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

Published by Annie Anderson
Last updated: February 10, 2024

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

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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.

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.​

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