Old Cat Not Eating? Why It Happens and How to Fix It!

Old Cat Not Eating? Why It Happens and How to Fix It!

Taking care of your cat is one of the most important things you should prioritize. But there will be times that they suffer from certain problems that end up with them being unhealthy.

As your cat grows older, he may have particular difficulties with the way he functions, namely his eating habits. If you noticed your old cat not eating, then it may be a huge problem in the long run. If your cat continues not to eat, then it will end up being fatal!

If you want to know why your older cat won’t eat, then read on as I show you the various reasons why and how you can remedy it.

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Old Cat Not Eating

You may have noticed that as your cat grows older, he TENDS to lose his appetite quickly. Either you see him in pain as he eats, or walks away from his bowl come mealtime. As the days wear on, you see him leave his bowl filled with food, either sleeping or preoccupied with something else.

It makes you wonder: Is your cat sick? Has he reached that age where he simply can’t eat and will soon pass on after the lack of nutrients or food in his stomach?

While your old cat not eating may mean he’s sick, there are also more reasons as to why he suddenly seems disinterested with food. Before you consult a doctor, it’s best to evaluate your cat’s change of eating habits and how you can remedy it.

Why Your Old Cat Can’t or Won’t Eat?

You might be wondering: Why can’t my old cat eat in the first place? Here are some reasons why:

Hard Food

Your old cat may not be able to eat because his teeth are aging and it will end up with his kibbles being too hard to chew.

Lack of Flavor

If the flavors are too intense or it lacks taste, then he may be disinterested or disgusted by your food, similar to humans who can’t eat if they don’t like the taste.


Lack of appetite is a common symptom of your cat not being able to eat. If he shows other symptoms such as fever or looking like he’s in pain, then he might be sick. You will need to get this checked, as it may end up being worse if the symptoms persist.


recent vaccination is another reason why your cat won’t eat. It’s one of the side effects after having a vaccine, an adverse reaction that’s temporary and not a major worry.

Unfamiliar Environment

If you traveled with your cat and he is new to the environment, he may feel stressed or worried. Changes in habits or routines, or even motion sickness while traveling, can cause a lack or loss of appetite.

He may also feel stress from the change of habits, such as new people or animals coming in “his territory”, or change of his usual food.


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Tips on Getting Your Old Cat to Eat

Your cat may have lost his appetite, but fortunately, there are ways to fix it. Here are the remedies you can follow:

Change of Food

If your cat seems to have trouble eating, then it may be time to transition from dry food to wet ones. Go for canned wet food that’s packed with nutrients and calories for him to get going without him eating too much.

Mix Flavors

If your cat seems disinterested with the food, mix up the flavors by adding low-sodium broth or pet gravy.

Change of Environment

If your cat has traveled and suffered from the shift in routine and environment, try to make him as comfortable as possible by being there for him while eating.

Get Him Checked

Even if you tried all these methods on getting your cat to eat more, but he still seems uncomfortable, then it’s best to get him checked by the veterinarian to see if he suffers from any psychological or physical condition.

In Conclusion

When it comes to caring for your cat, you’ll want to make sure that they are eating properly and getting the right amount of nutrients. If your old cat isn’t eating, then it will post a problem. Fortunately, you can quickly remedy it through identifying the cause and following these ways to get him eating again!

I hope that this article helped you become more knowledgeable about your old cat not eating. Now, you’ll be able to make sure he eats right and live healthily. So what are you waiting for? If your old cat isn’t eating right, then try these methods!

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If you have any questions or would like to share experiences about your old cat not eating, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. paula

    Hi I have a 15 yr old who normaly loves to eat and is constantly begging and follows to kitchen every single time you get up, but won’t eat what is given, only takes a couple bites of hard food, have gotten tons of soft food now don’t want that,only licks off all gravey and keeps begging but will eat the crap out of his crunchy treats if I let him.. at a loss

  2. Fitness Trainer

    I just took my roughly 9-10 month old male kitten in for a blockage today. I’d never seen such a thing before and I’ve had MANY cats, most of them males. This lil’ guy showed up in my tree one morning, I tried to get a shelter to take him, but the no-kill shelters were full and the county shelter didn’t sound too optimistic about him being adopted out with how many cats they have. So, I kept him, named him Bubba and he’s been the sweetest, best outdoor cat I’ve ever had. Shortly after, a second cat appeared (he is now dubbed Hauss) and they’ve been inseparable ever since. But back to Bubba. I had $40 on me this morning, managed to scrounge together $160 after borrowing from someone, which I HATE to do, but my cat’s totally worth it. Anyway, he’s at the vet now after they quoted me over $700 to clear the blockage, flush his bladder out and send him home later today. I was heartbroken, thinking there was no way I could afford that. I have trouble keeping the bills paid as it is. Thankfully, my amazing, awesome, astounding and just superbly fantastic vet let me give them the $160 I had on me an arrange for 4 months of payments to pay off the rest (I was so happy I cried even harder, and I was already a snot ball). Now though, after reading all of these comments on this page, I am literally scared poop-less that this will happen again quickly. I won’t be able to afford this a second time. Well, if he even makes it home today, that is. I think he will, the vet seemed optimistic about his future, and I noticed him having problems around m and got him into the vet by m (after finding some money) which I think is relatively quickly (because yesterday evening he was fine) but I’m still worried.


      Thank you for taking such good care of you kitty.😍

  3. Grey

    dont take on animals if you cannot afford to take them to the vet. They depend upon you and can suffer greatly by not doing so or waiting to the last minute. Also if regularly brought to the vet you can attend to issues that arise and get treatment and they could last for many more years comfortably without having to just wait for problems to get really bad and they suffer and put to sleep. I understand that its tough but you must think of them. There needs to be a spade and nueter law in place thats mandatory as 5 million cats that have great personalities get put to sleep every year because of peoples stupidity and it needs to stop. The per food companies fight against this law cause profit comes before all.

    1. Kerry

      NOT a kind post. She’s doing the best she can & has gotten treatment for her cat!
      P.S. you misspelled “spayed” & “neutered”.

  4. Roberta

    I am going thru similar right now with my 12 yr old Siamese Sasha. Dr says needs kidney dialysis but not leaving her there and doing that For her last days. She likes lounging in the sun and until she’s in pain I will just let her rest.

    1. Barbara

      5/3/21 Roberta, my Siamese, Annie, is 15 yrs. old and has just recently become totally uninterested in eating. She’s becoming quite thin (she weighed 6.2 lbs. yesterday). She, too, has been given a failing kidneys diagnosis. I refuse to take her in for weekly rehydration infusions (she hates the car ride) and I also refuse to attempt to perform the infusions myself at home (it would be a disaster!). The sun is her friend and sleep is her companion, after we’ve had some morning cuddle time. Along with you, I will wait until it’s “time” to take her to the doctor.

  5. Teresa Pezzano

    My cat has been going to the vet for her ears, They are giving her shots but she is hiding in the bedroom and only comes out to drink water and use the litter box, What can I do>

    1. Teresa Pezzano

      My cat has been going to the Vet for her ears, They are giving her shots but she is staying in my bedroom and only comes out to drink and use the litter box, What can I do? She doesn’t to be getting better

  6. maggie

    I’m so sorry for your loss.
    you did the right thing.
    you were a good cat owner for her.
    bless you both.

  7. Patricia Salaz

    My Pixiebob cat is 15 and is not eating hardly anything, and not “pooping” much, yet his belly remains pretty pudgy. He has always loved his dry food and eats a moderate amount of canned food. I have had him to our vet, who has treated him since he was a kitten, and once operated on him, saving his life, when he swallowed a piece of thread. He could find nothing wrong with Harry except that he is 15. We lost his brother to leukemia at age 13 two years ago. I, too, mourn all of my cats who have passed, and my Dalmatian that I lost at age 15. They were all cremated and are still here at home in little wooden boxes. Our fur babies are family….loved while we have them, and forever missed when they have passed.

  8. KellyE.Britton

    My cat is 17 yrs.old she won’t eat,so I’ve tryed giving her chicken ,cut up in small pieces,not interested! Bought her canned cat food sea food blend,wont eat! Some beef steak and she still not interested in eating anything! Drinking lots of water and using litter box! Then just sleeps! She has always loved her food and now nothing,has lost a lot of weight! Dosent seem to be running a fever! So to end her suffering lm having her put to sleep tomorrow! I can’t afford to have the vet run a bunch of blood test on her and think it’s the best thing l can do for her! All l can do is cry,she has been the most loving sweet companion and l will so miss her! But l believe l will see her and will be together again as with all my fur babies that l have loved and have passed!


      I’m going through the same && breaking my heart. My thoughts are with you.

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