How Long Can A Cat Go Without Food – A Guide On Cat Nutrition

I’ll be covering some key points to note if your cat has stopped eating, and what you can do to try and encourage them to eat again. I will say if nothing seems to be working you should go and see your vet.

Like us, food and water intake for cats is very important when it comes to their health. For a few reasons your cat might decide to stop eating. If this has happened and you find yourself wondering, just how long a cat can go without food then this article is for you.

The short answer is, most healthy house cats can survive about 2 weeks without any food. Now there is no need to worry too much, usually there is a good explanation if they have stopped eating.

So Just How Long Can A Cat Go Without Food?

As mentioned, the short answer is about 2 weeks if the cat is healthy. The main concern for cats is usually their water intake however. Some cat’s can be incredibly fussy drinkers and you will have to come up with clever ways to get your cat to drink.

The mentioned 2 weeks however should be taken as a guide and not a sure thing. If you notice that your cat has stopped eating I recommend you monitor their behavior closely, if they are refusing to eat or drink this could be a sign something is wrong and you should seek out your local vet.

Pro Tip: Try switching up their food choice if they stop eating. Some cats like variety in their meals. I know mine are incredibly fussy at times.

If you have a senior cat, the time they can go without food is far less. Keep this in mind if such an event occurs in your household. Although it is far more important to monitor their water intake at that age. Cat’s can’t go without water typically for more than 2 or 3 days.

Starvation In Cats

Cats are fine tuned machines and require sufficient nutrition to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Starvation in cats is a very rare occurrence, typically you’ll never have to worry about this happening.

You will want to give them the best food possible, after all we want them around for as long as we are. Pick a high quality cat food they enjoy and stick with it, they will let you know if and when they get bored of the same meals.

How Much Food Does Your Cat Really Need?

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to meal time. Your cats age and weight needs to be taken into consideration, are you feeding them dry food or wet food? What’s your cats activity level like?

As you can see there are many questions needing answers. Truth is the answer will always differ, It’s simply a matter of experimentation and calculated portions. If feeding dry food only, most cat owners will just leave them a bowl full and allow their cat to feed themselves. This is not a bad solution but what about wet food?

I’d recommend using a mix of dry and wet food. Have some dry food for them throughout the day and give them one or two wet food meals a day. I’ve actually written a feeding guide that covers this.

Vets will suggest a healthy, active 8-pound adult cat requires about 240 calories per day. That’s about 30 calories per pound per day.

Pro Tip: Typically, dry food contains about 300 calories per cup, and canned food contains about 250 calories in each 6 oz can. You can use this as a guide when calculating how much to feed your cat. Remember to adjust portions based on what food your cat prefers.

Tips On Getting Your Cat To Eat

You’ve tried it all. The best of the best wet food, fresh dry food every other hour and even switched bowls numerous times and nothing seems to work. Safe to say you have a fussy eater, not to worry many cats are and thankfully I have some tips to get even the fussiest of cats to eat.

  • Try raw chicken or raw fish, cats are carnivores meaning their natural prey is meat. Of cuts of your cooking meat are a good way to give them that raw chicken fix.
  • You can try and warm up their food.
  • Add some tuna juice to their meals
  • Get your hands on some nutritional yeast powder and sprinkle a touch onto their food. It’s a nutty, cheesy flavor that many cats enjoy. There are many other added benefits also.

What To Do If Your Cat Still Won’t Eat?

The above tips are suggestions to encourage them to eat, If none of these work you will want to go seek out your local vet. Numerous health problems can arise if your cat doesn’t get the nutrition required.

Some key reasons for your cat to stop eating could be the following:

Pain anywhere in the body (not just limited to tooth pain)

Stress in the cat, they are very intune with their environment. A passing of another pet can cause your cat to avoid eating.

Some Diseases will cause your cat to lose appetite. If you are worried it could be serious seek out your local vet immediately

How Long Can A Cat Go Without Water?

If eating is not the problem and you need help getting them to drink more, I’ve written a quick guide on how to encourage them to drink up. You can check it out here.

Consider An Automatic Cat Feeder

Automatic cat feeders have been known to increase stimulation and help with cats who don’t eat regularly. I’ll include the top recommended automatic cat feeder below.

Iseebiz Automatic Cat Feeder 3L Pet Food Dispenser

Iseebiz Automatic Cat Feeder, Auto Pet Feeder with...
  • Time and Amount Programmable: You can...
  • Infrared Induction: This automatic pet...
  • Voice Recorder: This feeder will allow...

The Iseebiz feeder is a cool bit of kit. With the ability to record a 10 second voice clip of you calling your pet and the infrared sensor to stop over fill it really is a complete automatic feeder.

With the ability to operate on battery power you can pretty much place this anywhere throughout the home. The design is sleek and build quality are above par users enjoy the programmable time schedule.


  • Portion control
  • Voice recorder
  • Programmable schedule timer
  • Power cord


  • Small display
  • Bit pricey

Automatic cat feeders are great for those weekend getaways or work trips. If you are going to leave your cat at home for a day or two then they are a must. Some other automatic cat feeders worth mentioning are the Petnet SmartFeeder and the WESTLINK Automatic Pet Feeder.

Last update on 2021-04-18 at 06:04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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