How Long Can a Cat Go Without Food?

Every kind of animal needs food and water in order to survive. Cats are no exception. No matter how much resilient you consider them to be, they all need their daily minimums in order to go on. Yes, cats (and other types of animals) can survive without each for long, but they can only hold out for a limited period.

So, how long can a cat go without food? Well, not that long, to be honest. As a matter of fact, cats can survive a maximum of a week without eating, but on average, they go for 3-4 days at most. That’s not a long time and there’s a reason for it.

Why Can’t They Go on Longer?

It’s because of their body. Unlike other animals, a cat’s liver can’t support their bodies for long. Cats can’t live off their bodies’ energy alone – they need a solid portion of food to survive. This is why so many pet owners that know this fact are so scared when their precious cat isn’t eating for a longer period. This can be caused by several reasons that span illnesses and parasites.

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Why Won’t My Cat Eat Its Food?

If you notice that your cat hasn’t eaten for several days, it’s best to talk to your vet. This can be because of a number of reasons. It may be because of illness, pain when eating, due to some medications, parasites and more.


The most likely reason why your feline pet isn’t eating is because of sickness. If you notice that they’re not eating their food and they also have fever, diarrhea, nausea, and fatigue, it’s time to take your kitty to the vet.

Pain When Eating

Sometimes, the dry food you give your cat may be causing it too much pain. This might be because of problems with their teeth due to growing old or oral problems. Sensitive teeth may be causing your kitty too much pain when eating.

If you notice that it can’t chew its food and it’s refusing to eat, it’s time to visit the vet.

Side-Effects from Medications

If your kitty cat is on some kind of medication, it may not be eating because of a side-effect. Lack of appetite is a very well-known side-effect of many drugs. If you’re concerned, you can consult your vet.

How Long Can a Cat Go Without Water

As mentioned, a cat can go a week without food. Most animals die within 3 days of total water withdrawals and cats are no exception. If they have constant access to water, cats can go up to a week without food. Leave it without liquids, however, and dehydration will set in and kill your kitty in just a few days.

Cats may be survivalists thanks to their resilience and self-reliance, but there is a limit when it comes to food and water. The moment a cat stops eating or drinking food, organ failure may set in and eventually have fatal consequences.

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How Much to Feed a Cat?

There’s no specific guide on feeding cats, but there are guidelines you should definitely follow. Not only will keep your cat’s energy levels up, but it will also provide it with the right nutrients. If you give a cat too much food, it will overindulge and overeating is always trouble. That’s why you need to give your cat food at regular intervals and keep the meals smaller.

In general, you should feed your cat 2-4 times per day at specific times. Also, keep in mind that cats are not social eaters like us – for them, mealtime is special. This is why individual feeding stations work best. This goes especially if your cat needs to be on a specific diet. Free choice of food can be problematic since you can’t monitor your cat’s food intake.

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How Much Dry Food to Feed a Cat?

If you ever had a pet, you know that the food you can give it ranges dry and wet foods. Dry foods, for example, are a great source of essential nutrients so it is considered the best food for your cat. Most owners allow their cats free access to dry food supplemented with canned food once or twice a day. Dry food should be high in animal proteins and low on plant proteins – felines have trouble digesting the latter.

If you’re feeding your cat on dry food only, fill the dry food feeder and use it as a measure. This will prevent your cats from overeating and control their food intake. You can refill the feeder if needed if your cat eats more [1] food on average.

An 8-pound cat needs 4/5 if a cup of dry food which contains around 300 calories per cup. Keep this in your mind in order to keep your pet happy.

How Much Wet Food to Feed Cat?

Ideally, your cat would be fed on dry and wet food in order to get all the nutrients it needs. By wet food we mean canned food and yes, you should feed it to your cat every day. An average-sized adult cat needs a 3 oz. can of wet food per 3-and-a-half pounds of body weight.

You can feed your cat wet food any time you like but keep in mind that unlike dry food, it won’t stay fresh for a long time. This can be a big problem in the summer which is why you should stick to specific meal times. It will keep your cat eating on a schedule and ensure that it doesn’t overeat.