16 y/o cat tries to eat but can't

icetbr

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Hi, my family takes care of dozens of cats, and so we didn't realize one of our elderly stopped eating until he started to vomit. It was hepatic lipidosis.

For me everything points to a mental condition. He is in his 7th week of eating through a feeding tube. We went through many tests, remedies, injections (cerenia and others). At first we took him 3 times a week to the vet, with consultations taken up to 1 hour each. He went to a vet dentist. He is currently on mirtazapine among other medications.

While sick, he was very nauseous, and that would account for not eating. But why he stopped eating at first place and won't eat now is a mystery. Sometimes he doesn't seem to want to. Others, he goes to his food bowl with enthusiasm, he licks it as it was water, but can't seem to chew. It's like he forgotten how to. We have cats without teeth who eats normally.

He kind of eats a little of tuna, something he always loved. Mostly he drinks the water out of it. We tried many kinds of food, soft and small, pates.

Drinking water is a chore as well, he has a lot of difficulty. But he drinks a lot of water. We tested for diabetes.

His behaviour while recuperating was very sad. But very slowly, he is kind of back to being himself. His gaze is no longer distant all the times, he acknowledges us. He still is not grooming, but he has taken a lick or two at his paw in order to clean himself.

He still behaves kinds of erratic. He asks for food (tuna) as he always did, when my mom gets home. He will lick a little, go away, the come back and ask again. Repeat this 3 times.

has anyone experienced this before? Cat dementia/Alzheimer or something?

Thanks
 
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icetbr

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Thank you for the feedback

I think that he really needs to see a vet again. There are so many possible causes for appetite loss in cats, you really need a professional to diagnose and treat him.
I'm afraid we're way beyond that. We have eliminated all of those possibilities. He goes to the at least weekly to check on many things.

ERITROGRAMA
LEUCOGRAMA
PLAQUETOGRAMA
ALT/TGP
CREATININA
BILIRRUBINAS

Sorry, its a lot to find the appropriate translation. We have confirmed his lipdosis is over, he's on prednisolone for 3 weeks now, he has taken many kinds of antibiotics.

Have you tried hand feeding and/or raised bowls?
We tried those. He can't keep the food in his mouth, he drops it. It's like he forgot how to chew and/or swallow. It's not like he doesn't want to eat, he meows for food at his usual times.

I will look up that Hills Urgent Care canned food to give it a try. He is already on Royal Canin Recovery. I will try some of the suggestions in the article, there is a lot of them. But as I said, he wants to eat, seems like he can't.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. You didn't specifically say how old he is, but since you referred to him as elderly, I am guessing he is considered geriatric. A geriatric cat is going to heal/mend/recover pretty much as many geriatric humans do - SLOWLY. It sounds like he has made some progress, even if the improvements are slight and slow. I am glad you still have the feeding tube in as that will take pressure off of you in trying various ways to get him to eat again.

Since he likes tuna/tuna water - can you make a slurry of it, the consistency nearly being total liquid to see if he will lap it up? If he can manage to do that, perhaps add some of the recovery food to the slurry for the next test. The other thing to immediately try is the baby food meat. He may actually be able to lap up that without watering it down. I give Feeby (16+ yo) some baby food meat everyday just to help with calories - it is the one thing she, so far, has never turned down. Getting him to eat mostly liquid food might the first step in getting him to eat more solid foods as time goes by.

Feeby is off and on with her eating. (She does have hyperthyroidism but is being treated.) She seems to want to eat but if, for whatever reason, the food isn't to her liking she would rather go hungry than eat it. She will eat a bite of food, then walk away, but then come back within minutes to check out and reject the food again - I swear she is looking for the food to have miraculously changed to something else! Maybe your guy is doing something similar?

I can't explain what might be causing him to drop food from his mouth, but suspect it is simply a residual effect from all that he has been through and hope it will dissipate over time once you can finally get him eating again. He could have even had a mild stroke at some point while he was ill, and like human stroke victims sometimes it takes a while to regain/master simple tasks as the body begins to heal from the stroke. Being fed through a tube could have helped exacerbate his behavior, up to and including not being as hungry as normal but still wanting to eat.

I hope you can find some things to jump-start his eating, and that he continues to show improvements - even if they are slow!!
 
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maggie101

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My cat was leaving,coming back,eating a little more. Past 2 days. So I scheduled teeth cleaning since she has plaque.Today she is having no trouble eating and more playful. She has struitive crystals. Inflammation comes and goes. She does not have to seem lethargic for inflammation. It is hard to notice. Anytime your cat acts differently, see a vet
 
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icetbr

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Hi. You didn't specifically say how old he is,...
Hi, it's in the title, 16 as well. Thank you for sharing your experience, it seems something along those lines. I'm weighting him daily since we started to reduce the Recovery in order to increase his appetite. He is loosing 40g each 2 days (6 days now), starting at 5800g. His twin brother has a tumor for 5 years now, he is pure skin and bones, weights 3800g and lives very well. I don't know what to expect, but these are my parameters to go by.

I will continue to focus on finding close to liquid foods for him to eat. He was always very picky. Never ate anything but tuna and his Royal Canin Exigent. And we have a lot of options of food!

Today I bough a Hills Urgent Care. He licked a whole teaspoon. That's something. The tuna + Recovery was a no go for now. Will try baby food soon.

My cat was leaving,coming back,eating a little more. Past 2 days. So I scheduled teeth cleaning since she has plaque.Today she is having no trouble eating and more playful. She has struitive crystals. Inflammation comes and goes. She does not have to seem lethargic for inflammation. It is hard to notice. Anytime your cat acts differently, see a vet
Thank you, but we took him to a vet dentist, and all the antibiotics he had should have accounted for something tooth inflamation related. Will continue to look out though, he already lost many teeth.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi, it's in the title, 16 as well.
So sorry about that! I am usually a bit more 'attentive' than that!
Today I bough a Hills Urgent Care. He licked a whole teaspoon. That's something. The tuna + Recovery was a no go for now. Will try baby food soon.
Good news about the Hills Urgent Care. Good luck with the baby food. :crossfingers: Keep us posted!
 
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