You may find that heating the food or mixing in fish oil, broth (make sure it does not contain onions, which are toxic to cats), or cooked egg could entice your picky cat to eat. If your cat still won’t eat, take the food away and provide fresh food later in the day.
By adding canned food, low-sodium chicken broth, or tuna to dry food and then warming it makes everything smell 10 times better and is more likely to entice your cat to eat. This is particularly helpful for cats who may be stuffy from upper respiratory infections.
For senior cats, feeding small portions regularly throughout the day is ideal. A nice way to feed older cats is to offer wet food at meal times and then stimulate them mentally and physically by allowing them to graze on their dry food allocation by placing it in various places around the home.
If a cat doesn’t eat for 24-72 hours, we need to start force feeding. To do this, you’ll need to get human baby food from the grocery store or blend cat food into gruel. You’ll want to get a meat based kind (like chicken or turkey), and make sure it doesn’t have garlic in the ingredient list.
If they have access to water, the average elderly cat can survive for 8 to 10 days without food. Even if they have enough water, it could take three to four days if they don’t eat protein. It is improbable that a cat would survive more than three days without water or food.
Signs Your Cat Could Be Dying
The cat associates the feeling of illness with that food and will, therefore, try to avoid it. So if your cat seems to be lacking in appetite, don’t leave the food down, and never try to force-feed it using a syringe. When a cat loses its appetite you want to try all sorts of things to get it eating again.
The list of potential causes for cats not eating is long and diverse and includes kidney disease, cat flu, diabetes, fever, hyperthyroidism and pancreatitis. Dental problems, pain and internal obstructions may also result in your cat not eating.
Can a cat starve itself to death? Yes! Not intentionally, but sadly due to the way their livers process fat your cat can and will starve itself to death. Unlike people, your cat will never get hungry enough where it will just eat.
When to Put a Dog or Cat Down: Things to Consider
Loss of appetite is one of the key indicators that something is wrong. So be sure to pay attention if your cat suddenly stops eating. A number of different conditions may be responsible, including infections, kidney failure, pancreatitis, intestinal problems, and cancer.
Cats can survive for about two weeks without eating but only three days without drinking. The longer your cat goes without proper nutrition, however, the weaker they become, so it’s important to contact your vet if you suspect they haven’t eaten in a day or more.
Your cat may vomit or have diarrhea and often shows a loss of appetite with corresponding weight loss. The buildup of toxins in the blood can lead to a depressed cat or even more severe neurologic signs such as seizures, circling, or head pressing. Some cats will die from these toxic buildups.
Cats organs shut down very quickly if they don’t eat. Unlike dogs and humans, their livers are not made to support their bodies for long living off their bodies energy stores alone. In some cases cats can die in three or four days without any protein intake, even if they are hydrated.
Final Thoughts. Pedialyte is safe for cats and can be hugely beneficial in cases of mild dehydration. Pedialyte is non-toxic and will cause no harm to your feline, but you should avoid giving them flavored varieties and remember that moderation is key.