Hi all fellow pet lovers, I am trying to find some courage on here. I have a 1.5 years male cat. Found him outside and decided to take him in and we formed a great bond. He acts more like a dog. Last week he stopped eating, so after 2 days of not eating I took him for a vet visit.

Vet gave me antibiotics but since he was not eating, there was not way I could administer them to him and I am a bit scared of force feeding medicine.

Took him to vet again and she said he has a chipped tooth. Yesterday took him to vet again and she removed the tooth but she said she is concerned that the tooth problem was not that much to make a cat stop eating so she asked me to run blood test. Of course I said yes but while waiting I was shaking like crazy (imagine a 6'1 (185 cm) bearded man, heavily tattooed, shaking and crying at the vet). She came out and she said blood work was all perfect. So I took my cat home. He was very groggy from anesthesia and was foaming at the mouth. Called vet and told her about it and she said it's normal as she administered Cerenia. Foaming stopped after a few hours. She also asked me to take him to the clinic everyday for an antibiotic injection. Anyway, yesterday evening, dinner time, I prepared food for him and my 2 other female cats. He looked at the food and run away.

This morning the same. Took him to vet for injection and she also gave him a steroid shot and something else to open his appetite. Came home and tried to feed him but nothing. He has been with no food for 4 days but I saw him drinking little sips of water. He was such a big eater. Normally he finishes his and goes to lick his sisters bowl.

Today vet told me that she checked him up again. She said she checked his stomach and his spine but all seems good and she said the blood work is perfect so the vet herself can't figure out why he won't eat.

But I noticed something very strange. As I said, we had a very strong bond. Since yesterday (the surgery) when I call out his name he comes and head bangs me, but when I try to touch him, he takes a few steps back and he acts like he smelled something very bad coming from my hands and runs away.

I've always changed his food bowl because I read about whiskers fatigue and tried to put food for him (kitten food today as vet said it might open his appetite) on a flat plate. Nothing!

Don't know what else to do. I really don't and I am devastated. There was no change in house or change in weather (except we moved 1 hour backwards). I did change the food to grain/cereal free food a couple of weeks ago and he didn't love it. Yesterday I bought his old favorite food, but no... he smells and runs away. Yesterday and today vet administered a pain shot too.

Did anyone have a similar experience? Or maybe you have advice? While writing this he came out of his 'hiding' spot and walked around where I am sitting. Smelled the food bowls and left again.

If anyone has any advice or has a similar story, please do share. Would be very much appreciated.

Thank you.

  • Hi welcome to Pets, it's worrisome behavior because metabolically cats are extremely poor in handling extended periods of fasting, any longer than 24h without eating food is a risk of deadly fatty liver disease; I'm not specialized enough to answer this but I think someone will come with their insight soon, I hope the best for you and your cat.
    – lila
    Commented Oct 29, 2020 at 12:14
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    Don't have an answer to the question, but when our cats are not eating, we give them those liquid-creamy cat treats (the seafood paste kind always works here). Not a long term solution, but at least it gets some calories into them and avoids their system running exclusively on body fat reserves. Might also try some canned tuna for human consumption (make sure to get the 'natural' kind), using a spoon you can cut it fine enough so that they can lick it up. Putting a shot of lactose-free cream into the water helps to convince them to drink. Best wishes for you and your cat.
    – bgse
    Commented Oct 30, 2020 at 1:15
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    Did the vet check for anything inside the nose? Could this be a rare allergy? I know that Mastocytosis can cause severe stomach pain in humans when smelling food, but I have no idea if cats can be affected by this. Maybe ask the vet if the bloodwork covered allergic reactions by measuring the histamine levels. Anyway, this situation is serious enough that I'd ask the vet to either insert a feeding tube or feed him intravenously. A bone broth is an alternative method of getting some nutrients into him
    – Elmy
    Commented Oct 30, 2020 at 6:31
  • Not an answer to your question, but a personal thing. Reach out to your friends and family and don't be alone during this. People need care as well as cats.
    – Boba Fit
    Commented Jun 13, 2023 at 13:30

4 Answers 4


A point I've made before: Some (not all, read labels!) cat treats are actually nutritionally complete (though higher in calories than normal cat food, and more expensive), and sometimes a cat who is feeling nauseous or otherwise not interested in food can be tempted into eating these.

And if the cat is really starving itself, even incomplete may be better than nothing.

(I wish I'd realized this when Harry was basically in hospice treatment, just maintaining quality of life as long as possible. We might have been able to keep him comfortable another month or so. Oh well.)

The hazard, of course, is convincing the cat to go back to normal food when they're feeling better.


Fortiflora helped my cat eat a little, but after awhile she just licked it off the top. It is a probiotic formulated for cats. It is not cheap though.


I do not know what might cause this, but I have a friend whose cat stopped eating for a bit and her vet told her to try baby food. The cat did start eating the baby food for a couple days, and then went back to her normal food. It helped her so I hope this can help your cat as well.

  • Thank you for contributing! Since this is anecdotal and answers just part of the question, your input might be better suited as a comment instead Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 3:10

I have this hunch that the cat is missing his past life. You mentioned you found him and took him in. Did he really want to be taken? Maybe he is home sick and mourning the loss of his owner.

Probiotics are great; try giving him one teaspoon of probiotic powder twice a day with a little coconut water and possibly a multivitamin. If you can, cuddle him in a towel, speak gently to him, and tell him you only want what is best for him and you are sorry that he is not eating; ask him why not. Is he drinking? Can you administer electrolytes?

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    Randomly giving a cat supplements (especially human supplements like a "multivitamin") without the recommendation of a vet isn't a good idea.
    – Allison C
    Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 14:21
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    Just want to reinforce what @AllisonC said. Cats have very different sensitivities to what humans have. Some things humans can eat lots of are very toxic to cats. Some things that are toxic to humans a cat can eat a lot of. Always give them cat-specific food and supplements. Never give them human-specific items.
    – Boba Fit
    Commented Jun 13, 2023 at 13:27

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