How Long Can a Cat Go Without Food?

Just like any other animal, cats also need food to survive. But have you ever wondered how long can a cat go without food? Cat's sometimes go through different periods where they will skip eating for a few days, and many pet owners will get worried over the health of their feline. 

It's important to know and understand the different reasons why cats stop eating, and when it's time to get worried and take your feline to the vet for a check up.

 Why Is Food Important To A Cat's Body?

how long can a cat go without eating

Cat Love Food:)

First, you need to imagine the body of any living creature is like a machine and it needs to be filled with the proper nutrients and minerals in order to work properly. So that makes food really important for a cat to keep its body functioning.

In case you didn't know, cats are semi-arid animals so they don’t need to drink too much water. Their body will receive water through eating food. So if the cat isn't eating enough, the situation can become complicated.

How Long Can a Cat Go Without Eating?

If your cat is drinking water regularly but is not eating, it can stay alive for about 2-3 weeks. Because when the body stops taking nutrition from the outside, it’ll start to consume the reserved energy inside our body. 

And our body only stops functioning when that reserved energy source is gone.  Water has an important role in this process, it makes our blood stay in liquid form so the heart can pump easier. This way, the nutrition will be distributed over our entire body.

how long can cat go without food

How long can I survive?

How Long Can Your Cat Go Without Drinking Water?

When a cat doesn’t have enough water and food, it can die in just a few days. If your feline has not consumed any water in the last 24-36 hours, you should bring it to your vet for a check up.

Because all feline organs need water to sustain their function, if they stop drinking water this can damage some vital organs such as the kidney, and heart. 

The water flows in their blood and there is water in every cell of the body. If there isn't enough water in  a cat's body it will die because of dehydration, before it has starved.

How To Make Your Cat Drink More Water?

increase water in cat food

Feed me with water

Since your cat doesn’t drink too much water and often absorb water through its food, it is necessary to increase the water ratio in their food. 

But how can you do this without making your dislike its food? It’s really simple.

  • Feed your cat wet food

If you've been feeding your cat with dry food only, you'll need to switch over to wet canned food, which contains water inside. There is a wide variety of flavors of wet cat food on the market, and you're sure to find one that your feline loves to eat. If you're on a tighter budget, check out our article on the best affordable wet cat foods.

  • Feed your cat veggies

You should teach your cat to eat veggies when it was little, it’ll be easier to do when your cat is still young and hasn't gotten used to any specific type of food. Veggies often have a lot of water in them and they also are an important source of fiber.

  • Feed your cat cooked food

You shouldn’t just rely on dry food because they’re not healthy for your cat. Your cat needs extra nutrition for its digestive system to work properly. So you should feed your cat cooked food. You could combine veggies, rice, and fish. My cat really likes them.

How long can a sick cat go without eating?

If you have a sick cat at home, often times it will won't have a strong appetite and won't be interested in food that much. However, food is particularly important for sick cats so that they can take all the necessary nutrients to heal and get better over time.


If they're not eating enough, they can suffer from malnutrition and this in turn will cause other health issues such as: weak muscles, poor eyesight, loss of energy, dry skin, etc.

Encourage eating, by hand feeding your cat it's meal, and giving it more attention through this period. You might also try serving foods with stronger smell, such as fish for example. Any other tricks you find that work for your feline are worth giving a shot. 


Cats sometimes go through different phases, where they will skip one or two meals. However, if you notice that your cat isn't eating enough or is not drinking water, then you'll need to pay more careful attention to their eating and drinking habits and if they get worse you might need to take your feline to the vet for a check up.

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