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My cat is not eating

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I am new to this forum and looking for any type of insight you may have.
I have a 1 year old indoor cat who has recently stopped being "himself". He vomited 4 times in 3 days, but hasn't in over a week, so that is no longer the concern. After he stopped vomiting, he was eating fine for at least 3 days, and now he has just all but stopped eating. We have visited the vet 2 times and the physical exams show no sign of anything. We have tried different wet foods and even started the awful task of force feeding, but nothing seems to work and he is now on day 3 of not eating much at all. The vet doesn't think they will find anything with the blood tests, but the idea of him not eating is really concerning me since I've read how important it is to keep them fed and hydrated. He is still drinking, but just nibbled two little bites of his food and walks away.
He seems to be having trouble chewing and swallowing, so the vet suggested some sort of virus. I of course fear the worse and am really worried. Has anyone ever had a cat stop eating because of a virus and get better on his own?
I don't know what else to do.
He's had all his shots and tested neg for FIV and FeLV

Anyone have any advice?
post #2 of 9
I am so sorry your boy isn't feeling well and hope he recovers soon. Hopefully someone here will be able to provide you with some useful insight that can help in your boy's situation.

A few of the cats I’ve fostered in the past had stopped eating when they became sick and couldn’t smell their food, stressed or because the medication the vet had them on made them nauseous. If the latter was the case we would either switch medications or discontinue that particular drug with our vet’s approval. Because letting a cat go without eating can lead to more severe problems, there is no way for us to know if they would have improved without force feeding and fluids.

As for doing blood work on your cat…there are a lot of serious problems that a vet cannot find by just doing a physical exam. For example, one of my cats looked fine to the vet, but I was seriously concerned because she seemed a bit off and felt bonier to me. A blood test revealed she had developed liver disease, which is normally not seen in a cat so young. Because we see our pets everyday and know what is normal for them- from how they act down to what their coat feels like- I think it is much easier to tell when something is in the early stages than a vet who doesn’t have the luxury of being with your pet everyday.If you ever don’t feel like enough is being done, trust your instincts and get a second opinion from another vet. I hope your little one feels better soon.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
thank you Yorda,
I think I will go to another vet tomorrow to see what can be done. I agree with what you said about "just knowing" when something's not right.
I hope all works out. He is so important to us.
post #4 of 9
I agree with Yorda's advice. I'm surprised the vet didn't do bloodwork - it's a basic diagnostic tool that's extremely valuable. I'm not sure why he'd say he didn't think he'd find anything. A physical exam is a good start, but bloodwork will give you information you can't "feel".

My youngest cat suddenly started vomiting and lost his appetite when he was just under two years old. None of the three vets at the local vet hospital could pinpoint why. I took him to a major animal hospital in NYC where they suspected a type of stomach virus. The vet gave him a feeding tube which went through the nose and put him on interferon for 30 days. He only had the tube 1 1/2 days before he started eating again on his own - it seemed to "jump start" his appetite.

Assist-feeding (not force-feeding) is necessary for your cat til he starts to eat on his own. I've been doing it for almost a year for my oldest girl. This site was a great help to me when I first started: www.assistfeed.com
Don't give up - it's not easy at first, mostly because you're unfamiliar with the procedure. It does get better though.

Glad you're taking him for a second opinion - please let us know how he's doing.
post #5 of 9
I would also ask for xrays.
It could be a blockage that the vet simply could not feel on a physical exam.
post #6 of 9
As far as the "chewing and swallowing" part - I've had a cat or two that has shown trouble swallowing (like swallowing with a "wince" like their throat hurt) and it was an abscess or bacterial throat infection. Is your cat indorr/outdoor? When I used to let my cats out, they would fight and get abscesses. I would ask the vet about antibiotics...
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your ideas.
He is an indoor cat, and the vet does think it may be some sort of throat virus. He has eaten a scoop of his regular dry food over the past 14 hours, but only with a lot of petting and encouragement. I guess that's better than nothing!
I will definitely follow up with those test should there be no change soon. He is currently jumping around and being a pain, so that makes me happy

Thanks again for your concern
post #8 of 9
This has actually happened to my cat twice now, he will just stop eating and will throw up quite a bit after eating and at night.

The situations are sounding similar so you could try what our Vet told us after he found nothing wrong.

Just grill some chicken, cut it up and give it to your cat in pieces. Doesnt have to be a lot to begin with. Both times my cat has stopped eating we have fed him chicken for a week, he will eat that perfectly fine without throwing up then in about a week we can give him normal cat food again.
post #9 of 9
When one of my cats didn't eat because he was sick, we mixed up a slurry of strained baby meats (beef worked best) and water, drew it up into a syringe and just force fed him. He really seemed to like the baby meat and it smelled.....maybe that would help while you are waiting to go to the other vet.
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