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I just moved to a new house, and it has been about two days that I haven't seen my cats eating anything. When I give them food, they start to bury it as if it was poop even though it is the same food they have been eating in the old house. Is there anything that I can do to get them to eat?

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    While waiting for suggestions, I'd recommend giving your vet a call just to be on the safe side, as prolonged time without nutrient intake can be quite dangerous for felines. Refusing all food for more than a day or two should be considered a medical emergency.
    – bgse
    Oct 19, 2022 at 10:16
  • Maybe the house is full of scents which are OK for you, but abhorrent to cats. Lemon is one of them. If this is the case, then it is like you would be expected to eat in a very dirty public toilette without utensils and without washing your hands. Possibly from dirty plates.
    – virolino
    Oct 19, 2022 at 13:28
  • Where do they take it to bury?
    – Bri Han
    Oct 20, 2022 at 17:39

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Changes in eating behavior (and litter box behavior!) can be common signs of stress in cats. And moving is a stressful event. I second what @bgse wrote in their comment that a cat not eating for 2+ days can cause health complications so it is important that your cats start eating.

Some suggestions:

  • First, try stimulating their appetite with a favorite treat. This is something I have to do with a picky cat of my own. When she continuously refuses her normal food I can often get her to start eating by giving her treats first. Lickable treats like Churu or even gerber-brand chicken baby food (ingredients of: chicken, water, cornstarch only. Make sure there are no spices!) are often big hits for a lot of cats.
  • Keep your cats to a smaller room rather than giving them the run of the whole house in these early days. This will let them establish a "home base" they're comfortable with. Spend time with them in there as they adjust and slowly start letting them explore the house room by room. The cats can then use their "home base" room to retreat to if they feel overwhelmed in the larger house. Feed them in that room and once they're more adjusted to the whole house you can slowly transition their feeding spot to where you'd like it to be permanently.
  • Try using calming pheromone diffusers (Feliway is a very popular brand.) It might be a bit of time before your cats are completely comfortable in their new home. Getting pheromone diffusers and putting them throughout the house can help them adjust.
  • If your cats really continue to show signs of stress a vet might prescribe them anxiety reducing medication like gabapentin. This isn't a bad option but it still might be helpful to do the above steps as well in conjunction with medicine if they need.

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