affection eating tips

Furballsmom

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I guess what I'm saying is that I don't understand, and have concerns about, her reaction --especially the thirst, when all three cats I've had over nearly 20 years of annual shots, have never had any issues.
 
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louisstools

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I guess what I'm saying is that I don't understand, and have concerns about, her reaction --especially the thirst, when all three cats I've had over nearly 20 years of annual shots, have never had any issues.
Did she get non-adjuvanted purevax?
I don't know what she got other than rabies and leukemia shots. I only asked about possible reactions bc I assumed she would have some. It's also been a bit warm the past few days so perhaps that's the cause?
 

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Hey there! It's clear you care a lot about your kitty's well-being. It's understandable that you want to break her habit of needing you by her side while eating.

Your experiment of getting her started and then gradually moving away sounds like a good approach. Consistency and patience will be key here. Over time, she may become more independent during mealtime.

Keep up the positive reinforcement, and she might adjust to eating on her own. 🐱🍽
 
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louisstools

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I dunno. I guess my thought is if she behaves that way when it is warmer without having had recent shots?
Maybe? I seem to think when we get a warm spell she does. It's just one of a dozen things with her that I'm tracking to try and crack her code lol.
 
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louisstools

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It's been awhile so just a quick update... On the last episode, my cat had her yearly check-up and everything came back healthy. She's been doing fine since then and we're working on cutting out some meals during the work day in the hopes she'll eat more at the other meals and/or on her own and so I can have less interruptions. It's been going so-so. I don't always remember to cut out the meal and I don't always feel comfortable doing it.

She had been very consistent in her eating until a few days ago. The last two days she has been a bit weird where she is showing all signs she is hungry and wants to eat but won't eat the food. I'm seeing behavior I haven't seen since the "wet food days" where she'll sniff at the food but then say "no." We were in week 4 of a bag of food (we get 4-5 weeks) and so maybe it wasn't fresh enough even out of the sealed bag. I noticed the smell was considerably less and I'm firmly convinced part of our issues with food is she just can't smell it.

I opened a new bag and hopefully that fixes things for her. If not then I don't know what we will do because there are no more tricks. This is the only food she will eat. It is a new just-opened bag. She's on an appetite stimulant. If she starts giving me problems like from the "wet food days" I don't know what options I have left if she fights me on eating. We shall see :(

Slight edit for clarity.
 
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louisstools

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She ended up eating a bit Sunday afternoon and did good Monday breakfast but after that she started turning her nose up at the food, if she even looked at it. She ate 25% less than normal for the day and it required more effort from me. Made the vet appointment for Tuesday. Tuesday she ate well for breakfast but then didn't want anything until after we came back from our 1:30 PM vet appointment, and even then it was a tiny amount (5 kibble pieces). That is something I've NEVER seen from her in this saga...that she doesn't want to eat mid-morning or around lunch time. Something is really wrong!

Vet visit showed everything is ok but the vet heard congestion in the lungs and her breathing. We talked about options and she got a shot of depo medrol which should do four things 1) reduce inflammation and hopefully reduce her congestion 2) increase hunger 3) increase thirst 4) give her arthritus a bit of help. All good things. She also has a lump on her shoulder but aspiration showed it is likely just a fat deposit and nothing to be concerned about today.

She was pretty wild when we got home and wouldn't settle down for 5 hours. Just wanted to run from me and hide. Never seen this. She calmed down and did eat but again less than the normal amount for the day.

So far today she's eating worse than I've seen her in a year. Every day things are getting worse. Breakfast was a real fight to get her to even sniff the bowl but once she did she would eat. Since breakfast she's got zero interest in food. She's drinking well though. I'm hoping this is just side effects from the shot and it will resolve itself very soon. Sadly she is a bit lethargic and that really sucks b/c play is used to coax her to eating.

I'm concerned the appetite stimulant has suddenly stopped working but will have to give things a few days to let the vet visit and shot settle down. Until thing, things have basically reverted to how terrible they were when I made the first post in this mega thread lol.
 
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louisstools

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I'm sorry to hear this. Poor girl, and how frustrating and concerning for you!
It's certainly a bit stressful. Heck, I was trying to buy a new (used) truck this week too. Trying to do the negotiation and all that while worrying about my kitty hasn't been easy. Talk about timing. ... not to mention burning money on vet trips when it was needed for the truck lol.

She's not doing well today. She hasn't eaten or drank anything since breakfast -- this is unheard of. She isn't sleeping, she is just sitting in a nap spot. I've tried pulling her out of the spot and she'll let me pet her but she won't eat. I've tried picking her up and she meows at me like she is in pain. I can only guess the injection site is painful. I called the vet and they're concerned as they haven't seen a reaction like this before (of course my cat is the special case). Her vet gets into the office in a bit and they'll see what she recommends. But if she goes w/o eating or drinking she will likely have to go into the vet's office for fluids and stuff and overnight observation and all that. Ugh.
 
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louisstools

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She's recovered a bit from the vet visit but her eating still hasn't resumed. Some days she eats well but most days it's just impossible. None of the tricks work. She lost half a pound last week. And when she doesn't eat, she doesn't drink and that causes issues with her pee and poop. Both of those schedules are all out of whack. I've tried doubling her appetite stimulant dosage and we'll see how that goes. If that doesn't work we may try a new bag of her rx food and just consider this bag a "bad" one and get a refund from Purina.
 
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louisstools

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Bit of an update...she basically went two weeks without eating very much. The second week she had a few days of eating better. By week three she was back to more normal but she's still not eating like she was before Thanksgiving. She gets a daily dose of appetite stimulant and somedays when she is a real nightmare she gets an additional one to kick her in the ass. Each feeding still requires a lot of coaxing and carrying-back-to-the-bowl and encouragement. Some days I can tell she gets pissed at me for having to keep dragging her back to the bowl but she'll eventually eat. Some days it's an actual fight where she is kicking and screaming and running away.

The only "plus side" is we now know what happens if I'm unable to entice her to eat: her weight plummets like a stone. I really wish she wasn't as healthy as all the exams and tests indicate because we have no idea why she fights eating.
 
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louisstools

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Bit of an end of year update

So far nothing has worked that the behaviorist has suggested. The only relief I've really gotten is from the mirataz which stimulates her appetite a bit. Without out that I have no idea where we'd be at. She just has very little interest in food. Pre and post death of the other cat her behavior is so different that if she was a human I'd swear she had a stroke or some sort of brain injury. I still can't do much with my day other than focus on getting calories into her and anytime I need to leave the house has to be done around her eating schedule for that day so as to not interrupt it.

Through observation I've learned my cat is very smell sensitive and as a result I've found a strategy that seems to work better than what we had before. It's basically I can't leave any food out at all for her because the kibble sitting out loses its smell slightly and that's enough to throw her off. So I serve her food and when she is done eating I put the leftovers back into the air-tight container. When she wants to eat next I just weigh out what was left over from the previous meal. This gives her the freshest possible food each feeding and gives us the best chance of her recognizing it as food. I also have to pay attention to the HVAC system and make sure it's not running when we're having a feeding because it swirls the air just enough that it dissipates the food smell just enough to turn her off.

Every new bag of food presents new challenges b/c the different production runs have slight variations. Some bags she takes to and others she doesn't. I've learned to just pitch food if she won't eat it and to just keep offering fresh food. I've yet to have her refuse a bag entirely but sometimes it takes 2-3 weeks for a new bag before she accepts it ... and we only get 4-5 weeks on the bag. (Someone might read this and ask about wet food, well she disliked wet food even more...and wet food only worked right after the can was popped. She never ate leftovers no matter what I did like microwave, etc).

We try and work on reducing meals but that's very hard b/c I can't leave the food out b/c she won't eat it. She MIGHT eat food overnight (which would be not fresh) but she only eats tiny amounts and it's usually after she's gone 8 hours between meals and she never finishes what I leave out for her. We're trying to incorporate an automatic feeder to try and detach her from needing me to feed her. We're in week two and she's yet to eat from it. She's sniffed it 4 times though so she knows it is there. She does not go to the bowl on her own for food or drink if I'm awake so we'll see how this works.
 
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louisstools

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Another month update for those still following along -- and I do appreciate that you're still here.

She's yet to recover from Thanksgiving when she stopped eating. She's had some good days but it's mostly difficult days. It's about a 1 to 4 ratio of good day to difficult day. In the past week things have gotten a bit worse such that the "good days" this week would have been a "bad day" a month ago. Things reached a head this morning where she is just refusing to eat. She'll drink and drink and drink but just won't eat. A normal breakfast is half her calroies for the day and she averages 1-1.3oz. Today she ate 0.4 and it took me 2 hours and 20-30 times where I would carry her to the bowl to see if she would eat. None of the tricks worked. I'm all out of maneuvers to trick or coax her into eating.

She's gotten 3 full doses of mirataz today so hopefully that kicks her into eating. If she won't eat by lunch time I may do an emergency vet visit to rule anything out depending on their availability. I'll call the vet Monday and see what she recommends. I'm losing my patience with her because she's not really improving. If the mirataz is losing its power then I don't know what alternatives we have. I'm not able to put in a full day's work because of the amount of time it has been taken lately to get calories into her and there is a physical toll this has taken on me with my back and blood pressure.

I've just never seen a cat that won't eat and none of my friends or coworkers have either. Maybe a day here and there but not every day.
 
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