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Cat won't eat

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
First of all this is not my cat. I got an email from my ex this morning and he's concerned because his cat is not eating. I recommended a vet, but I know he's not doing well financially so this may not be an option for him so I'm trying to help figure out why she's not eating.

I asked him how long she hasn't been eating, if he's changed her diet, if something in her environment has changed that would make her unhappy, if she'll take treats, and her age.

I know she's older than my cat Max, and he's 13. I know he used to feed her Deli-Cat (yeah I know, not good), so I imagine that's what he continued to feed her after we separated.

I told him he could try to check her mouth for sores or obvious dental problems, and try offering her some canned food or cooked meats. Other than that and of course a vet, I don't know what else I can suggest.

Any ideas aside from a vet? I will push for a vet visit, but well I know this guy and with his current finances I know a vet visit will end up being a last resort.
post #2 of 17
Is the cat not eating at all? Because if its not, than he needs to get something in her stomach ASAP. Cats can not go without food, as they run the risk of developing a very serious liver disease...
If she isn't eating, try giving her some tuna just for the moment. Tuna is not good for cats if given frequently, but it can help with cats that are not eating at all.
He can also try to boil some chicken, and give little pieces to her.
If she doesn't get better soon, he will need to see a vet, as not eating usually indicates other diseases, and he will need to get to the bottom of it sooner than later.
He can also try to hand feed her - also try to put some dry food around the house, little bits on the couch, shelves, windows, and the places where she hangs out. My
Good luck!!
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
This is the response I just got from him:

I don't know exactly how long she hasn't been eating. But I've noticed she hasn't really touched her food for at least a week. And I can't think of anything that might affect the environment. I did have to change her food since the local store stopped carrying the usual brand, but she had been eating it. Enough that I had to buy more a few times. And up until yesterday, she was eating the treats I'd give her.

Last night I opened some canned food and all she did was lick up the jelly/ooze/whatever that stuff is. (I think I saw her nibbling at the left over 'wet' food this morning.) It's difficult for me to open her mouth since I can't seem to get a good enough grip. And I'd take her to a vet, but due to some really bad luck, I'm not sure I'll be able to afford to eat myself let alone pay for a 'doctor' visit.

If I remember correctly, she'll be 19 this July and I think she's been losing weight for a while (longer than the change in food). I'm going to see if I can find a store that sold her old brand of food, but even that expense is going to hurt a little bit. I did a search last night and (amongst all the other, not good to hear possibilities) I tried the suggestion of raising the food off the floor since stomach acid might be getting into her throat.


Ugh, this really doesn't sound good. I'd send him money to take her to the vet if I could, but I've got a ton of vet bills of my own

KMR helps with weight gain right? Also I make a soup for my ferrets with pureed boiled chicken, eggs (shells included), and softened kibble. Would something like that be good for her?
post #4 of 17
Ok - bingo for the food change - that is a major thing.... Especially if she had been on it for a while... Where is he located, and what did she eat before?
Every time I do the slightest thing with Lucky's food, even if adding a supplement to it, she protests by not eating, and this protest can come days after the change... So I go back to the way I used to feed her, and after a week or so, she starts eating normally again...
I also hope he didn't change the food all of the sudden, and did a transition into the new food... Changing foods really upsets their digestive system, and should be done very slowly...
With all that said, step 1 would be calling the vet. If he can not take her in, at least he needs to call because of her age... At 19 she is pretty much like a 100yr old human... If the vet is at least somewhat responsible, he will have a phone conversation about it...
Step 2 would be to find the old food ASAP. She needs to go back into it.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
I had a feeling the food change may have had something to do with it, but the weight loss concerns me too. He says she started losing weight before he switched her diet. As for the change, I'm willing to bet it was a sudden not a gradual change.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
In regards to the vet I suggested that he find a vet that does a first visit free kind of thing, because I'll be really surprised if he's already got a vet. I also suggested Care Credit, but I have a feeling he won't get approved for it if finances are as bad as he says. Her age does worry me too.
post #7 of 17
The weight loss can be a sign of her age...
Here is a coupon for a free vet visit. http://www.vcapets.com/free_promo_go...FRAqbAodnGVZuA VCA hospitals are everywhere...
If he is lucky to be near Dallas, I will gladly shop for her food and drop it by... Let me know
post #8 of 17
He said she ate the new food and has even had to buy more several times. So this is health related. He needs to start calling around to see if a vet will take payments, this kitty needs to see a vet.

He can try to assist feed her for now, but shes in distress and needs to see a vet. Its a painful death for a cat to stop eating and starve themselves. It may be her time to go.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
I forwarded the link, thanks

He's actually somewhere in Northern California. I made the move to Texas a few years after we separated.
post #10 of 17
Make sure he goes to see a vet... She is a very old cat, and something can be wrong with her... Or it's an old age death approaching... That is sad... I hope she gets better soon...
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pami View Post
He said she ate the new food and has even had to buy more several times. So this is health related. He needs to start calling around to see if a vet will take payments, this kitty needs to see a vet.

He can try to assist feed her for now, but shes in distress and needs to see a vet. Its a painful death for a cat to stop eating and starve themselves. It may be her time to go.
I'm afraid that may be the case, which is why I want him to get her in asap. I know he can't afford the bills, but he can't just let her waste away either. I'm hoping she can get better, but given her age it doesn't look good. He needs her more than I could possibly explain
post #12 of 17
Hi,

I'm speaking from experience here and a very expensive lesson $2000.

Something that I would suggest is ensuring that the cat doesn't have a vitamin deficiency. B1 in particular. It only takes a month or so for cats to become thiamine deficient and then they loose there appetite.

Then they start to have trouble moving, and usually fit. If they don’t get to a vet they’ll die or at the very least if it is left to long they can survive but become blind.

This is easily fixed by a visit to the vet and injections of vitamins and minerals for a week or so. Thiamine (B1) injections should be done by a vet every couple of days for a week or so with a follow up of B1 tablets for another week or so which can be given to your pet at home.

Common cause of these is giving cats treated raw minces that pupport to be cat food but are stripped of essential vitamins such as Thaimine and Taurine which are essential for a cats wellbeing.

As an aside your cat should have a wide variety of foods, so if you feed your cat a tinned variety vary it with things like a bit of raw mince, chicken wings and chicken necks so that it doesn't miss out on essentials.


I hope this helps.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pami View Post

He can try to assist feed her for now, but shes in distress and needs to see a vet. Its a painful death for a cat to stop eating and starve themselves. It may be her time to go.


My thoughts exactly. If he can't afford to get her well, he should consider paying to have her euthanized rather than slowly and painfully starving to death.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
She was eating, but just not much. She lost a lot of weight, and finally had a seizure in the middle of the night.

He did finally take her to a vet on 3/5/09 (day following the seizure), and at 19 years old the vet recommended to him that she be laid to rest.
post #15 of 17
So, was she PTS?
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
So, was she PTS?

Yes, she's gone. I ended up paying the bill for him.
post #17 of 17
It depends on if the cat is eating little or none at all. Not eating can be a symptom of hundreds of things, ranging from being upset about something to pretty severe illnesses. If a vet visit is out of the question, I'd say watch her close for a few days and if any new symptoms appear, a vet visit is necessary. Also, if she isn't eating at all, anorexia for more than 3 days in cats usually requires IV fluids and some diagnostics to figure out the underlying problem. As far as trying to persuade her to it, try a variety of foods. Maybe even some boiled chicken or chicken broth (no seasonings!) Some thing that works for a lot of cats is softening dry food with some warm water.
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