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Appetite Stimulant for Cats: 5 Ways to Boost Hunger

No Cat Parent that’s been paying attention to their precious feline baby will dispute the claim that cats are picky eaters. But eventually, there comes the point where Cat Parents are forced to distinguish a finicky appetite from a more severe problem. An appetite stimulant for cats can help your feline friend keep weight on if they tend to skip meals. But what’s up with cats that don’t eat? 


A loss of appetite spanning more than twelve hours may be your first sign that your feline friend could be in pain or suffering from illness. In the event that your cat’s appetite issue is serious, your vet will most likely prescribe medication of some sort.


But, perhaps you’d prefer to take a more natural approach for your pet’s wellbeing and choose not to use drugs and medication that carry the potential adverse effects. If this is the case, you’re in luck! There may be a few fantastic options available to keep your cat happy and healthy.


Why Does My Cat Eat so Little?

Evolution has made our precious feline friends extremely sensitive to their health and environmental changes. So it makes sense that their appetites often reflect this sensitivity. 


Cats are infamous for shying away from food when they experience stress, often leaving cat owners baffled and wondering what could have caused this sudden change in appetite. A few common reasons that a cat may stop eating include:


  • Change in their diet
  • Changes in their home environment such as new people, new location, new pets, etc.
  • Changes in their regular feeding routine
  • Nausea and gastrointestinal upset
  • Upper respiratory infections and congestion
  • Dental disease
  • Tooth pain
  • Newly diagnosed illnesses such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, kidney disease, etc.
  • The addition of new daily medications


It is clear to see that there are many changes in a cat’s life that might cause them to experience partial anorexia. Though missing a meal may seem harmless upon first consideration, Cat Parents must get to the source of their cat’s stress as soon as possible to ensure their health and safety. 


An extended time without eating can cause serious health issues in cats (and most other animals) that often require professional care. Suppose at any point you notice a change in appetite in your cat. In that case, we suggest contacting your veterinarian as soon as possible.


Treatment Options for Cats with Low Appetite 

While there are many potential causes for loss of appetite in felines, the treatment depends on the cause.


a feline sniffing food


If your cat has a health issue, they may require:

  • Antibiotic medication
  • Medication to treat nausea or to stimulate the appetite
  • A diet change
  • Hospitalization
  • Fluid therapy
  • Surgery (in the case of disease)


Follow these tips if your vet determines that your cat is perfectly healthy and is just a picky eater:

  • Be patient 
  • Try feeding them cat foods with different flavors, shapes, and textures. 
  • Make sure to warm up wet foods that have been refrigerated.
  • Buy only as much dry food as your cat will eat in a month. Some foods may go stale or become rancid if left open for more than a month.


It’s always helpful to know what is typical for your cat and watch for the signs that your cat is not eating an appropriate amount so you know when to seek help.


Natural Ways to Stimulate Your Cat’s Appetite

There are various natural methods that Cat Parents can employ to keep their feline housemates happy and healthy, for those that are adverse to treating their cat’s appetite issues with medication. A natural appetite stimulant for cats can boost hunger without the expensive drugs or side effects!


But, if problems with your cat’s appetite continue after using the methods mentioned below, we highly suggest speaking with your vet or another animal health care professional about your concerns.



Most cats adore catnip. It comes from the mint family, so it is both natural and safe for your cat’s consumption. Just a sprinkle of catnip on the floor or a toy can significantly change your cat’s behavior regarding their appetite.


New Smells

Savory and salty foods are a cat’s bread and butter. Perhaps try adding bits of cheese or some bacon pieces to your cat’s dish. You might see an increase in your cat’s interest in their food after adding these desirable smells.


Boost Blood Flow

An excellent way to help increase your cat’s appetite is to create an increase in their blood flow. Having regular playtime with your cat is a fantastic way to do this! Exercise keeps them healthy and strengthens your bond. You may also want to try giving your cat a massage to try to stimulate blood flow.


Relaxing Environment

Other pets or loud people can cause your cat to stress out, and this could suppress their hunger. Creating a comfortable environment for your cat can significantly improve appetite and improve their mood.


Can I Give My Cat CBD as an Appetite Stimulant?

Yes, you absolutely can! CBD can act as an appetite stimulant for cats. It may increase hunger by alleviating other uncomfortable symptoms, like queasiness and stress. 


Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a naturally occurring compound (categorized as a “cannabinoid”) extracted from the hemp plant. Though scientists conduct new research into CBD every day, remember that this handy little compound is not intended to cure, treat, or prevent any illnesses or diseases.


CBD and THC have nearly identical molecular structures, with only a handful of key differences. Because of these similarities, it is easy to see why many people might assume that the two compounds will affect them similarly. And while there is no doubt that these two compounds share some features, the two are by no means identical when it comes to their effects. 


Cat Parents, CBD consumers, and everyone in between should know that cats and virtually all other mammals have an internal system that interacts with cannabinoids and regulates many essential functions throughout the body. This system is called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Among other vital functions, the ECS is responsible for regulating appetite, mood, and pain response.


Will CBD Make My Cat Hungry?

It may! CBD can ease queasiness, stress, and physical discomfort, all of which can contribute to your cat’s meager appetite.  


For example, an overwhelmed, overstressed, or overstimulated cat may eat less because of increased nerves. On the other side of the same coin, a cat suffering through any amount of pain will likely have little to no appetite.


In both cases, CBD’s relaxing and soreness-relieving properties may promote a healthier and more natural appetite by easing the cat’s mindset or soothing their discomfort. This would relieve the distress that was disrupting their appetite.


a food dish with a hemp leaf in it


What Are the Benefits of CBD for Cats?

Just like it does in humans, CBD is capable of creating a wide array of potential benefits in your cat! Besides being an effective appetite stimulant for cats, some other benefits include:


  • Relieving Aggression
  • Easing Nervous Tension or Worry
  • Promoting Healthy Eating Habits
  • Restoring Energy
  • Easing Physical Tension or Discomfort
  • Promoting Joint Mobility


 All in all, CBD can help to improve your cat’s mood-related conditions and symptoms related to other health issues by directly targeting the factors that may lie at the root of the problem, such as nervousness, discomfort, or other issues. 


As always, we recommend that you speak with your vet or another animal healthcare professional before giving your cat CBD. Although CBD has many health benefits, all Pet Parents must consider whether t CBD is beneficial for their furry friend’s health.


Does CBD Have Any Side Effects on Cats?

CBD is generally well-tolerated in both animals and humans and can provide a myriad of potential health benefits. That being said, CBD is not without its side effects. While most of CBD’s side effects are minor and typically fade with continued use, Cat Parents and CBD consumers alike should be wary of the potential downsides that may come with CBD use.


Every person’s body chemistry is unique, meaning that CBD may affect certain people (or animals) differently than others. Cannabidiol (CBD) can inflict a small handful of side effects, the most common of which we have listed below:


  • Dry mouth – CBD can decrease the production of saliva, causing dryness in the mouth. Your cat may show signs of thirst after ingesting CBD in any form.
  • Lowered blood pressure – due to its relaxing properties, CBD may potentially reduce blood pressure. This can cause light-headedness to a small degree.
  • Drowsiness – Because CBD induces a feeling of calm and relaxation, high doses are likely to cause drowsiness.


How Much CBD Should I Give My Cat?

The typical regular strength dosage for pets is about 0.25 milligrams of CBD oil per 1 pound of body weight. The recommended amount is 0.50 milligrams of CBD per 1 pound of body weight for a more potent dosage.


Remember, CBD overdose is rare and extremely unlikely, so don’t stress yourself out over making adjustments to the dosage if you feel it will meet your pet’s needs and benefit their wellbeing.


Because everything with a body generally has its own unique body chemistry, certain pets react better to higher doses, while others respond better to lower amounts. For more information regarding CBD dosage for pets, check out our easy-to-use dosing chart.


Final Thoughts – Appetite Stimulant for Cats

Your cat not eating enough can be stressful and seriously alarming. We know that all you want is for your precious feline friend to be happy and healthy, so we here at Healthy Petables hope that this article has provided you with a bit of insight into how to best look after your cat’s health and appetite.


Remember, we will always recommend that you have a conversation with your vet or another animal healthcare professional if you suspect that your cat is developing unhealthy eating habits. And always speak to your vet before giving your cat CBD or any other alternative wellness remedy.


While CBD may carry many potential health benefits, all Pet Parents’ responsibility is to first consider whether or not CBD is safe and beneficial for their feline friend’s health.