Anorexia in cats occurs whenever they lose their appetite. It’s not exactly a disease unto itself, but more like a symptom that something else is going on. Cats can develop serious issues such as hepatic lipidosis by going without eating, so it needs to be addressed quickly.
Loss of appetite in cats occurs whenever they aren’t feeling well. This could be caused by a medical issue of course. However, cats may stop eating whenever they are just stressed out or if they’re just fussy about their food or location of the bowl.
There is a wide variety of possible medical issues that can cause anorexia including oral problems like a tooth abscess, gingivitis, gum disease, or an ulcer. Gastrointestinal issues like an ulcer may also be the underlying cause. Some of the other common medical issues that can lead to it include hypercalcemia, pancreatitis, and anemia.
Obviously, the refusal to eat is the main sign of anorexia. Other symptoms can also accompany it including jaundice, fever, and sudden weight loss. Your cat may also appear to be in pain.
As mentioned previously, hepatic lipidosis is a serious concern when your cat goes without eating for even a day. The body will use try to convert its fat storage into fuel by sending it to the liver. Unfortunately, cats’ livers can quickly become overwhelmed and stop functioning properly. Therefore, diagnosing the loss of appetite quickly is important.
The vet will try to find the underlying cause of anorexia in cats. Reviewing a complete medical history of your cat will be necessary as well as conducting a complete physical exam. A battery of tests may be needed to diagnose the underlying cause.
Once the reason for the loss of appetite has been found, it can be treated appropriately. Other associated symptoms will need to be taken care of as well. For example, intravenous fluids are commonly provided to combat dehydration. Cats may even need to be provided with an appetite stimulant.
Cats that have certain medical problems like a metabolic disorder sometimes just won’t eat. In these cases, inserting a feeding tube to provide nutrients may be necessary.
Sometimes cats refuse to eat because of stress or pickiness. Try to provide your cat with a stable, stress-free environment to prevent the former issue from occurring. Cats that are picky eaters may need to have their food changed to something a bit tastier. Even heating the food up to room temperature may do the trick.