Why will my 16 year old cat not eat?

Although many different diseases can cause a loss of appetite, in healthy senior cats, a decreased sense of smell may be partially responsible for a loss of interest in eating. However, the discomfort associated with dental disease is a more likely cause of reluctance to eat.

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What to do when your senior cat stops eating?

A reduction in appetite is often a warning sign that your cat is sick or stressed and should never be overlooked. Always seek veterinary attention for your cat within 24 hours of any noticeable change in appetite.

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What do you give an elderly cat that won't eat?

Typically, warming food enhances its smell. As mentioned, smell is the first factor that cats use to determine if they will even try a food. Adding canned food, low-sodium chicken broth, or tuna to dry food and then warming it makes everything smell 10 times better and is more likely to entice your cat to eat.

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Why do elderly cats stop eating?

The number one cause for a lack of appetite in a cat, particularly an older cat, is illness. This can range anywhere from the common kitty cold, to allergies, to more serious conditions like infections, kidney failure, pancreatitis, or even cancer.

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How long can a 16 year old cat live without food?

Cats can survive for about two weeks without eating but only three days without drinking. The longer your cat goes without proper nutrition, however, the weaker they become, so it's important to contact your vet if you suspect they haven't eaten in a day or more.

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Cat Not Eating? A Vet Gives 10 Reasons Why

32 related questions found

How do I know if my elderly cat is suffering?

Signs of Pain – Cats will usually display clear signs if they are feeling pain due to an illness or injury. They may meow constantly or hide away from people; some cats will even stop grooming themselves if they are too uncomfortable or unwell.

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How much longer will my 16 year old cat live?

Life expectancy depends on many things, including one important factor – whether your cat is an indoor-only cat or an outdoor cat. Indoor cats generally live from 12-18 years of age. Many may live to be in their early 20s.

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Do cats stop eating at end of life?

Lack of Interest In Eating and Drinking

Like other animals, it's common for cats to lose their appetite toward the end of their lives.

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Why is my 15 year old cat not eating and losing weight?

Weight loss can be an early sign of illness, so check with your vet. It is common for older cats to develop medical conditions that cause them to lose weight, such as kidney and thyroid disease. If your cat is losing weight, it is important to consult your vet as soon as possible.

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Why is my cat drinking a lot of water but not eating?

On the other end of the spectrum, if your cat is drinking more water than usual in combination with not eating, this could be a symptom of a health problem such as diabetes or kidney disease. It's important you talk to your vet if this is happening to your pet.

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When should you euthanize a cat that is not eating?

Loss of Appetite and Weight

Sometimes, your pet may try to eat yet suffers from vomiting and diarrhea. Refusing to eat and significant weight loss along with a terminal diagnosis are primary indications that it's time to euthanize cats, especially if you've tried multiple ways to encourage eating.

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How can I stimulate my older cat's appetite?

Include warm food: Warm food is more attractive to cats and stimulates their appetite due to the increased aroma of the food. You can heat up wet food or add warm water to dry kibble. Feed in different locations: Cats love this as it brings out their natural hunting instincts.

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What are signs of kidney failure in cats?

General symptoms of kidney failure in cats can include:
  • Dehydration.
  • Excess thirst.
  • Weakness.
  • Weight loss.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Diarrhea (may contain blood)
  • Vomiting (may contain blood)
  • Depression.

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What to expect from a 17 year old cat?

Older cats hunt less, spend less time outside, are generally less active and sleep for longer periods. They can have a reduced or fussy appetite, be less keen to play or groom and be more vocal. They also tend to become more insecure and therefore potentially more dependent on you.

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What should I feed my 17 year old cat?

Feed senior cats a dry food that's 10% fat to 28% protein, or a wet food that's 4% fat, and 8% protein. All animals slow down, as they grow older, thus needing fewer calories and less fat in their meals. If your senior cat is putting on weight, weight maintenance formulas add up to a more balanced meal.

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Why is my senior cat suddenly a picky eater?

For senior cats that become picky eaters, the change in behavior could be caused by a sensitive stomach or a decline in their sense of taste or smell. Changes in environment or routines can also cause a cat to become a picky eater.

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What's the average lifespan of a house cat?

According to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the average life expectancy of a house cat is 10 to 15 years, while outdoor cats may only live on average 2 to 5 years.

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Why is my 16 year old cat so skinny?

Well-recognized causes of weight loss in old cats include chronic renal disease, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and dental problems, to name a few.

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Why is my cat getting so bony?

As they age, cats are not able to digest their food as well resulting in increased nutrition requirements. If their nutrition does not meet their requirements, they will lose muscle mass resulting in the ability to easily feel the bones of their spine and hips when petting them.

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Why do old cats get bony?

If your cat is feeling especially bony and no longer has as much muscle covering these areas, some muscle loss is likely happening. Obesity can make this harder to appreciate, since fat can cover these areas, making it harder to feel muscle tone.

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How do you know if your cat is crying for help?

Howling, crying, hiding, and otherwise acting in a way that is out of character for your pet should alert you that something may be seriously wrong. Changes in litter box habits, particularly in male cats, can indicate a serious health problem.

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How do I know if my cat is in pain?

If your cat is experiencing pain you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:
  1. Frequent or ongoing meowing or howling.
  2. Litter box accidents, urinating outside of their litterbox.
  3. Tail flicking.
  4. Won't eat or reduced appetite.
  5. Limping.
  6. Avoiding being handled, picked up or petted.
  7. Poor grooming, scruffy looking.

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How often should a 16 year old cat eat?

Senior cats, age seven and above, should maintain the same feeding regimen. "Once cats reach adulthood, once a day feeding is fine as long as they are healthy and have no disease problems suggesting a reason to feed differently," says Dr. Kallfelz.

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Is a 16 year old cat a senior?

After that, each year for a cat equals roughly four human years (for example a 10-year-old cat= a 53-year-old human; a 12-year-old cat = a 61-year-old human; a 15-year-old cat = a 73-year-old human, etc.) Cats are considered senior at 10 years old, and "super senior" at 15 and up.

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Is 17 a good age for a cat to live to?

While 13 to 17 years is the average life expectancy for an indoor cat, some live much shorter lives while others live well into their 20s. One kitty, Crème Puff, made it to the ripe old age of 38!

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