How long can a cat go without food or water? This question is often asked as a result of curiosity. You, as a responsible, loving, and caring cat parent, don’t want your adorable pet to be in danger due to the lack of adequate nutrition and water. You understand that such a travesty should be avoided at all costs.
The reasons for asking the question, how long can a cat survive without water, are many. But the most common one is that your feline is sick. So he/he doesn’t feel like eating food or drinking water. So let’s find out the correct answer right away!
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How Long Can a Cat Go Without Food?
There’s no one right or universal timetable when it comes to the food or diet of cats. Even so, all felines are bound to experience the same physical and mental changes when no food goes into their system.
The lack of adequate nutrition encourages the utilization of fat in the body for finding energy. The liver is the only organ that helps in processing body fat into your energy reserve. So when the liver fails to receive enough protein, it ceases to function properly. This is what causes liver failure.
Starvation has the ability to give rise to such organ damage. And that put’s your cat’s life in serious danger. The process takes several days to occur. But on average, cats can survive without food for 1-2 weeks. However, this hugely depends on his/her water intake and overall health.
Factors that influence your cat’s survival rate are as follows:
- Genetic heritage.
- Emotional state.
Older cats don’t last as long as the younger ones, obviously. At the same time, even kittens cannot go on for so long without food. So it certainly does depend on your pet’s age. Along with hot or cold weather conditions, stress, genetic heritage, and activity levels.
How Long Can a Cat Go Without Water?
You might think that food is more essential in comparison to water. That’s not true though. So how long can a cat live without water?
Outdoor or stray cats have the ability to survive for a longer time without water. And that’s because they receive enough fluids from every prey they capture. However, generally speaking, cats can live without water for only 3 to 4 days. After that, organ failure is inevitable.
For survival, water is very important. Particularly when the loss of appetite takes form and your cat refuses to eat anything. It’s quite unfortunate to find out that felines don’t feel dehydration to a great extent.
When your cat is eating food but not drinking enough water, even then his/her health is highly likely to enter damage territory. This is why wet food is a more suitable choice at such times. Canned wet food contains more moisture. And that makes it easier for your cat to stay without water for a longer time.
Just keep in mind that hyperactive cats and kittens tend to burn fluids quicker than their lazier furry friends. So you cannot expect the former to survive for long without drinking any water. The lack of it instantly worsens any present health conditions they might be suffering from.
Cat Refuses to Drink Water or Eat Food: How To Deal With This?
Before I tell you what to do about this problem, here’s something you might want to look into first. If your pet isn’t drinking water or eating food as much as it usually does, don’t dismiss it as not urgent. There might be an underlying cause. So it’s best to pay a visit to your veterinarian as soon as possible. In the meantime, let’s address the problem at hand.
If your cat isn’t willing to drink water, try getting one of those pet fountains now widely available. This actually works if your feline is fond of drinking water from faucets.
Another effective way of tempting your cat to consume more fluids is feeding canned food. You can add more water to it if you like. This definitely provides your kitty with the fluid boost his/her body demands. Canned food also provides nutrition.
As for cats not eating food, you can try giving something new. Like his/her favorite treats or you can reheat canned food. Change the food bowl; maybe get a new, shallow one.
Just don’t panic if your pet cat stops drinking and eating suddenly. The chances are the surroundings have become a little stressful. Or there’s an unfamiliar human, animal, or piece of furniture around.
Whatever the reason, if your feline doesn’t start eating or drinking after 24 hours, time to make an appointment with the vet. Dehydration and malnourishment give rise to fatal outcomes. So please don’t neglect them.
Cats tend to hide or conceal their illnesses. So by the time you notice a problem, the underlying disease may or may not have become a little advanced. But a change or loss of appetite is a very clear red flag. Complete or partial anorexia is often a symptom of kidney and urinary tract disease. Along with pancreatitis, dental problems, arthritis, and even cancer.
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Sick
Your feline’s psychological health also plays a major role when it comes to food and diet. New changes like moving, a new pet or baby, etc. do have an impact on your cat’s appetite.
But you should know that not eating or drinking is something that manifests in the cat only when the illness gets worse. Nevertheless, you must keep a check on your pet’s appetite. And to seek professional medical attention as soon as you notice even the slightest difference. Why wait for the problem to get worse, right?
Now you know how long can a cat go without food or water.
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