What to Do If Your Cat is Not Eating and Hiding
If you’re a kitty parent then you’ll know how concerning it can be if your furry bundle of joy stops eating and hides away. So what can you do if you’re concerned about your kitty?
Why Might Your Cat Stop Eating or Hide?
If your kitties behaviour changes suddenly, it’s important to pay close attention. The first thing you should do is take your kitty to the vet for a medical checkup to ensure that they aren’t ill or in pain. Taking your cat to the vet is important, especially if this is a sudden change and they have stopped eating too.
If your kitty is physically healthy, some reasons for hiding behaviour and a lack of appetite could be fear, stress or anxiety. Think if there is anything in your cat’s life that it doesn’t like. Have there been any sudden changes around the house, such as the introduction of a new pet? Is there a neighbourhood cat walking past and scaring your kitty? Does your pet panic at the sound of your new vacuum cleaner?
Act Quickly If Your Pet Stops Eating
Remember, not eating can be dangerous for cats as it leads to a lack of energy. This in turn can cause liver issues due to a lack of protein reserves. So if your pet has gone off of their food, be sure to always have them checked by the vet. Whatever the cause, your vet will be able to help you get to the bottom of it.
How To Help Your Cat If It is Not Eating, and Hiding
1. Cats are creatures of habit - try and stick to a routine
Cats are not at all keen on change. Try and stick to a routine or schedule around the house as a change in their routine could be the reason for your kitty’s loss of appetite and making them hide. It’s best to give your kitty regular meal times and consider if there are any changes in your household that could be impacting them. For example, new people, new pets in the house, or home renovations can all affect your cat’s emotional well-being.
If you have to carry out home changes such as renovations then make sure you keep your cat to one room and fill it with all the things they need, including their favourite toys. You can also use a FELIWAY Diffuser to provide your pet with constant comfort and reassurance during the time of change.
2. Ensure your kitty has all the resources they need
Does your cat have all the correct resources and are they easily accessible? Your kitty likes to play, scratch their scratching post, have their own space to sleep, own food and water, and a clean litter tray. Keep food and water bowls separate and away from litter trays or any perceived threats and loud noises.
We all like to eat in peace. Ideally, you should put food up high so that your pet feels safe while eating - make sure food is always accessible by leaving doors open. Try to feed your cat little but often; cats are snackers and like to eat frequent small portions - as many as six small meals a day. You should also make sure that there is an exit available so that your kitty can move away and have some quiet time if needed.
3. Make sure you keep meeting their culinary expectations
Could your kitty’s lack of appetite be due to changes in their food? Cats can be particular about their food - and may take some time to adjust to a new diet. If your kitty doesn’t adapt, they may need to go back to their previous diet. Your cat may also just be a slightly picky eater - so if you need to change their diet, try and make it a gradual adjustment. If your cat has a favourite food or treat, try adding some of this to their meals to encourage them to tuck in.
4. Has your cat travelled or had a change in environment?
If your kitty has travelled or experienced a change in environment recently, such as a visit to the vet or a cattery stay? The journey itself could have provoked a lack of appetite and a need to hide. Car travel can also cause nausea for your cat. So if your pet has been in an unfamiliar situation, consider that they may be reacting due to fear or anxiety.
5. Create a nurturing, loving space for your cat
To help your purrfect cat feel more confident and happy, consider using a FELIWAY Diffuser. A FELIWAY Diffuser is a clinically proven solution to comfort cats at home by providing ‘happy messages’; it helps to decrease hiding, for a more confident, content cat. As well as helping nurture your relationship with your cat, FELIWAY will help your cat feel more at home in their surroundings and reduce any stress they may be feeling.
If your kitty has developed a love of hiding and has become extremely picky about their food, try the steps above to help them return to their usual, furry selves. Once you’ve ruled out any medical issues, focus on making the environment as safe and as comfortable as possible. Once your kitty feels more at ease, your stress-free friend should start to get their appetite back, grow in confidence and not want to hide away.