Anorexia in cats: symptoms, treatment and prevention


The cat may suffer from a partial loss of appetite or even total. Whether his anorexia appears gradually or brutal, it is imperative to quickly take charge of your problem. This eating disorder is often the first symptom a psychological disorder or illness and can generate lesions serious on his body.

Anorexia: what is it?

Anorexia is a disorder of the behaviour food manifested by a complete loss of appetite which generates in the cat a refusal to feed. The feline endures food deprivation less well than the dog: it is considered that there is a vital emergency when it has stopped feeding since three days (five days in the dog). Note: We are talking abouthyporexia in the case of a decrease in appetite.

The psychological origin of anorexia in cats

Often, this eating disorder is due to a factor psychological (this is called psychogenic anorexia). The cat is very attached to its landmarks and any change in its environment or his habits can kill his appetite. It is then a question of determining what could have disturbed his daily life. Some tracks :

  • A change food or bowl. If you want to change their meals, do so gradually. On the other hand, his bowl must always be clean and placed in the same place, in a quiet place where he can eat as he pleases;
  • The loss or thearrival of an animal or a person in the household. In this case, care must be taken to ensure that the event does not cause depression in the feline;
  • You have placed your cat in pension or entrusted care to a loved one during the holidays. This experience stressful left him a bad memory and he lets you know by sulking his bowl;
  • In general, any source ofanxiety is likely to generate anorexia in cats.

The pathological origin of anorexia in cats

If the anorexia is accompanied by a change in attitude such as a decrease in tone, tired, then your pet may be hatching a more serious illness. Anorexia in cats is indeed the first warning signal of a pathology. Examples:

  • A pain dental. The presence of tartar, gingivitis, canker sores, abscess, cyst or any other painful oral infection can prevent the cat from feeding;
  • The decrease or loss ofsmell is likely to disturb the animal which will no longer make the link between the food and its smell. This smell disorder can result from coryza or another breathing problem;
  • A poisoning produced by eating foods that are out of date or dangerous to their health;
  • Some diseases (diabetes, pancreatitis, renal and hepatic insufficiency, etc.) affect the cat’s metabolism to the point of causing anorexia;
  • A occlusion gastric. By swallowing small objects (such as pieces of string or wool with which it likes to play), the cat can block part of its digestive system making it unwilling to eat;
  • The old age, sometimes accompanied by osteoarthritis, frequently causes a decrease in appetite in cats.

Consequences of anorexia on the health of the cat

Unlike other animal species, the cat has difficulty adapting to deprivation food and the consequences are sometimes dramatic. Anorexia is indeed very badly supported by his body because it generates rapid deficiencies in nutrients essential to its physiological needs. If the disorder lasts too long, it may engage its vital prognosis by causing serious lesions such as hepatic lipidosis. Do not imagine that a chubby cat will be able to go without meals for several days. When an overweight feline stops feeding, it uses its fat to produce the energy necessary for its activity causing an overload of the liver with lipids. What is called hepatic lipidosis is a serious pathology which can result in the death of the animal. Thus, it is strongly recommended not to let a cat sulk its food for more than 48 hours. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get your digestive system back on track. It is therefore imperative to consult a veterinarian quickly.

Treatment of anorexia in cats

The veterinarian will decide on the treatment to be implemented according to the diagnostic established. Depending on the origin of the anorexia, different types of treatments can be administered to your animal.

  • First – and if the cat’s weakness requires it – the professional will ask probe naso-esophageal to gradually feed the animal. The probe makes it possible to send the appropriate quantity of food directly into the esophagus (without force-feeding it);
  • Hospitalization may be considered as well as maintenance under infusion ;
  • Of drugs may be prescribed if the anorexia is due to a disease;
  • An intervention surgical may be necessary in the event of an occlusion;
  • A trace dietetic helps restore the feline’s appetite and vitality. For example, an appetizing and energetic food as well as vitamins and trace elements will be able to compensate for its deficiencies. Medicines also have the ability to stimulate his appetite;
  • If the anorexia is original psychological, it will be a question of remedying the events which caused his loss of appetite;
  • When the lack of appetite is old age cat, a few tips can make him want to approach his bowl. By adding very palatable ingredients to his usual food (tuna juice, fish oil), you will wake up his taste buds. Do not forget to heat his food slightly before giving it to him because the cold tends to kill the flavors.
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