Cat asking for Food but not Eating

This blog post is about a cat who has been asking for food but not eating. This is a common and one of the most frustrating problems with cats, and there are many reasons this may happen.

After reading this guide, we hope that you will understand what causes this issue and how to deal with your cat’s appetite issues.

cat asking food but not eating

Why Is Your Cat Asking For Food But Not Eating Much?

If your lovely furry begs for food but doesn’t eat, it is a clear sign that something is wrong with her or with the food. In most cases, this is related to any infection or illness due to which your cat is unable to eat, and it’s also possible that the food you are providing to her is not up to the standards.

The best approach is to consult the matter with your vet or take your cat to them. In some cases, your cat might be vomiting after eating on a daily basis, but you are not aware of that. So, your vet will diagnose the issue and suggest an appropriate solution.

Furthermore, another reason that your cat is asking for food but not eating can be:

Your cat is getting food from other sources:

Yup, it is possible, especially if your feline loves to wander outside. Here you need to investigate these things:

  • Is your cat has a spare bag of foodstuffs such as a cat or dog food?
  • If your cat often roams outside, investigate whether she is hunting for food or not. Sometimes cats hunt outside and come back home asking for more, but they don’t eat it.
  • Try to determine are your neighbors feeding your cat?
  • Is any guest or other family member feeding your cat?

Why It’s a Big Problem If Your Cat Doesn’t Eat

If your cat is not eating, it can mean one of many things. Maybe the food isn’t to their liking, or there’s something stuck in its stomach and intestines preventing proper digestion- this could be a symptom for some diseases that cause pain or discomfort.

However, even if everything looks good, it might still bring about concern since fewer calories will result in weight loss over time which may have profound health implications.

Moreover, If your cat has not eaten for a few days, it could develop fatty liver disease and die. This is an unfortunate situation that requires immediate attention before more damage occurs.

A pet will stop eating if they have gastrointestinal issues such as stomach aches or pain; however, in some cats, these symptoms are associated with illness rather than an injury, so check up on them immediately. This is why to ensure that your pet gets recommended diet, especially if it weighs more than normal.

If you see that your feline has not been eating for 24 hours, it could be an indication of illness. Feline bodies are less resilient than the other animals and cannot deal with fasting, and cannot go long without having food for long.

As a caring owner, you need to monitor your kitten’s appetite, and if you feel any unusual changes consult the vet.

Reasons Why Your Cat Is Asking But Not Eating:

The following list of causes will help you to monitor the things when your cat wants to eat, but she cannot or has stopped eating.

Have you changed your cat’s meals?

Cats have very specific dietary preferences, so if you want your cat to continue eating the same foodstuff for a long period of time, it’s important that they are satisfied with their current menu.

Being creatures who live in great detail and take pride in following routines, you need to thoroughly consider what type of offerings will suit them before making any changes.

If that’s the case with your pet, try to feed her old foodstuff or anything similar to that. If your cat starts eating, congrats, you have solved the mystery.

Always remember, when changing the cat’s diet, make it slow and gradual, don’t rush, and don’t make all changes at once or in a short time.

Has your cat been vaccinated or been in the hospital recently?

Cats are picky creatures, and they tend to develop a ‘food aversion’ quickly significantly if they are associated with a specific food or suffer a scary experience with any food item. This is more common if your cat is recently vaccinated or has been in the hospital.

If you think that your cat is being fussy, try changing their cat food for anything else, preferably something that has a similar texture, and see their reaction.

Has anything changed in your home in recent times?

Cats are incredibly intuitive creatures, and they know how to read us. If their environment or routine changes, then it could take a couple of days for them to get back on track. This is because cats often act like humans when we worry about things that aren’t really happening.

Even though you can’t pinpoint what’s upsetting your kitty, stress is one of the most common reasons most felines ask for food but don’t eat.

If you need to make necessary changes in your cat’s routine, make it as comfortable for them as possible. Offer food and water in an area away from their usual place of distress while providing plenty of toys so they might play with and sit on them without anxiety or boredom. Place a pheromone diffuser around where it’s calmest too.

Is your cat suffering from vomiting or diarrhea?

A disturbed stomach is another cause of inappetence for kittens. If your kitty’s been throwing up or has diarrhea, they’ll stop eating due to nausea for some days after the incident. When that happens, make sure there are no signs on their litter tray.

If your cat is suffering from diarrhea or vomiting, we recommend taking her to the vet. In severe cases, they will keep the pet under observation for some days. Vomiting and diarrhea are also symptoms of severe diseases such as feline pancreatitis, so your vet will perform necessary testing and blood work or an abdominal ultrasound to find the root cause of the problem.

Check your cat’s teeth and gums.

Most cats will ask for food, but they are unable to eat it. This can be due to the pain in their mouth or teeth. In this case, look at their teeth and gums. Try to determine whether or not a cat is able to chew the food.

After obtaining the cat’s permission, open their mouth and check for broken teeth, reddish gum area, and teeth covered in grey-green tartar. In most cases, the main problem lies in the molars, and your cat is unable to eat and chew in this case. Besides, look for the lumps on the tongue, a bad odor, and fleshy red areas on the teeth, as all these indicate a sore tooth in cats.

If your cat is trying to bite or scratch you, just stop! You don’t want them injured. Take her to the vet, and they will handle the rest.

Is your cat exhausted or grumpier?

When the moods of our furry friends change, it’s usually a sign that something is wrong. Cats who are ill will often become more aggressive and lash out if anyone disturbs or moves them.

A cat can exhibit many different behaviors ranging from passive to very active; this could mean there’s an illness affecting them in some way. It’s never easy to lose a pet, but it is even harder when your cat starts acting differently, and you can’t figure out why. If they’ve stopped eating or sleeping more than normal, in addition to other changes like being too aggressive or secretive, take note of these symptoms so that you can treat the matter timely and adequately.

Was your cat too hungry before it stopped eating?

Some cats will have a good appetite at first, but they’ll lose it once the disease progresses. For example, if your cat has diabetes or hyperthyroidism, it will be too hungry at first, and a lack of interest in food often follows this, or your cat will ask for food but won’t eat it.

If you have a middle-aged or older cat that is gaining weight, it’s worth considering the possibility of diabetes and hyperthyroidism. Your vet can diagnose these issues and discuss them with you for further treatments.

Does your cat have a snuffling nose or discharge from the eyes?

If your cat is suffering from ‘cat flu’ or respiratory problems, she will stop eating. Look for the signs such as discharge from eyes, a runny nose, and a sniffly nose, as all these indicate respiratory problems. Cat flu is commonly found in cats that are under stress or are unvaccinated.

If your cat has any of these symptoms, they will stop eating as they can’t smell or sense the food properly. In this case, give them warm food; however, if heating up the food doesn’t solve the problem, take her to the vet. They could be suffering from a respiratory infection that could be treated with Fish Mox after discussing it with the vet.

Food Issues That Can Cause a Cat to Stop Eating

Change Food Flavor

Cats are particular about the foods they eat. Some cats will go through phases where they only want one flavor of food for months or years at a time, but it is usually because those flavors taste better than anything else.

But sometimes manufacturers make certain changes in the food flavor or change the ingredients, which can confuse your feline friend, and as a result, they will become rebellious and won’t consume that new foodstuff. Obviously, she will ask for food but won’t have it.

Change In Food Shape or Texture

When it comes to the types of food your cat likes, there is some variety. Some will only eat crunchy dry food or canned wet foods, while others may prefer triangle-shaped treats, and yet another might be drawn towards round snacks with gravy toppings. So, ensure that you are giving them the food as per their preferences.

Food Spoilage

Your cat won’t be too keen on eating food that’s expired or has been sitting around for too long. Ensure you verify the expiration date and don’t feed it if there is no smell of freshness left in its packaging.

Dry cat food is more susceptible to spoilage than the others. Dry food becomes rancid, and the vitamins erode quickly if it’s not stored adequately. Always store the food in its original bag because it has a special barrier that keeps the food fresh for a long. To ensure the food’s health and freshness, keep it in a sealed container and store the food in a cool, moisture-free place.

Things You Should Try When Your Cat doesn’t eat.

Make sure your cat is not sick.

If you notice that your little cat is not eating for more than one meal, it could mean he’s sick or in pain. Bring him to the vet immediately.

Hand feed.

Hand-feeding your cat can be helpful when she stops eating or does not eat normally.

Place foodstuff on your fingers and then slowly put it in your cat’s gums. However, don’t apply too much force as it can create other problems. Another way to hand feed the cat is to use your hands like a bowl and put dry food items in them. This method is perfect for cats that love to eat with others.

Try other flavors

Cats are finicky about the food they eat and will reject a variety of flavors. If you have any reason for sticking with one particular brand, see if it comes in different flavors before giving up on them altogether. Your little friend might find the flavor change refreshing.

Giver her Warm food

If you want to make your cat’s dinner more appetizing, heat it in the microwave for about five or ten seconds. The food will get hot enough so that they can smell (and enjoy) their meal. You can also mix the warm water in the food if you don’t have an oven.

Mix something delicious in your cat’s food

Try sprinkling or adding a tempting treat such as bonito flakes or vitamin powder into regular cat food as it will become more tasty and appealing.

Feed the cat in clean dishes and bowls

This is vital if you feed your cat canned or raw food as germs and bacteria can start to build up in food residue and scraps and cause various problems for your cat. Maybe your cat is not eating because of those germs and bad smells coming out of dirty dishes and bowls.

Remember that cats, like other animals, are automatically driven to avoid smelly food items. If you are feeding the cat in plastic dishes, use metal or ceramic dishes as they are simple to wash.

Try different cat dishes.

Sometimes your cat is hungry and asks for food but won’t it because she dislike the bowl. Some cats don’t like to eat in deep or narrow dishes. Flat-faced or brachycephalic cat breeds like Persian cats, Himalayans, and Exotic Shorthairs will not eat from narrow bowls.

Don’t add medications to your cat’s food.

Never put any pills or other medications in your cat’s food as they will not consume the food. Most medicines are bitter, and cats hate them. Besides, medicines can change the food’s taste. For that purpose, one can use pill pockets if the vet recommends.


How long can a cat survive without eating?

Like humans, cats can survive for long without food than water. To be precise, they can go for up to two weeks without eating, but they will only survive for three days without water. But remember that the longer your cat lives without a proper diet, the weaker she will become. So monitor her diet and ensure that she is eating the feed properly.

Why Is My Cat Not Eating But Behaving Normal?

The simple answer of your cat not eating but acting normally is that she is consuming the wrong kind of meal. As cats grow, their smelling power and other senses get weak, and regular food items don’t appeal to them.

However, sometimes cats don’t want to eat the food without any valid reason, just mood swings, nothing else! Another possible reason that your cat is hungry but not eating and acting normal can be the change in food items, or you are not feeding the food that your cat likes to have.

Why is my cat not eating her wet food?

Many cats refuse to eat or have lost their appetites because they are not feeling well. Sickness causes a lot of discomfort and pain for kitties and may make them vomit, which means that we won’t eat any wet or dry food despite being hungry. However, they will ask for food but cannot eat or swallow it.

If you notice your cat is hungry but isn’t eating much lately, then there could easily be something wrong with their health. Take your little friend to the vet immediately in this case.


Cats are curious and intelligent animals, but they have their own unique quirks. One of these is that cats will sometimes ask for food from their owners but then refuse to eat it when offered. This behavior can be confusing at first glance as people often worry about whether the cat is hungry or sick, but there can be other reasons as well that we have mentioned above in this read.

What do you think about these reasons? And how do you answer this frustrating behavior? In the comment section below, let us know what tricks have worked for you when working with an unenthusiastic cat at feeding time.

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