How Long Can Cats Go Without Food (And Why)?

How Long Can Cats Go Without Food (And Why)?

Exact Answer : Upto 2 Weeks

Cats are loving animals. You may have heard stories of cats surviving on their own for a long time, as they get lost during their mysterious adventures. Alternatively, you may have also heard about some cats who have suddenly started to refuse to eat, even if their owners put down their favorite food in front of them. Cats can be fussy eaters, however, there might be underlying reasons because of which cats refuse to eat.

Whatever may be the case, cats seem to survive easily for a couple of days without food and water. You should not assume that your cat will be able to fend for himself and catch food like a hunter in your long absence. All cats do not have the skills needed to find their food. Domestic cats are accustomed to being pampered and demand being fed properly from time to time.

How Long Can Cats Go Without Food

How Long Can Cats Go Without Food?

An average cat can technically survive for one to two weeks without eating, only if he has a water supply. However, the cat can survive only three days without food and water. If the cat has access to food without protein, it may be more like three to four days, even if he drinks enough water.

When it comes to cat health, it is important to emphasize that a cat that has had no food for even two days can become unwell and severely malnourished, and may need immediate medical help. Cats, like all other animals, need regular food and fresh water to live a happy and healthy life.

Cats need proper nutrition, which they obtain from food and water. If cats stop eating for a long time, or if they can not find food with enough protein, this can cause many health conditions that can be fatal to the cat if left untreated. The cat organs will shut down with continued starvation and the cat will struggle to survive.

In summary:

Food 1 – 2 weeks
Food and Water 3 days
Food without Protein 3 – 4 days

Why Do Cats Go So Long Without Food?

Cats can live up to two weeks without food, only if they have access to drinking water. However, without any protein intake, cats can die within three to four days, even if they remain hydrated all the time. This is mainly because cat livers do not support their bodies to live off their body’s energy stores for a long time. Cat organs shut down very quickly if the cat is forced to starve for very long. There are many harmful consequences if your cat doesn’t eat for longer periods.

Organ Failure

A cat’s digestive system shuts down first as he stops eating, followed by the brain, and lastly the heart, which lasts the longest. All cat organs start to deteriorate as the cat enters starvation.

Hepatic Lipidosis

Hepatic lipidosis is a disease of the liver that happens due to starvation in cats. It is primarily caused due to some underlying health conditions that make the cat not want to eat.

Kidney Failure

Kidney Failure occurs in a cat when he has been dehydrated badly. The cat will need immediate medical guidance to survive under such conditions.


Cats can go longer without food than water, just like people. They can survive for about two weeks without eating anything, but only three days without drinking water. The longer your cat goes without proper nutrition, the weaker he shall become. It is important to contact your vet doctor if your cat has not eaten for a day or more. The doctor will diagnose the cause and help you get your cat back on track to eating regularly.

If your cat still does not eat even after several days of starvation, in such a case, you should get him checked out by a vet as soon as possible, so that the doctor can determine the more complicated problem or illness behind it.


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