Everything You Need to Know About Poor Appetite in Older Cats

If an older cat does not want to eat, there are several ways to stimulate its appetite, but the first thing to do is to make sure that it is not sick.

If you have an older cat who is no longer eating enough and has lost weight as a result, the first thing you should do is find out what is causing the loss of appetite. In older cats, there is a good chance they will lose weight due to health problems. If not, there are a number of ways you can change your cat’s diet to make him want to eat again.

Old Cats No Longer Eat: What Food to Give?

If your cat is older and underweight or is losing weight, it may be a calorie deficit. This can be due to either reduced food intake, reduced nutrient intake, and increased burning or increased loss of nutrients. The reasons cats eat less can include dental disease or nausea. Reduced absorption of nutrients can occur as a result of diarrhea or diseases of the liver or intestines. Increased consumption in older cats is often associated with endocrine diseases or diseases that consume a lot of calories, such as heart disease and cancer.

An increased loss of nutrients can also be related to kidney disease (loss of proteins in the urine). Before you take action against your cat’s underweight, you should therefore first have it examined for the causes. To nurture your underweight cat, the vet will most likely recommend a high-calorie food that is tailored to the needs of older cats.

How Can I Nurse My Old Cat?

As soon as you have had the causes of your cat’s weight loss checked by a veterinarian, you can counteract the underweight with age-appropriate food. All cats are different and some of them may need more than the recommended ration to maintain a healthy weight.

If you want to nurse your cat, it is important that you check her weight regularly to make sure she is gaining weight but not becoming overweight. It is best to discuss everything specifically with your veterinarian. He or she may also be able to recommend a nutrition specialist who will be at your side with advice and practical help in rebuilding your cat.

How to Prevent the Old Cat From Getting Thinner and Thinner?

If your older cat is doing well aside from being underweight and has no other illnesses causing its loss of appetite, you can feed your cat higher calorie and tastier food. General food intake can also be increased by feeding your cat small portions more frequently. It can also be helpful to warm up the food, as it smells stronger and cats’ sense of smell can decrease with age. With intelligence and activity toys, both mind and body can be stimulated and at the same time, food consumption can be increased.

Can Senior Cats Gain Weight on Dry Food?

Dry food contains less water than wet food, so the calorie density is higher in the former. The same amount of dry food, therefore, contains significantly more calories than wet food, which can be helpful for weight gain. It is important that you adhere to nutritional advice and adjust the amount of food given if your cat becomes overweight.

Why Doesn’t My Old Cat Eat?

A number of problems can be caused when older cats stop eating. Often, dental problems prevent cats from eating because of the pain. They may also feel unwell, have a fever, or feel sick. Nausea is often caused by dehydration, which can be a sign of kidney disease in older cats.

Blood tests can show that you have kidney or liver disease. In both cases, this can be a cause of the loss of appetite. It is also possible that your cat may have difficulty getting to their food due to arthritis in the neck or joints. Increasing the food bowl, placing it at head level, or using ramps or a platform to make it easier for the cat to get to the food can help with food intake.

Often the exact cause cannot be determined. In such cases, it usually helps to top up the cat’s fluid balance with the help of a drop and it will start eating again.

How Long Can Cats Survive Without Food?

While younger cats can go several days without food, older cats dehydrate faster and their physical condition deteriorates faster. Provided your cat drinks and behaves normally, you can first try to increase your pet’s appetite with tasty, warm food. However, if your cat is not drinking and appears lethargic, you should see a veterinarian as soon as possible – preferably within 24 hours – before your cat becomes dehydrated.

Calorie Requirements: How Much Should an Older Cat Eat?

A guide to rationing cat food can usually be found on the label of the food packaging. It is best to choose special food for older cats. If your cat gains or loses weight while feeding this, the amount of food should be gradually adjusted to ensure a healthy lifestyle.

Do I Have to Feed Senior Cat Food?

Senior cat foods are typically lower in protein and salt, easier to digest, and lower in calories because older cats tend to be less active. While it is not necessary to feed an older cat senior food, it is recommended as it will support a healthy lifestyle for your cat as it ages.

Is Wet Food Better For Older Cats?

Wet food can help maintain your cat’s fluid balance. As older cats tend to use more fluid, it can be helpful to use wet food to increase their hydration. Wet food does not offer any resistance for the teeth and therefore does not help against dental diseases, but many types of dry food break too quickly to prevent disease.

When Should I Contact a Veterinarian?

If you have tried all of the recommended methods and your cat still does not want to eat, you should see a veterinarian as soon as possible. If your cat looks dehydrated or lethargic you should see a veterinarian immediately as your cat will likely need an IV.

The vet will first want to check that your cat’s loss of appetite is not caused by treatable disease. If this is ruled out or treated, you should speak to your veterinarian about an appropriate diet for your cat and possibly devise a feeding schedule. This can include regular nutrition checks to check that your cat is of healthy body weight, but also increasing or changing the amount of food given and increasing its hydration.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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