Why my cat isn't eating in Onalaska, WI

If only our cats could answer the question “Why isn’t my cat eating”?. In fact, if they could answer any of our questions it would be much easier for our vet in Onalaska, WI. 

We know, though, that even if they could answer, it would probably be a smart alec remark, or the ‘I don’t know’ of a teenager.

They may drool or lick their lips but still refuse to eat, so, we look for the answers and in most cases those answers require a visit to the vet’s office.

Reasons your cat isn’t eating in Onalaska, WI

Gastrointestinal Issues:

Pancreatitis, gastroenteritis, colitis, cancer, urinary obstruction, parasites, changes in intestinal bacteria, or something in their digestive tract, like a piece of string or a rubber band can all lead to the lack of appetite. 

Respiratory Issues:

Smell and taste are extremely important to your cat. While much of their food smells horrible to us, if it doesn’t smell right to them, they will snub their noses. And if it doesn’t smell at all, they may not even know it’s there. Respiratory issues can cause drainage and poor breathing, keeping your cat from being able to smell their food.

Dental Disease:

Whether your cat has lost a tooth, is suffering from decay, or gum disease, dental issues can cause them pain. Bacteria can get caught forming lesions or abscesses.


Kittens can take a while to learn what they like to eat, just like children. Your cat may like tuna water, but not tuna. They may prefer dry food or wet food or both. 

Stress and Anxiety: 

Other dogs and cats, adding or losing a family member, rearranging their surroundings, even your mood can affect your cat causing them to retreat and stop eating.


Stress from being away and in the hospital or getting over an illness, can also lead to food aversions. 

Food Issues:

Changing your cat’s food can cause them to stop eating as well. Whether it’s a change in the size, shape, texture, or taste, or if the manufacturer has added or taken out certain ingredients, your cat can tell the difference and may go on strike until the issue is sorted out.

Diagnosis and other Symptoms For When Cats Are Not Eating in Onalaska, WI

The first step is to make a list of any changes that have been made. Cat’s mark their possessions, including us, by rubbing their heads on them. If you have changed detergent, or moved the couch, if you have moved their food bowls or given them different kitty litter, that may be enough for them to stop eating. 

Sometimes it is just an act of rebellion, but if your cat is experiencing:

  • excessive sneezing
  • runny eyes
  • runny nose
  • bad breath
  • drooling
  • bleeding from the mouth
  • constipation
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • lethargy or difficulty breathing, it’s time to bring them into the office.

Possible Treatments For Cats not eating in Onalaska, WI

In many cases a simple change of food, or giving them a day or two may be all it takes, as long as they experience no other issues. Make sure they have plenty of water and that they are still using the litter box.  When there are multiple symptoms, including loss of appetite, they may require antibiotics, hospitalization and fluid therapy, or medication to treat nausea or to stimulate the appetite. 

If respiratory issues are determined to be the cause, a nebulizer may be used. Slightly heating cold wet foods may also peak their interest, giving them something to smell and entice them and vitamins and supplements may be prescribed to help them keep their appetite. Depending on the diagnosis, in rare cases, surgery may be involved. Our staff will examine and evaluate your furbaby and provide you with the best options to get them back on track. So, if your cat isn’t eating in Onalaska, WI, and they won’t tell you why, give us a call. We’ve got the answers.