When my cat, Mr. Meow began refusing to eat I started to research why this was, and in doing so I came across the very real problem of hepatic lipidosis. Cats are prone to something called hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver, when they stop eating.
Essentially when a cat stops eating they start to turn their fat stores into energy (This is especially the case in cats with ahem..."ample fat stores"). This consumption of fat stores infiltrates the liver and can cause liver failure. Hepatic lipidosis is one of the most common causes of liver failure in cats. Cats are particularly prone to this because they evolved as predators eating several small mammals or birds over the course of a day meaning their physiology is built for eating small lean meals throughout the day never having the opportunity to develop large amounts of fat stores.
This is not case for the common house cat that can develop large fat stores. These fat stores are essentially a ticking time bomb for a cat, because if for any reason the cat becomes anorexic, liver failure may occur. Mr. Meow did eventually begin to eat after a few days and was OK, but it is recommended that any anorexic cat, especially if obese, should be seen by a veterinarian, this way hepatic lipidosis can be caught in its early stages or prevented entirely with the proper treatment.
One last note, you may decide to try and force feed your cat, this is not a good idea. As you probably know, trying to get your cat to do something they don't want to do is usually futile and will only frustrate you, get you a few scratches and aggravate your cat.
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