How long can a cat go without food?

Related Articles

Cats are tough, resilient animals and it is not uncommon for them to go missing for days or weeks and then return. These qualities undoubtedly help them to survive on their own.

Also, some cats will suddenly refuse to eat the cat food they are used to. If the cat does not like the food, it will usually stop eating.


There are also cases of anorexia, which remains a potential problem. In either case, the cat appears to be healthy.

Therefore, you may be wondering how long your cat can survive without food. Today’s article will cover situations where cats don’t eat and whether this behavior is normal or abnormal.

Average Fasting Time for Cats

Cats can usually survive without food for one to two weeks as long as water is available. However, if protein intake is reduced, survival time is shortened to three to four days. In other words, cats cannot survive more than three days on average without food and water.

It is important to emphasize that even after a day without food, a cat may become underweight and require emergency veterinary care. All cats need a steady supply of water and nutrients for optimal health.

Don’t assume that cats can always hunt for food when necessary. Although many domestic cats are capable of chasing mice and squirrels, this is not a trait that all cats possess. Domestic cats are usually accustomed to getting food at regular intervals and may not look for other food sources until then.

If a cat does not eat, its organs may fail rapidly. A cat’s liver cannot function on stored nutrients alone as can a human or dog.

These facts are provided only to address the “what if” question that often comes to our minds: how long can a cat go without food? As responsible owners, we must feed our cats regularly.

Beyond that, there may be other reasons why your cat is not eating. It can be difficult to understand your cat’s behavior. However, if your cat suddenly does not eat, you should first suspect that it is suffering from a disease.

Why isn’t my cat eating?

If you regularly put food in your cat’s bowl, but your cat no longer gobbles it down at breakneck speed, but just sniffs it, you should investigate why. Your cat may be suffering from some underlying condition, and not just because he doesn’t like food.

Here are a few scenarios in which your cat suddenly stops eating. If your cat exhibits any of the following symptoms, consult your veterinarian as soon as possible.

  • Illness.

Cats usually stop eating when they are sick. If you notice symptoms such as your cat looking pale, vomiting, lethargy or fever, consult your veterinarian immediately.

  • Dental problems.

Painful teeth or inflamed gums can make chewing uncomfortable. If your pet hesitates to eat, chews unilaterally, or refuses to let you touch his face or mouth, a dental exam may be necessary.

  • Medications.

Cats may lose their appetite after taking medications or vaccinations. If your cat is on medication, have your veterinarian check for side effects.

  • Stress.

Moving, the addition of a new family member, or a change in routine can be stressful for cats. These events may cause the cat to stop eating temporarily. However, if this behavior continues for an unhealthy period of time, consult your veterinarian.

  • Boredom.

Cats are picky eaters and may sometimes no longer like a particular food. Occasionally refusing to eat for no reason is also typical behavior for cats.


If a cat loses its appetite for reasons other than health issues, patience is needed. Allow the cat to enjoy eating at its own pace and praise the cat when it is finished.

If the cat appears nervous, the eating area should be quieted down. If the cat has been checked for serious illness or depression, simply adjust the diet to resume eating.

More on this topic



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Popular stories