You switch your cat’s diet, and she turns up her nose at the new kibble. Figuring your finicky feline won’t be able to hold out for long, you stand firm. Don’t. While a dog’s hunger will finally get the better of her, a cat may very well not come around. And going even just several days without any food can set her up for a potentially life-threatening disease known as hepatic lipidosis. In lay terms it’s called fatty liver disease.
Diagnosing the disease
If your cat has not eaten a single morsel in several days, you should be consulting with a veterinarian. Cats start refusing to eat for a variety of reasons — not just dislike of a new food but also emotional stress or an underlying disease that decreases appetite.
Once a cat has gone too many days without eating, she most likely is not going to be willing to eat again on her own, even if you serve her the food she finds most delectable. The illness can leave her feeling nauseated. It’s for that reason that treatment using a feeding tube is required. It sounds drastic, but feeding a cat through a feeding tube is something you can (and must) do at home to return your pet to health.
If there are no underlying health conditions, most cats treated aggressively with a feeding tube will survive hepatic lipidosis and regain their appetite. That said, it’s important to continue to monitor your cat’s intake so that any small changes in the future can be addressed before they become serious.