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Cat Stopped Eating

Dear. Margaret: Help! My cat has stopped eating. What can I do?

Dear Robyn: Loss of appetite within a cat can quickly become a very serious situation. If the cat's stop eating (become anorexic) for even a few days, it can develop a condition called hepatic lipidosis. Hepatic lipidosis affects the liver as the body essentially begins to break the organ system down to use as a food source.

If not reversed quickly, this condition may lead to liver failure. It is imperative to get your cat to eat ... anything. If you have no success with trying his old favorites, your cat may require blood work or an ultrasound to see if any underlying conditions are present. If some are found, they must be managed. In extreme cases, cats must be put on food through a PEG tube (a tube placed directly into the stomach) or TPN (total parental nutrition).

You should discuss these and other options with your veterinarian. If your veterinarian is unable to help, you should ask for a referral to a specialist who may have more experience with complicated cases.

Best of luck, Dr. M. C. Lane