What to do if Your Cat Doesn’t Want to Eat

cat eat from plate

Is your cat stubbornly refusing to eat the food that you give it?

This can be a serious problem, but there are plenty of effective solutions.

1. Make an Appointment for the Vet

Not all cats have the appetite of Garfield, but not eating at all can be an indication of illness. The problem could be serious, so you need to make a point of taking your pet to the vet.

Your veterinarian will be able to check for signs of illness to see if there is something wrong with them that is causing a lack of appetite. Problems with the kidneys, pancreas, and intestines can all cause a cat to stop eating.

grumpy cat

2. Wait it Out

You can always try waiting a day or so to see if your cat starts eating again. If your cat was recently vaccinated, they might temporarily lose their appetite. You don’t want to wait very long to see your vet though.

3. Pay Your Cat Some Extra Attention

If your cat is in a new setting that it is unfamiliar with, it could be not eating being it feels stressed. In this case you should pay your kitty some extra attention to keep it relaxed. A little bit of playtime with your pet can go a long way towards making it feel better.

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Cats often have problems adjusting to a new environment. If you have just moved into a new place, you need to be cognizant of this. There is a good chance that they will start eating again soon once they get used to their surroundings a bit more.

cat eating 2

4. Try a Different Brand of Food

Solving this problem could be as simple as just giving your cat a different brand of food. If you just got a new cat, they could simply not like what you have given them. Certain cats are more finicky than others, so you might need to be patient.

Just make sure that you buy food that is healthy and nutritious so your pet gets a balanced diet on a daily basis. There are a lot of these options to explore, so it is a good idea to do some research before buying anything.

If you have no idea what food to buy your cat, you can always consult your veterinarian. There is a good chance that they will be able to point you in the right direction of a nutritious option for your feline friend.

5. Give Them a Treat

You might be able to stimulate your cat’s appetite by giving it a little canned tuna or liver. Avoid giving them too much of either, as it can actually negatively impact their health. You want to make sure that their diet is properly balanced.

6. Try Kitten Food

Sometimes giving a stubborn cat food that is meant for kittens can get them to start eating again. This food tends to have lots of protein in it, so it will be good for your pet.  Check this article to find another food for your cat: Best cat foods.

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There is no need to mix it in with your cat’s usual food—you can just give it to them with nothing else. At the very least, you won’t have to worry about it harming your cat in any way.

7. Add Some Probiotics

Many people have taken to giving their cats probiotics because of all the nutritional benefits they offer. These supplements are designed to promote a healthy digestive system, which is always a good thing.

Putting probiotics in the food your cat typically eats can give it some extra zing, making it more appealing. You could also try putting in some catnip, which always seems to get a positive reaction from these animals.

You should spend some time looking for a good probiotic supplement, as there will be many of them to choose from. Giving your pet a probiotic on a daily basis could extend its life and improve its health quite a bit. 

Make sure that you keep a close eye on your cat to make sure that it doesn’t have a negative reaction. These supplements are not dangerous, but they do make some felines a bit gassy if they have a very sensitive stomach.

8. Heat Up Their Food

If you normally feed your cat canned food, you might want to try heating it up before you give it to them. A few seconds in the microwave is all you will need to do this.

By heating up their food you will make the aroma stronger, which can make it more enticing. This is assuming that your cat likes the way the food smells to begin with. Check to make sure that it is not too hot before giving it to your pet.

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9. Break Out the Deli Meat

Some cats that are very finicky about their food respond well to being given deli meat. Cuts of lean meat like turkey could get your cat eating again. Just toss a few small pieces of the meat in with your cat’s regular food.

This is a good way to get your cat’s eating habits back on track while supplementing their diet. Turkey and chicken are two foods that will benefit your cat nutritionally. You don’t want to feed it any meats that are processed or contain loads of sodium though.


  • You should first take your cat to the vet to see if they are not eating due to some illness.
  • Changing the brand of food you give your cat can be very effective.
  • Try putting some probiotics in your cat food to make it more flavorful and beneficial to their digestive health.
  • A little bit of canned tuna can work really well for getting a stubborn cat to start eating their food again.
  • Put a few small slices of turkey or chicken in their food.
  • Heat up your cat’s canned food to enhance the smell and make it more appealing to them.
  • Buy some kitty food to give your cat.
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