Why Is My Pregnant Cat Not Eating? (2023)

Although it may seem like a reason for concern, loss of appetite is typical behavior among pregnant cats.

Are you a first-time cat mom? Is every little thing about your cat’s pregnancy worrying you?

You might wonder why your cat lost her appetite, what to feed her while she is nursing, and whether it is a serious enough problem to see a veterinarian.

Don’t worry; by the time you’re done reading this article, you won’t have any questions.

Why Is My Pregnant Cat Not Eating? (1)

Let’s dive into it.

Why Is My Pregnant Cat Not Eating? (2)

Do Pregnant Cats Lose Their Appetite?

Given that many cats actually have a transitory decrease in appetite after conception, you might be able to tell if your cat is pregnant by observing changes in her appetite.

You should anticipate an increased hunger as the pregnancy progresses because your cat will now be feeding not just herself but also a litter of kittens.

Do Cats Stop Eating Before Giving Birth?

Yes, cats do stop eating before giving birth.

If the expectant mother starts to lose her appetite near the end of the term, don’t be alarmed.

(Video) How To Tell If Your “CAT is PREGNANT” 7 Signs To Watch Out! [NEW]

This is a typical sign that she may give birth shortly. Even if she refuses to eat, make sure you keep food and water on hand in case she feels the need for a quick snack while this is going on.

Why Is My Pregnant Cat Not Eating?

At around the third week of pregnancy, be ready for your cat to experience a 3 to 10-day period of decreased appetite. If the cat is at least eating a little quantity, this is a common occurrence and not a big deal.

This is a result of anxiety. Cats are naturally independent in the way they give birth. They handle the entire delivery of her kittens by themselves.

All of these factors stress out your furry baby before her due date, which inhibits her from eating because she is also responsible for taking care of herself in order to preserve hygiene.

Also, check out Why Is My Cat Not Eating After Giving Birth?

How Much Should I Feed My Pregnant Cat?

Why Is My Pregnant Cat Not Eating? (3)

The simple answer is, “As much as they want”!

The amount of food your pregnant cat eats will steadily increase from the time of mating until the end of pregnancy.

She will then consume almost twice as much food as usual (although it is not uncommon to increase her normal ratio by 40% -50% ).

Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to feed pregnant cats. They usually act rationally, eating only what they need and stopping when they’ve eaten enough, as long as you give them enough food.

Make the transition gradually to give your cat’s digestive system time to adjust to the new food. Over the course of 7 to 10 days, gradually substitute the new formula for the regular meal.

Feed the mother frequently in modest portions to maintain her energy levels. Whenever possible, leave plenty of fresh water and dry food on the table.

She will store the majority of her extra weight as fat, which she will use to help her kittens when feeding. She should shed these extra pounds throughout the three to four weeks she breastfeeds, which is entirely natural.

Interesting Read: How To Fatten Up A Nursing Cat?

How Long Can Pregnant Cats Go Without Food?

Why Is My Pregnant Cat Not Eating? (4)
(Video) Best Food / Diet for a Pregnant Cat | How to Care For a Pregnant Cat | Diet tips for Cats

Pregnant cats tend to have a decreased appetite for one week (sometimes two weeks) before giving birth to their kittens.

She doesn’t feel like eating as her stress hormones start kicking in. She finds it rather important now to find a secure place to deliver her children, and her hunger comes second.

Cats in general can go without food easily for 2 weeks, provided they have a proper water supply.

But as a parent, it is your responsibility to look after your queen since she is bearing children. Not only does she feed herself, but she eats to provide nutrition to the growing kittens in her belly. Although a lack of appetite is a common symptom of pregnancy, it must not be neglected.

If your cat completely stops eating a few days prior to giving birth, then immediately consult the vet as it may be a sign of some other serious problems.

How Often Should Pregnant Cats Eat?

A pregnant cat eats at least four to six times a day. But that is not fixed for every cat. If your baby requires more food to feel full, give her. She has kittens inside her to feed as well.

High-quality cat foods have both the extra calories and protein that pregnant cats require.

Pro tip: Feeding the mother kitten food benefits the litter since they will do everything in their power to imitate their mother and will begin eating solid food while they are being weaned.

If your cat has a sensitive stomach, select a formula for sensitive kittens. Consult your veterinarian before making any modifications if your cat consumes a special diet because of a medical condition.

You might also like to read

How Do I Get My Pregnant Cat To Eat?

Why Is My Pregnant Cat Not Eating? (5)

Take note of these points and you will be good to go:

  • It’s crucial to maintain a good quality diet while nursing just as it is to give nourishment to pregnant cats, keeping in mind that mum will be her kittens’ entire source of food for their first eight weeks.
  • The kitten food formula’s higher calorie content and other nutrients will keep the mother cat’s energy levels high, which is just what she needs when caring for a mischievous litter!
  • While nursing, increase the number of meals you offer her while maintaining the same portion amounts.
  • By adding a little water to her meal, whether wet or dry, you can increase her fluid intake. Given that moistened food is easier to consume, this may also encourage the kittens to show an interest in solid food.
  • After the delivery of the baby, the mother’s milk production will progressively stop, usually 6 to 8 weeks later. Once that happens, you can gradually start reducing her food consumption until she is eating as she did before her pregnancy.
  • Start to gradually reintroduce adult meals over the course of 7–10 days, just like you did at the beginning of her pregnancy.

What To Feed A Pregnant Cat That Is Refusing To Eat?

  • Cats who are pregnant should consume lots of calories and protein.
  • Some vets advise pregnant cats to receive vitamins.
  • According to many veterinarians, if fed correctly, cats will get all the nutrients they need from their regular food.
  • If your veterinarian hasn’t given you specific instructions, don’t add anything to your cat’s diet.
  • Certain vitamins or minerals are taken in excess can have terrible effects on pregnant cat and their unborn children.

Must Read: What To Feed Mother Cat After Giving Birth?

When Should You Consult Your Vet?

  • Although mild eating disorders in your cat’s pregnancy are normal, a vet should be referred to them when she has completely stopped her food intake just before or immediately after she gives birth.
  • Other health concerns, such as vomiting and diarrhea, are also causes of concern if the reason is unknown.
  • A vet’s recommendation is necessary when you are providing your cat with some nutritional supplements.
  • Take your queen for regular routine checks to make sure her pregnancy is going on smoothly without any complications.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should a pregnant cat not eat?

Avoid eating fish, particularly larger fish like tuna. It is so hazardous with mercury as one of its contents that the risk is not worth it.

They consume meat as pure as possible and are obligate carnivores like all cats. For a cat, any carbohydrate is a non-food item.

Avoid feeding your cat uncooked raw meat because it contains parasites and could be harmful to her health.

In addition, most cats, especially those of Asian descent, are lactose intolerant. They may experience diarrhea and stomach trouble from milk or cream, which is the last thing a pregnant woman wants.

Giving the mother cat her regular food may be acceptable, but if you can, supplement it with kitten food formula to increase the amount of calories and protein in her diet.

Can cats eat human food?

What is BEST for it is what matters most, not what foods humans can eat! Feed premium cat food to your pregnant cat.

You should feed a pregnant cat kitten food up until the time that the kittens are born and weaned. Your veterinarian ought to be able to suggest a suitable kind and brand.

Both the required nutrients for the mother cat’s unborn kittens and all the nutrients she needs for herself are present in kitten food.

(Video) Pregnant cat care | How to take care of Pregnant Cat | 5 tips for pregnant Cat | CHUBBY MEOWS

Final Words

With that, we come to the end of this article. Hopefully, with all that we have provided you with, your doubts have been cleared.

Cats and their pregnancy can be daunting, especially if you are experiencing it for the first time. But there is nothing to worry about; we are there with you every step of the way.

Let us know in the comment section if your cat has shown any of her pregnancy symptoms yet. How did you handle it?

(Video) HOW TO TELL IF YOUR CAT IS PREGNANT (without going to the vet): 6 Major Cat Pregnancy Symptoms

References

Why Is My Pregnant Cat Not Eating? (6)

Abigail Clarke

Writer & Cat Parent

Writer and Mommy of 3 furr babies:
Simba, Snowball and Oreo:
My 3 musKITTYeers!

(Video) Top 8 Signs Your Cat in labour | Cat Pre Labour Symptoms | Pregnant Cat giving birth to kittens

FAQs

How do I get my pregnant cat to eat? ›

Many pregnant cats will self-manage their intake well as long as you supply them with plenty of food. Keeping dry food available to your cat continuously can encourage her to graze, and most likely she will instinctively eat as much as she needs. You can supplement that dry food with wet food.

Does cat lose appetite when pregnant? ›

Change in appetite: A pregnant cat may have a decrease in appetite early in her pregnancy. In the second half of pregnancy, she will show an increased interest in food. After all, a pregnant cat is not only eating for herself, but for several fetuses.

What do I do if my cat is not eating enough? ›

Tips to tempt your cat to eat
  1. Warm the food up.
  2. Offer strong smelling foods such as sardines.
  3. Try different brands of pet food.
  4. Try hand-feeding your cat and check their nose is clean (the smell of the food helps to stimulate their appetite).
  5. Heat up your cat's food to their body temperature (38C)
26 Jan 2017

What's the best food to feed a pregnant cat? ›

A highly-digestible, high quality kitten/growth/development formulation is generally recommended during feline pregnancy. The best options are those diets that have passed feeding trials for gestation/lactation or for all life stages.

How long can pregnant cats go without food? ›

Be prepared for a 3 to 10 day period of a lack of appetite in your cat around the third week of pregnancy. This is a common occurrence and is not that much of a concern if the cat is at least eating a little bit. If she completely stops eating for more than 1 to 2 days, consult your veterinarian.

How many times does a pregnant cat eat a day? ›

The pressure on her stomach from the kittens makes it harder for her to eat much at a time, but she does need the extra food. Offer her small meals four to six times a day.

What homemade food can I give my pregnant cat? ›

Mix protein into your cat's normal food.

Do this by boiling small pieces of chicken, beef, fish, or egg and adding them to your cat's dry or wet food. Cats can be picky eaters, and pregnant ones especially so. Try different proteins until you find one your cat prefers.

What human food can pregnant cats eat? ›

Cooked, lean meats such as beef, chicken, turkey, liver and lamb are all ok for you cat to eat. However, it's important that you take great care when serving to make sure the meat's cooked through – never give cats raw meat – and remove all skin and bones before feeding your cat.

Is milk good for pregnant cats? ›

At the beginning of her pregnancy, you should feed your queen a fat-rich diet, specifically designed to support gestation and, later, the production of milk to feed her kittens.

Why is my cat eating very little? ›

Illness. Loss of appetite is one of the key indicators that something is wrong. So be sure to pay attention if your cat suddenly stops eating. A number of different conditions may be responsible, including infections, kidney failure, pancreatitis, intestinal problems, and cancer.

What can I force feed my cat? ›

If a cat doesn't eat for 24-72 hours, we need to start force feeding. ​ ​To do this, you'll need to get human baby food from the grocery store or blend cat food into gruel. You'll want to get a meat based kind (like chicken or turkey), and make sure it doesn't have garlic in the ingredient list.

Can cats eat scrambled eggs? ›

Yes, cats can eat eggs. Fully cooked eggs are a great nutritional treat for cats. Eggs are packed with nutrients, like amino acids, which are the building blocks to protein, and they're also highly digestible. Scrambled, boiled, however you choose to prepare them is fine.

Can I feed egg for pregnant cat? ›

Eggs are good sources of protein and fat, and cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they eat a diet of mostly animal protein. Eggs aren't recommended as the sole dietary source of protein for your cat, but cats can eat eggs to supplement the protein in the rest of their diet. Egg whites contain protein without fat.

Is tuna good for pregnant cats? ›

Harmful Foods Your Cat Should Never Eat: Tuna, Milk, Raw Fish, and More.

What does a cats nipples look like when pregnant? ›

“Pinking up” of the nipples

However, a pregnant cat's nipples will appear pinker, showing a visible contrast to how they were before. In addition to that, you may notice that the fur around your cat's nipples will also start to recede, as it prepares her body for nursing the kittens.

Do pregnant cats drink more water? ›

Cat stops eating

One day prior to giving birth, your cat may eat less or will stop eating altogether. However, she will be thirsty and drink a lot more than usual.

Do pregnant cats sleep a lot? ›

Yes, it is normal for pregnant cats to sleep a lot.

It could be a sign of cat pregnancy if you notice changes in your cat's look or behavior, such as weight increase or napping more than usual. What is this? You can always take your cat to the clinic if you see any of these changes in his or her behavior.

When should I worry about my cat not eating? ›

You should take your cat to the veterinarian immediately when your adult cat hasn't eaten in more than 24 hours or just 12 hours for kittens younger than 6 weeks old. Make an appointment with your vet if this occurs.

Can I give vitamins to my pregnant cat? ›

Unless a veterinarian recommends it, it is not necessary to add vitamin or mineral supplements to a pregnant cat's diet. The enhanced kitten formula food will be adequate for the mother's nutritional needs, and extra supplements could cause pregnancy complications.

How Much Should pregnant cats eat? ›

How much should I feed a pregnant cat? Your pregnant cat's food intake will gradually increase from the day she mates right up to the end of her pregnancy. By the end of her term, she'll eat about 50% more than her normal level (although it's not unusual for her to need up to twice her regular amount!).

How do you hold a pregnant cat? ›

If you do have to pick your cat up, make sure to “scoop” her up from her bottom, rather than touch her stomach. Avoid any boisterous activity towards the end of your cat's pregnancy, and try to leave her be if you can.

What can I cook for kittens? ›

Feel free to offer your kitten bits of cooked beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, venison, or other lean meats. Avoid fatty meats, greasy fried meats, or those with salts, nitrates or preservatives. Don't give your kitten hot dogs, bacon, or sausage as these will upset her digestive system; potentially causing diarrhea.

What liquids can cats drink? ›

Cats should only really drink one thing to stay hydrated - water. Despite popular belief, milk is not good for cats and it's best to steer clear of dairy. Find out why milk is bad for cats and more with our guide.

What can I feed my cat if I have no cat food? ›

Cats are meat eaters, plain and simple. They have to have protein from meat for a strong heart, good vision, and a healthy reproductive system. Cooked beef, chicken, turkey, and small amounts of lean deli meats are a great way to give them that.

What Should I feed My mother cat? ›

Nursing mother cats need to eat a high quality kitten formula food. If she is a picky eater, do not hesitate to try feeding her canned tuna, chicken or salmon. Do not give cow's milk to cats, despite popular belief, it is impossible for cat's to digest and often causes serious stomach upset.

How do I know when my cat is about to give birth? ›

Licking, pacing, howling, and chirping

You might notice your cat licking her genitalia frequently – There is a discharge from the cat's vulva a few hours before birth starts. Your cat's water will break as well. Now is the time for pacing, restlessness, and howling, meowing, or chirping from your cat.

How do pregnant cats look? ›

Signs that your cat is pregnant include weight gain, increased appetite, swollen abdomen, and change in nipple appearance. How long does it take to tell if a cat is pregnant? Swollen, pink nipples usually appear on a pregnant cat around week 3, while a distended abdomen will be visible around week 5.

Can I touch newborn kittens? ›

Vets recommend not touching kittens unless you have to while their eyes are still closed. You can check on them to make sure they're healthy and gaining weight, but try to limit direct physical contact. The kitten's mother will also let you know how comfortable she is with you handling her babies.

Do cats stop eating when stressed? ›

Decrease in Appetite

Cats don't go on fasts or diets like we do so it's important to consult a veterinarian if your pet suddenly loses interest in food or stops eating altogether. It could be due to stress or to an underlying health condition.

Why is my cat not eating but seems hungry? ›

When a cat is sick and has no appetite, they appear hungry but refuse to eat. It's also possible that the food has gone bad. Alternatively, the cat may be bored with the current meal and seek something new. For owners, a decrease in appetite might be worrying.

Why is my cat hungry but won't eat? ›

Other cats may still be feeling hungry but something else is stopping them from tucking into their food. Dental disease can be very painful and, in severe cases, could be enough to stop your cat from eating. Cats can also be very fussy eaters and they may simply dislike the food they are being offered.

How do you feed a starving cat? ›

For starving, unwell cats, cooked wet food made from fish, turkey, or chicken must be their staple for at least a week. The ideal is to make a fish or poultry broth and serve it about 4-6 mini-meals a day.

Why is my cat drinking water but not eating? ›

On the other end of the spectrum, if your cat is drinking more water than usual in combination with not eating, this could be a symptom of a health problem such as diabetes or kidney disease. It's important you talk to your vet if this is happening to your pet.

Can I syringe feed my cat? ›

Never force food on a cat. Syringe feeding or pushing food into a cat's mouth is stressful and can risk severe medical complications. It can also put a cat off eating altogether (food aversion)

Can cats eat rice? ›

It may be a staple in many human diets, but can cats eat rice? It's safe for cats to nibble on some cooked rice now and then, and your veterinarian may even recommend it as an aid for digestive issues. You may also see rice in a number of cat foods since it can contribute to a nutritionally balanced cat food.

Can cats eat bananas? ›

Bananas, however, are one of the fruits that cats can eat safely in small portions: approximately one to two chunks that are each 1 inch in size, once in a while. But be sure that your cat doesn't munch on any banana peels; the fruit's skin is a choking hazard and not digestible.

What human food can pregnant cats eat? ›

Cooked, lean meats such as beef, chicken, turkey, liver and lamb are all ok for you cat to eat. However, it's important that you take great care when serving to make sure the meat's cooked through – never give cats raw meat – and remove all skin and bones before feeding your cat.

What homemade food can I give my pregnant cat? ›

Mix protein into your cat's normal food.

Do this by boiling small pieces of chicken, beef, fish, or egg and adding them to your cat's dry or wet food. Cats can be picky eaters, and pregnant ones especially so. Try different proteins until you find one your cat prefers.

Is Tuna good for pregnant cats? ›

Harmful Foods Your Cat Should Never Eat: Tuna, Milk, Raw Fish, and More.

Is milk good for pregnant cats? ›

At the beginning of her pregnancy, you should feed your queen a fat-rich diet, specifically designed to support gestation and, later, the production of milk to feed her kittens.

What does a cats nipples look like when pregnant? ›

“Pinking up” of the nipples

However, a pregnant cat's nipples will appear pinker, showing a visible contrast to how they were before. In addition to that, you may notice that the fur around your cat's nipples will also start to recede, as it prepares her body for nursing the kittens.

What is the behavior of a pregnant cat? ›

Will my cat's behavior change during pregnancy? During pregnancy, the cat's behavior alters very little, although some cats become more loving, and a few become aggressive. During the final week, the queen may search for a suitable kittening bed or nest. The pregnant cat should be confined indoors at this time.

Do pregnant cats drink more water? ›

Cat stops eating

One day prior to giving birth, your cat may eat less or will stop eating altogether. However, she will be thirsty and drink a lot more than usual.

How Much Should pregnant cats eat? ›

How much should I feed a pregnant cat? Your pregnant cat's food intake will gradually increase from the day she mates right up to the end of her pregnancy. By the end of her term, she'll eat about 50% more than her normal level (although it's not unusual for her to need up to twice her regular amount!).

Do pregnant cats sleep a lot? ›

Yes, it is normal for pregnant cats to sleep a lot.

It could be a sign of cat pregnancy if you notice changes in your cat's look or behavior, such as weight increase or napping more than usual. What is this? You can always take your cat to the clinic if you see any of these changes in his or her behavior.

How do you hold a pregnant cat? ›

If you do have to pick your cat up, make sure to “scoop” her up from her bottom, rather than touch her stomach. Avoid any boisterous activity towards the end of your cat's pregnancy, and try to leave her be if you can.

What Should I feed My mother cat? ›

Nursing mother cats need to eat a high quality kitten formula food. If she is a picky eater, do not hesitate to try feeding her canned tuna, chicken or salmon. Do not give cow's milk to cats, despite popular belief, it is impossible for cat's to digest and often causes serious stomach upset.

Do cats give birth at night? ›

Your cat's labour should go smoothly, but it's useful to have help on hand to keep her calm and in case she runs into any complications. Get hold of your vet's out-of-hours phone number prior to your cat giving birth, as delivery often happens during the night, or they might need an emergency helping hand.

What is toxic to cats? ›

Onions, garlic, chives, shallots, leeks, and scallions are in the Allium species and cats are notoriously sensitive to some of their chemical compounds. Ingestion of these plants can cause destruction of their red blood cells resulting in anemia, lethargy, pale mucous membranes, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.

How do I know when my cat is about to give birth? ›

Licking, pacing, howling, and chirping

You might notice your cat licking her genitalia frequently – There is a discharge from the cat's vulva a few hours before birth starts. Your cat's water will break as well. Now is the time for pacing, restlessness, and howling, meowing, or chirping from your cat.

Can I touch newborn kittens? ›

Vets recommend not touching kittens unless you have to while their eyes are still closed. You can check on them to make sure they're healthy and gaining weight, but try to limit direct physical contact. The kitten's mother will also let you know how comfortable she is with you handling her babies.

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