Cat has widly variable appetite


TCS Member
Thread starter
Apr 2, 2021
My 1.5 year old neutered male cat is outdoor/indoor cat, eats and sleeps outside but is allowed outside whenever he wants. His whole life he is struggling with flare ups from cat herpes, went to the vet around 7-8 times ( before i found out it was feline herpes). Also his whole life his appetite varied. At first i tought its because of his herpes flare ups but it wasnt. So i tried to change his food because he juts wouldnt eat enough so maybe he was bored of the same food, tried many different types of food, dry grain free, cheap dry, expensive wet food, jelly, gravy, pate, fillets, combinations of all that i mentioned. For example, he eats 3 cans of quality wet food for 5 days licks the bowl clean every time but the next 5 days he leaves more than half of the same quality wet food. So i give him something else to eat for the next 5 days, he also leaves more than 50% of the new food. So i get persistent and give him the new food again for the next 5 days and he licks the bowl clean. Long story short... 10 day period, cat eats normally for 5 but the other 5 eats small amounts which lead to him being slightly underweight. He is very active and acting normal. Should i be worried?


Top Cat
Feb 20, 2011
I wouldn’t be worried at this point. I am wondering if his sometimes lack of appetitive is related to being outdoors and possibly catching his own meal. You can weigh in every few weeks and if he maintains, he is fine. If he is not eating and losing weight then a vet visit is in order.


Rules my home with an iron paw
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Oct 16, 2015
Havelock, North Carolina
First, if you have not done so, discuss his eating patterns with his vet. KEEP A LOG, what he ate, how much he ate. I'm surprised that he doesn't have diarrhea with the rapid changes in diet, but if he handles it fine, he handles it fine, and more power to him! But do make your vet aware of this. This is not a "screaming emergency," or certainly not right now. Get a good handle on the pattern first.

Second, I'm reading your first sentence as "he eats and sleeps inside but is allowed outside." Is that actually what you had intended to say? I'm wondering if he is nibbling something outside that might cause a lack of appetite, but it's almost impossible to say. There are any number of things, animal and vegetable that it might be, and I'm uncomfortable making guesses.