Cats are real survivors. They can withstand any difficult situation and recover really quickly. Sometimes, cats go from home for weeks and live on their own. Again, sometimes, no matter how much food you offer the felines, they reject. So, how long can cats go without food or stay on their own?

To be absolutely exact, a cat can live without food for a maximum of one week. Depending on the physique, the days can be between 4 to 5 days. In most cases, their bodies stop supporting living off so long without getting any source of energy. 

In this article, you will get to know if it is safe to fast your cat. Also, I will discuss the side effects of going without food on cats.

How Long Can Cats Go Without Food? 

how long can cats go without foodTo be honest, there is no universal rule that can confirm the exact time. But scientists and experts claim that an average feline can survive a maximum of one to two weeks without food and only if it has a water source. But if we are talking about a sick cat or without any water source, then the period will decrease for sure. 

However, some experts claim that a healthy cat can stay 4 to 5 days without any protein and enough water. But if there is no water and food, then the situation will be a lot difficult. The cat may not survive more than 3 days. 

You need to understand that a kitty’s health is not like us, humans. Fasting even for 2 days can affect the pet’s health a lot. The cat may suffer from malnutrition and in need of vet care. Each cat needs even a little amount of food and a fresh water supply each day. 

If a cat does not find any source of food, it will get into its wild nature. The feline will become a hunter and fulfill its tummy at any cost. You will be surprised to know that even a domestic cat can hunt mice, birds, and small animals. But unfortunately, not all the breeds are equally expert in this field. 

How long can a senior cat go without food? Well, I get this question a lot. The period totally depends on the health of the cat. When it comes to an old cat, its survival days are less than the young cats. And if the old cat is sick, he will not survive more than 4 to 5 days. 

What happens if a feline does not eat? 

I have mentioned once that food is the basic need of all animals. Like us humans, cats also need nutrients to live healthily. And they get the minerals from food items. 

When a cat stops eating, it dips into the fat stores for energy. This is a natural and safe function. But what if there is not enough protein to backup the system? Yes, this happens when a cat misses a lot of meals at a raw. The body will totally depend on the liver for the protein supply. 

If the cat still does not eat, the fatty cell will build up and develop hepatic lipidosis or liver disease in a very short time. The problem will become severe if the cat does not find its meal. And the condition gets worse for the fat cats. They have more fats in the body, which clog up the liver. 

Hepatic lipidosis in cats can be really serious. It gets fatal in just 2 to 10 days. This condition takes weeks to recover. And the sad part is, hardly any cat can overcome this disease. Even if the feline survives, it suffers from organ diseases and other health issues in the long run.

Why Does a Cat Stop Eating? 

how long can cats go without food

Sometimes cats go on fasting on their own. No matter how much or how delicious food you serve, it will refuse to eat. There can be several reasons for it. Here are a few of them:

1. Dental problems

Yes, your cat can have dental issues too. The feline can suffer from toothache due to cavities, wear, tear, and cracked teeth. However, missing teeth can sometimes make it difficult for the cat to eat daily foods.

2.Gut issues 

Aching in the gut is a nightmare to anyone, even to your cats. The gut issues do not occur to a cat overnight. This will first reduce your pet’s appetite and then make it stop eating. 

Some of the gut problems are, 

  • Intestine parasite
  • Colitis
  • Pancreatitis 
  • Cancer 

These conditions can get severe, and your cat might need incentive care.

3. Respiratory problems 

Like humans, cats can catch a cold very often. The feline will have watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, and loss of appetite. If respiratory issues develop, the cat may stop eating. 

How long can cats go without food in this condition? Unfortunately, not very long. The cat is vulnerable due to the disease, and not eating will make it weaker than before.

4. Environment change 

This is the most common reason why your cat is not eating. Each kitty takes its own time to get used to the surroundings. Sometimes the feline seems stressed out due to the changes and may act weirdly.

5. Kidney disease 

Kidney issues are severe, and the sick cat may lose appetite. There are some other symptoms too. For example, thirst, increased urination, weight loss, etc. If you notice anything serious, take your pet to the vet immediately. 

How long can cats go without water? 

Technically, a cat can not survive very long without water. It will become dehydrated and face problems urinating. If the feline goes without water for too long, it may suffer from vomiting, kidney damage, blood loss, stroke, and other diseases. 

How long can cats go without food, and what are the side effects of fasting? I hope you have got the answers you are looking for. Cats need to eat every day. If you find your cat not eating for more than 24 hours, take it to the vet.


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