Not eating

swampmonster

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I have an adult cat (8 years) who was diagnosed with diabetes, he was treated with Lantus and diabetic food and went into remission today. He's been on antibiotics for liver inflammation for a little over a week. Recently he's looked weak, his legs are wobbly (possibly neuropathy/arthritis) and he doesn't want to eat almost all the time now. He'll maybe take one lick and become disinterested. Even with an anti nausea and appetite stimulant he's barely eating. Between the two days he's eaten the equivalent to maybe two meals, most of what he's had is treats which don't have great nutritional value. He's seeing the doc tomorrow, he's been seen frequently over the last week. Initially we thought the diabetes and liver were affecting his appetite, but now we're afraid there could be an underlying health problem. My vet is going to try for an ultrasound to see if there's more to this, maybe something with the stomach. I'm devastated, he's not himself, and after the successful numbers and being in remission I was so hopeful for a positive outcome but it feels like one step forward two steps back. Has anyone else struggled with a cat who doesn't want to eat? I've given him every kind of cat food imaginable. He prefers gravy, he has great difficulty with chunks of strips of food or thick pate. When he tries to eat he struggles to lick the pate off the plate, it looks like it must be a tooth issue, like it's too painful to eat, but the vet said his teeth look fine... I'm so lost and afraid of what's to come of this. We just lost our other beloved cat in May to kidney disease at only seven years old, it's super stressful.
 

daftcat75

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Because cats hide pain so well, and because some dental conditions begin below the gum line, you can't really say his teeth look fine until he's had mouth x-rays. My Krista had many episodes where she would stop eating. They nearly all came down to her teeth or gums (resorptive lesions.) Many times I had to beg or demand them to take new films or perform another dental. With a chronic degenerative disease like FORLs, "her teeth looked good the last time we checked" doesn't hold for very long. You see your guy more often than the vet does. If it looks like a dental issue to you, insist that they have another look at his teeth. In the meantime, there are mousse-like foods that he may find easier to eat than stiff pates or chunks. You can see if he will eat meat-only baby food. You might be able to puree his regular food with a bit of extra water (or water from tuna in water if that's something he likes.) Some cats are more tolerant of these kinds of modifications than others. I don't suppose he's having any dry food with his diabetes. But if he is allowed some, you might want to offer it. Some cats have an easier time eating around a sore or broken tooth with dry food than they do with wet food. They know which side to crunch on and generally just crunch a couple of times before swallowing. It can actually be trickier to eat softer textures with a sore/broken tooth if it mushes all over inside his mouth.
 
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swampmonster

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Hello, we did discuss the possibility of under the gums and doing x-rays but we decided we wanted to get the liver under control first, but it is something we will be looking at. I haven't considered meat baby food, that's a good suggestion. Unfortunately he can't eat his kibbles. I tried one mousse pate that the vet gave us and it was easier for him to eat but he turns up his nose at it now. He's super picky, he likes fresh food but even if it's heated up after being refrigerated he generally doesn't want it.
 

daftcat75

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When you heat up his portions, do you use the microwave? Microwaves change the texture and the flavor. What I did for Krista, for every portion whether it was first or last from a can, was weigh out her portion into a plastic baggie and run that under hot water until the food inside feels lukewarm ("prey temperature") between my fingers before plating it. It adds maybe another minute to meal prep. I figured with all the crud she was going through in that last year, it was an easy thing I could do for her. 😻 Also with her GI lymphoma, I couldn't/she couldn't afford food rejection. 😿
 

fionasmom

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Ultrasound is coming up very soon, right? I can see your reasoning but I also worry about a cat who appears not to be able to eat as opposed to just does not want to and agree that dental issues could also be at play.

I have Gerber's meat in the house at all times with some elderly cats. You have probably tried the toppers and stews that are everywhere on the market now? Please let us know what you find out from the US.
 
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