Hepatic lipidosis can be triggered by stress and which can cause a cat to stop eating. Stress such as moving, new baby, new puppy or dog, new people in home, visitors, construction in the home, construction outside the home, are some of the stress related reasons that we document. If your cat is too stressed and afraid to go to it's food bowl and eat, Hepatic Lipidosis will slowly develop.
Hepatic Lipidosis is more likely to develop in cats that are overweight.
A change in your cat's food can result in the cat refusing to eat and Hepatic Lipidosis. Cats will just not eat a new food if they don't like it and starve themselves.
Multiple cats in a home fed from group bowls may result in one cat eating all of the food and fighting the other cats away from the bowl to eat. Dr. Freesh has seen this happen when the mother of 2 adult kittens would hog the food bowl and chase the 2 younger cats away. The owner put food in the bowl after all 3 cats ran into the room. She did not stay to see the mother cat block the other 2 cats and eat everything. Cats are tricky.
One of our patients that developed Hepatic Lipidosis was afraid to come downstairs to eat from it's bowl in the kitchen when a puppy came to live at the house.
Dental disease and abscessed teeth can prevent a cat from eating well. Other medical problems such as kidney insufficiency, infections, FeLV and FIV, diabetes, cancer, and others can result in a poor appetite.
The best defense is prevention for Hepatic Lipidosis. Be aware of stressful situations. Deliver food and water bowls to your cat if he or she is afraid to come downstairs to eat because of a move, new puppy, or toddlers on the loose. Check daily to see how much your cat is actually eating. If he/she is eating a teaspoon or 2, that is not enough food. Separate cats and feed 1/2 cup dry or the usual amount of canned per cat to see if they are eating it all or not. Put your cat on a diet if obese or overweight. You can diet a cat in a household with multiple cats. Ask us how to do that. If your cat is not eating well or you think that your cat is losing weight, make an appointment with a veterinarian sooner rather than later.