Rescue Cat Not Eating

CorruptTears

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On April 27, I adopted a 2 year old male cat from a shelter. At first he hid from me but for the most part he is now fine. Sometimes he will run from me but he also seeks me out for cuddles. Whenever I am on the couch he sits on my lap or if I am laying down he walks on me. My main issue is he is eating very little. At one point I think he was eating a half a can of Friskies but now he isn’t even doing that. I think he only pooped once this past week and it was very small. I’ve tried other brands such as Canada Fresh, Fancy Feast, Whiskers, Iams, almo, wervua, presidents choice but no dice. When I have seen him eat it is usually licking the gravy or salmon. The odd time turkey and chicken. Today I was able to get him to eat some chicken baby food off my fingers. I also tried force feeding him with a dropper which was somewhat successful albeit messy since he was squirmy. I bought nutritional yeast and fortiflora today. I have two bowls out of salmon friskies one with the yeast and one with the fortiflora. Hopefully he eats one. When I mentioned it to the vet on the 9th he was like ya cats are picky eaters. In sum he is eating maybe 1-3 Oz a day, and is a 14lb guy. What do you recommend I do?
 

rubysmama

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Hello and welcome to TCS. Congrats on your new cat. Sorry, though, that he's worrying you with his eating.

My first thought was to suggest a vet checkup, but it sounds like you already did that, on the 9th. Though I'm not sure the vet was right to brush off your concerns, as cats do need to eat a certain amount each day. Plus, not eating can be signs that the cat isn't feeling well.

Not pooping could be from not eating, but also constipation. Did the vet palpate your cat's stomach and comment on the amount of stool in his bowel? My vet usually does.

TCS has some articles on cats and eating that might have some tips for you. But, honestly, I'd consider taking him to another vet and getting a 2nd opinion, especially if you feel things aren't right.

How To Get Your Cat To Start Eating Again
Why Has My Cat Stopped Eating And Is It Dangerous? | TheCatSite
What Do I Need To Know About Feeding My Cat? | TheCatSite
How Much Food Should I Feed My Cat? | TheCatSite
 

FeebysOwner

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Can't offer much of anything else than what rubysmama rubysmama has given you. But, did you by chance call the shelter that you got him from to see what he was eating there? It might just be that you have to start with that food to get him eating again. The odds are it was dry food, so once he is eating again, you can try adding some water to it to start adjusting him toward some 'wet' foods. After that, you can experiment with other foods - a little bit at time to supplement his dry food.

Also, find out what kind of container the shelter used to feed him - might be that you will need to replicate that at first as well.

Keep us posted!
 

Minxxy

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On April 27, I adopted a 2 year old male cat from a shelter. At first he hid from me but for the most part he is now fine. Sometimes he will run from me but he also seeks me out for cuddles. Whenever I am on the couch he sits on my lap or if I am laying down he walks on me. My main issue is he is eating very little. At one point I think he was eating a half a can of Friskies but now he isn’t even doing that. I think he only pooped once this past week and it was very small. I’ve tried other brands such as Canada Fresh, Fancy Feast, Whiskers, Iams, almo, wervua, presidents choice but no dice. When I have seen him eat it is usually licking the gravy or salmon. The odd time turkey and chicken. Today I was able to get him to eat some chicken baby food off my fingers. I also tried force feeding him with a dropper which was somewhat successful albeit messy since he was squirmy. I bought nutritional yeast and fortiflora today. I have two bowls out of salmon friskies one with the yeast and one with the fortiflora. Hopefully he eats one. When I mentioned it to the vet on the 9th he was like ya cats are picky eaters. In sum he is eating maybe 1-3 Oz a day, and is a 14lb guy. What do you recommend I do?
Try a high quality dry food. It’s 100% better than no food at all.
 

GalaxyGirl

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Try a high quality dry food. It’s 100% better than no food at all.
I second this. On the off chance he is addicted to kibble and all the wet is just too much for him.
 
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CorruptTears

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Hey sorry for the late response. Everything has been so busy with the cat but also work. He’s still barely eating. He didn’t end up eating the food with the fortiflora but he did eat some in the bowl with the yeast but not much. He seems to only lick his food. Today I tried to mush up some wet food I have given him before.


Rubysmama: I saw the vet feel the stomach and look at his teeth. He didn’t say anything was wrong. I spoke to the vet on May 15th. I didn’t have him with me. The vet said the cat seemed healthy to him and he suggested trying to put he fortiflora in water and syringe feed him. This has proven to be difficult since I live all alone, my family refuse to help and my friends live far away. So as you can imagine holding him in one hand and trying to feed him in another is hard. I might go see my sister’s in law vet but last time trying to get him to the vet was a pain since he wouldn’t go in the carrier. I ended up catching him in a rubber maid bin. Thankfully the vet was only 2km away. I am also going to try that science hills food one of the articles you suggested said.

Feebysowner: the shelter gave me Friskies but he didn’t eat it. At this point I think he has been longer with me then the shelter. He was only there for 2 weeks.

Lisahe, Minxxy, Galaxygirl: so far I tried 3 kibbles and nothing worked. One was N&D. I can see if I can get some free samples. I believe the pet food store near me has some.
 

rubysmama

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So sorry all this is happening with your new cat. :alright: Have you been able to check with the shelter and see what and if he was eating there? Is he using the litter box regularly?

One thing you could try is putting his food on different types of dishes. Even paper plates. Sometimes cats that weren't eating just wanted a different "serving dish".

However, I think you need to talk to/see another vet, as having to syringe a healthy cat is not normal. :(
 

lisahe

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So sorry all this is happening with your new cat. :alright: Have you been able to check with the shelter and see what and if he was eating there? Is he using the litter box regularly?

One thing you could try is putting his food on different types of dishes. Even paper plates. Sometimes cats that weren't eating just wanted a different "serving dish".

However, I think you need to talk to/see another vet, as having to syringe a healthy cat is not normal. :(
I agree with rubysmama on all points! Three weeks is a very long time for a cat to not eat after an adoption. It sounds like that vet isn't very engaged. Given Cici's inappetence, I'd want to run some blood tests.

The comment about dishes sounds odd but it's very true: one of our cats will only eat from very flat dishes. Meaning they're basically either regular plates, for humans, or unusual cat dishes. Cats can get whisker stress if they eat out of dishes that touch their whiskers. Definitely try some flat plates!
 

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I think you ought to take him to the other vet. Try throwing a bath towel over him and wraping it around him then putting towel and kitty into the carrier. It will give him something to do during the drive.

A two year old cat not eating isn't just being finicky, it's serious. A two year old is usually focused on eating, his food, your food, anything that sort of looks like food. If he won't eat the kibble, something is wrong with him.

The vet should have done blood work, unless he did it a week before this came up. The new vet should do blood work. The shelter vet probably didn't do it, their resources seldom stretch that far.
 
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CorruptTears

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So update!

I've been trying different dishes. So before I was using mostly Corelle bowls. Now I've used appetizer corelle trays and various sizes of corelle plates. I haven't noticed any trends. He did seem to like the Salmon from Wervua to some extent. I also tried giving him raw turkey cat food (recommended by pet food store), but he didn't eat any of it even when I tried to give it to him by hand.

Today I took him to the vet. This was a different vet that my sister in-law recommended. He is about 4km away. He prescribed Mirtazapine and also a bag of dry cat food. He was also going to prescribe some wet food but I already had it. He said everything seemed fine otherwise. I am happy to report he ate about 1/4 of a cup of the dry food I gave him. I haven't seen him eat any dry food in the past 3 weeks. The feeding guidelines say about 3/4 of a cup per day so this is a huge improvement. As I am typing this he went back to eat some more of the dry food. Right now though he is being a bit weird as he bit me twice. In the past 3 weeks he only bit me once until today. Maybe he is pissed with me taking him to the vet?
 

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Glad he is eating some! He might be a bit 'irritated' about the vet visit, but hopefully he will shake that off quickly. I hope he continues to show interest in eating! Keep us posted!!
 

rubysmama

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So happy to hear that he's eating. :thumbsup:

But not so good that he's biting you. :( The bites aren't breaking the skin, are they?
 

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I'm glad you got a second opinion and some food he'll eat! Interesting that the vet prescribed a drug that's both an appetite stimulater and an antidepressant. Maybe it will have two effects -- cats can definitely find change (like being adopted after a shelter) difficult.

Does he bite (breaking the skin) or just nip? Our cats like to nip sometimes: one seems to do it mostly to get attention (especially on freshly washed feet, just after a shower) but they both seem to have strong gnawing instincts. Chew toys have really helped with that!
 

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nipping without breaking the skin is often affection. If he bites too hard hiss at him when he does it. This will tell him in his own language "No, stop that, it hurts."

glad you saw the other vet and good on finding one so close,
 

Kflowers

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It's best to hiss as the hard bite starts. It broke the hard biting habit of months the first time i remembered to do it. He might want to practice a bit away from kit. Some find it awkward and there is a tendency to spit a bit. ;)
 

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It's best to hiss as the hard bite starts. It broke the hard biting habit of months the first time i remembered to do it. He might want to practice a bit away from kit. Some find it awkward and there is a tendency to spit a bit. ;)
Thank you for more tips, Kflowers! We think Ireland does this mostly for attention, often to ask for food. (Sometimes on weekend mornings she'll nip at my ears or even my chin, as if she's telling me to wake up and get her fed... even though I don't feed the morning meal! Lately, though, she's taken to crawling under the covers and snuggling in, a much better decision.) She'll also hiss at her sister in the mornings. We call her The Komodo Dragon.

To get back to the OP's cat: C CorruptTears , there are lots of biting and nipping modes and they can be difficult to decipher.
 
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CorruptTears

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Thanks, I am so happy to see he is eating. I really hope his condition continues to improve. I think he has already eaten twice as before. I haven't had a cat since I was 10 years old and now I am almost 29. How long do you leave kibble out? Does it get stale?

His bites do not break the skin. On a related note, his back claws (he was declawed in front by the original owner) have started to hurt me as he gets off my lap or stomach. Before they weren't an issue. Does anyone trim the back claws? I am guessing I should wait a few months until his eating stabilizes.
 

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yes you can trim the back claws. If you don't feel comfortable doing it ask the vet to let a kennel person or tech show you how.

Many cats find claw trimming traumatic so, yes, wait until he's eating steadily and you are both comfortable.

If he scratches you, put him down gently, clean the scratch with soap and water. Use an antibiotic cream if that's your custom for shallow scratches and cover with a bandied for a couple of days if you like.

I used an automatic feeder at one time and left the kibble out for days at a time. Do check the bottom of the bowl in case pieces have fallen out of his mouth and back into the bowl. When this happens, if he doesn't eat them fairly soon, they will mold. It's rather rare, but I feel you want to know every thing to look out for and that's a good thing.

As with wet food, with kibble wash the bowl with dish soap and water.
 
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