How to Stop Your Cat from Begging for Food: Reasons Why Cats Ask for Food but Won’t Eat

Cat Asking for Food But Not Eating

Have you ever experienced your cat asking for food but not eating? It can be quite perplexing and concerning as a pet owner. Cats are notorious for having fussy eating habits, so it might be concerning when they act hungry but refuse to eat. This post will examine a few common reasons your cat might be hungry.

Why is My Cat Asking for Food But Not Eating?

Spoiled Food

One possible reason why your cat is refusing to eat could be due to spoiled food. Cats have a keen sense of smell, and if their food has gone bad, they can detect it. Wet cat food, in particular, can spoil quickly if left out for too long. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you provide fresh and properly stored food to your cat.

Dislike of Food

Another reason your feline may be begging for food, but the cat is not eating, is that they do not like the food you may offer. Cats can be quite selective regarding their preferences and may deny eating certain brands or flavors of cat food. Check out various foods to see if your cat prefers any of them.

Dental Diseases

Suppose your cat is experiencing dental diseases such as tooth decay or gum inflammation. In that case, it can make eating painful for them. Cats are masters at hiding their discomfort, so you may not notice any obvious signs of dental issues. However, suppose your cat is avoiding eating or seems to be in pain while eating. Taking them to a veterinarian for a dental checkup is important.

Food Allergies

Cats can acquire food allergies just like people can. Your cat might reject food if it contains a component to which they are allergic. Dairy, particular grains, and particular protein types are common cat allergies. Consult your veterinary service to decide the best course of action if your cat has a food allergy.

Feline Depression

Cats can experience depression and emotional distress, leading to a loss of appetite. Major life changes, such as the loss of a companion or a change in their environment, can trigger feline depression. If your cat exhibits depressive symptoms, including lethargy or withdrawal, speak with your veterinarian for suggestions on supporting your cat.

Injury and Oral Trauma

If your cat has suffered an injury or oral trauma, it may find eating difficult or painful. Injuries to the mouth or teeth can make it uncomfortable for your cat to chew or swallow their food. Suppose you suspect that your cat may have an injury or trauma. In that case, it is important to have it examined by a vet to assess the extent of the problem and provide appropriate treatment.

Begging for Attention

Lastly, some cats may beg for food to seek attention from their owners. Kitties are intelligent creatures who quickly learn that meowing and begging for food can get their desired attention. In such cases, it is important to establish a routine and stick to regular meal times to discourage this behavior.

What To Do When My Cat is Asking for Food But Not Eating?

Cat begging for Food But Not Eating
Cat begging for Food But Not Eating

If your cat wants to eat but is not eating, there are several steps you can take to address the issue:

  • Check the food: Ensure that the food you offer is fresh and has not expired. Consider switching to a different brand or flavor if your cat consistently refuses to eat the current food.
  • Consult with a vet: If you suspect that there may be an underlying health issue causing your cat’s decreased appetite, it is important to seek professional advice. A vet can do a complete checkup and make therapeutic recommendations.
  • Try wet cat food: Some cats prefer wet food over dry food. Wet cat food has a stronger aroma and can entice cats. Consider offering a small amount of wet cat food to see if your cat shows more interest in eating.
  • Experiment with new food: Cats can become bored with their food, so introducing new flavors and textures might spark their interest. However, it is important to transition to food gradually to prevent digestive upset.
  • Minimize stress: Cats are sensitive to their environment, and stress can affect their appetite. Provide a calm and comfortable space for your cat to eat, away from disturbances or loud noises.
  • Monitor mealtime behaviors: Pay attention to your cat’s eating habits and behaviors. If you notice any sudden changes or persistent refusal to eat, consult your vet for further guidance.
Cat begging for Food But Not Eating
Cat begging for Food But Not Eating


It can be concerning when your cat is begging for food but not eating. While there may be several causes for a cat to refuse food, it is crucial to act quickly to resolve the situation. You can help your cat maintain a healthy appetite by ensuring access to fresh and appropriate food, monitoring their health and well-being, and getting vet guidance when necessary.


The information in this article is not intended to replace professional vet advice. If you have concerns about your cat’s health, please consult a qualified vet.

Cat Asking for Food But Not Eating
Cat Asking for Food But Not Eating
Also Read: Why does my cat guard me when I sleep?


Q: Why is my cat begging for food but not eating?

A: There are several reasons why a cat may ask for food but decline to eat. It could be that they are experiencing a loss of appetite or have become a fussy eater. Another possibility is that they prefer something else to the kind of food offered to them.

Q: How can I stop my cat from begging for food?

A: To stop your cat from begging for food, it is important to address the underlying cause. This may involve changing their diet, offering more variety in their meals, or ensuring a comfortable and stress-free home environment.

Q: What should I do if my cat has stopped eating?

A: If your cat has stopped eating, it is important to monitor their behavior and consult a vet if the situation persists. This could be a sign of an underlying health issue or dental problem that needs to be addressed.

Q: Can I feed my cat human food if they refuse to eat their food?

A: Feeding your cat human meals is generally not recommended as their nutritional needs differ from ours. However, suppose your cat is refusing to eat. In that case, you can consult with a veterinarian to explore alternative options or specialized food for cats that may be more appealing to them.

Q: What can I do if my cat refuses to eat canned food?

A: If your cat refuses to eat canned food, you can offer them a different kind of cat food, such as dry kibble. You can also consult a vet to explore other options or strategies to encourage your cat to eat.

Q: How can I ensure my cat gets enough food and water?

A: Monitoring your cat’s food and water intake is important. Offer fresh water daily and ensure their food bowl is clean and easily accessible. If you have multiple cats, make sure that each cat has their own food and water bowl to prevent competition for resources.

Q: What are some reasons why cats may suddenly lose their appetite?

A: There are various reasons why cats may suddenly lose their appetite. This could include stress, illness, dental problems, or environmental changes. If your cat’s loss of appetite persists, it is recommended to consult a vet for further evaluation.

Q: Why is my cat still begging for food even after eating?

A: Cats may beg for food even after eating if they have become accustomed to being rewarded with treats or human edibles. Establishing a consistent feeding routine and avoiding reinforcing the begging behavior is important.

Q: What can I do if my cat used to eat a certain kind of food but now refuses it?

A: If your cat used to eat a certain food but now refuses it, you can try gradually transitioning it to a different brand or flavor of cat food. You can mix a small amount of the food with the old food and gradually increase the ratio over time.

Q: How can I help my cat if they lose their appetite?

A: It is crucial to speak with a vet if your kitten has lost interest in food. They can assess your cat’s health and suggest possible causes and remedial measures.

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