We all know that animals must eat to live. There are times that curiosity can, however, get the better part of us. That is when you will ask questions like “how long can a cat go without food or water?” You would not like to subject your cat to the danger of losing their lives as a result of lack of sufficient nutrition and water.
I know that you cannot allow this to happen but some circumstances can lead to this. For instance, your cat might be ill and may suddenly refuse to eat or drink the water that you have provided in the bowl. There are also instances that you might find yourself away from home for some time and you are pretty sure there is nobody at home to help.
That is the time you find yourself asking such kind of questions. I have found myself in a similar situation not long ago. Lucky enough for you, I have decided to help you with very vital information that I did not access back then when my cat refused to take food and water for some days.
How long can a cat go without food or water? Can cats do without food?
Nobody wishes to have their cats live an unhealthy life. You better not have one at home if you intend to subject them to an unhealthy lifestyle. Apart from just the health part of it, the food is an important aspect of your cat’s life just like it is for humans.
Can you really do without food for long? This is as impossible as riding on a lion’s back. Your feline friend can struggle to do without food for some time but rest assured that it won’t be too long. The effects of the starvation may start creeping in steal life from your cat’s soul. If nothing is done then your cat may die a slow but very painful death.
An average cat can live for approximately 10 to 15 days before passing away due to starvation. Can you imagine that? These little creatures are so strong. I do not think there is any human being who can go for such periods without eating anything.
How long can a cat go without water?
In most cases, food and water are often inseparable. It is common knowledge to take water after every meal. That should be the case with cats as well. The only problem with these feline friends is their picky behavior. You can never know when they are going to take the water you have placed in the bowl for them.
Cats can either decide to drink water after every meal or not even though it is very important in their lives. But they will surely take the water with time. There are however some instances that the cat will blatantly refuse to take water.
Water plays a very important role when it comes to cat metabolism just like in humans. It, therefore, means that cats cannot go for long without water. So how long can a cat go without food or water? You don’t have to struggle alone in trying to answer this question, we shall tackle it together.
It has been proven with time that cats cannot live for more than 4 days without water. Cats are different, and their water intake may differ depending on other factors as well. Averagely, a cat needs water every three days to survive.
Important issues to note
The body of a cat has been designed to receive most of the water from the food. If the cat is taking foods that have high moisture contents, you will rarely see her drink water from the bowl. This does not, however, mean that the cat is doing without water.
That is where the whole thing becomes so confusing. How long can a cat go without food or water becomes exceptional in this scenario. Your cat can in a few cases sneak out of the house to hunt. These wild meats are rich in water content.
If she has perfected this habit, then she should be well hydrated. Do not lose sleep that your cat has refused to take water yet she has lots of it in her body system. On the other hand, most modern cat foods have lots of water in them.
Generally, a cat eating high-quality food is well hydrated even without taking the provided water. Such a cat will live longer than a cat which feeds on low-quality food such as the stray cats.
Does the cat’s health and age determine how long a cat can go without food or water?
Cat health and age are very crucial factors that cannot go unmentioned when tackling such a topic. Just like in the case of humans where a healthy teenager is likely to live longer without proper nutrition than a sick 90-year old, the same is applicable in the world of cats.
Handling a cat who is not eating or drinking
If you find yourself in such scenario with your feline friend, the first step is to try and coax her into eating some wet food for cats. Wet cat food has a high water content which is very vital for your cat’s health. Ensure that she takes some bit of this food.
The nutritional content of such foods is very high and always packed with some irresistible smell for cats. If this does not work, then you can add some water in tuna and present to her. Cats cannot resist the smell of fish. You may wonder what is so special in tuna.
As she will be drinking the water, she can take some little bit of tuna for some nutrients. I have never heard of a cat that refused to take this concoction.
If the cat has still refused to drink and eat even after trying the above two methods, then you have to run to the vet. It does not matter the means you are likely to use to the vet. What is important is that the cat reaches there as fast as possible for a checkup.
Any delay will lead to a liver disease known as Hepatic Lipidosis (HL). This condition leads to the buildup of fats in the tissues and cells of the liver due to starvation. This can cause kidney failure and total loss of appetite.This can worsen the situation, which is why it is important that you rush to the vet if there is no change. This condition becomes fatal between 2 days and 10 days depending on the cat. If you are the type of person who is never close to a cat, then start it from now. This is the only way to detect such behavioral changes as early as possible.
Feline friends that have been rescued from the streets tend to be so much fearful. The past experience keeps haunting them. The same case applies to those that might have been involved in accidents. The only way that she is likely to gain some trust is by being clingy.
How long can a cat go without food or water? This answer varies in different cat breeds but it is normally between 10 to 15 days. Every moment that your cat is refusing to take food or water must be taken seriously. You cannot gamble with your cat’s life. How long your cat can go without food or water is not a fixed issue in all cats, so do not take a risk.
Any further starvation can lead to irreparable damage. Before it reaches that stage you can introduce the cat to wet foods, provide the cat with tuna-flavored water or visit a vet if the cat is still not eating or drinking water