Most people are so relieved when their cat starts eating again after a period of fasting, that they overdo it. However, there is a skill in restoring a cats appetite after fasting. Otherwise there can be serious consequences.
Why Cats Go Off Their Food
There are multiple reasons why cats go off their food for long periods. By long periods, I’m talking about a week or more. When it’s just a couple of days, it’s normally not a cause for worry in an otherwise healthy cat.
Although my definition of a healthy cat may be different from yours. A healthy cat to me means a naturally healthy cat – one fed a quality, balanced raw diet, and has minimal veterinary drugs or vaccines. One who is happy, playful, interested and energetic. One who rarely succumbs to an illness and when they do, they bounce back quickly, often without any help from us.
Some acute conditions that may cause a cat to stop eating include:
- a sore throat that makes it hurt too much to swallow
- a shock or a frightening experience
- a medium or bad injury
- adapting to new surrounding, people or experiences
A naturally healthy cat has a strong immune system which is capable of healing many acute conditions quite easily, when left alone. A couple of days sleeping and fasting will often do the trick and they emerge just fine.
Digestion takes up a lot of energy which is needed elsewhere, so fasting under these circumstances is a healthy sign.
The only acute condition that needs immediate help is if the cat has ingested poison – rat poison, slug pellets, etc. If it’s just happened, induced vomiting can be helpful. If the poison has got into the system, then serious work is needed to prevent damage.
The Chronic Conditions Tend To Lead To Lengthy Fasting Periods
When cats stop eating because there is a chronic condition, then the fasting is likely to be lengthly. Rather than give the cat anti-nausea drugs, it’s far more constructive to find out the cause and remedy that.
Any chronic condition that worsens can contribute to a cat naturally fasting, for the same reasons as above.
Chronic conditions are mostly man made. The poor diet that comes from feeding commercial cat food, the suppressive drugs and vaccines that are dished out like smarties, the effects of surgery, the too early removal from the mother, all contribute to a poorly functioning immunity that inevitably leads to chronic disease. The more naturally sensitive the cat, the worse the effect.
Common chronic conditions in cats include any renal problem, diabetes, an autoimmune condition (stomatitis), thyroid issues, leukaemia, cancer, etc.
Vets have nothing to offer these conditions except more suppressive drugs, more bad food. It really isn’t any wonder that a cat goes off their food. Life seems hopeless, going down a spiral.
Restoring A Cats Appetite After Fasting
Although vets will tell you it’s dangerous for cats to fast for more than a day or two, it really isn’t. In the wild, cats can go for lengthy periods, maybe longer than a week, when prey is scarce. When there is plenty of prey, they’ll eat more.
Cats lose and gain weight quickly, according to how much they’re eating.
When a cat’s appetite is returning from a lengthy fast, the digestive system has partially shut down. Too much food at this time may overwhelm the system and that can lead to death. It needs to be taken slowly, with very small, infrequent meals initially, just to get the whole system working again.
A cautious level TEAspoonful of food every couple of hours for a day, then increase the amount to a level tablespoon two or three times the following day, should be enough to return the digestive system to full order. A solid poo indicates everything is working again. The third day should be back to normal. However, you still need to be observant and look for signs that you have gone too fast. Everyone is an individual. Every circumstance is different.
For a skinny cat, it’s preferable to give more frequent smaller meals for a few days, rather than two larger ones.
Don’t rush this critical period. It’s more important that your cats drinks through the fasting period than eats, because a naturally healthy cat relies on their food for their liquid needs.
While natural fasting can be healthy, it can also be an indication that not all is well. The homeopathic approach to restoring health always looks for a cause, is always sensitive to the patient and helps restore a floundering immune system. Homeopathy works through the terrain theory rather than the germ theory.
Whist it’s critical to appreciate the importance of the right way in restoring a cats appetite after fasting, it’s even better to have such a healthy cat, they never experience the long fasts that come with chronic disease. A healthy diet, a natural and effective health system – the combination is unbeatably efficacious!