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Cat not eating: why do cats go off their food?

Cat not eating: why do cats go off their food?

Read time: 4 min

After lounging on your clean laundry and chasing spiders, dinnertime is probably your cat’s favourite moment of the day (especially if it’s KatKin). So it can be concerning if the hungry meows falter or if they turn their nose up at their food all of a sudden.

We joke that cats can be picky eaters, but if they’ve gone off their food completely, it can be more serious than simply being fussy.

If you’re left wondering why your cat’s not eating or why cats go off their food, you’ve come to the right place.

Why is my cat not eating?

Cats not eating could be due to a few different reasons, from something simple like their bowl not being in the ‘right’ place to a more serious illness that needs vet care. As always, if they’ve not eaten for a number of days, go off all food completely (including treats), or generally seem not themselves, take them to the vet to find out what’s wrong.


One of the biggest reasons your cat might be off their food is illness. They could have a toothache, they might have eaten something they shouldn’t have (like your beloved potted plants), or there could be something nastier going on. If they suddenly stop eating their beloved food, make sure you take them to the vet in case it’s because of something more serious.


Cats hate being stressed. Unfortunately, they get stressed easily. Moving house, a change in schedule, a new addition to the family, or renovation work are sources of stress for your cat that can stop them from enjoying their food. Try to offer them a quiet spot to eat their meal away from the source of stress to help keep them calm. This is the most common cause of cats not eating their dinner and should get better by itself once your cat adjusts or the cause of the stress has stopped.

Anxiety or depression

Yes, cats can become depressed or anxious. They’re highly emotional beings. But if your vet can’t find any physical illness, it could be that they’re just not feeling themselves. Things like sleeping too much, not grooming themselves, a change in vocalisation (either meowing more or much less), and even showing aggression or fear can be indicators of being anxious or depressed. It’s definitely worth speaking to your vet if you suspect that your cat is feeling a bit down in the dumps.

The ‘wrong’ spot

Some cats are just picky about where they eat. Your cat probably won’t appreciate their bowls being in a high-traffic area of your home, nor will they like things like their water bowl or litter tray being too close to their food (we know, so demanding). Make sure their bowls are cleaned every day, and you feed them in a spot away from noisy kids, other pets, and busy areas like the kitchen. They should also be kept on the opposite side of the room to their litter tray and a couple of metres away from their water bowl too.

Why is my cat so fussy with food?

Above illness, the most common reason your cat might be fussy with their food is simply down to preference.

Did you know that cats only have around 470 taste buds? When you compare that to our 9,000ish taste buds, they don’t exactly have the most refined palette. And they can be picky about flavours that they like because of this.

Making the switch to fresh, 100% human-quality meat cat food like KatKin can help to encourage your cat to start eating again. The fresh, 100% gently cooked meat will tempt any fussy taste buds. And we offer 7 different flavours for the cats who need a bit of variety.

But if your cat usually scoffs KatKin and has gone off their food, here are some tricks to encourage them back to the bowl.

  • Be persistent: your cat isn’t the expert nutritionist here (that’s our job). It’s important not to cave into giving them treats, snacks, and unhealthy food if they refuse to eat their KatKin meals. Don't give in to those big kitten eyes. 

  • Heat it up: warming up your cat’s food can help to make it more appealing to your cat. Pop KatKin on a microwave-safe plate and heat it up for around 15 seconds to warm it through. Irresistible. 

  • Add sprinkles: Our chicken sprinkles are 100% chicken breast. The perfect temptation to eat up. Shake it over the top of their food before serving and step back. They'll be eating in no time.

  • Change your recipe: much like some humans hate broccoli or love Marmite, cats can have food preferences too. If they’ve lost interest in their food, try a new recipe. We have 7 delicious recipes for them to try. 

  • Feed only KatKin: if you’ve already switched your cat onto KatKin but still offer them kibble or wet food: stop. You’re ruining their appetite. Processed food has flavour enhancers to seem more tempting despite being less healthy. Remember that KatKin is complete and balanced, so your cat doesn’t need anything else in their bowl.

  • Change where you feed: sometimes cats can feel too exposed while they’re eating. Especially if their bowl is in a busy part of your home. Moving where you feed them can reset your cat’s relationship with their food and encourage them to eat again. Make sure to pick a location where they feel safe and comfortable.

Health benefits of ingredients in fresh cat food

It’s no secret that KatKin is the healthier option for your food. The reason? Cats are carnivores. That means protein is a much more efficient source of energy for them than carbohydrates.

KatKin is made with 100% human-quality meat. Most cat foods are less than 40% meat and rely on carbohydrates to fill them out. That means your cat will be able to convert KatKin into playful, hunting, fun-loving fuel far easier than your average cat food.

Other benefits your cat will feel include:

  • Month 1 - Better digestion and less mess in the litter box

  • Month 2 - More energy and playfulness

  • Month 3 - Shinier, thicker coats and fewer hairballs

  • Month 4 - Long term weight management for your

Need more help getting your cat to eat?

Making the switch to KatKin’s fresh cat food is just the first step to a happier and healthier cat. But if they’re still not eating, even when you’ve taken away all other food, we’re here to help.

For more guidance or advice on encouraging your cat to eat, get in touch with us. Call us on 020 4538 4144 or email us at to speak to one of our cat experts.

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