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My Cat Won't Eat

Discussion in 'Cat Health' started by timberdarkhorse, May 20, 2019.

  1. timberdarkhorse

    timberdarkhorse Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Oct 3, 2017
    I haven't been on here for over a year so I'm sorry if I posted this in the wrong place! (TLDR at the end. I'm going to put a lot of the info here and really want any help I can get and don't want to turn people off for the number of words.)

    My cat, Fiona, hasn't eaten since last Tuesday...

    On Tuesday, she threw up everywhere. At the time, I ignored this, as sometimes she'll randomly throw up and it won't have further consequences. (I realised later that she hadn't eaten anything.) But the next day, she was hiding in the same place for hours straight. It was SUPER unlike her as usually, she'd come out when called immediately. We searched the entire house with no luck and I honestly thought she had died. Turns out, she was just in the living room sleeping under a blanket and I was very relieved to find her. Sadly, this turned out to be the start to her illness.

    On Thursday, she'd be obsessed with the water fountain, constantly drinking just to vomit it all back up. She was becoming more lethargic too, more content to just lay in the same spot and not react to much around her. We were going to take her to the vet on this day but they were closed. Would still move around but we definitely could tell she was sick.

    We got to take her to the vet the next day where they gave her fluids and did some bloodwork. Now, some of this info is a bit blurry but I believe there was nothing they could see wrong and assumed it was either a bug or something she ate. They didn't think it was an obstruction due to lack of visible pain and to find out if it was one might not be worth it. (That part could be incorrectly remembered.)

    The vet gave us some canned food to try and give to her and she ate a few bites that night and didn't throw it up! I was super enthusiastic at the time. But that was the last time she even bothered to try and eat and I don't count it since it wasn't enough to help her. She's been turned off from water since. She does a weird thing where she hovers over the water and seemingly wants to drink but refuses to. The few times she's drunk has been due to me either pressuring her to or just her being intrigued enough.

    The past days she's mostly been glued to one spot or another, barely alert and just silently purring. It breaks my heart... Her bones have become more prominent and I haven't seen her groom herself at all so her fur is smelly and dull. Licorice, our other cat, has mostly been separated from her so she could be kept calm. Today he saw her again and was genuinely scared and hissed at her, which is disheartening. I've tried to give her treats, tuna, force food into her mouth just to get her to know it tastes good, with no results. She's never been too heavy on food in general, of course, she still enjoyed it but now she just refuses to try anything.

    We took her to the vet again today to give her more fluids and do bloodwork to see if it's a parasite (I'll update you when the bloodwork comes back.) but before the visit, she drank some water and threw it ALL up. It really scared me because it means we're back at the same place we started, except worse. After she threw up, she tried to walk and stumbled and just laid down flat on the carpet, barely moving. And when walking down the stairs today, she stumbled multiple times. She wouldn't leave the carrier when we got home too. Her energy is just so low, it's scary...

    The vet is perplexed and says there's nothing we can do, she's too weak for surgeries and needs to start eating on her own. Getting more fluids isn't a good idea, in her opinion. Reading between the lines, it seems like if she doesn't eat soon, she's dead. I'm REALLY desperate. I don't want to lose my girlie, I need her to eat.

    For some background, she's only 5 years old and I got her from someone who had to rehome her. They got her from a pet shop, I believe. Never had any past health issues. We feed dry. I'm not a fan of that fact but we currently can't afford anything else. If she makes through this, I'd be persistent on trying to switch her to something healthier if that could be at all related.

    TLDR: My cat started vomiting and now barely drinks or eats. Hovers over the water dish but won't take much in and isn't interested in food at all. Very lethargic, only lays in the same spot most of the time. Been to the vet twice for fluids and bloodwork and the vet is perplexed and says there's nothing we can do unless if she starts eating. Only 5 years old.

    Please, help in any way you can, I'll wholeheartedly appreciate it! <3

    (Picture is of her from yesterday.)
     

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  2. LTS3

    LTS3 TCS Member Staff Member Forum Helper

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    I'd take the cat to another vet since the current vet has no idea what is wrong. Bring copies of the most recent blood work with you so the vet can review.

    I don't know why the vet suggested surgery of she has no idea what is wrong.

    Smell your cat's breath. If it smells like nail polish remover (unmistakable smell), rush your cat to the nearest vet ER for treatment ASAP. The nail polish smell is a result of ketone build up in the body, a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis which is nearly often fatal if not treated ASAP. Symptoms also include vomiting, lethargy, and not eating.
     
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  3. EmersonandEvie

    EmersonandEvie Mom to Evie, Emerson and Dexter Super Cat

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    Poor thing is probably so dehydrated...that may be a reason why she can't half move and can't keep anything down. I agree to take her to a second vet. Call tomorrow and see whoever will take her that same day. She wasn't even keeping down subcutaneous fluids?
     
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  4. timberdarkhorse

    timberdarkhorse Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    @LTS3 and @EmersonandEvie

    Whoops, I might have phrased that wrong, the vet's against the idea of surgery and only brought it up as, although she can't feel any blockages in her stomach that would warrant surgery, there was a small chance it could be one.

    I went and smelt her breath and I couldn't smell much - she does seem to smell a bit chemically but I'm going to hope that's due to her not grooming rather than a fatal disease, mostly due to the fact the nearest emergency vet is two hours away...

    But I will be trying to get to another vet. All vets are also two hours away but I don't know how much there is to lose from gaining a second opinion, so I'm going to try and get her to another soon.

    Also, she did keep down the fluids they injected, luckily. She was throwing up regular water.
     

  5. LTS3

    LTS3 TCS Member Staff Member Forum Helper

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    You can test the urine for the presence of ketones (use urine test strips for people such as KetoStix) but if your cat isn't using the litter box, that's not going to be of any help. A trace amount of ketones will still need an immediate trip to the nearest vet.
     

  6. KittyCatCove

    KittyCatCove Daddy of 3 Young Cat

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    Drop everything and take her to another vet right away! Who cares if it's 2 hours away, it's an emergency and your cats life is in danger! She needs X-rays and the most thorough blood work and tests. Put the cat in the carrier and make her as comfy as possible... put enough blankets in there to cushion any bumps due to a rough ride. Good luck and keep us informed.
     

  7. KittyCatCove

    KittyCatCove Daddy of 3 Young Cat

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    Also, she needs fluids badly. She probably should be taken to an emergency animal hospital and left there with 24 hour care because she needs fluids and she cannot drink normally. Without adequate water animals die within several days. Please move quickly!
     

  8. timberdarkhorse

    timberdarkhorse Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    @LTS3 Just got a call from the vet. She said that the bloodwork came back good and that it likely can't be ketone because her sugars were all normal. But she does have an increased white cell number. They can give fluids to her again later this week if she needs them. Mainly she's saying she needs to get back into eating by herself.

    @KittyCatCove I'm worried it won't go to plan if I leave now... I also don't know the reliability of the emergency vets. If it helps, she got fluids earlier this day so she should be decent on that front. I'm going to try and get her there tomorrow and hope she does well during the night! I'll tell you all how it plays out.
     

  9. KittyCatCove

    KittyCatCove Daddy of 3 Young Cat

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    She needs you badly. Please get here there ASAP! Sorry if I am being to adamant here, but I hate to see any cat suffering.
     
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  10. timberdarkhorse

    timberdarkhorse Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    @KittyCatCove It's okay, I'm glad you help others! <3 I really can't get there tonight. The vet doesn't think she'll die in the night and although that isn't fully reassuring, I'll still take full responsibility if she doesn't make it and I hope she can find the strength for more days... The main thing I'm hesitant about is I don't know how much another vet would be able to do as she's had fluids, bloodwork, etc. Not sure if I can afford anything like x-rays easily right now. But if I'm going to take her to another vet, I want to make sure I have money prepared and to know that the vet has a suitable reputation rather than rushing in the middle night. Once again, I really hope this choice isn't what ends her life but I'm going to try and be a bit optimistic in that field for now. Thank you for helping at all!
     

  11. timberdarkhorse

    timberdarkhorse Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    (not sure if it'll alert you unless if I tag you so @KittyCatCove @LTS3 @EmersonandEvie)

    I didn't think taking her to another vet last night was a good idea but I thought my family would be open to taking her today (I don't have my license) but they refuse to take her. They say that she's had all her bloodwork and everything that could be done has been done but I'm nervous and not sure if that's true. What else could other vets do to help if the current has given us advice, bloodwork, fluids, etc? I need compelling arguments if it's truly worth it.

    She has been trying to walk around, her tail's been up, more alert, seemingly trying to perk back up. I would be happy but she still won't eat and doesn't seem to have the energy to even do any of those things. Her breathing is now off and she'll do little wheezes and I'm really not sure what to do... Is there nothing I can do to get her to eat?? It's getting really hard to watch and I don't know what I can do at this point.
     

  12. NewKitty2019

    NewKitty2019 TCS Member Young Cat

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    I know this is an old post, but what happened to your kitty?
     

  13. daftcat75

    daftcat75 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Get some cans of Fancy Feast Classic pate. These are popular even with kibble kitties and have no fillers or wasteful ingredients. Take the entire can including and especially that jelly stuff on top and put it in a blender. That jelly stuff will help blend it to a milkshake-like consistency. You will probably want it thinner than this so add some warm water and blend again. Load up a food syringe and slowly squirt a "bite"-ful at a time into the side of her mouth and give her a chance to "chew" and swallow. You can get syringes for food at pet supply stores. You'll need a few syringes as you'll need to give a few syringes-worth every few hours. It takes a lot of syringes to syringe-feed a cat because you are gaining a lot of volume making the food thin enough to push through the syringe. Because she hasn't been eating for awhile now, you'll want to take it slow. Maybe just one syringe the first feeding and see if she'll keep it down. Then add a little more each feeding only as much as she will keep down.

    I don't normally like syringe-feeding because it is stressful on cat and owner and it requires a lot of syringes and thus a lot of stress to get enough nutrition into the cat. But this is something easier to try while you convince yourself and then your parents that a feeding tube isn't as scary as it sounds and can get nutrition back into her while the vets or second opinions figure out what's going on. If it is just a simple bug or infection, she's still going to need to get her nutrition back up to get through it. Poor nutrition=poor outlook, no matter what the diagnosis turns out to be. Most cats tolerate a feeding tube a lot better than syringe-feeding. Usually if you get the temperature of the food and the speed of the injection right, the cat will just lay there patiently until you're done.

    Feeding Tubes For Cats
     
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  14. timberdarkhorse

    timberdarkhorse Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    @NewKitty2019 This was made yesterday actually. Thanks for your concern! She's still not looking good sadly...

    @daftcat75 Thank you! I'll try all of that if I can and I'll discuss a feeding tube with the vet and everyone.
     

  15. NewKitty2019

    NewKitty2019 TCS Member Young Cat

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    Oh, sorry I see you posted just yesterday. I just went through the same thing with my kitty not eating for almost 3 weeks. Ever since we adopted him, a rescue cat.
    The first 2 weeks I got him wheat grass and he was eating it vigorously, like he knew he needed it. Did not want to touch anything else. Then we took him to a vet and all the tests were normal except they found he has UTI. So they gave him an antibiotic shot and some liquid shot for dehydration. He still was not eating for another 4 days after that, but I was feeding him with a syringe. I tried using the larger one from a store but he was too scared of it. (remember I cannot even touch this cat yet and was only able to get to him when he is in his cat house). Then I used the tiny syringes that the pain killers came in that the doctor gave us. Fed him with baby food (without onions or garlic). He was turning his face away but I was able to squeeze 3 of those 2-3 times a day between his teeth. I was desperate and could not imagine doing this for a long time! Then finally on 4th day at night he ate the whole bowl of dry food and was ok after that. He still has not touched wet food for almost 2 weeks and I am a bit worried about that. But I am thinking he is probably still adjusting to the new house... I will keep trying.
    Personally I am thinking feeding a cat with dry food is very bad and can affect health. My sister was able to cure he kitty from epileptic seizures with food. (she got it from teeth cleaning when her heart stopped during procedures.) She just started cooking cat food herself at home and after a few months it was a new cat. She lived good 7 years after that till almost 18 years old.
    Sending good luck to your kitty! Keep us updated please!
     

  16. timberdarkhorse

    timberdarkhorse Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    @NewKitty2019 I hope your cat starts eating better but I'm glad he's eating at all! I know that dry food is not the best and if it wasn't for money I'd be feeding it. I forget if I mentioned but if she heals from this I'm going to try and switch her to wet or raw food, I know their diet will affect them more as they get older and I don't want that at all. But damn, it's impressive your sister was able to do that! You'll have to give me her tricks...

    I'll try and keep you updated!
     
    NewKitty2019 purraised this.

  17. NewKitty2019

    NewKitty2019 TCS Member Young Cat

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    I know, my sister is amazing with cats! I just let them run wild in the house. :) She did give me a good book called Natural Health for Dogs and Cats by Dr.Pitcairn. It talked about how cats are known to not eat for a month when they are sick trying to regulate their bodies. It made me feel a bit better about my cat not eating but I was still worried, even crying. That's why I started with syringe feeding. Also, watched too many Youtube videos on how they inset feeding tubes into cat's necks and did not want to do that.
     

  18. timberdarkhorse

    timberdarkhorse Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    @NewKitty2019 That month thing makes me feel a tad hopeful... Really hope she can go a bit longer for me. I've been on the verge of crying for this whole week but wanted to try and stay calm until I KNOW she's a goner. My family is even being hesitant to SYRINGE FEEDING right now and it's angering me. They're like, "she's not eating so it's useless" but isn't that exactly why we'd syringe feed??? Man, I don't know what their thought processes are right now, it's frustrating.
     

  19. timberdarkhorse

    timberdarkhorse Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Still, don't know if you have to tag everyone for them to get an alert or not or if there's a general tag?

    But update: I reasoned with my parents and we're taking her to another vet to get her x-rays. I believe the issue was that our vet didn't have the right tech but this one can do one without harming her. I'll tell you how it goes afterward!
     
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  20. daftcat75

    daftcat75 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Sep 7, 2018
    Most cats tolerate feeding tubes better than syringe feeding. It’s less stressful and the cat doesn’t have to work so hard to eat when it doesn’t want to. But usually once a little food hits their belly, they feel better and may want to eat on their own. That’s not the same as forcing food in their mouth and hoping they will swallow enough of it to settle their stomach. Even though it looks scarier, I think feeding tubes are overall gentler and less stress than force-feeding by mouth. I also believe it’s more effective. You can get more food into a cat’s belly when the cat isn’t fighting you for every “bite.”
     

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