Appetite - Decreased

Whether a cat’s appetite is decreased must be measured against what is normal for that cat. Many cats are a bit fussy about their food, or may appear to be. Although many cats will readily eat a large meal at one sitting, their natural feeding pattern is to take 7-10 small meals (each about the size of a small rodent) throughout the day. Some cats, particularly those that are the only cat in a household with no competition for food, will revert to this pattern.

Thus if a cat takes a few bites of food and goes away, it does not necessarily mean that the food is rejected, but if it is left down they will return throughout the day and finish it off provided it does not go off.

Almost all cats will hunt to some degree, but if this is excessive in the summer, what they eat at home may decrease. Also be aware of your neighbours, as cats are masters at conning food out of people. An otherwise healthy cat who eats less at home might be getting food elsewhere.

Sudden drops in appetite are obvious and may be due almost any disease. If accompanied by vomiting, the commonest cause is fur balls, but this usually returns to normal within 24 hours.

A slow decrease in appetite may not be as obvious, but it no less significant, especially in older cats. If your cat now picks at food, whereas in the past they ate well, it is worthwhile getting them checked by your vet.


This pet health article is for reference only.

If your pet is showing any symptoms or distress, and you suspect your pet is ill CONTACT YOUR VET IMMEDIATELY.