Cats may be finicky creatures, but they are also creatures of habit. If your cat has suddenly stopped eating and drinking, it is definitely a cause for concern. While cats can survive up to 2 weeks without food, it is not healthy for them. However, if they are not drinking water, they will only survive for 3 or 4 days.
Time is vital for restoring your cat’s feeding and drinking habits. This article will share some tips for how to tell if your cat is eating and drinking properly. If you cannot get your cat to eat or drink, reach out to your vet immediately.
How Long Can Cats Go Without Food and Water?
Cats can go without food longer than they can go without water. If your cat is not eating but is drinking, he can go up to 2 weeks. However, if your cat is not drinking, he will not last longer than 4 days.
This is because water is essential to the most key parts of the body. Without it, several vital organs will swiftly lose their ability to function, and your cat’s body will shut down. Dehydration can occur within 24 hours, so returning your cat to healthy drinking habits is essential.
How Much Food Do Cats Need?
Assuming you are feeding your cat quality dry food high in protein, your indoor cat needs around ⅓–½ cups each day (approximately 170–250 calories per day). If your cat starts to go too long without food, his stomach can fill with extra acid, which can cause him to vomit.
Since cats are creatures of routine, it is best to feed them regular amounts at regular times. If your cat has a feeding routine, it will be much easier for you to notice when that routine has been disrupted.
How Much Water Do Cats Need?
Measuring your cat’s precise water intake can be difficult, and in most instances, you shouldn’t need to. Still, a general rule veterinarians recommend is that cats drink around 1 cup for every 10 pounds. Some cats may drink more or less, so the most important thing to know is how much is normal for your cat.
How Long Can a Kitten Go Without Food and Water?
Kittens will not survive long without food and water. At most, the average kitten will survive 2 days without food. But even after a day without food, a kitten will suffer extreme malnourishment and may need immediate veterinary care.
There are nuances to feeding a newborn kitten, as their steady growth will demand different feeding requirements every few weeks.
|Age||Food Required||Times Per Day Fed|
|1–3 Weeks||Their mother’s milk||8|
|3–4 Weeks||Their mother’s milk and gruel||7|
|4–5 Weeks||Their mother’s milk and gruel||6|
|6–7 Weeks||Wet and dry food||4|
|7–8 Weeks||Wet and dry food||3|
|8+ Weeks||Wet and dry food||2–3|
Why Is My Cat Not Eating?
Trying to figure out why your cat is not eating can be a frightening and frustrating process. There are many reasons why a kitten or cat may have stopped eating1, and the quickest and most efficient way to discover why is to consult your vet.
Why Your Kitten Won’t Eat His Food
Why Your Adult Cat Won’t Eat His Food
Why Is My Cat Not Drinking?
Cats do not require as much water as some mammals2, so if your cat is not drinking as much as your dog, it is entirely normal. However, if your cat drinks less than usual, it is a cause for concern. Here are some of the following reasons why your cat may not be drinking as much:
How to Know if Your Cat is Dehydrated
The signs of dehydration can be subtle, so it is essential to monitor your cat’s behavior and well-being closely. Some indications that your cat is dehydrated include the following:
If you notice any of these signs, it is vital to get professional treatment for your cat right away.
Realizing that your cat is not eating or drinking anymore can be scary. Although cats can go a couple of weeks without food and a few days without water, it is still detrimental to their health. When a cat or kitten stops eating or drinking, there may be an underlying medical cause. To ensure your cat’s safety and well-being, reach out to your vet when you notice any signs that your cat is no longer eating or drinking.
Featured Image Credit: Dima Berlin, Shutterstock