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C2007-40

Dear Christopher Cat

Our cat stopped eating yesterday. She normally eats dry food, so I’d like to entice her with canned food. However, my husband insists that she’ll eat when she’s hungry, and if we give in to her, she’ll become a finicky eater. What do you recommend?

Christopher Responds

First, try a new bag of food. If your cat’s appetite disappeared as you neared the bottom of her food bag or when you opened a new bag, it’s possible the fat in the food became rancid in the summer heat.

At the same time, offer her canned food, warmed to enhance the aroma.

If she doesn’t immediately eat, take her to the veterinarian.

When my sister Carli stopped eating a few weeks ago, Mom force fed her and performed a physical exam. It turned out Carli was sick, and once Mom treated her illness, Carli’s appetite returned.

Regardless of the cause of your cat’s poor appetite, she needs to start eating again.

While you humans can forgo food for many days, we cats need to eat daily. In fact, when given free access to food, we nibble about 14 to 17 times a day.

Cats that miss meals for even a few days can develop hepatic lipidosis, also called feline fatty liver syndrome.
The livers of these cats fill with fat, which compresses the liver cells until they no longer function.

Hepatic lipidosis is potentially fatal, so it’s essential to get your cat to eat -– undoubtedly with your veterinarian’s help.

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