How Long Can a Cat go Without Food or Water Complete Guide | Sugar Pet Shop

In every living thing, food and water are essential to remain healthy throughout the life cycle. No living thing can live without food or water. Cats and humans alike must have a sufficient amount of food and water to survive.

Regardless of the age and breed of your cat, you cannot force your pet to have food or water down to its throat when it is refusing to feed on its own. However, you should never neglect the behaviour of providing food and water to your cat.

In this article, there are definite facts to know how long can a cat go without food or water. To save your cats’ lives from malnutrition and dehydration, you need to know some basic facts about how long a cat can live without food or water.

How long can a cat live without food?

How long can a cat live without food?

Generally, a cat can live without food for one-week maximum and the survival rate might be as long as 3 to 4 days. The reason behind this duration is that their livers do not support their long-living energy. Depending on the breed, all cats will experience various sorts of physical and emotional changes when their bodies deprives of looking for food.

When your cat suffers malnutrition, its organism turns into body fat as a way to move the energy. The liver helps to process the body fat to turn into energy. If the liver does not get enough protein, this would result in a liver failure.

Once hunger occurs, this can create organ damage. Even worse, cats’ organs shut down very quickly if they do not eat. A cat can die in three to four days without consuming any protein intake, even if it stays hydrated. Active cats tend to survive longer than lazy cats.

How long can a cat survive without water?

How long can a cat survive without water

Cats accommodate to 75% of the water in its body. You probably think that cats need more food than water. The truth is it is the other way round. Wild cats can live without water slightly longer than indoor cats as they receive their fluids from the prey they catch. Like humans, a cat can survive without water for 3 days without too much health complications.

Feeding your cat with water is very important, especially when your pet refuses to eat food. Since cats do not feel any signs of dehydration, cats need a sufficient amount of water even if the cat is eating its food.

To survive from dehydration, you should feed your cat with wet canned foods to withstand longer health without drinking water. To feed your cat with water is to serve with food and water available and your cat will drink whenever it feels like it.

To get the right intake of water, an average cat must drink 2-4 ounces of water with the food it eats. Depending on the size of your cat, smaller cats need less amount of water than larger cats.

Loss of Fluids

Like humans, cats lose fluids when it comes to urinating or sweating. How long can a cat go without food or water? This depends on the intake of fluids. There are definite factors when cats suffer an increased fluid loss, such factors include:

  • Diseases
  • Recent vaccinations
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Kidney problems

The amount of fluid loss can lead to danger if your cat refuses to drink a sufficient amount of water. Such refusals are:

- Being picky with their water bowls: Most cats are choosy when it comes to the materials of the water bowls. If the bowl is too deep or made of skin-irritating plastic, they will refuse to drink from it. Some cats do not like if the water bowl places too close to their food. This where the cat refuses to drink water.

- Preferring to drink bottled water: Some cats do not like to drink tapped water from their bowls. If this is the case with your cat, I suggest you switch it to bottled water.

- Preferring to drink running water: Cats like to watch the water running from the tap. The reason behind the fluid loss is that the cat likes to drink the water running from the faucet.

Whatever the issue is, if your cat is not drinking enough amount of water, this would cause the initial stage of dehydration. To save your cat’s lives from fluid loss is to follow these changes above.

What to do if your cat is not eating enough or drinking enough water?

What to do if your cat is not eating enough or drinking enough water?

It is important for your cat to survive from dehydration and malnutrition. If you notice your cat is not eating or drinking enough water daily, it is time to look into it. How long can a cat go without food or water? This depends on how well you take care of your beloved pet.

If your cat is not drinking enough water, the reason lies within the loss of fluid. This means if your cat does not drink enough water but keeps active and urinates frequently. This is the sign of dehydration. Losing many fluids can cause negative effects on your cat’s health. When your cat becomes very dehydrated, your cat may suffer constipation, vomiting, diarrhoea, dry gums or a quick heart rate. Regarding the behaviour, if your cat ends up being moody and feeling inactive, it feels thirsty.

If your cat is not eating enough food, there are definite signs when your pet is not getting enough food in its diet. Such behaviours include wincing in pain when eating, eating a little bit before giving up, not eating at all and disinterested in food. Apart from illness, there are other factors on why your cat would not eat. If this habit continues for two days, you need to take your cat to the vet. Once your cat stops eating, its organs will deteriorate slowly. Then the digestive system will shut down first, next comes the brain and finally the heart, which lasts the longest. This can cause death.


Here are the facts on how long can a cat go without food or water. You can see not looking after your cat well can lead to deterioration of the pets’ organs. To survive from hunger and dehydration is to take care of your cat by giving an adequate amount of food and water. Depending on the breed and the age of your cat, you must never neglect your cat’s behaviour on eating and water drinking habits.

Do make sure you feed properly and drink enough water to avoid dehydration and fluid loss.

If you want your pet to save from hunger and thirst, do look at these facts above and take good care of your cat!