Cat not eating out of jealousy?

peanutbutter7

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Hi everyone!

I am looking to see if anyone has any experience or familiarity with what is going on with my cat right now. I have a 1 year and 8 month old, female, cat named Luna, and we brought home a 3 month old, male, kitten named Arlo on Sunday. Their introduction has been going better than we expected as by day 2 we were able to just have them separated by two gates under supervision. Luna was hissing a little bit (like 3-4 times throughout the day), but hasn't hissed since last night. They're at the point where they're playfully batting at each others paws through the gate, and whenever the gates open, Luna is right there trying to sniff and play with Arlo. She even jumped over the double gate (impressive vertical leap) last night a few times when he walked out of sight, but then she would jump back out of the room once she could see him. Neither of them has had any problems eating in front of each other so far. It seems to be going pretty well.

However, last night Luna has started eating much less. She's always been a food motivated kitty, so this is very weird. Last night, she ate a few bites before laying down and closing her eyes, so we let her nap while he ate. Then after we shut Arlo in the bathroom for the night, we moved her food further from him to see if maybe she just didn't want to eat in front of him. She started nibbling a bit, so we went to bed only to find out this morning that she didn't eat much more of her food. She has been getting a lot of treats and cat yogurt throughout the day as we've been reinforcing their bonding behavior, and she seemed so tired last night, so we thought maybe that was the cause. But then this morning when I fed them, she again sniffed at her food before walking away. I tried closing his door and moving her bowl, but she still wasn't interested in it.

For context Arlo has been eating the same wet food he was getting at this shelter because we're slowly transitioning him to his new food, and Luna gets dry food from Open Farm. She seems really excited about eating, like when I got to prep the bowls she runs over and meows like normal. Then once she sees the food, it feels like she loses interest. To test this, I put a bit of his wet food in her bowl, and she ate that very quickly but then didn't touch the rest of her regular food.

Is it possible that she's not eating her regular food because she's jealous of his wet food? Are we giving too many treats that then makes her food seem unappealing? Has anyone encountered this before?

Thank you for any advice! I am planning on running out to grab some wet canned food for her because I just want her to eat.
 

Furballsmom

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Hi!

Is it possible that she's not eating her regular food because she's jealous of his wet food?
I doubt it, her other behavior of acting tired is making me wonder if something else is going on. Hopefully she eats more when you get back :vibes::crossfingers:

Are we giving too many treats that then makes her food seem unappealing?
Possibly, but she ate some wet food. How are her litterbox habits these past couple days?
 

FeebysOwner

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I agree that all the extra treats could be impacting her desire for her own food. But, I also think that she just may like his food better - not from jealousy, just from preference. Plus, the odds are you are feeding Arlo kitten food (?) and it never fails that many grown cats prefer that over 'adult' food.
 
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peanutbutter7

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Thank you for your replies! I'll update if she eats once I get back!

To answer your questions: No, her litter box habits haven't changed at all. She usually pees 2-3 times a day and poops once, which she has been doing. And, yes he is eating kitten food.
 
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peanutbutter7

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Unfortunately, Luna still isn't eating much. She took a few licks of the wet food, but isn't even eating any any cat yogurt.

I called the vet and they said that since she has no other symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, glassy eyes, sneezing, etc. that it might be a behavioral issue. She said to monitor her for a couple days and if it doesn't improve to bring her in.

She doesn't seem very stressed, but maybe she's just hiding it. I'm attaching some photos of her loafing by the bathroom Arlo's in and playing with Arlo under the door that I took just a few minutes ago. Maybe I'm not reading her stress levels correctly. Also excuse the mess in our apartment.
 

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Cat McCannon

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Cats don't get jealous.

One possibility is Luna is bored with her usual food. If fed the same thing over and over again, cats can get to where they get bored with it, but won't eat anything else.
 
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peanutbutter7

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If anyone is following this tread, we took her to the emergency vet yesterday and got her checked with imaging. They said the imaging came back looking good, and she looks generally healthy. They gave her fluids and anti-nausea medication and sent her home with the instruction that if she doesn't eat within 24 hours to bring her back to be hospitalized. She did end up eating yesterday, about half a can of wet food, but this morning she only ate less than a quarter can of wet food. She did accept two treats as well. So, she's eating just very little compared to what she normally eats.

Clearly she's stressed, but it's strange because she does seem to enjoy playing with Arlo. She hasn't hissed at him in 2 days, and they play a lot through the gate. At least I think it's playing. I'm sharing a video of them so someone can please correct if I'm misinterpreting them as playing when she's actually showing stress. Also, the weird noise you hear at the 3-4 second mark is not them, it's my stomach haha

 

tiggerwillow

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What I do is I swap brands around, so for a few days my girls will have Whiskas (wet food), next few days they have Felix (wet food), next few days Sheba etc

They also have Purina One dry food

Have you tried her with different flavours of food, in case she's getting bored of the same flavour? Can she have adult wet food?
 

tiggerwillow

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If anyone is following this tread, we took her to the emergency vet yesterday and got her checked with imaging. They said the imaging came back looking good, and she looks generally healthy. They gave her fluids and anti-nausea medication and sent her home with the instruction that if she doesn't eat within 24 hours to bring her back to be hospitalized. She did end up eating yesterday, about half a can of wet food, but this morning she only ate less than a quarter can of wet food. She did accept two treats as well. So, she's eating just very little compared to what she normally eats.

Clearly she's stressed, but it's strange because she does seem to enjoy playing with Arlo. She hasn't hissed at him in 2 days, and they play a lot through the gate. At least I think it's playing. I'm sharing a video of them so someone can please correct if I'm misinterpreting them as playing when she's actually showing stress. Also, the weird noise you hear at the 3-4 second mark is not them, it's my stomach haha

for some reason the video refuses to play for me :/
 
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peanutbutter7

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We have been feeding her different brands to see if it's a preference thing, but nothing seems to be sticking that well. She's normally a really really food motivated cat and has never had a preference before.

Sorry about the link! does this work: Click me!
 

catsknowme

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What is Luna's background? Did she ever have Feline herpes or anything that might cause mouth pain? I have had young cats get mouth issues that were overlooked by vets because the of their young age.
 

Hellenww

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I played with VLC and it looks like play.

Her ears and body are relaxed and interested. It doesn't look like she's trying to hurt him or upset in any way. If Arlo is completely vetted I'd plan a supervised no-gate face to face. Prep by having high places for Luna, hiding places for Arlo that you can easily reach him (a cardboard box with holes too small for Luna to get in but give him 2 exits), and have a big piece of cardboard to put between them if you need to.

(Edit) Also prepare yourself by watching some videos of cats at play. If you haven't experienced it before it can be overwhelming.

I recently introduced a resident 14yr (Sqeeker) to 2 new 6mt (Leo & Luna). Sqeeker 2mts later is not interested in playing or socializing with them unless you count always wanting to be in the same room. He began eating better when my Luna's dish was placed on his side of the kitchen. I think some cats are social eaters.

 
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