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How Can I Encourage My Elderly Cat to Eat in an Unfamiliar Environment?

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Dear VetBabble,

I’m taking care of my family cat at my apartment, and he hasn’t eaten anything since Sunday. He’s only here a few times a year, so it’s an unfamiliar environment, and he’s quite old (15). I was wondering if there’s anything I can do to get him to eat, or if I should just take him right to the vet. It feels as though he has lost weight when I pick him up. What should I do?

Understanding the Reasons Behind Your Cat’s Lack of Appetite

First of all, it’s important to remember that cats can be sensitive to changes in their environment, and moving to a new place, even just temporarily, may cause stress. However, it’s quite serious when a cat doesn’t eat for three days, as it puts him at risk of developing a fatty liver. In older cats, there could be several reasons for their lack of appetite, ranging from dental issues to medical illnesses such as diabetes, kidney disease, or cancer. Make sure to read our article on Why is my Cat Losing Weight? for more information on potential reasons behind your cat’s weight loss.

Encouraging Your Cat to Eat and Ensuring Proper Nutrition

There are several steps you can take to encourage your cat to eat. Start by offering him his favorite food, or try some new flavors to see if he finds them more appealing. Check out our article on My Cat Won’t Eat! What Should I Do? for more ideas to help entice your cat to eat.

It’s also crucial to monitor your cat’s weight and ensure he’s receiving proper nutrition. If your cat is underweight, talk to your vet about creating a balanced diet plan to help him gain weight healthily. If your cat is overweight, you might consider implementing a diet to help him lose the extra pounds. Our article on How Can I Help My Overweight Cat Lose Weight? offers useful advice on setting up a successful diet plan for your cat.

Seeking Professional Advice

When your cat isn’t eating, especially for several days, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible. Since there might be underlying health issues causing your cat’s lack of appetite, your vet will be able to perform a physical exam, routine blood tests, and a urinalysis to diagnose what is causing him to not eat, and can treat accordingly. It’s important to schedule regular vet checks for your cat, particularly as they age. Check out our article on Regular Vet Checks for Your Cat to learn more about the importance of these checkups.

In conclusion, it’s important to address your cat’s lack of appetite promptly, as it may signify a more significant health issue. Start by trying to encourage your cat to eat and monitor his weight, but don’t hesitate to consult with a veterinarian to ensure his well-being and address any underlying issues.

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