How long can cats go without eating? This is a very subjective topic because it does depend on many individual factors. However, one thing that is abundantly clear in all but exceptional cases is much longer than a vet will tell you.

The common veterinary advice is to suggest that cats can’t go more than 24 hours without food. Some even say 12 hours. This is pure nonsense.


Because cats are carnivores. Carnivores don’t have numerous prey lining up in front of them, waiting to be killed. Carnivores have to work hard for their food. First they have to find where the prey is located. Then they have to use all the skills at their paw tips to make.a successful kill.

It’s unlikely that they have a 50% success rate. The prey is well equipped to avoid being dinner.

While some periods can be abundant in prey, other periods can be very lean times.

This all means that cats can often go long periods without a meal. It’s perfectly normal, perfectly natural. They evolved to cope with this very well.

So where did this idea come about that they can’t go longer than a few paltry hours without eating? Just another way to frighten people into a veterinary clinic to increase their bottom line? Please tell me I’m wrong.

Being a carnivore, being unsure when the next meal might happen along, means cats are always ready to eat. This gives people the mistaken idea that they NEED to eat regularly.

In fact, eating regularly is really bad for cats. Their physiology is not equipped to deal with this constant load, and digestive disorders are likely to eventuate. The cause is rarely acknowledged, even realised, by the veterinary industry.

It’s herbivores who need to eat regularly and suffer when they can’t. Herbivores such as cows, horses, sheep, goats, giraffe, elephant, rhino, deer, and so on. Absolutely not carnivores.

Times When It’s Essential To Get Professional Help

Domestic cats don’t live the healthy lifestyle their wild cousins do. They have to contend with human ways. From being fed lousy, non-nutritious food, to having toxins pumped into them on a regular basis, under the guise of ‘health care’ (who’s health?), to having limited (or zero) access to the natural world.

This means they’re less healthy than their wild cousins.

Even so, domestic cats have the same natural ability to heal themselves in many situations. Eating grass helps them vomit up something that disagrees with them. So they should always have access to chemically clean grass. It’s a great cleansing ability.

More serious situations may call for a long sleep without food. This can go on for several days and shouldn’t be disturbed. Then they walk up and feel great.

I’m certain this very healthy ability is interrupted many, many times, to the cats detriment. Understandably so, by anxious and concerned carers. I consider four days is the limit. I have had this confirmed by a knowledgeable professional. If after four days, of sleep and no food, they’re not improving, it would seem that they can’t manage to deal with the issue at hand. So help should be sought.

There are a couple of exceptions to this rule:

  • If the cat has ingested a man made poison, this should be treated as an emergency. Waiting won’t help and is likely to be fatal, depending on the amount consumed and the chemical involved. Anti-freeze, rat poison, consuming a mouse or rat who has been poisoned, garden pesticides come into this category.
  • An already sickly cat, such as one with anaemia, especially long term, may not be able to handle four days without food. However, instead of giving suppressive drugs to stimulate the appetite, it is far more beneficial to treat the illness holistically so the appetite comes back naturally.

So the question ‘how long can a cat go without eating’ is largely subjective. It depends. But in normal circumstances, it’s a lot longer than your vet will tell you. Generally, it’s not a time to panic. In most circumstances, you have plenty of time to search, to consider, to ponder your next step.

How can you avoid this scenario occurring, or occurring again? By feeding your cat a natural, balanced, quality, raw diet in keeping with their evolution. And by treating ailments with homeopathic treatment, which works by restoring a healthy immune system.

By adopting measures that are as close to how cats evolved as possible, will always serve them better than deviating from them. Man is not as clever as he likes to think.


Madeleine Innocent
Madeleine Innocent

You know how often people struggle with their cat’s health? They want to know WHY they suffer with health issues and all their veterinarian can offer is drugs and more drugs? They feel helpless and at the mercy of another.Well, what I do is to help you pinpoint WHY your cat is getting sick and implement a strategy that takes you to a feeling of empowerment, of being in control of their life. A strategy that restores their health and allows you, and them, to enjoy life.Discover Your Cat’s Path to Vibrant Health Naturally.

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