How Long Can A Kitten Go Without Eating? How Often To Feed A Kitten?

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The cat can go without food for a long time. This, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, is never a good thing. Especially since the tolerance period can vary, don't wait for it to reach a critical threshold before reacting. For example, does your hairball refuse to feed? How long can a kitten go without eating? Find out how many days a cat can go without eating.


How Long Can A Kitten Go Without Eating?

So how long can a cat go without eating?  The cat can survive for several weeks without food. However, he cannot do this without water. After three days without drinking a drop, he risks suffering from dehydration. If the latter is severe, it can seriously affect his health. If the animal is dehydrated in a single day, there will be cardiac and renal damage. After three days, he can die. But if he survives, he risks living with serious consequences all his life.

Again, resistance to thirst depends entirely on the animal. Some cats can survive five days or even a whole week without water. Others, more fragile, will not have this chance. This is why, if your cat refuses to drink, it is urgent to take him to see a veterinarian.

How Long Can A Cat Go Without Eating?

We learned how long a kitten could go without eating; what about adult cats? Like most living beings, the cat's body can go without food for some time. This fast, whether voluntary or forced, can even be beneficial. Provided that the deprivation does not last too long however.

According to specialists, a cat can go without eating for up to 3 weeks. However, you have to be careful because this is not the case for everyone. The degree of tolerance depends on the state of health of the animal, its age, and the environment in which it lives. Adult, non-domesticated and healthy cats are more resistant and will probably be able to acclimatize to such a diet.

That's not the case with pets. The latter is used to be pampered, to eat their fill at any time. Prolonged deprivation could harm them. Kittens, older cats, and those who are sick.


Can A Cat Starve To Death?

Several reasons can explain a loss of appetite in cats. First, he may just not like what you give him. In this case, if you change or vary his menu a little, the problem will be solved.

If he refuses to eat because he is sick or has pain somewhere in his digestive system, things can get complicated. Until this problem is solved, it is indeed possible that he categorically refuses to eat. You can't say he will starve himself to death in this case. It's just that as long as he doesn't eat, he will lose more and more strength. The vital prognosis is therefore engaged.

Anorexic cats do exist!

Eh yes! Cats can also suffer from anorexia. In this animal, as in humans, this eating disorder manifests as a total loss of appetite. The anorexic cat will, therefore, simply stop eating.

Why? The causes can be many. In most cases, they are psychological. The animal may suffer from stress, anxiety, or depression, following a considerable change in its life (arrival of another animal, the appearance of a baby, moving, etc.).

Anorexia can also be the consequence of an underlying pathological problem. For example, the cat may not want to eat because of dental pain, oral infection, or a digestive disorder. Some metabolic diseases can also affect appetite.

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A Cat That No Longer Eats, What Are The Dangers?

So yes, the cat can go without eating for about twenty days. It is possible that he does not die from it, but that is not without consequence. Each day of deprivation is when he is deprived of the nutrients necessary for the proper functioning of his body and the preservation of his health. The more he refuses to eat, the more he risks suffering from serious deficiencies.

But beyond a loss of vitality, great fatigue, and the risk of deficiency, it is feline hepatic lipidosis that you should fear the most. It is a disease caused by prolonged fasting. To compensate for the lack of nutrients, the cat's body will draw the energy it needs from calories. Fats then accumulate in the organs, especially in the liver, leading to bile retention and kidney failure.

It is a severe illness that – without prompt treatment – ​​can lead to the animal's death.


What To Do İf Your Cat Refuses To Eat?

Even if your cat can go several days or even weeks without eating, you should not let it. On the one hand, prolonged fasting can have serious health consequences. On the other, losing appetite can also hide other health problems. Therefore, take action if your cat refuses to feed for more than 24 hours.

Consult A Veterinarian

A cat that has not eaten for more than a day warrants an emergency consultation with the veterinarian. He must be auscultated so that we discover the cause of the loss of appetite. If it is due to a health problem, it will be possible to act quickly. You will spare your cat the possible complications of prolonged fasting. 

Change İts Menu

Cats can sometimes be capricious. For example, he may refuse to eat because he wants something new. In this case, it is enough to vary its menu a little to solve the problem.

For this, you can buy him whole new food or mix his pâté with homemade food. To motivate him, also think about giving him lukewarm food. This stimulates his appetite.

Use Multiple Bowls

It is not uncommon for the cat to refuse to eat at the usual location of his bowl. It can happen if he had an unpleasant experience that was not necessarily traumatic but traumatized him. In this case, you just have to move his bowl, so he is not afraid. Consider placing two or three bowls in different places to solve the problem.

How Often To Feed A Kitten?

You have just welcomed an adorable kitten into your home. But, for it to grow in optimal conditions and become an adult in good shape, it will be necessary to meet its energy needs with a balanced diet and at a frequency adapted to its age. 


Feeding A Kitten Before Weaning

At birth, the little ones begin by drinking the first milk (colostrum), which is rich in antibodies and protects them from infectious diseases. During the first weeks of life, they will continue to feed exclusively on breast milk, a source of nutrients essential to their growth. From the 5th week, the cat begins to distance herself from her offspring and scold her when she wants to suckle. Teething makes breastfeeding more painful for her, and weaning then begins gradually and generally ends between the 6th and 8th week.

Feed An Orphan Kitten

If you have to care for an orphan kitten, the ideal solution is to find him a surrogate mother. If this is not possible, you will need to bottle-feed him until he can eat solid food. Before one month, he cannot digest or excrete anything other than milk. Therefore, you will need to get a special kitten bottle and milk replacer from a pharmacy or a veterinarian (no cow's milk that it digests badly). Then, it should be fed every 3 hours, including at night, taking care of the following:

Dry utensils before use;

Prepare the milk according to the instructions provided on the package;

Place the pacifier in the kitten's mouth and let it drink until it stops on its own;

Massage the kitten's perineum at the end of meals because, at this age, he cannot do his business on his own.

Feeding The Kitten During Weaning

A kitten ready to be weaned begins to chew on its mother's nipple (or bottle teat) around 4 to 5 weeks. This painful behavior encourages the cat to push away her young, which is when the transition must occur. When the hour of weaning strikes, it is necessary to consider progressively varying the food of the young feline to avoid digestive disorders. To facilitate the weaning process, it is advisable to:

Gradually reduce the proportion of milk in favor of solid foods;

Place a small amount of mash or unique kitten kibble in a bowl. The trade offers food with proteins that it will digest very well in full weaning;

Propose a daily ration based on the indications provided by the manufacturer;

Add a little formula, water, or gravy to the bowl to soften the contents. Crush if necessary;

Leave the meal self-service because the kittens eat mini portions throughout the day (however, be sure to throw away what has not been consumed after 24 hours);

Distribute a few little extras, such as finely chopped pieces of cooked chicken or tuna;

Make water available at all times.


The Growth Of The Kitten: To Monitor

The growth of the kitten is speedy. At birth, it weighs about 100 g and then gains 10 to 15 g per day (about 100 g per week). Monitoring weight during growth can be used as an indicator of good health for the kitten. To make sure he is growing well, the ideal is to weigh him every day at fixed times for the first two weeks, then every week until three months, and finally twice a month. His weight must always be greater than the previous weight. At the end of growth, weight gain slows down. If he is stable for several weeks, your cat has finished puberty and reached adult height. Note: before the age of 5 months, weight stagnation should alert you and make you consult a veterinarian.


Food: The Specific Needs Of The Kitten

Higher than an adult cat, the energy needs of a growing kitten remain high for up to 12 weeks, then graduallyAfter that, adecrease. A specific food to strengthen its muscles and bones should be served. Each of his meals will thus include a diet composed of at least one-third of animal protein (meat, fish). In addition, it will be wise to change the type of food regularly; otherwise, the kitten may get tired or refuse the new flavors you will offer him later. At one year, the feline is ready to give up the special kitten diet. Premium foods for adults perfectly meet the dietary needs of felines using quality raw materials. You can choose to feed your animal at fixed times (two or three meals a day) or leave him his bowl permanently so that he can eat as soon as hunger grips him.

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