Cat Only Eating 100 Calories a Day

19 Min Read

My cat, Kiki, is the light of my life. Ever since I adopted her from the shelter two years ago, she’s brought me endless entertainment and joy with her playful antics. But recently, I’ve had some cause for concern about my little furball.

It started a few weeks ago when I noticed Kiki wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about mealtimes as usual. In the past, she’d scarf down her kibble with abandon whenever I refreshed her bowl. Now, though, she seemed to be taking only a few disinterested mouthfuls before wandering off, leaving much of her food untouched.

At first, I just brushed it off as her being a picky eater, as cats often are. But then I started paying closer attention to how much she was actually consuming each day. What I realized shocked me: Kiki appeared to be eating just 100 calories or less! That amount struck me as dangerously inadequate for an active young cat.

Of course, as her doting owner, this had me quite worried. I knew cats needed proper nutrition to stay healthy and have energy for play. So I decided it was time to dig into the issue and ensure my precious Kiki was getting everything she needed. What started as concern quickly turned into a mission to discover why she wasn’t eating much and, more importantly, how I could encourage her appetite again.

That’s why I’m writing this article today. To share what I learned about getting to the root of Kiki’s decreased caloric intake, as well as the steps I took to improve her diet. My hope is that by spreading our story, other pet parents might recognize subtle changes in their furry friends and take steps to keep them nourished and carefree.

Understanding Calorie Needs in Cats

One of the first things I did was research how many calories the average cat should aim for each day. I discovered through asking our vet and browsing online cat forums that a healthy adult cat typically requires anywhere from 200 to 300 calories. This amount provides them with sufficient protein, fats, and essential vitamins and minerals to function optimally.

Calorie guidelines can vary a bit, though, depending on factors like age, size, and activity level. Younger kittens need significantly more calories per pound to support rapid growth. Larger or overweight cats may be on the lower end of the range if they are losing weight. Higher-energy outdoor cats burn more fuel as well.

It also became clear that consuming too few calories leads to malnutrition over time if not corrected. Some signs pet owners should watch for include lethargy, dramatic weight loss, dull fur or skin conditions, digestive issues, and loss of muscle mass. Left untreated, a malnourished cat could develop serious concerns like organ damage or even failure.

This information was eye-opening for me. If Kiki was truly only getting around 100 calories daily, like I suspected, that would put her dangerously below the minimum she needed as a petite yet still lively young cat. No wonder she seemed to have less energy for play lately. I knew this issue would need immediate attention from our vet to get her back on track.

Assessing Kiki’s Situation

Once I understood how few calories Kiki was potentially eating each day, my next step was to have our vet evaluate her condition. I wanted to rule out any medical causes for her lack of appetite and ensure she wasn’t showing signs of malnourishment already.

At her checkup, our vet gave Kiki a thorough physical exam and took some routine blood and urine samples for testing. Thankfully, everything appeared completely normal—her values were all within healthy ranges. This reassured me that no underlying illnesses were to blame.

Our vet then weighed Kiki and confirmed she hadn’t lost any significant weight yet, likely thanks to her youthful metabolism. But she cautioned that if left unchecked, her intake of around 100 calories wouldn’t support healthy growth or energy levels long-term.

We started brainstorming potential reasons for Kiki’s changed eating habits besides sickness. Then I remembered a key event: a few months prior, my friend’s dog had stayed with us while they were away. Kiki tended to be wary of other animals invading her space.

Our vet agreed that residual stress and anxiety from hosting the strange dog could definitely be suppressing Kiki’s appetite temporarily. Cats can hold onto worries longer than we realize. She supported my theory that this was likely behavioral rather than a deeper medical issue we needed to aggressively treat.

Armed with a clean bill of health but a plan in place to prevent future decline, I felt optimistic we could coax Kiki’s appetite back up through dietary and environmental adjustments. The vet had eased my concerns about serious illness too, taking a load off my mind.

Increasing Kiki’s Calorie Intake

After getting the all-clear from our vet, I was ready to take action to promote healthy eating habits for Kiki. The first change was switching her food. Our vet recommended trying a formulation specifically formulated for picky eaters with smaller kibbles but a higher calorie density.

Since Kiki tended to graze throughout the day rather than wolfing meals down, I also divided her total daily portion into smaller feedings a few hours apart. This “snack” approach increased the chances she’d nibble more often rather than feeling too full early on.

In addition, I opted for a calorie-packed supplement our vet suggested mixing into Kiki’s meals. A tablespoon of salmon oil provided important omega-3 fatty acids and about 50 extra calories per serving. I figured every bit helped get her intake closer to the target 200–300 mark.

Gradually getting more nutrition into Kiki without overwhelming her was the goal. I monitored to ensure she tolerated the ingredients too. Within just a couple days, I noticed she wasn’t leaving straggling kibble behind, a promising sign. Her new diet seemed well-suited for our fussy friend.

As a final tweak, I switched to canned food in addition to the kibble. Cats love flavors and moisture, so this helped further entice Kiki’s appetite for the novelty. Between the improvements, I was pleased to see she was snacking more consistently throughout the day and night.

Reducing Stress and Encouraging Appetite

While adjusting Kiki’s food was a good first step, her vet and I agreed environmental factors were also likely at play.  You see, house-guest animals can linger on a cat’s mind and disrupt their safe space feeling.

To help Kiki feel relaxed and secure again, I implemented the tips our vet suggested. Each evening before dinner, we had playtime with her favorite feather toys to burn off energy. Tired kitties seem to eat better! I also began using calming pheromone diffusers and scattered new catnip mice around as fun distractions.

Creating a peaceful atmosphere appeared to be key. I made sure to spend quiet bonding time with Kiki several times a day, petting and giving treats. This reassuring attention helped our bond strengthen once more. Before long, I noticed she seemed less on-edge overall in her domain.

Our home became a tranquil oasis just for Kiki. With timely meals, stimulating activities, and my unwavering love and support, she truly began to shine as the sweet soul I know. Most rewarding of all, her nibbling transformed into a healthy, renewed relish for her nutritious offerings. Care and understanding can do wonders!

Monitoring Improvement

It had only been a couple short weeks since implementing these changes, but the results were beautiful to witness. Kiki’s behavior was the happiest I’ve seen in a while; she was playful, affectionate, and back to her curious, inquisitive self.

Most importantly, her appetite seemed to be growing stronger with each passing day. Where she used to only half-heartedly peck at her food, now Kiki was enthusiastically cleaning her bowl at every mealtime. I could tell she was truly enjoying eating again.

While still on the petite side, Kiki also appeared more energetic. She spent hours zooming around the house and keeping me entertained with her acrobatic antics. That youthful spark had returned to her stunning green eyes.

I continued following up with our vet, and they were thrilled by Kiki’s progress report too. A quick check showed she was maintaining a steady weight thanks to her increased nutrient intake. Her improved behavior was reassuring proof that stress reduction and dietary changes were working synergistically.

Of course, I remain vigilant and plan regular check-ins with our vet to monitor Kiki. But for now, seeing how nourished and playful she is lifts any lingering worries from my heart. Our girl is back to her usual cheerful, healthy self, and I couldn’t be more grateful.


Why was my cat only eating 100 calories a day?

Stress, anxiety, boredom, and changes in their environment are common reasons cats may decrease their food intake. It’s always good to consult your vet to rule out any underlying medical issues as well. 

Is 100 calories enough for an adult cat?

No, 100 calories is generally not enough to meet the daily nutritional needs of most adult cats. As a general guideline, adult cats need between 200 and 300 calories per day, depending on their size and activity level.

How else can I increase my cat’s calorie intake?

Some other tips are to offer wet food in addition to dry, try a calorie-dense supplement like salmon oil, add variety by rotating protein sources, and provide multiple smaller meals throughout the day rather than one or two large portions. Playtime before feeding can also increase appetite.

Are there signs I should look out for?

Signs of inadequate calorie intake include lethargy, rapid weight loss, dull fur or skin, digestive issues, and decreased appetite. It’s important to monitor your cat closely and contact your vet if you notice any changes in eating habits or behavior.

Is stress a common reason for decreased appetite in cats?

Yes, stress is a very common reason cats may decrease their food consumption. Changes in their environment, like visitors, new pets, or relocating, can all cause stress and anxiety that impacts appetite. It’s important to provide cats with a calm, stable routine.

What should I do if my cat is undereating?

Consult your vet to rule out any medical issues and get tailored advice. Make dietary adjustments gradually. Also address potential stressors through routine, playtime, calming supplements, and creating a peaceful, safe space for your cat. Getting calorie intake back to healthy levels takes an owner-vet team effort.

How long should I give my diet and environmental changes time to work?

Most vets recommend at least 2-4 weeks to properly assess the effects of any adjustments. Changes take time for cats to adjust to, and improving appetite is a gradual process. Be patient and consistent.

What vet tests should be done for an under-eating cat?

Common initial tests include a physical exam, a weight check, and basic bloodwork to check organ function and rule out issues like hyperthyroidism or infections impacting appetite. More specialized tests may be required depending on individual symptoms and history.

If the cause is stress or anxiety, what else can I try?

Some other stress-relieving options include Feliway pheromone diffusers, creating cat-proof hiding spaces, limiting interactions with other pets or kids during meals, playing interactive games before eating, and asking your vet about anxiety supplements if needed.

Should I free-feed or stick to scheduled meals?

For most cats, especially those prone to decreased appetite issues, it’s best to offer meals at set times rather than leaving food out all day. This prevents grazing and encourages focused eating when the bowl is down.

When should I really worry and consider tube feeding?

If calorie intake drops below 5% of normal body weight per day for an extended period despite interventions or rapid, significant weight loss or weakness occurs, it may indicate a medical emergency requiring supplemental tube feeding or hospitalization.

Should I switch to wet food or add it in?

Wet food can be a good choice for finicky cats since it’s more aromatic and mimics prey. I’d recommend mixing it into existing dry food gradually over 1-2 weeks to avoid digestive upset from sudden diet changes.

What if my cat is losing weight too quickly?

Contact your vet right away, as this could indicate an underlying medical issue that requires treatment. They may recommend syringe-feeding appetite stimulants in addition to diet and environmental adjustments. Don’t delay seeking help.

How do I prevent my cat from refusing new foods?

Go slowly and positively when introducing anything new. Break large kibbles into smaller pieces or present wet food mixed into dry at first. Reward with affection or treats for eating. Most cats will adapt to healthy changes given time and positive reinforcement at each meal. 

Are canned foods really healthier than dry kibble?

While wet food provides more moisture, dry kibble is healthier for cats’ teeth and gums when eaten separately from wet food mealtimes. I’d suggest mixing high-quality dry kibble and canned food tailored for your individual cat’s needs and tastes. Variety is best.

Is salmon oil really helpful for cats?

Yes, salmon oil provides beneficial omega-3 fatty acids that support skin, coat, and brain health. For cats reluctant to eat, the high calorie boost can aid nutritional intake. Always consult your vet first regarding the appropriate amount for your cat. Go slowly adding it to avoid a stomach upset.


As a passionate content creator, it’s so rewarding to share impactful stories with readers and help others through relatable experiences. I’m grateful Kiki’s journey conveyed some key lessons:

While cats can seem independent, we must attentively care for their needs as owners. Even subtle shifts deserve prompt addressing, as in Kiki’s case, where stress subtly suppressed appetite initially. Early intervention addressing the root ensured her swift bounceback.

The environment profoundly impacts attitudes. Making adjustments, like incorporating calming tactics relieved Kiki’s unease, rekindling appetite. Catering a sanctuary lovingly aids feline wellness too.

Diet delicately affects behavior. Incremental changes gradually encouraged Kiki’s nutritional intake without being drastic or disorienting. Such a tailored approach tailored for her nature.

Vet guidance remains invaluable when concern arises. Their knowledge and guidance helped rule out medical causes initially, easing my worries too. It’s always best consulting experts regarding unique cases.

Love heals all in time. My strengthening bond and reassurance, coupled with positive changes, worked wonders for Kiki’s happiness and recovery. Such compassion strengthens the special bond between pet and human.

While each cat’s situation differs, I hope Kiki’s journey provides helpful takeaways for readers facing similar situations with their furry family. With diligent care, understanding and teamwork between owner and vet, even picky pets can overcome setbacks gracefully. Here’s to nourishing all of nature’s little sweethearts!

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