Why Is Cat Not Eating After Giving Birth?

Some cats stop eating after giving birth.

This is a normal behavior, and shouldn’t be a reason to worry. However, if your cat stops eating for more than a day, you should seek veterinary advice.

The vet may recommend a feeding tube or intravenous fluids. You should also contact your vet if your cat doesn’t eat for more than two days.

So, why is cat not eating after giving birth?

Let’s dive in.

Why Isn’t My Cat Eating After Giving Birth?

Placenta Consumption

When a cat stops eating after giving birth, 90% of the time it is due to the consumption of the placentas.

The placenta is what develops in the uterus during pregnancy. It is what nourishes the unborn kittens.

After giving birth, a cat will usually consume the placentas from her kittens. However, if your cat is not eating after giving birth, it is due to either emotional stress or physical injury.

In rare circumstances, a cat may not consume her placenta.

Placentas have a high purgative effect. If a cat consumes her placentas, it may cause you to vomit.

However, if your cat is not eating after giving birth, and is vomiting, this is a medical emergency. A cat vomiting is a danger sign.

When a cat vomits, it means that something is stuck in her esophagus. This can cause extreme pain, damage to her esophagus, or food/liquids to spill into her lungs.

If this is true, the mother (and kitten) need veterinary care immediately.

Increased Anxiety and Depression

When a cat refuses to eat or is eating less than normal, she may have increased anxiety and stress.

While it is uncommon, it is NORMAL for a mother cat to become depressed after giving birth.

This may also result in retching, vomiting, or loss of appetite.

The cause is a hormonal (cortisol) imbalance.

This might include not wanting to be around her (newborn) kittens, or wanting them to be away from her.

Birthing Complications

The most prevalent cause “lost appetite” in cats is feline infectious peritonitis, or FIV.

This might involve internal injuries (such as broken bones), peritonitis, or other life-threatening issues.

When a mother is in this condition, her appetite will lessen.

Unfortunately, this may result in death, especially in kittens. It is crucial that you seek veterinary advice immediately.

Why Is My Mother Cat Not Eating?

A mother cat may stop eating if she (or her kittens) are sick.

If a cat is not eating after giving birth, and she appears normal, you should seek veterinary advice. Even if your cat is healthy, it may be beneficial to contact your vet.

Sometimes, it may be easier to treat a condition early. If your cat is not eating after giving birth, you should seek veterinary advice.

If your kitten has a birth defect, you should consider spaying or neutering the mother.

How Do You Feed a Cat After She Has Given Birth?

Nursing mother cats (and their kittens) will require additional nutrition.

The additional nutrients should be fed through milk. This will increase energy levels, enhance the immune system, and boost overall strength.

Your veterinarian may recommend that you purchase special milk replacer for kittens. Be sure to provide fresh, clean water.

A mother cat requires 10-12 ounces of water daily.

Cow’s milk, contrary to common assumption, is extremely unsuitable for cats. Milk is extremely high in fat, lactose, and protein.

It may cause diarrhea, stomach upset, or even death. Always ensure fresh, clean water is available.

Since cats cannot drink from a bowl, provide water in a bowl for her to lick. Keep the water bowl clean.

Remember, if your cat is not eating after giving birth (for 12 hours or more), take her to your veterinarian immediately.

Do Cats Lose Their Appetite After Giving Birth?

After giving birth, it is normal for a cat to stop eating.

In fact, most cats will stop eating completely, in order to consume their placentas. However, if your cat is not eating after giving birth, and hasn’t consumed her placentas, it could indicate a problem.

Cats can lose appetite due to stress, pain, depression, or other medical issues. If your cat is not eating after 12 hours, take her back to the vet.

When the mother stops eating, it’s (usually) a sign of trouble.

The vet may recommend intravenous fluids, a feeding tube, or even surgery. Remember, if your cat is not eating after giving birth, she needs veterinary care.

How Soon Does a Cat Eat After Giving Birth?

Most queens are not interested of feeding their newborn kittens for the first day.

The queen will first need to consume her placentas. Cats will typically eat the placenta within 24 hours of giving birth.

Once the queen has consumed her placentas, she may nurse her kittens.

However, she should start feeding again within 24 hours (of giving birth). If your cat is not eating after giving birth, you should take her back to the vet.

She may be dehydrated, or in serious pain. Remember, if your cat is not eating after giving birth, she needs veterinary care.

Also Read: Why Is My Cat So Attached To Me Lately?


These are the most common reasons (for a mother cat not eating). However, there are many other reasons.

When dealing with a scenario like this, seek veterinary care immediately.

They will be able to diagnose the problem and prescribe the appropriate treatment.