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Not Eating - Delayed Stress Reaction?

corvidae

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Feb 17, 2018
35
88
Saskatchewan, Canada
Hi all! My cat Jem is acting a little "off" recently (starting last night) and I'm worried about him. There have been a lot of changes lately in our household and until now he's been taking them in stride, but I'm wondering if this is stress catching up to him, or potentially something more sinister? I'm waiting for the vet to open so I can call them, but before then I figure posting here can't hurt.
So, a bit over a week ago my roommate adopted a cat from the SPCA. We've been following all the cat intro tips we read: Merle (the new cat) has been staying in my roommate's room with the door closed, we've been feeding them on opposite sides of the door, swapping scents, site swapping. I had noticed that Jem had been scratching at his ears a bit, so on Monday I took him into a vet close by and had an absolutely atrocious experience there that doesn't make me want to go back at all (which complicates things if I want to take him to the vet now, because I'll end up going to the one further away and I don't drive). Long story short, the vet said some yeast appeared on the slide from his ear swab and I should treat with the Surolan that I had from when Jem had ear mites right after I brought him home from the SPCA. So, Jem has been getting ear drops twice a day and has to wear his cone afterwards, which always changes his behaviour while it's on - he gets mopey and floppy and just kind of lays around. On Tuesday, Merle learned how to open doors. I'm glad I was home while this happened, because in the evening I heard the door to my roommate's room rattle, exited the bathroom, and found the cats sniffing each other. I put Merle back in his room, but everything was fine- neither cat seemed stressed, relaxed posture, no hissing. Later on Tuesday evening we let the cats have about twenty minutes of supervised play time, with toys/treats to distract them. Everything went really smoothly, cats had calm body language. Jem kept trying to initiate play but Merle was more interested in exploring the apartment. We put Merle back in his room for most of the day yesterday, and then yesterday afternoon let him out for another short play session. Same thing, Jem way more interested in Merle than vice versa, but acting totally fine otherwise.
Yesterday at dinner time we decided to try feeding them without a barrier but like ~10 feet apart down a hallway. Jem wouldn't touch his dinner, and I figured maybe he was stressed about Merle, even though again, no avoidance, no hissing or puffy tail, no signs of stress. So, we put Merle back in his room and we offered Jem dinner again, and he still refused. I crumbled some freeze dried treats on top and he ate some. As of this morning he had eaten maybe 2/3 of his kibble from last night.
Jem historically wakes me up early for breakfast, loud meowing, pawing at me, jumping on top of me. This morning he didn't do any of that, just came in and softly trilled. I offered him some Tiki Cat for breakfast and he hasn't touched it (it's been an hour and a bit). Now, this is a cat I usually need to monitor during wet food feedings because he will scarf and barf.
I'm really worried about him. He's using the litter box fine, no vomiting/diarrhea, drinking water, walking around, but he just seems subdued and his not eating is worrying me. Any thoughts or reassurance would be greatly appreciated.
 

FeebysOwner

TCS Member
Top Cat
Jun 13, 2018
6,977
8,604
Central FL (Born in OH)
Hi. Is it possible that the meds you are giving Jem have lost some of their potency and are not working as they should - since you have had them a while? Also, if he is still wearing the cone, that sometimes takes a serious mental toll on certain cats. Add in the new cat in is home, and he's probably stressed over it all.

Sorry he has to go to the vet again, but it is probably a good idea.

If he has to continue to wear a cone, you might want to consider using an inflatable collar in place of it, as they seem to be a bit more comfortable for cats.
 
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corvidae

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Feb 17, 2018
35
88
Saskatchewan, Canada
Thank you for your replies!

Furballsmom Furballsmom that's a good idea! We have been playing relax my cat in the new cat's room, but I'll try to rig something up in the living room as well for Jem.

FeebysOwner FeebysOwner that's a good question! The vet checked the expiry date (which is later this year) and gave the okay for using the Surolan I already had on hand, but that whole experience was so chaotic that honestly I'm not feeling super trusting of her opinions. Regarding the cone, he only has to wear it for an hour after his ear drops are in, twice a day. I started the ear drops on Tuesday morning and he would bounce back to his normal playful self after I took the cone off. Even this morning before I gave him his ear drops I played with him for about an hour to see if I could entice him to eat- he was enthusiastic about play, which seems like a good sign, but still won't eat anything, not even treats.
Current plan of action is to call the (further but better) vet once I hit post on this reply here and see what they say. My fear is if this is because of stress, car rides and a vet visit will make things worse. Hopefully the vet can give me some reassurance and next steps. Keep your crossables crossed for us!
 
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corvidae

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Feb 17, 2018
35
88
Saskatchewan, Canada
FeebysOwner FeebysOwner good idea!! I will pick some up today.

I talked to the vet, and he prescribed an appetite stimulant that I will pick up this afternoon, and then the vet office will call to check in tomorrow morning and reassess at that time - if he's still not eating, I'll have to take him in but hopefully that won't be the case. The hope is the appetite stimulant will get him over whatever slump he's in without the stress of another vet visit.
 

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