It's been three days since one of my kittens died. And since that day my other cat is not eating or drinking anything. I am afraid that he will get weak and ill. Please suggest to me what to do to make him eat.

Update: The vet said that it may be because my cat is in grief and sad.

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    In addition to the vet, which, of course, should be first you do, are you giving the remaining kitten love an reassurance? It needs lots of interaction at this point and reassurance that are not going to go away and leave it too.
    – Mawg
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 14:24
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    Please let us know if your cat starts eating
    – Tarun
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 7:20
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    My cat eat a little today's morning. I am glad he is recovering. Thankyou for your concern :-) Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 9:38

6 Answers 6


If a cat isn't eating it's always time for the veterinarian!

As Trond points out, make sure he is drinking water. And until you can see a vet keep the cat properly warm (not hot, but make sure he isn't cold).

This could be a disease he caught from the other cat, or it could be a severe case of grief, but when a cat isn't eating veterinary intervention is needed urgently!

EDIT: Since a vet has (hopefully) ruled out diseases it's time to go into caregiver mode.

I'd try the following, roughly in order, until the cat is eating again:

  • Wet food, first in a bowl, then trying to get him to lick it off your finger, make sure to try both chunks in gravy, and the pasty stuff.

  • Treats, either hand fed, or mixed in wet or dry food.

  • Try warming the wet food in the microwave, to make it more smelly. Fed in bowl, or by hand.

  • Chicken (careful not to include bones), or cooked fish.

  • Tuna, but make sure it's high quality, and never more than a little. It smells really good to cats, and I've never met a cat who will refuse it. But it does contain some traces of mercury, which will build up in the body and could cause issues in larger amounts.

If none of the above works, it may be time to look into force feeding, I'd get back in touch with the vet to get instructions on how to do this, and with what.

It is also important during all of this to give your cat extra attention, lots of cuddles, maybe having him in your lap on a warm blanket whenever your lap is available. And trying to get back to normal by playing with him.

  • Don't warm the food as much as you would your own food, though. Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 3:54

Not eating properly even for a few days is likely to cause the fatty liver syndrome for a cat, which is usually fatal if left untreated, but has a good recovery rate, if treated early. You should take your cat to a vet immediately for an examination.

Sometimes a cat is more willing to eat if you can feed him things like small pieces of fresh meat from your hand. Adding liquid to his food may help, if you can get him to eat but not drink. Some cats may prefer running water. In any case, you will need to take your cat to a veterinarian immediately, preferably one that is specialized in felines.


Your vet thinks your cat is not eating because of grief. Did you vet offer advice you on how to get him to eat again? A professional should be able to give you the best answers.

A vet may also be able to prescribe medicine for stimulating the appetite of your cat, if you cannot get him to eat even by offering treats. You may need to consider giving him food with a syringe, if nothing else works. Humans can survive a long time without food, but even a few days without food is dangerous for cats.

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    A specific and fairly easy suggestion for fresh meat: every cat my family has owned enjoyed plain boiled chicken.
    – jpmc26
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 15:30
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    Is not eating the cause of fatty liver or the symptom?
    – Seth
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 17:43
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    @Seth if cats do not eat the body fat will be moved to the liver but the liver of cats have trouble converting the fat into energy quickly enough so the fat builds up in the liver and damages it. Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 17:55

Cats grieve. Like most if not all mammals, and many birds.

When my cat lost his brother (hit by a car), he sat under the tree where they used to play all the time for 4 days, barely moving. It still hurts – even for me – to think about it, 8 years later.

All you can do is show him lots of love, and keep his food & water dishes fresh, full & inviting. And don't be afraid to show grief, too, if you miss the lost cat. He will understand. We must learn to respect grief - it isn't a disease, it's a proof of love.

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    the important part is to get some food into the cat or it will die. Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 14:07
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    When my cat lost her best mate, she was ok for few days (she did not see the body), but after that she went into grief mode for another few days, staying awake all night and calling her mate with special voice they used to call each other. Even now, one year later, she walks around the house once per week or two, calling in their best play spots in the same way... Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 14:29

As the others have said, do involve your veterinarian.

However, any animal that can make a friendship bond, and cats are certainly included, can feel some degree of sadness and grief at the loss of a companion, whether by death or otherwise, and it is not uncommon for pets to experience a kind of depression after a major loss. Make sure to give your cat lots of attention and reassurance; in particular, make it easy for him to be near you physically if he wants to (a nearby box or chair to sit in, able to curl up in your lap or pocket). Cats as a species are less physically affectionate than dogs or ferrets, but especially at this time, he may appreciate extra love.


I'm glad to hear your cat started eating again. My cat is currently sick and did not eat much anything, so I will share what worked for me in case it helps other people in the future:

I cooked some plain chicken breast and cut it into bite-sized cubes into my fridge. I fed my cat small portions many times a day, brought the food to his bed and let him eat from my hand. Before feeding, I take hot water from the tap and put the pieces into the water for a minute. This warms the food up so it is roughly equal to body temperature which seems to make my cat more willing to eat and also adds water into the food, which helps the cat to stay hydrated.

  • Plain cooked chicken breast pieces is one of the best things to tempt cats with. I have also heard that chicken flavour baby food works even better.
    – mhwombat
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 1:55

As your vet said it may be because of grief, you should try to cheer him up.

Some options:

  • Play some cat videos on Youtube for him.
  • Get a mirror for him and give something to play with.
  • If possible get another companion for him.

Also, sometimes cats will eat grass, when they avoid other food items. Mostly they will eat only when they have some digestion issues.

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Following type of long blade grass is what I gave to my kitten when it had some digestion problems. Don't force feed though, they will eat it if they are in need of this.

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