Starvation In Cats – How Long Can A Cat Go Without Food?

Has your cat stopped eating recently? If so, you mind find yourself wondering, how long can a cat go without food.

Food and water intake for cats is very important when it comes to their overall health. There can be many reasons your cat might decide to stop eating.

Let’s find out more.

How Long Can A Cat Go Without Food?

Most healthy house cats can survive about 2 weeks without any food but, it can be a bit concerning if your cat has decided to stop eating. Usually, there it’s a sign of an underlying problem.

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.

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 tried switching their food and they’re still refusing to eat you should take your cat to your local vet. They will be able to assess and help determine what the possible cause could be and give any treatment advice as needed.

Because senior cats are more vulnerable to health problems you shouldn’t allow them to go more than a couple of days without eating.

The longer your cat goes without food the weaker it will become.

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. Typically, cats can’t go without water 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 kitten food they’ll enjoy and stick with it, they will let you know if and when they get bored of the same meals.

As they grow into adults it’s important to switch to good quality adult cat food.

How Much Food Does Your Cat Need?

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to mealtime. Your cat’s age and weight need to be taken into consideration, are you feeding them dry food or wet food? What’s your cat’s 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 cats to feed themselves. There’s nothing wrong with this but as cat owners, we know that sometimes our cats get bored of the same food.

If this happens to you, 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.

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

What To Do If Your Cat 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’re very in tune with their environment. The 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 your cat to drink up.

Consider An Automatic Cat Feeder

Automatic cat feeders have been known to increase stimulation and help 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, 101oz/3L Timed Cat Feeder...
  • Flexible Meal Schedule: Iseebiz...
  • Personalized Recordings: Press and hold...
  • Dual Power Supply: Power Supply(5V DC...

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 overfill 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 the build quality is 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 2021-10-18 at 07:54 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API