My cat hasn't eaten in 5 days - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-02-2011, 04:19 AM
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I'm so overwhelmed and distraught right now, I don't know what to do. My 2 yr old cat just suddenly stopped eating this past Thursday night. Earlier that day he had very foul smelling stool, I could smell it from the other room; later that night he threw up his last meal and since then has eaten only 4-5 pieces of large kibble - total. He threw up again 2 days ago but it was just bile. He was at the vet most of the day yesterday getting x-rays, urinalysis, blood work and fluids. 630 dollars later, the vet couldn't find anything obviously wrong aside from some gas. I will get blood results today, but I'm preparing for the worst. I should think more positively but 5 days of no food or water?? I've been doing my best the past couple of days to force some food down with a syringe but most of the food ends up on me. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can get some food and meds into him without totally traumatizing him? He will not sit still for me to try to open his mouth to feed him and he spends most of the day under the bed, so I can't even get to him most of the time. Any advice/help/personal experience would be really great right now, as I am completely discouraged.

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#2 Old 08-02-2011, 04:24 AM
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If it's not physical, could it be psychological? Could something have happened in the last few days to traumatize him, such as a strange cat wandering around? Have you changed your schedule drastically or brought a new human into your life? Perhaps consulting a cat behaviorist would help?

I'm sorry, I don't have any other ideas. I hope he gets better soon.

ETA: Perhaps consulting another vet for a second opinion would help.

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#3 Old 08-02-2011, 04:40 AM
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AND now his brother just attacked me for the first time since I've had them. This is getting better and better. Mental breakdown in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1....

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#4 Old 08-02-2011, 04:41 AM
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If it's not physical, could it be psychological? Could something have happened in the last few days to traumatize him, such as a strange cat wandering around? Have you changed your schedule drastically or brought a new human into your life? Perhaps consulting a cat behaviorist would help?

I'm sorry, I don't have any other ideas. I hope he gets better soon.

ETA: Perhaps consulting another vet for a second opinion would help.

Nothing out of the ordinary has happened.

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#5 Old 08-02-2011, 05:02 AM
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So sorry...very discouraging, especially with the vet not finding anything after all of those tests! Not that you want them find anything seriously wrong, but at least you would have something to go on and a chance at treating it.
My Mandi used to go through periods of not eating...she would have to spend a day or two with IV fluids to keep her from getting dehydrated. She had medical issues, though, so it was not uncommon for her to lose her appetite at times.
I hope you get some answers and that your kitty's condition improves soon!

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#6 Old 08-02-2011, 08:15 AM
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Have you tried offering him different kinds of foods? When a cat is really sensitive or sick, meaty baby food (for humans) is often worth a try.
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#7 Old 08-02-2011, 08:29 AM
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Have you tried offering him different kinds of foods? When a cat is really sensitive or sick, meaty baby food (for humans) is often worth a try.


I have. I've tried chicken baby food, baby rice, squash (he normally loooves squash), canned tuna and juice, his regular food, the vet gave me wet food for gastrointestinal issues - he wont eat any of it. I mean, he's only 2, what could be wrong with him??

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#8 Old 08-02-2011, 09:48 AM
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"A number of different conditions may be responsible for a cat’s refusal to eat, including infections, kidney failure, pancreatitis, intestinal problems, and cancer. But it isn’t always serious - something as simple as a toothache can make your cat stop eating."

http://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/my-cat-wont-eat

http://amberfoundation.org/Feeding/n...NotEating.html

Hope your kitty gets better soon!
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#9 Old 08-02-2011, 10:12 AM
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A toothache won't make an otherwise healthy cat completely stop eating for 5 days...

For such a young cat this is very concerning. Hopefully your vet will figure out today what is wrong with him. Is he the type to eat things he should not? Does he chew up toys, towels or plastics? Or maybe he found something in the yard if he goes outside. That is the most common thing I see where young cats get sick so acutely, something is stuck in their GI tract. Sometimes it shows up on x-rays, sometimes it does not, it just depends on the density of the material.

Also of concern is that cats can develop hepatic lipidosis if they do not eat for an extended period of time (like for a week), which just compounds the problem.

It is pretty hard to force feed cats. You could try wrapping him in a towel like a burrito to keep him still. An extra pair of hands might be helpful too. They make some syringes w/ a long curved tip that can aid in forcefeeding also, your vet might have some.

what is your cat's name? I hope he's feeling better soon.
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#10 Old 08-02-2011, 02:26 PM
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So 1200 dollars later and the vet has concluded it's a virus. A VIRUS! I had bloodwork, urinalysis, x-rays, sonogram, stool sample and an enema done on top of anti nausea pills, pepcid, laxatone, appetite stimulant and finally, probably the only thing he really needed - antibiotics. I'm incredibly annoyed that the vet did not discover this first thing. He didn't have a fever yesterday but when I went back today after finding out that his white blood cell count was really low he had a slight temp. yet the vet still sent me to have a 360 dollar sonogram done. He's finally eating though, thanks to the appetite stimulants and antibiotics. Lets hope he keeps it down and eats some more. I thought cats were EASY!! I've had the toughest time with this little guy.

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#11 Old 08-02-2011, 02:29 PM
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A toothache won't make an otherwise healthy cat completely stop eating for 5 days...

For such a young cat this is very concerning. Hopefully your vet will figure out today what is wrong with him. Is he the type to eat things he should not? Does he chew up toys, towels or plastics? Or maybe he found something in the yard if he goes outside. That is the most common thing I see where young cats get sick so acutely, something is stuck in their GI tract. Sometimes it shows up on x-rays, sometimes it does not, it just depends on the density of the material.

Also of concern is that cats can develop hepatic lipidosis if they do not eat for an extended period of time (like for a week), which just compounds the problem.

It is pretty hard to force feed cats. You could try wrapping him in a towel like a burrito to keep him still. An extra pair of hands might be helpful too. They make some syringes w/ a long curved tip that can aid in forcefeeding also, your vet might have some.

what is your cat's name? I hope he's feeling better soon.

His name is Bruiser. Thanks you for your response! I tried the burrito wrap, that was a disaster. But thankfully he's eaten some dinner tonight.

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#12 Old 08-02-2011, 02:47 PM
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Ouch...sorry about the vet bill! Been there, done that.
I hope Bruiser will be on the mend now...keep us posted!

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#13 Old 08-02-2011, 08:56 PM
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I thought cats were EASY!! I've had the toughest time with this little guy.

Living with companion animals is never easy. It's just like having children!

Glad to hear he's eating now but I'm sorry about the vet bill and all the stress. Hopefully Bruiser will continue to eat and get better.
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#14 Old 08-02-2011, 10:07 PM
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Virus? Antibiotics?

But anyways, good to learn he's doing better.

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#15 Old 08-02-2011, 10:24 PM
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Virus? Antibiotics?

vegkid's right. Antibiotics are for killing bacteria, not viruses. It's crazy not only how many vets, but how many doctors inappropriately prescribe antibiotics. If the antibiotics are what's helped Bruiser, then it likely wasn't a virus, and sometimes people and animals get better while taking antibiotics, but it's just the immune system doing its thing, regardless of or despite the meds.

How's the little guy doing now? Hope everything's better now...

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#16 Old 08-02-2011, 10:26 PM
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Living with companion animals is never easy. It's just like having children!

Except you don't have to worry about college tuition.

I'm glad you found out. I might've said hairball, if he's a long hair that grooms a lot. As for his brother, I think he knew what was wrong, and didn't know how else to communicate with you.

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#17 Old 08-02-2011, 10:29 PM
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Except you don't have to worry about college tuition.

I'm glad you found out. I might've said hairball, if he's a long hair that grooms a lot. As for his brother, I think he knew what was wrong, and didn't know how else to communicate with you.

Cats are very sensitive creatures, I wouldn't be surprised if the brother attacked you because he was stressed about Bruiser's illness.

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#18 Old 08-03-2011, 10:43 AM
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vegkid's right. Antibiotics are for killing bacteria, not viruses. It's crazy not only how many vets, but how many doctors inappropriately prescribe antibiotics. If the antibiotics are what's helped Bruiser, then it likely wasn't a virus, and sometimes people and animals get better while taking antibiotics, but it's just the immune system doing its thing, regardless of or despite the meds.

How's the little guy doing now? Hope everything's better now...

I think that people tend to blur the lines between the terminology between "bacteria" and "virus" more than they tend to prescribe medications that are inappropriate for that specific illness. As in, people will sometimes refer to a bacterial infection as a virus ("There's a nasty virus going around!", "Flesh-eating virus", etc) even though it, in fact, needs antibiotics.

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#19 Old 08-03-2011, 11:33 AM
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Hope he is doing better!!

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#20 Old 08-03-2011, 11:48 AM
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So 1200 dollars later and the vet has concluded it's a virus. A VIRUS! I had bloodwork, urinalysis, x-rays, sonogram, stool sample and an enema done on top of anti nausea pills, pepcid, laxatone, appetite stimulant and finally, probably the only thing he really needed - antibiotics. I'm incredibly annoyed that the vet did not discover this first thing. He didn't have a fever yesterday but when I went back today after finding out that his white blood cell count was really low he had a slight temp. yet the vet still sent me to have a 360 dollar sonogram done. He's finally eating though, thanks to the appetite stimulants and antibiotics. Lets hope he keeps it down and eats some more. I thought cats were EASY!! I've had the toughest time with this little guy.

Wow $1200! I hope he's still doing better. Do you go to a smaller local vet? Sounds like they might have been trying to squeeze money from you doing all those extra tests, I don't think x-rays and all that are required to spot a virus or infection, let alone a sonogram. We even rescued a cat that was hit by a car who had to have two major surgeries and had bad breaks in her leg and hip bones, and the bill was still only a little over 1200, most of which was for all the referrals, emergency fees, and fees for having her in their care for about a month.
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#21 Old 08-03-2011, 12:00 PM
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Thanks everyone! He ate last night and this morning from the appetite stimulant and seems a bit better. But I'm still concerned as to whether or not he is actually getting better or if it's just the pills making him feel hungry.

Vegkid, did not know that. I'm beginning to doubt my vet more and more, I think. It's too bad because they are a higher end cat only clinic and should probably know these things! It's tough, because you put your trust in these people to help you in times of need, but do they actually deserve said trust? Ugh, at this point I just want my little runt to feel better.

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#22 Old 08-03-2011, 12:04 PM
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Wow $1200! I hope he's still doing better. Do you go to a smaller local vet? Sounds like they might have been trying to squeeze money from you doing all those extra tests, I don't think x-rays and all that are required to spot a virus or infection, let alone a sonogram. We even rescued a cat that was hit by a car who had to have two major surgeries and had bad breaks in her leg and hip bones, and the bill was still only a little over 1200, most of which was for all the referrals, emergency fees, and fees for having her in their care for about a month.

I think because he didn't have a fever initially, the vet wanted to be sure he hadn't swallowed a foreign object. But still, I think she could have tried other things first rather than a $$$$$$onogram. Thank goodness for pet insurance! Hopefully I'll get at least half of that money back. HOPEFULLY being the key word.

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#23 Old 08-03-2011, 12:09 PM
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Cats are very sensitive creatures, I wouldn't be surprised if the brother attacked you because he was stressed about Bruiser's illness.

I'm sure you're right. He was doing a lot of brotherly grooming. Typically it's the other way around. Plus I'm sure my needy little whiner was upset that he wasn't getting all the attention he normally gets because brother Bruiser needed me more. He's such a DIVA!

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#24 Old 08-03-2011, 02:33 PM
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I think because he didn't have a fever initially, the vet wanted to be sure he hadn't swallowed a foreign object. But still, I think she could have tried other things first rather than a $$$$$$onogram. Thank goodness for pet insurance! Hopefully I'll get at least half of that money back. HOPEFULLY being the key word.

Oh that's good that you have pet insurance! Hopefully you will! After we got our first dog we started getting insurance for all our dogs and cats, too, and it's a big lifesaver!
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#25 Old 08-03-2011, 06:54 PM
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Wow $1200! I hope he's still doing better. Do you go to a smaller local vet? Sounds like they might have been trying to squeeze money from you doing all those extra tests, I don't think x-rays and all that are required to spot a virus or infection, let alone a sonogram. We even rescued a cat that was hit by a car who had to have two major surgeries and had bad breaks in her leg and hip bones, and the bill was still only a little over 1200, most of which was for all the referrals, emergency fees, and fees for having her in their care for about a month.

The x-rays were probably to rule out an obstruction. An infection can also show up on x-rays if it's caused changes in the GI tract. My sister took her cat in recently for not eating and vomiting and the vet ordered almost exactly the same thing, except didn't get as far as a sonogram because the cat started doing better. And I know he's a trustworthy vet.

Prices can range widely from vet to vet but I wouldn't say because it cost a lot they were just trying to get money.

I'm glad he's doing better.
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#26 Old 08-04-2011, 09:30 AM
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My little buddy has perked up and is as loving, playful and happy as ever. I hope whatever was wrong is going buh bye!

He's especially enjoying his newly shaved belly (vet had to shave him for the sonogram) to be rubbed. I just held him in my arms like a baby and rubbed rubbed rubbed his tummy - he was in heaven. He's always squirming to get away after a few seconds when I pick him up, but clearly belly rubs are the new exception to the rule. I wonder if it's a trust thing? Maybe he aquates me (and his carrier, because he's been sleeping in it ever since) with making him feel better and he has given me his total trust? He even let me rub his pink little toes for a good long while without jetting away after a few seconds. He NEVER lets me play with his paws. Whatever the kitty logic behind it, I felt it was a bonding moment for us. Hahaha...crazy cat lady? Yes, indeed.

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#27 Old 08-04-2011, 10:15 AM
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My little buddy has perked up and is as loving, playful and happy as ever. I hope whatever was wrong is going buh bye!

He's especially enjoying his newly shaved belly (vet had to shave him for the sonogram) to be rubbed. I just held him in my arms like a baby and rubbed rubbed rubbed his tummy - he was in heaven. He's always squirming to get away after a few seconds when I pick him up, but clearly belly rubs are the new exception to the rule. I wonder if it's a trust thing? Maybe he aquates me (and his carrier, because he's been sleeping in it ever since) with making him feel better and he has given me his total trust? He even let me rub his pink little toes for a good long while without jetting away after a few seconds. He NEVER lets me play with his paws. Whatever the kitty logic behind it, I felt it was a bonding moment for us. Hahaha...crazy cat lady? Yes, indeed.

D'aww. :3

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#28 Old 08-04-2011, 02:09 PM
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D'aww. :3

Yes, indeed.

I'm SO glad Bruiser is feeling better.

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#29 Old 08-04-2011, 03:13 PM
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Yes, indeed.

I'm SO glad Bruiser is feeling better.

Me toooo! Thanks Amy.

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#30 Old 08-04-2011, 05:26 PM
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This is great news...so happy for you and Bruiser!!

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