What to Feed a Sick Cat That Won’t Eat

It’s a terrible time for a pet owner when their beloved kitty isn’t well. After all, cats can’t tell us what’s wrong so it can be difficult to know they are under the weather. But one sure sign that they aren’t feeling great is if they are off their food. After all, if they have a bug, they are not going to want to eat. However, a lot of people don’t know what to feed a sick cat that won’t eat.

First things first, make sure you rule out things such as trying a new food or a dodgy can which both might put your cat off eating. It’s worth buying a different cat meal just to see if your cat will eat it. If your cat still turns their nose up at the food, there is a high chance they are not feeling well.

You should firstly see how it goes for the next 24 hours. If they show signs of recovering, it’s not worth worrying about it too much. But if they are still under the weather, it’s now time to take them to the vets so they can look them over. While you wait for a diagnosis (they will likely do some tests such as an x-ray or ultrasound), you should try and get your cat to eat something. After all, they need a bit of food to keep them strong.

They don’t want to make them feel worse by giving them something that will make them sick. Therefore, here is a guide to a few things you can give your sick cat which will give them strength without harming their stomach further.

Chicken and Rice

You might be surprised to know that chicken and rice are both excellent foods which can help to give your feline a little strength. They both can help to soothe their stomach pain and balance it out a little. But it’s also excellent for providing them still with all the nutrients they need so they don’t become lethargic down to lack of food. Therefore, cook the chicken plain in the oven or boil it, and then cut it into pieces to give to the cat.

Avoid any kind of seasoning which could further. upset their belly Also, you can give the cat some plain white rice to go with the chicken. Just make sure it’s completely plain and you add some water to ensure the cat stays hydrated. After all, it will lead to even more problems if they do have no water at all. And if they don’t eat it at first, keep it covered then offer a little  later.

White Fish or Tuna

Another good option which will give your cat strength and keep them fueled is some white fish. Fish is a firm favorite with kitties and it’s excellent for their health and can prolong their lifespan as it has omega-3. Just make sure you don’t go for anything with batter or with skin as it could further. upset their bellies You just want some plain white fish which will be easy to digest for your kitty. You might want to chop it up a bit so it’s easier to eat. Just like with the chicken and rice, keep attempting to get your cat to eat it.

You can also offer them tuna when they are sick. With its appealing taste, it can be a winner with your pussycat. And even if it doesn’t eat the tuna itself, you can always offer them a bit of water from the can. If they drink this, they will be getting some water and a bit of tuna too. And it might give them their taste back so they consume some food sooner rather than later.

Minced Meat

Cats love the smell of minced meat, like hamburger. When you are cooking it, you will find they will be around you like a rash. In fact, kittens love to be in the kitchen when you are cooking a hearty lasagna or making meatballs for the family. So when they are under the weather, it’s always a good option to try with your cat. They will smell the meat and it might entice them to try some.

And then you can ensure your friendly feline is getting some food in their belly. Just make sure that you boil the meat rather than fry it. By doing this, it will keep its goodness and will help your kitty to consume it. You can mix the meat once cold with some rice which will help to make sure your cat is still eating something nutritious.


If your cat isn’t eating, there might be a problem with their mouth or teeth, but you want to still get some food in for your cat’s well-being. Therefore, for the meantime, you might want to stick to a liquid diet. That way, you can make sure your cat gets something into their system so they stay healthy. Soup is a good option to go for as it will be easier to feed to your beloved feline. Prepare something along the lines of chicken soup for your cat.

You can use some chicken, vegetables and plants in some boiling water. You can then add extra vitamins to the soup to make sure your cat is on the mend sooner rather than later. Feed the soup mixture to your cat and any leftovers can be used the next day. Hopefully, the cat will soon be feeling better; then, they can get back to proper solid food.

Here's a short video of how to make a cat eat and drink when it is sick:

It will hopefully be the case that your cat will get over its stomach bug and will be back to normal in a short period of time.

But if they won’t take food after several days, there are options you can try such as a feeding tube which can be used to ensure your cat gets some nutrients in the meantime.

To go along with your cat's food, our cat also needs to drink water. Provide them with enough, sufficient or plenty of supply of water within reach. 

And remember to pet and praise your cat while they’re not feeling well. Helping them to feel comfortable and secure might help get them in the mood for eating.