Are you here out of sheer curiosity? Or are you going away—your cat will be home alone—and you wanted to know how long can cats go without food? Or does your cat seem not to be interested in eating, and you are worried about her health?

Cats love to eat. They will not only ping you when it’s eat O‘clock but will also ask for a bite of everything you are putting in your mouth. So it’s pretty understandable that when our furry friends suddenly stop eating, we get scared about their health.  

If you are worried about your cat not interested in eating, you should keep on reading. In this article, we are going to address: How many calories does a cat need? How long can cats go without food? How long can cats go without water? How long can a cat go without food and water? What could be the reasons behind a cat not eating food? And at the end, we will be sharing some useful tricks that you can try to get your cat to eat.

How Many Calories Does a Cat Need?

A seasoned cat nutritionist can only answer how much a cat should be eating or how many calories a cat needs to survive and stay healthy. Actually, many factors like cat lifestyle, activity level, and age, etc. affect how many calories a certain cat needs to survive and thrive. This is why cat owners are advised to discuss the caloric intake of their furry friends with their vets.

However, the most recommended caloric intake for cats is between 24 to 35 calories per pound, according to Pets WebMD.

More is Not Always Better!

When it comes to feeding cats, more is not better. Obesity has become an epidemic in the feline world because we don’t consider our cats’ caloric intake while giving them treats.

How Long Can Cats Go Without Food?

On average, a cat can live up to two weeks without eating anything, given that she is drinking sufficient water. But one should not forget that cats are obligate carnivores, and they require meaty proteins to stay in good health. So if a cat is not getting proteins, her organs will start shutting down within a week, depending on your cat’s overall health.

How Long Can a Cat Go Without Water?

While cats can go up to 2 weeks without eating, they can only go up to 3 or 4 days without drinking. This is because cats can go about their days without eating by using the body fat, but there is no way they can make up for not drinking water. However, if the cat is eating wet cat food, she might be able to survive a little longer without water.

Read More: Cat Not Drinking Water: How Long Can a Cat Go Without Water?

How Long Can a Cat Go Without Food and Water?

Cats not drinking water but eating food can live up to 3 to 4 days, and a cat not eating but drinking ample water can live up to 2 weeks. But a cat neither drinking nor eating is more alarming. We cannot really say how much a cat can go without drinking and eating because many different factors are involved. There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that some cats can live over a month without water and food. A cat named Mee Moowe survived 36 days in a box without any food or water.

A cat neither eating nor drinking could be fatal. Therefore, you must take your cat to a vet if it has been over a day since your kitty ate or drank anything. Because cat not drinking or eating can be a sign that your cat is dying, especially if she is a senior cat.

Why Is My Cat Not Eating?

It is a no-brainer that no living creature can go much longer without eating food, and cats are no different. They have special nutrient requirements, and if these are not met, they will start to develop signs of sickness. Therefore, watching their cats refusing to eat, cat owners get concerned, wondering why their cat is refusing to eat anything. Below, we have discussed some of the common reasons why your cat won’t eat.

Dental Health

Toothache is the worse. Have you ever experienced tooth pain? If you have, you will know how bad it is. You do not want to eat anything as it will only add to the pain. Similarly, our cats also do not want to eat when they have a bad tooth. If your cat is refusing to eat, you should take a good look at her teeth to see if there is something wrong.

Recent Vaccination

Did your cat recently have a vaccination shot? Did she stop eating after getting this shot? If you are nodding your head in yes, your cat refusing to eat could probably be an adverse effect of the vaccination shot. If this is the case, you don’t have to worry, as the loss of appetite as a reaction to a vaccination shot is temporary and mild.

Underlying Health Issues

In addition to a toothache, there can be several other illnesses such as feline infections, kidney failure, pancreatitis, cancer, and other gastrointestinal issues that could be making your cat disinterested in eating and drinking. Therefore, if your cat seems disinterested in her water and food bowl, you should start paying close attention to signs of sickness that she might be exhibiting.

Read: How Often Do You Take a Cat to the Vet?


If your vet has ruled out the possibility of an underlying physical health issue, then probably your cat is not eating because of depression or anxiety. And maybe she is being quirky about drinking and eating. Keep in mind that cats are picky eaters, and they may take a long time to adjust to any change in their diet or routine. So cat owners are advised that switching cat food brands should be done slowly and gradually.

Depression or Anxiety

Cats suffering from depression and anxiety often refuse to eat and drink. A cat can slump into depression if she has lost a littermate, or feline partner, or a loving parent. Similarly, cats also develop anxiety when there is a sudden change in the environment. So your cat may stop eating and drinking if you move to a new location.

Tricks to Get a Cat to Eat

You must be pretty devastated, watching your cat not eating anything. While cat refusing to eat is not a good sign, sometimes there is nothing actually wrong with a cat says no to the food. This means that the culprit could be the changed cat food brand. In this case, you just need to get a pack of old cat food and mix it with the new one. You can start with the greater proportion of the old cat food and the lesser of the new one. You can gradually increase the percentage of the new cat food over the period of 7 to 10 days.

Similarly, if your cat used to eat canned food but now suddenly seems uninterested in it, you can try changing the flavor or just warming the food up a little before giving it to your cat.

If both you and your cat are comfortable, you can try gently opening your cat’s mouth and putting the taste of food on her tongue. If you are lucky, this might stimulate your cat’s appetite.

You can try enticing your cat’s interest in eating by asking her to join you at the breakfast or dinner table. You should make sure that whatever is on the table is safe for cats to eat. You can have human foods that are safe for cats to eat, such as cucumbers, watermelon, spinach, avocado, store-bought mushrooms, and almond milk, etc., on the table. Cats love to eat whatever their loving parents are eating, so there is a huge chance that watching you eat, your cat will ask for a bite.

Read: What do cats like to eat for breakfast?

You can also try to stimulate your cat’s appetite by offering her some liver or canned tuna.

Moderation is the Key!

Watching your cat eat any of the above-mentioned human foods, you may get excited—not wanting to stop your cat from eating—but keep in mind that cats cannot eat these foods in excess. These are unhealthy for cats if eaten in excess. So if your cat seems interested in, let’s say, canned tuna, you can try adding it to her traditional cat food.

If you think your cat is not eating because she has a sensitive stomach, you can try offering her cat food for sensitive stomachs.

Now that you know how long cats can go without food, you may want to take a look at how long a cat can go without water.

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