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5yo not eating

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I apologize in advance for the length, going to try to cover all the details.

About 5 weeks ago I moved from a small apartment to a larger house. We brought our 5 year old cat, whom we adopted in December. Since moving, she hasn't eaten, and drinks very little.

About 4-5 days after we noticed she wasn't eating we took her to the local vet. He looked her over, took her temp, etc. and said she was fine, it's probably just her nerves. He offered to take a blood test, which we declined, as he said she was showing no signs of being underweight or dehydrated. At this point she weighed around 11lbs, her last vet visit a few months back she was around 12lbs.

Forward another week and she still hasn't eaten or drank, so we took her to another vet. He said she was showing signs of dehydration and the lack of eating was a sincere concern, so we checked her in with them and they force fed her for 2 days while they kept her on an IV drip for fluids. She still wouldn't eat on her own or use the litterbox, so they recommended we take her home and see a specialist. During this time they did a full panel blood test and X-rays, which were unsubstantial other than a slight bunching over the lower intestine indicated on one of the x-rays.

We took her to the specialist for an ultrasound and consultation. The ultrasound came back unsubstantial, at which point he recommended an upper GI. The upper GI took a week for them to get scheduled, so now we're at 3+ weeks w/o eating and barely any drinking. The upper GI, once again, was unsubstantial other than some signs of potential IBD.

3-4 days ago she was showing signs of disorientation and lethargy, so we took her to the vet ER, where they did another panel and gave her subcutaneous fluids.

We now have another appointment for Tues. The vet is recommending exploratory surgery, however we have our doubts. We have seen what seems to be every vet in the area, and are running out of options. Not a single vet has recommended force feeding, and when we called to inquire on a feeding tube, they recommended against it, that exploratory surgery be performed.

So here we are today - she hasn't eaten for easily 4 weeks and hasn't drank anything for 2-3 weeks. Every blood panel shows no signs of hepatic lipidosis.

Any recommendations? We're at a loss! We are going to start force feeding her immediately, however not a single vet in the area has recommended it so we're somewhat confused. She is taking pregnozol 2x a day (10 days now), and cyproheptadine once a day (4-5 days now), all with no positive results. She cries for food when we open a can of cat food, and follows us to the kitchen every time we go there - yet she still won't eat it.

post #2 of 9
Have they checked her teeth? If she cries when you open the food...surely that would mean she does have an appetite? Have you tried changing brands of food? You probably have,but I'm just grasping at straws. This has to be so frustrating for you,and her too! I know someone with better advice will be along soon. Poor baby! You all have sure been thru a lot!
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well, I'll swear it's a miracle.

About 2 hours after posting this we force fed her about 2 syringes full of diluted food. She fought, but took most of it. We cleaned her up when done, and she kinda cowered in the corner ticked off at us for holding her down.

We sat back down on the sofa, turned around and wouldn't you believe it she's eating some of the canned food we left for her earlier! She didn't eat it all, but a goodly portion of it. She then promptly went to her water and drank quite a bit of it.

This morning we sat out some more canned food, which she ate most of as well.

4-5 weeks now without voluntarily eating/drinking and she just up and starts to drink on her own randomly. I'm amazed, but incredibly grateful we don't have to put her through surgery (well, hopefully she continues to eat!)
post #4 of 9
That's great news!! Sending keep eating on your own {{{{VIBES}}}} her way. Keep us updated!
post #5 of 9
That's good news. I would stick with the canned food and something easy to eat. I usually give my cat Fancy feast "salmon feast" , "oceanfish and tuna". Its like a pate' as my cat's aren't into the chunky food with gravy stuff. They are just small cans about half the size of the regular cans you get.

My cat Taffy lost her voice (meow) last week and I gave her canned food only and it soon came back. The vet even checked her out last Wednesday and thought it was a virus or something but she's fine now.

I hope all goes well with your sick kitty. I know it can be stressful and upsetting when you don't know what's wrong with your cat. You did the right thing of trying different vets and getting many tests done. I hope all goes well on Tuesday for you and your kitty.

My prayers are with you both.

Taffy & Misty I Love,

post #6 of 9
That's wondeful news. I would suggest you keep doing whatever it is you are doing. If she likes wet food that is great - it is healthier for them anyway. I would try to ensure she gets a good quality wet food though. Fancy Feast is not a particularly good food (think McDonald's for humans). What is she currently eating?

Unfortunately once you feed your cats Fancy Feast they seem to get hooked on the "junk food" and you'll have a tough time getting them to switch over to a healthier food.

We feed Merrick's but in Canada it's pretty expensive although I understand it isn't so expensive in the US.

You'll find plenty of suggestions from Sharky about quality foods.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
We had originally fed her Iams beef w/ gravy, however after a 3 day stay at the vet due to acute renal failure in Feb due to the nastiness that happened w/ the pet food recall, we moved her to science diet dry food.

We literally purchased one of every brand and flavor of canned cat food we could find in the area, at both specialty and general pet food stores. At the time the Iams beef w/ gravy was all she would really eat with regularity, so that's what we gave her.

Today she is eating fancy feast, which isn't what we want her to be on, however if she eats it, it's better than nothing I suppose.

Once she regains another pound or two we'll go through the food taste-testing process again, as I don't want her on a low-quality food, but moreso I just want her eating :]
post #8 of 9
They are little imps aren't they. I tried at least 8-10 different brands before we hit on the Merrick. That's the only one our kitties will eat and even then they won't eat any of the fish or seafood flavours.

When trying to switch over, an idea might be to just add a little of a better food in with the Fancy Feast and gradually increase the amount of new food until you have weaned her off the FF altogether. Or, as one poster mentioned, sprinkle a little brewer's yeast on the food - cats seem to generally really like the yeast and has helped a number of members' cats to start eating a particular food.
post #9 of 9
I am so glad this has a happy ending. The last week must have been so frustrating for you both. I can only imagine the amount of money spent (scares me just to think of it!). Glad all is well, keep us posted.

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