Welcome to The Cat Site
your cat community
Interact with our community

My Cat Hasn't Eaten For 5 Days

Discussion in 'Cat Health' started by Ricker, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. Ricker

    Ricker Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Aug 2, 2017
    I recently adopted a three month old, male kitten from a local shelter so that my adult, female cat--who's named Bebe--could have a companion while I'm away at work. The day I brought the kitten--whom I've named Boyo-- home, he started sneezing and had clear discharge from his nose and eyes. Not too long after, Bebe began to show similar symptoms. Before I knew it, I was tending to two very sick cats. The little one pulled through quickly and is now fine but my Bebe has been giving me mixed signals and her symptoms aren't as consistent as you'd expect from a cat that is truly sick. What I mean is, I suspect some of what I'm interpreting as health symptoms to be simply aggression.

    For one, she typically gets on my lap, becomes very stiff and tense and begins salivating when she's angry at me. And she appears to be flirting with the idea of attacking me. She never has but that's what I get from her when she gets like that. She isn't taking the arrival of the kitten well at all and has swatted and hissed at him since day one. She has displayed extremely jealous behavior and seems to be competing for my attention every time I even look at our new kitten. When she was sick, she almost drove me to get her into an emergency vet due to globs of clear mucus coming out of her mouth accompanied by labored breathing through the mouth. I watched her closely and she seemed to improve over the next 2 days.

    However her behavior and disinterest in eating has gotten me worried sick lately because I don't know if it is her acting out in protest over the new arrival or if it's something related to her health that might be the result of complications from her recent illness. I took the kitten to see a vet when he was sick but I haven't taken her because every time I planned on doing so, she seemed to improve or would confuse me into thinking what she was exhibiting was not health related.

    Now I'm leaning toward thinking this is a health related problem because today she suddenly did this very distressed meow, rushed over to me, and seemed to be needing my help. She then began to do what seemed to be either repeated sneezing or repeatedly and desperately attempting to clear her nose and throat. Thick, white and clear mucus stringed out of her nose and mouth and onto my lap. It wasn't much but what came out did not appear to be saliva as she literally had a string of it just hanging there from her mouth and she seemed to be unable to breathe properly for about a minute.

    The thing that has me concerned most of all is she has not eaten a bite of food for 5 whole days, seems to be very depressed, and always has that expression on her face as if she's doing a really hard smile and her posture is always in a tight ball with her head sort of low as if waiting for prey but with a forlorn demeanor. I know you must be thinking I'm an idiot and that this is clearly an emergency but you'd have to know her as much as I do to really know what I'm talking about and from my experience, it really is possible she is just extremely angry at me for bringing that kitten home and what I interpret as fluid in her lungs and an inability to breathe could very well be her usual salivating and angry grunting which sounds worse now due to her illness leaving her with a sore throat. I know this because her meows are scratchy and sound deeper than usual. There are moments where she looks as if she's dying but then I quickly realize that she's mostly just angry and showing it in a strange way. This morning she moved me to tears when I thought I saw her trying to breathe and losing consciousness. I panicked and ended up being over 2 hours late for work but it ended up being a false alarm. Basically, she was pissed off because I wouldn't leave and she was sleepy and wanted to sleep. She was in a tight ball with very squinty eyes and mucus dripping from her mouth. Of course I thought she was taking her last breaths but all that worry turned to embarrassment when she suddenly got up and pranced away into the other room.

    I know I may come across as clueless or maybe even negligent but you must understand she really does give mixed signals but I also do admit that I should probably not do the guessing thing and should best take her in to the vet just in case. In my defense I am not rich and am currently very broke and don't have the money for a vet visit but I thankfully have a brother who is an animal lover and offered to pay for any care that I can't afford. It's just my shame that has caused me to avoid asking him but I know I should get over that and think of the cat, who is depending on me since she has no way of telling me what's wrong.

    Have any of you experienced similar behavior patterns with your cats or any similar symptoms that could easily be something related to behavior? Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Kieka

    Kieka Snowshoe Servant Staff Member Forum Helper

    Sep 6, 2016
    Southern California
    She needs to see a vet now.

    Regardless of the original problem the not eating in and of itself is a life threatening emergency. Cats can develop fatty liver after just 24 hours of not eating, which is a serious health problem all on its own. That five days of no eating is very concerning without the rest of the items mentioned.

    As to the rest, it sounds more like she is sick with moments of feeling better. Since she has the intruder (Boyo) in her area she may be putting up a front to appear stronger then she is. When my cats are upset they usually go off and sulk or pointedly ignore me. I've never had one fake signs of illness to get my attention. There is a first for everything but I am more inclined to think she is faking the moments of nothing is wrong then the moments of illness.

    Remember that cats are both prey and predator. While they hunt smaller critters, larger critters will hunt them. As such, cats have become masters of hiding illness and ignoring pain. Because to show weakness in the wild is to invite death. My boy has walked around on a broken leg with barely a limp to show for it. All in the name of survival and instinct. What you are seeing could be that instinct kicking in when she isn't feeling as horrible. It could also be what you think it is, maybe, possibly ....

    All this aside, just to reiterate, she needs a vet now. Whatever the start was, she hasn't eaten in five days and that is a huge problem. Your vet will be able to determine the rest but she likely needs at least fluids if not more assistance to improve at this point. If she has developed fatty liver it is not something you can manage without vet assistance and if something else did trigger this whole thing you will need the vets assistance to treat that problem.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
    Margret, golondrina, maggiedemi and 5 others purraised this.

  3. duckpond

    duckpond TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 13, 2017
    I agree with @Kieka, please have a vet visit with her as soon as possible, hopefully today.
    Sending her my best wishes that all will be ok with her. do keep us updated please. :crossfingers:
    Margret, golondrina, maggiedemi and 4 others purraised this.

  4. PushPurrCatPaws

    PushPurrCatPaws TCS Member Top Cat

    May 22, 2015
    She is not giving mixed signals... it certainly sounds like she might be sick and she does need veterinary care. Especially since now she is likely going through hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease) from not eating. Trying to pull cats back from fatty liver disease itself can take intense supportive care at the start, and even months of care and proper food and monitoring after that. I really hope she can pull through! Do not feel shame -- your brother has offered to pay for the vet care -- she needs it asap! I wouldn't waste time. Please get her checked out, if not simply to find out if serious things are wrong and that it's not your imagination.
    :vibes: :alright:
    Margret, golondrina, maggiedemi and 3 others purraised this.

  5. Treapalmer

    Treapalmer TCS Member Young Cat

    Jul 16, 2018
    My cat recently stopped eating due to what we assume was a URI and we took her to the vet after 3 days, and even that was a stretch. Get your baby to the vet as soon as you can so they can get them nutrients and water!
    Margret, golondrina, Jem and 1 other person purraised this.

  6. Margret

    Margret TCS Member Top Cat

    Jul 17, 2014
    Littleton, CO
    Vet, immediately! Emergency vet if necessary!

    lavishsqualor and golondrina purraised this.

  7. cheeser

    cheeser TCS Member Top Cat

    Aug 2, 2013
    Ditto what everyone else has already said. Is there an emergency clinic nearby where you can take your kitty right now?

    And please don't feel embarrassed or ashamed. You're very fortunate to have such an understanding brother who's willing and able to help you out.

    Hope your kitty is feeling better soon, and please keep us posted! :vibes::vibes::vibes:
    Margret and golondrina purraised this.

  8. Ricker

    Ricker Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Aug 2, 2017
    Thank you all so much for the advice. I am so scared for my Bebe; looked up fatty liver symptoms and she has them all. I feel so guilt ridden. Why didnt i just take her in? Looking back, she clearly kept trying to tell me she wasnt well but for whatever reason I'd assume it was somethong else and it could have been but i am angry at myself for taking so long to decide to do the right and necessary thing. I dont think ill be able to take it if something happens to her. I'll never forgive myself. I got the kitten for her benefit and because i want her to be as happy as possible. Little did i know it would probably end up leading to complications that might result in her not being around anymore.

    A little while ago, she stood in the middle of the room in a tight ball with her head low and wouldn't move no matter what. It's as if she was determined to get my attention enough to be alerted to her condition.

    We are at the vet as we speak. Im glad i was able to find one that is open evenings and one that would take me in at such short notice. Keeping my fingers crossed that Im not too late. Thank you all again for the support. I appreciate it so much.
    duckpond, Margret, JamesCalifornia and 4 others purraised this.

  9. Kieka

    Kieka Snowshoe Servant Staff Member Forum Helper

    Sep 6, 2016
    Southern California
    I am so glad to hear you are at the vet. Please let us know how it goes.

    golondrina, Margret and Jem purraised this.

  10. war&wisdom

    war&wisdom TCS Member Super Cat

    Aug 2, 2018
    Baltimore, MD
    What happened at the vet? Is Bebe going to be okay?
    Margret purraised this.

  11. Jem

    Jem TCS Member Top Cat

    Aug 6, 2018
    I hope all is well, do you have an update?
    Margret purraised this.

  12. Ricker

    Ricker Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Aug 2, 2017
    Doctor drew blood for a full blood panel but the results won't be in until Tuesday so no official diagnosis apart from what he was able to confirm from the physical exam. He saw ulcers in her mouth and said that is likely why she is both drooling and not eating. He also said she was significantly dehydrated and ordered some fluids for her. He gave her a shot of Convenia, an antibiotic that stays in the system for a month. He prescribed a immune system booster called Viralys and some urgent care canned food. She was also tested for FeLV/FIV, which came back negative.

    Today she seems worse than yesterday. She is incredibly affectionate and I can't help but worry she's like that because she feels the end is near. It is not like her to be this affectionate or affectionate at all. She won't leave my side and was asleep on my belly a short time ago.

    I've got a very big problem though, she still won't eat. This is day 6. I've warmed up her food and nada. I am seriously considering going back just so they force feed her. I don't know why it never occurred to me to ask them when we were there. I guess when a vet doesn't offer to do that there, you assume it's not as serious. But 6 days! That vet must have been lazy and not care too much because he never offered to ensure she gets food in her stomach but I really shouldn't blame him. It's my responsibility to ask for things like that.

    This is Bebe at the vet yesterday:
    Didn't look well.

    Any tips on feeding? I have a syringe from when they prescribed meds after her spay recently and the food they prescribed is soft enough to be drawn up into it. Is it OK to force feed her that way. I'm going to have to restrain her and she won't like it but I'm desperate. I'll make sure I give her very little at a time. Don't want her to choke. She just needs food in her belly NOW!!
    Margret purraised this.

  13. golondrina

    golondrina TCS Member Top Cat

    Nov 3, 2011
    Montevideo, Uruguay
    I feel for you Ricker that you are going through such a difficult time with your lovely cat Bebe. I hope you can manage to get some food into her tummy as well as the fluids the vet prescribed for her. You could try to hold her with a towel around her so that she cannot get away. You are going to have your hands full. How long will you be away from home every day? Fortunately the antibiotic will act during a month. Hopefully as she feels better it will be easier to feed her.

    Please let us know how she is reacting to her treatment.
    Margret and Furballsmom purraised this.

  14. daftcat75

    daftcat75 TCS Member Top Cat

    Sep 7, 2018
    Get her eating anything she will eat. Go out and get some treat tuna: tuna in water and nothing else. It’s not nutritionally complete cat food but if she’s not eating anything, get her eating something first. You can mix real food in once she’s eating again. Or any of those smelly looking giblets and morsels pots. Any kind of treat pot or topper that would entice her into eating again. Try the broth toppers. At this point, any junk food she eats is still better than not eating at all. Restart the eating, then stage the good food back in.

    Get some Nutri-Cal or Cat-Cal nutritional gel. This will get some vitamins, minerals, and omegas in her even though she’s not eating. This stuff is crack to my cat even when she’s super-nauseated from her pancreatitis/IBD. If Bebe likes it as much as my Krista does, you can put a glob on a fork and run it through some wet food to flavor the food or run it through a little water on a plate to make a broth and then place a small amount of tuna on top of that.

    Get a cat food with pumpkin pouch. These foods are more runny which may be more attractive. When Krista is nauseated, she’ll lick the broth first and then slowly take bites until she’s eaten a lot more than either of us thought she would.

    Change where you feed her or change the dish you feed her with. Cats can be weirdly particular and create unusual associations. Krista will frequently walk away from half her food. If I move it to another room, she comes back and finishes the plate.

    Try changing the elevation of her food dish so she doesn’t have to bend her neck down to eat. She could be having acid reflux.

    Try finger feeding her. This is the most tedious but it would help to understand if she wants to eat but some other factor is getting in the way. When my Krista is nauseated, she’ll usually humor me with a bite from my fingers or a fork. If she wants to eat, then I know I just have to try something different like cat gel, tuna water, or a different food flavor.

    If all else fails, there is a tutorial on assist feeding on YouTube that makes it look and sound a lot less like “force-feeding.”
    golondrina, Margret and Furballsmom purraised this.

  15. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

    Jan 9, 2018
    Colorado USA
    Yes she does need food, you've gotten great advice for that. Sending lots of healing thoughts.
    golondrina and Margret purraised this.

  16. cheeser

    cheeser TCS Member Top Cat

    Aug 2, 2013
    Just do whatever you can to get some much needed nutrients into Bebe ASAP. If you're a little nervous about syringe feeding, you might try smearing some food on her lips and see if she'll lick it off. Sometimes once they get a good taste or two, their appetite will pick up a bit the more they eat. Or if she's still interested in grooming herself, you might try putting some food or Nutrical on her paws to lick off. It can be pretty slow going, but every calorie counts!

    Good luck. I'll keep you and Bebe in my prayers, and hope she starts eating and feels better soon! :grouphug:

  17. JamesCalifornia

    JamesCalifornia TCS Member Top Cat

    Apr 1, 2016
    Los Angeles
    ~ My cats storm the kitchen when I steam chicken . If kitty will not chew because of mouth sores let the chicken water cool and feed with an eyedropper . Chicken fat can be swallowed without chewing . See if she will lick some warm butter .
    golondrina, Furballsmom and Margret purraised this.

  18. cheeser

    cheeser TCS Member Top Cat

    Aug 2, 2013
    Just wanted to add...

    When our cats have been sick and required syringe feedings, I found that some of them are more cooperative if you feed them with a nursing bottle for kittens rather than a syringe. Also, if you don't have a lot of experience syringe feeding a cat, especially if you have to do it by yourself, a bottle may feel more natural to you.

    Is it the Hill's A/D urgent care formula that you got from the vet? If so, and unless they've changed the formula since I last used it, you can put it in the blender without having to add any water and blend the crap out of it until has liquified enough to pour into a bottle or draw up with a syringe. Of course, water makes it easier, but when one of our cats is that sick, I figure the more concentrated the nutrients are in each drop, the better. ;)

    If you're still worried about syringe feeding correctly after watching a few videos, you might try doing what I do anytime I have to do something I've never done before. I have the vet or one of the techs show me how to do it, and then have them watch me do it to make sure I do it correctly.

    C'mon, Bebe! You can do this! :cheerleader:

  19. Margret

    Margret TCS Member Top Cat

    Jul 17, 2014
    Littleton, CO
    Get to a pet supply store (PetSmart, PetCo, assuming you're in the U.S.) and get some KMR (Kitten Milk Replacer). Doesn't need chewing because it's liquid, just swallowing. High in calories because kittens grow so fast. Perfectly safe for adult cats, and should be something of a comfort food for them. If the pet stores are closed, see whether you can find any goat's milk at a grocery store; some of them are beginning to carry it because so many people are sensitive to cow milk. Another comfort food from a feline perspective, and easy to swallow. Warm it up the way you would baby formula before giving it to her; you don't want it either hot or cold, just warm. Syringe feed it to her, just a little at a time in her cheek, outside her teeth.

    PushPurrCatPaws, golondrina and Kieka purraised this.

  20. baxtersmom

    baxtersmom TCS Member Young Cat

    Aug 17, 2018
    You can even try some meat flavored baby food. When I was hand and syringe feeding my Peanut, baby food was easy for her to lick up. She had mouth cancer. It's imperative that you get some food into her somehow. She might eat out of your hand, if not, try the syringe or bottle feeding. The thick drooling is definitely a sign of dehydration. I'm surprised the vet didn't want to keep her overnight for IV fluids. Don't beat yourself up. Just do everything you can for her now that you know she's sick. Sending positive vibes and good thoughts to you both. :alright::rbheart:
    Margret and golondrina purraised this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.