Here's Why Not Eating Is Dangerous For Cats

Everyone has gone through a period of time where they didn't want to eat, whether due to illness, fasting, or religious purposes. However, while this is typically a safe thing for humans to do, it isn't for cats. If your cat hasn't eaten in a day, it's time to seek medical attention. Here's why.

How a Cat's Body Works

Cats, like humans, take in calories and nutrients when they eat and store the excess that they don't need right now in their bodies. This is where fat comes from. When a cat is carrying a little extra weight, it's easy to think that they can just convert it into fuel. Unfortunately, a cat's body  doesn't quite work the same way as a human's in that regard.

When Excess Fat Is Used as Fuel

Cats can convert stored fat into fuel in order to survive. However, it's only supposed to be for very short periods of time or not at all. When a cat's body attempts to process a large amount of stored fat into energy, it can suffer from a life-threatening condition called fatty liver disease.

As the name implies, this disease tends to strike when the liver is overwhelmed with processing fat. Many cats will undergo this illness after just one day of not eating, so it's important to get help right away if you suspect that your cat doesn't have an appetite. When the liver develops this problem and is overwhelmed with fat, it can't perform its other duties, which can ultimately lead to blood toxicity.

Remedying the Problem

Cats can have lots of reasons for not eating, and many of them are medically-related. Your cat could have a condition that causes nausea or an upset stomach that's preventing them from eating. In any case, you should go to a vet.

If your cat hasn't been eating, your vet will examine them thoroughly and test their blood to see what their liver condition is. If fatty liver disease is detected, your vet will work to treat it and to immediately get your cat eating again. This can usually be accomplished with an appetite stimulant given orally, but if that's not enough, your vet can provide nutrition through an IV in the interim.

Cats should never go without eating for more than a day at most. If your cat seems to have lost interest in food, seek help from a vet right away to prevent it from becoming a life-endangering condition.

To learn more, get in touch with a clinic like Parkview Animal Hospital.