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How To Help A Cat On Antibiotics Who Is Not Eating!

Even the most careful cat owner who takes every precaution possible will inevitably having to have their cat on antibiotics at some point due to an infection of some sort or due to an essential operation on their cat.

Although the vast majority of cats tend to be totally fine when on antibiotics, there are a small number that can have a number of issues that can cause their owners to worry.

All of these potential problems are rare but the most common issue is your cat going off its food while on its course of antibiotics. Due to this, we often see people reaching out and asking about having their cat on antibiotics and not eating.

The vast majority of people who we see reaching out their cat’s loss of apatite while on antibiotics are often jumping the gun and their cat will usually return to normal within a day or two but in some situations, your cat may still not be eating.

With there being a constant stream of cat owners reaching out about their pet cat not eating any food while on antibiotics, we have decided to publish this article to try and help put our readers minds at rest as well as help you get some food into your cat.

Although your cat’s age and specific health conditions will come into play, the methods covered in our article below should easily be able to help you get your cat eating again.

How To Help A Cat On Antibiotics Who Is Not Eating!

Never try to force-feed your pet cat if it is not eating its food while on antibiotics and just re-offer it fresh food every few hours to see if your cat’s appetite has returned or not.

Wet food does tend to be more palatable for cats who are on antibiotics so try to get some wet cat food or a bone broth if you usually only feed your cat dry food as this simple change can get your cat to eat.

Some cats will become very picky with the food that they will eat when on antibiotics with them often rejecting any food that is high in sodium.

This is where chicken bone broth for cats comes in as it is packed with essential nutrients while being low in sodium making it easy to get your cat to eat it even if its appetite has faded due to being on antibiotics.

You can try to make your own chicken or beef bone broths at home if you have the required ingredients but try not to use a store-bought bone broth designed for humans for your cat. It will often be high in sodium and your cat may just reject it.

You can also book a quick video call with a professional vet to have them check over your cat if you wish with these video calls usually working out much cheaper than a trip to your local vet with the video call slots usually being available much sooner too.

How Can I Get My Cat To Eat While On Antibiotics?

A large number of cats who are on antibiotics will lose their appetite but will often still happily eat a beef or chicken bone broth mix without issue.

Although your cat may still not eat anywhere near as much as it normally would, it is still getting calories and essential vitamins and minerals into your cat until its appetite returns.

Another way that you may be able to get some calories into your pet cat who is on antibiotics and has lost its appetite is to cook up some chicken or turkey thighs and then cut them into very small chunks for your cat.

Although these are a little light on vitamins and minerals, the meat in the thighs offers plenty of protein with the skin and fat offering some much-needed calories while being low in sodium so cats on antibiotics are less likely to reject the food.

You can also try your cat with some pate based cat foods to see if they will eat them.

Although they can be hit and miss with some cats just outright refusing to eat them, some cats will take to them, especially if they are low in sodium offering you a quick and easy way to get some food back into your cat while it is on antibiotics.

How Long Does It Take For A Cat To Feel Better On Antibiotics?

The main side effects of antibiotics in cats include lethargy, nausea and a loss of appetite with all three symptoms being able to last for the full duration of the cat’s antibiotic course.

Sometimes they can end early though with your cat’s appetite returning within the first twelve hours of having the antibiotics in their system.

This is why it is so important to do everything that you can to get food into your cat as soon as possible once they start their course of antibiotics. thankfully, it is rare that a cat will totally lose their full appetite but when they do, you have to start to think outside of the box.

This is why offering food such as bone broth or pate that your cat may never have access to normally is such a great idea.

You are usually able to go with the method that we touched on earlier in the article of just offering your cat fresh food every few hours to see if their appetite has returned or not.

Many cat owners find that after giving their cat the first dose of their antibiotics their apatite will fade but after around twelve hours, it may return even if they eat less than normal.

If you notice that your cat has not eaten anything for 48 hours or drank anything for 24 hours then booking a quick video call with a vet is definitely the path forward.

How Long Can A Sick Cat Go Without Eating?

A sick cat should be eating at least once per day as essential nutrients are more important for a sick cat than a healthy cat as they aid in the cat’s recovery.

The general rule of thumb is that you should seek assistance from a professional vet if your cat has not eaten anything for 48 hours or drank anything for 24 hours.

The vet will be able to offer specific advice on how to move forward and may have to refer your cat to have it fed via a tube or fluid added to its system via a drip.

Although this is very rare for cats who are on antibiotics, it is very important that in these rare situations you get some water and essential nutrients into your cat as soon as possible, especially if the cat has not eaten anything within 48 hours or drank within 24 hours.

If you notice that your cat is vomiting then we would recommend that you half these time frames as it can quickly take its toll on your cat too.

Although some people will contact a vet as soon as they realize that their cat is not eating and starts to vomit, you usually can wait for 12-24 hours to see if it stops or if your cat’s appetite returns.


That brings our article going over how you can care for a cat on antibiotics that is not eating as well as when you should start to get a vet involved. We hope that we have been able to help you and that our tips and tricks in our article have been able to get your cat eating again. The majority of the time there really is nothing to worry about and your cat will start to eat again but in the very rare situation, you will need to get a vet involved to help get some nutrients into your cat.