My cat is growling, screaming and running away from his food and won’t eat

bugmankeith

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Quick history-

I am caring for a 16 year old longhair male cat who lives outside but is friendly but sometimes comes inside in the basement during bad weather.

In the last three years his health declined rapidly. He had 7 very rotten teeth pulled three years ago and nearly died from starvation due to that. After he recovered well and put weight back on. I had to switch vets due to the old vet limiting hours. Until the end of last year, when he developed chronic diarrhea and vomiting he was doing good.
He slowly was losing weight this year and was peeing all over the house when he was the kind of cat that always went in the litter box.
Due to being on disability I have very limited funds, I cannot do any credit or loans on vet bills nor can I start any go fund me accounts, so pretty much if I don’t have the funds my cats can’t get vet care. Last year I had enough money to bring my cat in for blood/urine testing and get a teeth cleaning, but could not afford the x ray. The vet said everything was normal and his teeth are fine. However this vet is very money hungry and I also brought up mysterious lumps under his skin on his neck and the vet refused to take a biopsy of it and couldn’t wait to discharge my cat, acted like he was a monster or something.

So this year with his severe weight loss (16 pounds to 6 pounds!) and not eating plus vomiting and diarrhea I managed to get an ultrasound done and the vet said it’s either severe IBD or lymphoma of the lower bowel as there is a mass that showed up, I cannot afford a biopsy or chemotherapy so the official diagnosis is questionable but lymphoma is most likely. I asked to check his teeth and the vet insisted everything looks good, but then mentioned without an x ray there could be something hidden, and they never mentioned this last year when I had the money and he got a cleaning which upset me a lot! The vet said to give steroids to possibly shrink the lymphoma, but after reading the possible side effects and knowing I cannot keep up with vet visits if the steroids create new health issues we decided to not do them. I do give cerenia for nausea which had gotten him from not eating at all to wanting to eat and he has put some weight on. I’m just trying to keep him as comfortable as I can and give extra canned food mashed up as it’s easier to digest.

The newest issue is my cat always is hungry, but as soon as he eats he’ll scream, paw his mouth, growl and run away from the food and not eat. But sometimes he will eat very fast but doesn’t chew his food that good. After all this we feed him on plates and he reuses to go near food on a plate, if the food is dumped on the ground he tries to eat it but bugs get it and it spoils rather quickly and in winter it won’t be edible.
I can’t tell if this is severe nausea making him unable to eat, or bad teeth? Not having an updated x ray and a history of bad teeth has me suspicious it could be a bad tooth, or something to do with those mysterious lumps by his neck/jaw. On the other hand, with the stomach diagnosis this could be nausea or sickness induced food avoidance from remembering when he used to vomit after eating. A certain flavor or texture can bring on this fear of food I read.

The problem is I have no money for any further testing, two possible reasons he won’t eat, lumps nobody knows what they are, and a vet I don’t trust. I’m at a loss what to do at this point ☹ I was hoping other cat owners could chime in that had these symptoms and maybe I could figure out what’s going on, in hopes I could save up money if it could be bad teeth, but I don’t know how long he can go again not eating normally.
 

Willowy

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If he's screaming when he takes a bite, it must be a sore mouth. I don't know if it's his teeth or if he has mouth ulcers but definitely his mouth.

If you can't afford full treatment, I'd recommend using the steroids. At his age it shouldn't impact his lifespan very much, and could improve his quality of life a great deal.
 

di and bob

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I second bad teeth, especially where he is pawing at his mouth, an almost sure sign. Don't back away from the steroids either, I have had several cats with cancer on them for a few years and they did fine, in fact, it was almost a miracle, they acted like they used to. They said it could cause several bad side effects but it never did. The fact that they had cancer and were sure to die without some kind of intervention helped too. I would take a tiny piece of pill pocket for cats and 'paste' the pill to a tiny piece of bacon. he would also eat it if it was hidden in a tiny amount of tuna, or inside a piece of cheese. It may be that he is naturally at the end of his life too, my heart breaks for both of you, I pray you find something to help.....
 

fionasmom

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I agree that something is going on in his mouth and if not teeth, a mouth sore of some sort. I also think that using the steriods in the case of this cat is the best solution. At his age you are not looking at longevity so I don't know that the side effects would even come into play. I have used them with two cats with no adverse side effects. Additionally, they are not expensive.
 
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bugmankeith

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I forgot to add my cat no longer grooms himself, and after he eats I hear a crunching sound despite no food being in his mouth. I wonder if a tooth is cracked or loose and it’s impacting every time he tries to chew
 

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Talien

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That definitely sounds like bad teeth, possibly infected or abscessed. He definitely needs to have his mouth looked at.

Why can't you set up a gofundme account? Even if only a few people donated that would be a big help for vet bills.
 
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bugmankeith

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That definitely sounds like bad teeth, possibly infected or abscessed. He definitely needs to have his mouth looked at.

Why can't you set up a gofundme account? Even if only a few people donated that would be a big help for vet bills.
I’m on disability and teeth care is literally over $1000 which if I got on go fund me would get me kicked off disability
 

Furballsmom

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Maybe there's something in these?
(apologies for any broken links);



 

Talien

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I’m on disability and teeth care is literally over $1000 which if I got on go fund me would get me kicked off disability
Do you know someone who could do it on your behalf? If someone sets up a gofundme in their name but says it's going toward vet care for the Cat then you aren't getting the money directly, but it would still be going to paying for the vet bill.
 
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bugmankeith

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I don’t know anyone to help me, and all those links are ones I already looked at or called nobody can help. I’ve had 3 years of issues with my cat and nobody ever helps, even seeing the cat is suffering and dozens of rescues trap strays to help and charge to adopt, but won’t help someone disabled who has zero financial help for doing “the right thing” 🙄 not only is my cat suffering, but mentally this is taking a toll on my health too! I’ve never been so depressed or severe panic attacks and anxiety.
 

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You are in a tough situation and I'm really sorry for that. Sounds like you are doing your best, so please be kind to yourself too.

I understand you have asked for help. Was it personally like directly asking someone, or in your local community, or a larger group of people? Because sometimes people hesitate to help if they don't see the situation as they get skeptical. That's why GoFundMe has a bit more luck as people put up pictures, and maybe link Instagram accounts that share videos of the situation.

Have you contacted a disabled organization? Maybe they have some ideas for a situation like this.

For now, could you try pate texture wet food? That's the easiest to eat for cats with dental trouble. Especially if you add a bit extra water.

Maybe you can save up some money from the food and add that to vet expenses. Make an Amazon wish list with pet foods if you're in the USA, upload cat's video and pictures to Imgur, and share the links on this Reddit sub where people can help each other if they can:

r/RandomActsOfPetFood

I highly suggest pate texture, highly palatable, high calorie food for sensitive digestion. But try to add more than one kind of food in case the kitty doesn't like one.
 
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bugmankeith

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You are in a tough situation and I'm really sorry for that. Sounds like you are doing your best, so please be kind to yourself too.

I understand you have asked for help. Was it personally like directly asking someone, or in your local community, or a larger group of people? Because sometimes people hesitate to help if they don't see the situation as they get skeptical. That's why GoFundMe has a bit more luck as people put up pictures, and maybe link Instagram accounts that share videos of the situation.

Have you contacted a disabled organization? Maybe they have some ideas for a situation like this.

For now, could you try pate texture wet food? That's the easiest to eat for cats with dental trouble. Especially if you add a bit extra water.

Maybe you can save up some money from the food and add that to vet expenses. Make an Amazon wish list with pet foods if you're in the USA, upload cat's video and pictures to Imgur, and share the links on this Reddit sub where people can help each other if they can:

r/RandomActsOfPetFood

I highly suggest pate texture, highly palatable, high calorie food for sensitive digestion. But try to add more than one kind of food in case the kitty doesn't like one.
The group I posted in on Facebook is a group for all stray and feral or outdoor cat questions and help. Every rescue or shelter or feral cat caretaker is on this group and I know a ton of people who get help with their cats but nobody ever helps me despite posting photos of the sick cats. They all say the same thing, try to direct me elsewhere despite me telling them I’ve tried calling every place and in my situation a fundraiser isn’t possible. The thing that aggravates me is there are rescues a minute from me that trap stray cats And have a vet that works in the place, fundraise and then put the cats up for adoption for a fee. Meanwhile, I socialized and cared for a cat that a rescue was supposed to take in 15 years ago and lied to me, and this rescue easily could tell me to bring him in for free and have a vet look at him or give something for his pain, but they refuse. People are so selfish where I live and only help if something is in it for them.

I have been offering canned food of all sorts mixed with warm water, this cat developed a fear of plates or bowls and won’t even try to eat on them Canned food causes him pain too. If I dump canned food on the ground bugs or animals immidietly go on it. I’ve had luck giving a few pieces of leftover deli chicken which he loves and seems to only want to eat that, but two problems; it’s almost $5.00 a pound and my other cats will devour it too outside on him and it’s loaded with salt so constantly eating only that is probably hurting him as he won’t drink water at all from pain.

disability places don’t aid with animals infact they suggested to get rid of the animals If they cost too much. 🙄
 

cocoanlace

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With that much pain I suspect stomatitis or resorptive lesions which can be very painful. Avoid any salted or seasoned Foods because those would sting. Steroid injections every 3 months worked for my resorptive lesion Kitty. She was getting the shots for asthma but they covered that situation as well.
 
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bugmankeith

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With that much pain I suspect stomatitis or resorptive lesions which can be very painful. Avoid any salted or seasoned Foods because those would sting. Steroid injections every 3 months worked for my resorptive lesion Kitty. She was getting the shots for asthma but they covered that situation as well.
last month he was looked at and they said stomatitis is out he had no mouth lesions inside. He lost a lot of teeth and a vet many years ago mentioned gum issues that most likely would lead to tooth loss in the future and they were right, but I cannot remember the name, not stomatitis though I know for sure. Maybe it’s the lesion illness? But if so why did no vet in 8 years ever offer me treatment? So you see my frustration my vets haven’t been doing their job and letting my cats get sick.
 

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The group I posted in on Facebook is a group for all stray and feral or outdoor cat questions and help. Every rescue or shelter or feral cat caretaker is on this group and I know a ton of people who get help with their cats but nobody ever helps me despite posting photos of the sick cats. They all say the same thing, try to direct me elsewhere despite me telling them I’ve tried calling every place and in my situation a fundraiser isn’t possible. The thing that aggravates me is there are rescues a minute from me that trap stray cats And have a vet that works in the place, fundraise and then put the cats up for adoption for a fee. Meanwhile, I socialized and cared for a cat that a rescue was supposed to take in 15 years ago and lied to me, and this rescue easily could tell me to bring him in for free and have a vet look at him or give something for his pain, but they refuse. People are so selfish where I live and only help if something is in it for them.

I have been offering canned food of all sorts mixed with warm water, this cat developed a fear of plates or bowls and won’t even try to eat on them Canned food causes him pain too. If I dump canned food on the ground bugs or animals immidietly go on it. I’ve had luck giving a few pieces of leftover deli chicken which he loves and seems to only want to eat that, but two problems; it’s almost $5.00 a pound and my other cats will devour it too outside on him and it’s loaded with salt so constantly eating only that is probably hurting him as he won’t drink water at all from pain.

disability places don’t aid with animals infact they suggested to get rid of the animals If they cost too much. 🙄
To be honest with you, as you say he's a senior cat, and is down to 6lbs (or is he heavier now?), and possibly has lymphoma, I don't think he's a good candidate for any dental procedure right now. Even if you could afford it.

So, at this point you can try antibiotics (the ones for cats of course for dental issues.) But it is not easy to pill a cat. Antibiotics alone may not help. You can try to support his immune system with good quality food for sensitive digestion and probiotics. This is why I shared that Amazon wish list-Reddit link where people might support to purchase some of these. Or maybe already have some extra in your area.
 

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I do understand your frustration with vets. I experienced the same thing with some of the best ones. It's good you retain all of the facts because that will always help your cat. Regarding resorptive lesions, they do not look like the sores you see with stomatitis. It looks more like red raggedy edges at the gum line. They are painful. And they may be resolved by extracting teeth where it is the worst. Can you get your Kitty one steroid injection? They charge by the weight and mine were usually $50 but lasted a few months.
 
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bugmankeith

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I do understand your frustration with vets. I experienced the same thing with some of the best ones. It's good you retain all of the facts because that will always help your cat. Regarding resorptive lesions, they do not look like the sores you see with stomatitis. It looks more like red raggedy edges at the gum line. They are painful. And they may be resolved by extracting teeth where it is the worst. Can you get your Kitty one steroid injection? They charge by the weight and mine were usually $50 but lasted a few months.
The trouble is that just to make an appointment is $100, plus the injection. And this vet is the type to just do things and bill you without asking first. Plus when my cat was in a month ago they insisted nothing is wrong with his mouth, if I go back again can I really trust them? I’m not even allowed in the vet because of corona to witness them examine my cat. And with him not eating he might need tube feeding and fluids to stay alive and stay at the vet for round the clock care to get his weight up, he won’t get that at home here. Unfortunately nothing is going to be cheap about all this ☹
 
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