Tell me why my cat eats her food at the kennel but not at home?

Alldara

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Unfortunately, there's nothing over the counter that's safe to give cats. Even much of the cat medicine is risky long term, but safe short term. So even when we have something on-hand we can't provide it to our cats without speaking to the vet first.
 
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three4rd

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I'm hoping I can get the vet appt. moved up by calling early tomorrow morning (or if not Monday) in the event that they had a rescheduling or cancellation. I swear, unless imaginging it, that when my cat looks at me I can see it in her eyes that she's not feeling right. We're still struggling with eating. She'll probably have dropped a bit of weight by the time she gets to the vet.
 
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three4rd

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So I was able to move the appt. up several days. The vet gave her a convenia injection. When she got home, the improvement was amazing. I could tell she felt really well and ate well too. However, the positive effects seem to be wearing off. Once again she's picky and I have to add treats, etc. to her food to get her to eat. I'm worried that she still might be losing weight. Flipside is that I also read convenia side effects CAN be nausea, vomiting, and weight loss.

Tonight she ate pretty well but then a large amount of food came back up. I was so sad to see that. The vet also gave me Mirataz as an appetite stimulant. Haven't used it yet however. I suspect this is used if a cat stops eating completely? It was highly suggested that if things continue as they are, I need to take her for an ultrasound to see what might be going on in the GI tract. The vet where I go said they don't do ultrasounds, but I found a local clinic that does. It was also suggested to me to go to a few special clinics that they recommended. One is in Malvern, PA. She needs to go to the kennel for a few days and so we'll see how things go there with the eating. I don't know what to expect. Last time at a kennel she ate far better than at home. This is all so worrisome since my cat has been healthy, happy, and has eaten well all the time I've had her.

I see I forgot to mention any lab results. All bloodwork looks good. No sign of any thyroid issues. So what's going on? I'm told that cancer or liver problems would have showed up in some of the blood levels.
 

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So I was able to move the appt. up several days. The vet gave her a convenia injection. When she got home, the improvement was amazing. I could tell she felt really well and ate well too. However, the positive effects seem to be wearing off. Once again she's picky and I have to add treats, etc. to her food to get her to eat. I'm worried that she still might be losing weight. Flipside is that I also read convenia side effects CAN be nausea, vomiting, and weight loss.

Tonight she ate pretty well but then a large amount of food came back up. I was so sad to see that. The vet also gave me Mirataz as an appetite stimulant. Haven't used it yet however. I suspect this is used if a cat stops eating completely? It was highly suggested that if things continue as they are, I need to take her for an ultrasound to see what might be going on in the GI tract. The vet where I go said they don't do ultrasounds, but I found a local clinic that does. It was also suggested to me to go to a few special clinics that they recommended. One is in Malvern, PA. She needs to go to the kennel for a few days and so we'll see how things go there with the eating. I don't know what to expect. Last time at a kennel she ate far better than at home. This is all so worrisome since my cat has been healthy, happy, and has eaten well all the time I've had her.

I see I forgot to mention any lab results. All bloodwork looks good. No sign of any thyroid issues. So what's going on? I'm told that cancer or liver problems would have showed up in some of the blood levels.
Did the vet suggest any x-ray for her teeth? I wonder if there's something going on below the surface for her teeth that they couldn't see on regular exam.
 

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There seems to be a number of folks on this site that have had issues with Covenia. And, unfortunately, it is a long-lasting antibiotic, so any side effects from it could hang around for a while.

Mirataz most certainly can be used before a cat stops eating altogether. The good thing about Mirataz is that you can adjust the dose if need be. Many cats do not need a full dose, nor do they all require it on a daily basis. Feeby gets one-half dose every other day, or every third day, to keep her even keeled with eating without experiencing some of the side effects (increased vocalization, hyperactivity to name the most common ones).

Sorry to hear that she has to go back to kennel - unfortunate timing given all that is going on.
 
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three4rd

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The kennel is only a 2-night visit. Today she ate like normal! Cleaned the bowl at every feeding. Can't figure this out. Didn't even have to put any toppers / treats on the food. Acting completely normal also. I'll take it. Hope it continues.
 
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three4rd

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My cat once again showed some hesitancy to eat this morning. Needed coaxing. This after really going after it last night and past few days. Same food! This thing has me so baffled. It's frustrating, really. Wouldn't even touch her food this morning at first, so emptied the bowl (since she never seemed to like 'leftovers'), then put some fresh stuff in the bowl a bit later, and she did better. But sometimes, like I said, it takes coaxing her to eat. Before all this, you could almost set your clock by her. She'd let ME know when it's time to eat. Wonder if I should still proceed with the ultrasound? She has picked up some weight, pretty much acting normally most of the time, and, again, eating quite well - most of the time. So it's a bit of a borderline call? Figure nothing lost by getting the ultrasound, and maybe worthwhile if indeed something would show up that we can start treating. Also has been NO vomiting of late either.
 
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three4rd

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Did the vet suggest any x-ray for her teeth? I wonder if there's something going on below the surface for her teeth that they couldn't see on regular exam.
I do wonder this also and have been in consultation with the vet as part of our frequent correspondence. She suggested perhaps a "sedated dental exam". There has been basically no food vomiting of late, so still not sure on pursuing the ultrasound. As mentioned in my other thread, I'm going to try a chewable cosequin instead of the antinols gel capsules that she's been on the past two years. The eating, since switching brands, has also been quite good - for the most part. Not consistent though. It's puzzling for sure. Wonder how much is a combination of senior age and simply not eating as much anymore at times / less appetite / possible tooth issues / arthritis (haven't been giving her the antinol as much lately since the oils once squeezed out of the capsules could also be a deterrent to eating / or, possible whatever other issues. Too many variables and also no consistent behavior / eating habits that makes it all the more confusing. It's all sort of random.
 

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I still think it is odd that all/most of her issues started after her kennel stay. Did she stay at the kennel again (2 day stay, as I recall). And now the eating issue started back up again? I am not saying something else isn't going on, and maybe the kennel stays are just aggravating some condition she has.

I may have already stated this and forgot - My cat has health issues (hyperthyroidism, CKD, high BP, arthritis, and lymphoma - with the latter not being treated), and her eating is off and on, and I have her do similar things to your cat - reject a food only to eat it later and vice-versa, acts like leftovers are horrible, but not all the time, etc. So, how much that has to do with her health issues and/or her age (19+yo) - I don't know. I rotate food so that she never eats the same thing more than once every 7-10 days and it helps. Of course, she is on MIrataz, but it doesn't appear to do much - if she chooses not to like a food, she won't eat it any better after having the Mirataz.

What was the point to the ultrasound again? What I know about ultrasounds is that an 'if needed' order for a fine needle aspiration (FNA) should be in place so if they see something suspicious during the ultrasound, they can take tissue to examine. It doesn't make the ultrasound any more complicated and can be done without any more sedation than your cat might need for the ultrasound alone. Some cats don't need anything. My cat has been through 3 ultrasounds/2 FNAs/1 PARR Assay (more in-depth analysis than an FNA) and only needed a mild sedative with the first one and that was solely for the purpose of being able to shave her abdomen. The 2nd & 3rd ultrasound didn't require any sedation at all, even though they had to shave her again. The sedation she received (butorphanol) wore off very quickly as it is intended to do.
 
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three4rd

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I still think it is odd that all/most of her issues started after her kennel stay. Did she stay at the kennel again (2 day stay, as I recall). And now the eating issue started back up again? I am not saying something else isn't going on, and maybe the kennel stays are just aggravating some condition she has.
I highly doubt potential kennel issues as being associated with this. For one thing, her recent (short) stay was at a different kennel - one we've never been to before. They had no trouble with her and I basically haven't either - till today.

Of course, she is on MIrataz, but it doesn't appear to do much - if she chooses not to like a food, she won't eat it any better after having the Mirataz.
The thought of using this stuff just goes right through me, being that it takes me right back to my previous hyperthyroid cat who was on a stimulant until it no longer mattered. Weight continued to drop anyway. What nags at me is the question that I'm asking myself - is using this an extraordinary life-prolonging measure? I mean, if i get to the point where I no longer feel like eating due to whatever health issues, I don't believe I'd want anyone 'force feeding' me by giving me drugs to suddenly make me want to eat. It just seems to unnatural somehow. I regret, now, dragging things on for too long with my hyperthyroid cat. It's so hard to be objective when you're in the situation. Before all this started, had someone asked me how I'd feel about having to use an appetite stimulant on Marzi (that's her name) very honestly I think I'd have to say, no, probably wouldn't do it. But now, of course, here I am grappling with it. IF, of course, it's a temporary thing due to some as of yet undiagnosed - and yet hopefully treatable - condition, then, ok, I'm good with it to get her over the hump. But as a long term thing, sorry but I just have a real problem with it. I say this with hoping to offend noone here on the forum, but it just stems from all I went through years ago.

What was the point to the ultrasound again?
My vet simply feels this is the next logical diagnostic move to make being that, thus far, with the single view x-ray they took, and all the bloodwork, nothing abnormal has shown up. So we're in 'troubleshooting' mode. If nothing shows up on the ultrasound, then I'd say we'll probably look closer at the teeth. My gut feeling (and of course hope) is that there is no serious underlying medical issue here, since you'd think that so many of those would manifest themselves in the blood results. Also, a really sick cat, I'd estimate, doesn't eat well one day and not the next. Something's just 'off' here. Watch her get the 2nd convenia injection on Monday and do much better. That's my prediction, but we'll see. As much as I want to hang on to her, as we all do with our pets, I'm trying to promise myself that I won't let things get near as bad as I did with my last cat. Starting a longterm use of an appetite stimulant seems to be heading down that road.
 
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three4rd

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What I know about ultrasounds is that an 'if needed' order for a fine needle aspiration (FNA) should be in place so if they see something suspicious during the ultrasound, they can take tissue to examine. It doesn't make the ultrasound any more complicated and can be done without any more sedation than your cat might need for the ultrasound alone. Some cats don't need anything. My cat has been through 3 ultrasounds/2 FNAs/1 PARR Assay (more in-depth analysis than an FNA) and only needed a mild sedative with the first one and that was solely for the purpose of being able to shave her abdomen. The 2nd & 3rd ultrasound didn't require any sedation at all, even though they had to shave her again. The sedation she received (butorphanol) wore off very quickly as it is intended to do.
You got me on all that. I have no clue, having never been through this before (I don't think anyway...hard to recall all that Jasmine went through back then). It's all documented here somewhere.
 

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It is odd for Mirataz to be needed in a hyperthyroid cat, unless they were given too much thyroid meds and became hypo-T, which causes appetite issues. So, I am not sure what to make of what happened, but I think there may have been more to what was going on. Just my opinion with all that I have been through.

There is nothing unnatural about giving a cat a med that helps them, especially when something like Mirataz can be used while trying to figure out the primary issue. And, in some cases it is needed longer term. It is absolutely nothing like force feeding - no comparison whatsoever. Life pro-longing? Humans take meds all the time that are essentially life prolonging - should that opportunity not also be given to pets? Of course, that is your call to make.

Short of Feeby's kidney levels in blood work, there is NOTHING else that shows anything wrong with her. So, blood work is not going to eliminate all possible issues/conditions.

I only mentioned the details about the ultrasound and related testing because I have been through that too, and Feeby would not have been made to go through 3 ultrasounds if someone would have suggested an FNA with the first one. Of course, she had to go through a 3rd one with the FNA/PARR Assay to finally find out she has lymphoma. So, that is the only reason I even talked about it. If you choose to go down the ultrasound path, just mention the FNA and PARR Assay as options.
 
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three4rd

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Humans take meds all the time that are essentially life prolonging - should that opportunity not also be given to pets?
You're absolutely right. I didn't mean to offend, truly. I think I just have a bit of a mental block against it (appetite stimulants) since I feel guilty for how bad things went with my last cat and I chose to maybe go on longer than I should have. So easy to say that in retrospect though.

I only mentioned the details about the ultrasound and related testing because I have been through that too, and Feeby would not have been made to go through 3 ultrasounds if someone would have suggested an FNA with the first one.
I greatly appreciate your educated thoughts on it. I'll have to discuss with the clinic when I get there, or probably best before the appt. even. So is a mild sedative generally used for most any ultrasounds? Guess if they can't keep them still enough to get a good reading it makes sense.
 

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No offense taken and I didn't mean to come across as if there was. Totally appreciate your hesitancy.

You are on target about sedation with an ultrasound - truly only needed if a cat presents to be too 'squirmy'/ Some might like to give one as a precaution, but I am sure if they want to do so, they need to get your approval first.
 
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three4rd

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So I broke out the mirtaz this morning after she didn't eat all that well. Is it possible that stuff takes effect immediately? Reason I ask is that I had put some extra food in her bowl, which she walked away from, but literally 30 seconds after applying the Mirtaz to the inside of her ear, she ate nearly all of what was in her bowl. I know my daughter said it works fast, but, really? I'm more encouraged by her maybe having eaten more if it DIDN'T yet take effect! No way to know I suppose, and I've never used this stimulant. With Jasmine, it was cyproheptadine (oral tablet as I recall - might have been liquid - not sure anymore). So, see what happens with later feedings today. Only supposed to use the supplement once a day.
 
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three4rd

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It is odd for Mirataz to be needed in a hyperthyroid cat
I'd think so since, if memory serves, they tend to be hungry all the time due to the thyroid issues.
 

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I think there are variables about how quickly Mirataz kicks in. I have had it appear to take effect practically immediately, and then there are other times it takes hours and hours to seem to make a difference. Maybe it has something to do with how much is absorbed when rubbing the med into the ear, which I suppose can vary by how much/how long you rub?? Just a guess. It wouldn't apply to your cat, but with my cat when it seems to work so quickly, I think she has learned from past experience that it increases her appetite and she responds accordingly. Kind of like a placebo effect in humans. But, to confirm your comment, it isn't to be given more than once a day - the effect is supposed to last about 24 hours, and in some cats it can last longer.

Btw, I don't know how much you know about Mirataz, but you don't have to apply the whole amount if you find it is not needed. It is a bit of an experiment to determine how much and how often an individual cat needs it. Even though Feeby has been on it for 2 years, she only gets half a dose, and I don't give it to her every day. That may or may not apply to your cat since they all seem to respond differently.
 
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three4rd

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It is a bit of an experiment to determine how much and how often an individual cat needs it.
My daughter mentioned some of this also from her own experience with her calico that has a history of being VERY picky. Always was. They've gone through lots of different foods already and used stimulant occasionally. I used close to the full measurement on the side of the box. It's not precise for sure, since you're supposed to apply a "thin line" to the surface of a glove. So "thin" for one person might not be the same for another.
 
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three4rd

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My cat has health issues (hyperthyroidism, CKD, high BP, arthritis, and lymphoma - with the latter not being treated),
How is she doing, overall? I can tell you're so devoted and caring for managing all these various issues.
 

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It's not precise for sure, since you're supposed to apply a "thin line" to the surface of a glove. So "thin" for one person might not be the same for another.
Yep - totally agree!!! Part of the reason for experimenting too!

How is she doing, overall? I can tell you're so devoted and caring for managing all these various issues.
Thanks for asking. She is 'hanging in there'. She isn't in the greatest of shape, but she holds her own. She has certainly become a full- time job, for sure, but I don't mind (most of the time :wink:).
 
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