kidney disease, can cause cats to lose their appetite. If your cat is acting normal in every other way, then a trip to the vet may be all that’s needed to determine if an underlying medical condition is to blame.
3. Your Cat May Be Getting Older
As cats age, they tend to require fewer calories and may even start to lose weight. This is perfectly normal and no cause for alarm unless your cat is also showing other signs of illness.
4. Your Cat May Have Dental Issues
Tooth pain or gum disease can make eating uncomfortable for cats and lead them to reduce their food intake. A trip to the vet for a dental examination is usually all that’s needed to get your cat back on track.
5. You May Be Feeding Your Cat Too Much
If you’re free-feeding (leaving food out all day for your cat to eat at will), your cat may simply not be as hungry as she would be if she were being fed smaller meals on a regular schedule. Try portioning out her food and see if that makes a difference in her appetite.
6. The Food May Not Be Appealing
Just like people, cats can get tired of eating the same thing day after day. If you’ve recently switched brands or formulas of cat food, your cat may not be thrilled with the change and could be holding out for something better.
Try mixing things up with some new flavors and textures and see if that gets her interested in her meals again.
7. There Could Be Something Wrong with the Food
Although it’s not common, it is possible for cat food to go bad or become contaminated with toxins such as mold or bacteria. If you suspect this might be the case, discard the food and switch to a fresh batch.
Inspect your cat’s bowl before each meal to make sure the food looks and smells fresh and has no visible mold or other contaminants.
Things You Can Do to Help Your Cat Out of This Situation
If your cat isn’t eating as much as usual but is otherwise acting normal, there could be a number of reasons for this decreased appetite.
It’s possible that your cat is simply experiencing a less than robust appetite for a day or two due to a change in her routine (a holiday, for example, when the family is home more often and there are more interesting things going on).
To help out your cat during this time, here are seven things you can do:
1. Check for Signs of Stress
If your cat is acting normal in every other way but just not eating as much as usual, the first thing to do is check for signs of stress. A new pet or baby in the home, a move to a new house, or even changes in your daily routine can all lead to stress in cats.
Try to identify any potential sources of stress and see if there’s anything you can do to minimize them. For example, if you have a new baby in the house, try to create a quiet space where your cat can retreat to when she needs some peace and quiet.
2. Make Sure the Food is Appealing
If your cat is eating less than usual, make sure that the food you’re offering is appealing. Cats can get tired of eating the same thing day after day, so try mixing things up with some new flavors and textures.
You might also want to try a different brand or formula of cat food. If you suspect that the food itself is the problem, be sure to inspect it before each meal to make sure it looks and smells fresh and has no visible mold or other contaminants.
3. Feed Smaller Meals More Often
I know it’s tempting to free-feed your cat (leave food out all day for her to eat at will), but this can actually lead to weight gain and other health problems. It’s better to feed your cat smaller meals on a regular schedule.
This will help keep her metabolism active and her appetite strong. Plus, it gives you a chance to bond with your cat each time you sit down to share a meal.
4. Encourage Your Cat to Exercise
Cats love to play, and a little exercise can go a long way towards increasing their appetite. Try playing with your cat for 10-15 minutes before each mealtime.
You can use toy mice, feathers on a string, or even just a simple piece of paper rolled into a ball. Just make sure you supervise playtime to avoid any potential injuries.
5. Try a Different Bowl
If your cat doesn’t seem interested in her food, try serving it in a different bowl. Some cats prefer ceramic or glass bowls, while others prefer plastic or metal.
You might also want to try a shallow bowl instead of a deep one, or vice versa. Some cats even prefer to eat from plate instead of a bowl. Experiment until you find a bowl that your cat seems to like best.
6. Add Some Warm Water
If your cat’s food is dry and unappetizing, try adding a little warm water to moisten it up. This will also help release any aromas that might be enticing to your cat.
Just be sure not to add too much water, as this can make the food mushy and unappetizing. A few tablespoons is usually enough.
7. Talk to Your Vet
If you’ve tried all of the above and your cat still isn’t eating, it’s time to take her to the vet for a check-up. There could be an underlying medical condition causing her appetite loss, such as diabetes, kidney disease, or even cancer.
Your vet will be able to run some tests and determine if there’s anything wrong. In the meantime, continue to offer small meals on a regular schedule and try to make mealtimes as stress-free as possible.
When Should You Worry? 5 Signs To Look For
When should you worry about your cat not eating much but acting normal? While a decrease in appetite can be due to many innocuous causes, it can also be the first sign of a serious illness.
Therefore, any changes in your cat’s eating habits warrant a trip to the vet. Here are five signs to look for that indicate a more serious problem:
1. Your Cat is Losing Weight
Yes, you might expect your cat to lose a few ounces if she’s not eating as much. But if you notice that your cat is losing a significant amount of weight, this could be cause for concern.
Weight loss can be a sign of many different underlying health problems, so it’s important to have your cat checked out by a vet as soon as possible.
2. Your Cat is Drinking More Water
Cats usually don’t drink a lot of water, so if you notice that your cat is suddenly drinking more than usual, this could be a sign of diabetes or kidney disease.
Increased thirst can also be a sign of dehydration, which can occur if your cat isn’t eating enough to offset her water loss. Be sure to mention any changes in your cat’s water intake to your vet.
3. Your Cat is Vomiting or Diarrhea
Any time your cat vomits or has diarrhea, it’s a good idea to have her examined by a vet. These problems can lead to dehydration, which can be dangerous, particularly for young kittens or elderly cats.
According to the ASPCA, vomiting and diarrhea can also be signs of more serious problems like intestinal blockages, parasites, or even cancer.
4. Your Cat is Lethargic or Unusually Tired
If your cat is not her usual self, this could be a sign that something is wrong. If she’s lethargic, sleeping more than usual, or just seems unusually tired, it’s time for a trip to the vet.
Lethargy can be a sign of many different health problems, ranging from mild (such as a viral infection) to severe (such as liver disease).
5. Your Cat is Acting Strange in Other Ways
In addition to the above signs, any other changes in your cat’s behavior or appearance warrant a trip to the vet. This could include anything from changes in bathroom habits to bad breath or sores in the mouth.
If you notice any changes at all, it’s best to err on the side of caution and have your cat examined by a professional.
FAQ’s on Cat Not Eating Much But Acting Normal
Every pet owner knows that cats can be finicky eaters, but a sudden loss of appetite can be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
So, it’s possible that your cat is ill and an underlying medical condition is causing her lack of appetite. Many illnesses can cause loss of appetite in cats, so it’s important to rule out any possibilities with a vet visit.
Besides, a trip to the vet is always a good idea when your cat’s health is concerned. When you’re at the vet, they can check to see if your cat has a medical condition that is causing her to not want to eat.
There are also a few things you can do at home to try and increase your cat’s appetite. For example, you can try offering her small meals throughout the day instead of one large one.
You might also want to try a different type of food or feeding method. Some cats prefer wet food while others do better with dry food. Experiment until you find something that works for your cat.