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How Long Can Cats Go Without Food? What You Should Know

How Long Can Cats Go Without Food? What You Should Know

When it comes to cat health, it’s vital to remember that a cat without food for as little as two days can be starved and ill, necessitating immediate veterinary attention. Therefore, to be happy and healthy, all cats require regular food and fresh water.

Cats, like humans, must eat to survive. They can go without food faster than they can go without water. If a cat has access to water, it can go for one to two weeks without eating. A cat is unlikely to survive more than three days without water or food because they require protein to sustain.

We all need food to survive, including our beloved kittens. So if you are planning to go on a trip for a long time and want to know how long your cat can go without food, this is what you need to know. Keep reading below.

Can I Leave My Cat Without Food?

A pet, like any other animal, requires sufficient nourishment to live and perform effectively. Therefore a cat must be fed regularly to survive. They should also consume plenty of water. It’s crucial to keep in mind that a cat gets the majority of its water from its food.

As long as your cat has enough water, it can go up to two weeks without eating anything. But if they are not drinking water, this could be severe for the cat’s life. This is why it is important to watch out for your cat when it goes a day without eating or drinking anything since this could be harmful.

The body of a cat is unable to convert fat deposits into energy in an efficient manner. As a result, when they are hungry for 24 to 48 hours, the fat they break down lowers the liver’s function. The liver swells and becomes yellow as a result of this. Therefore, your cat will develop jaundice, yellowing of the eyes, and various additional issues, all of which will eventually lead to death.

If your cat hasn’t been eating or drinking and isn’t displaying any signs of hunger or dehydration, give them a can of tuna water and see if you can get them to drink that way. The water will not only hydrate them, but it will also contain nutrients from the fish. Of course, you should take the animal to the veterinarian if this is not the case.

The damages to your cat’s internal organs can be a significant difference between a cat not eating and a cat not drinking water. Any animal that goes days without feeding will slowly lose the energy and nutrition it needs to function. However, they can quickly return to their previous state once they have eaten.

An animal that does not drink water, on the other hand, will not only stop functioning but will also suffer internal organ damage. All of the organs in the body rely on water to function correctly. Dehydration wreaks havoc on the kidneys, liver, and other organs. Long periods without drinking water will cause long-term damage and, eventually, death to these organs.

If there is no food or drink, the stomach is the first organ to shut down, followed by the kidneys and liver. The heart would be the last to go, followed by the brain. If your pet does not eat or drink, irreversible harm to these organs can occur.

And sometimes this is could also happen if the cat has skipped too many meals. As a result, it lacks adequate protein in its diet to bond with the fat in its bloodstream. Because the fat accumulates in the liver, waiting for a protein supply to bind with and transport to body cells for metabolism.


What If My Cat Doesn’t Want To Eat?

As cat owners, we may notice that our cats’ feeding habits are a little inconsistent. Perhaps they are fed someplace outside and don’t eat as much at home. Maybe they turn their nose up at a meal now and then. Maybe they eat when you’re not looking? However, as the owner, if you notice they haven’t eaten in 24 hours despite having access to food, you should be concerned.

This behavior is a popular occurrence among cats. Cats are excellent at disguising illness as a survival strategy to avoid appearing as vulnerable prey to other predators. However, your cat may be in a lot of pain on the inside. When your cat reaches a sufficient calorie deficit, it will only be a matter of time before they begin to use fat reserves to compensate.

This is to prevent other predators from attacking them or when they feel like their lives are in danger from something or someone else. But since cats are not sure what might be hunting them, it is better if you start watching their diet as your cat could be getting sick from bacteria in the current food.

Sometimes, food is left outside for too long, causing animals or insects to get inside their plates. This is why it is recommended to change the plate of your cat regularly, not letting it sit there.

Many reasons could cause your cat’s lack of appetite, and sometimes they could be significant medical issues. Your veterinarian can assist you in determining the cause and the best course of action. The reasons why your cat has stopped eating can vary widely, but if it lasts longer than 24 hours, you should take your cat to your veterinarian. It’s also critical to keep an eye on things and inform your veterinarian if you see anything unusual.

Common Reasons Why Your Cat Is Not Eating


Cat behavior is complex; nonetheless, if your cat has recently stopped eating, there could be several reasons, including:

Dental Pain

This is an incredibly common reason for cats to stop eating, and it’s usually one of the first things a veterinarian will look into. Cavities, broken teeth, wear and tear, and even missing teeth can cause toothache in your cat, making feeding difficult or uncomfortable. In addition, inflammation gums, an abscess, a damaged tooth, oral tumors, or other inflammatory issues make eating or chewing uncomfortable.

Recent Vaccination Or Medication

Suppose your cat has taken a medication recently or got vaccinated. In that case, it will probably make him feel nauseous and not want to eat anything since it will taste bad. Give him some time until the medicine incorporates into his system. Eventually, they will start eating regularly. If there have been a couple of days and still not showing any good signs, take him to the vet.

Respiratory Problems

Infections in the upper respiratory tract can be caught by cats, just like people. Catching a “cold” in a cat can have the same effects as catching a cold in a human. Watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and a loss of appetite are among the symptoms that your cat could suffer.

A cat cold will usually clear up within ten days, with the worst symptoms waning off after a day or two. However, a cat’s loss of sense of smell caused by a cold might sometimes deter them from eating. At the same time, they may be so uncomfortable with the cold that they aren’t inspired to eat at all.

New Food

Maybe you’ve changed the type of food you are giving them? Food sensitivities in cats are incredibly high. Changes in taste, texture, and even temperature can impact hunger, causing cats to reject what appears to be a delicious serving of cat food.

What You Should Know


A cat that hasn’t fed in a while is said to be starving, and starvation can have severe physical consequences for the cat’s entire system. Dehydration is similar to famine, except that its onset is far faster – and considerably more powerful – than hunger.

Water and the nutritional content of food are essential for the healthy functioning of every organ in the feline body. Organs that are starved and dehydrated will steal energy and water from the rest of the cat’s body, a process that will slow as the cat’s bloodstream becomes less liquid.

When feline organs are deprived of enough food and fluids to operate appropriately, they dry up and shut down. Not only may this put the cat’s body into shock, but it might also permanently harm the cat’s organs. In addition, if a malnourished and dehydrated cat is not treated quickly, it may have long-term health problems if it survives.

If you ever get the feeling that your cats aren’t eating, pretend to be a worried parent or pet owner. It is OK to take your pet to the veterinarian early and receive a clean bill of health.

It is dangerous for a cat to go without food for an extended period. In addition to any ailment preventing them from eating, hunger causes them to develop hepatic lipidosis, also known as fatty liver disease.

In cats, fatty liver disease is the most frequent ailment. It occurs when there is an excessive build-up of fat inside the liver’s cells and tissues. If left untreated, it can develop liver and bile system dysfunction, as well as mortality.