VCA Animal Hospitals

Cat Isn't Eating? 3 Appetite-Whetting Tricks for Meal Time

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If your cat isn't interested in his food, it's essential to work with your veterinarian to make sure there isn't a health reason why he's lost his appetite. Once you get an all-clear on that end, here are a few special tricks to get a healthy cat healthy cat eating again:

Fresh is Best

Cats may be the original food snobs: In addition to having strong likes and dislikes, they often turn their noses up at food that's been sitting around. This can be especially true of canned food, which does get pretty unpleasant when its been left out (would you take a taste?!). Instead of leaving a day's worth (or more) of food out, offer your cat small portions, fresh from the package. If he doesn't eat it after 30 minutes, try again in a couple hours.

Serve Warm

Warming your cat's food amps up its flavor and aroma. A few seconds in the microwave will do the trick.

Break Out the Good Stuff

Over the years, some of my veterinary clients have developed a simple "Is my cat sick?" test to rely on at home. If the cat won't eat a regular meal, they chalk it up to a fussy day; however, if the cat rejects her favorite treat (a bit of roasted chicken or a smidge of meaty baby food), they know to call the veterinarian. No one knows your cat better than you do, and if she suddenly rejects a food she loves, it's worth taking seriously.

It's one thing to be finicky, but something else entirely when your cat starts losing weight. If lack of appetite is an ongoing concern with your cat and she's lost a half-pound or more, ask her veterinarian about the possibility of a medication to stimulate her appetite. Some antidepressant and anti-anxiety meds can help switch a cat's appetite from the "off" position back into "on."

And if that doesn't help, talk with your veterinarian some more to work on other solutions to keep your cat healthy.

This article was written by a Veterinarian.


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.