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New Kitten, now older cat won't eat?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I apologize in advance for the lengthy post.

I have a four year old male cat that hasn't been eating today or yesterday. He seems outwardly fine (no other physical symptoms of illness present). I recently got a new kitten so I am wondering if this might be the cause... Here is the backstory for more info.

Less than a year ago, a friend gave me her 2 adult male cats (they were brothers from the same litter). About 2 months ago one of the cats had a blocked kidney and got very sick. I had him unblocked, kept him at the vets for days, etc, and then took care of him at home. After about a month of care he was showing signs of long-term kidney damage so I had to euthanize him. This was about two weeks ago.

The other cat showed no signs of distress from his brother being gone. In fact, when his brother had been at home during his illness he had shown very little interest in him (they used to play together from time to time). My boyfriend and I watched him closely for a few days for signs of distress and, seeing none, decided it was ok to get a new kitten (I had wanted a kitten for some time now). So, about four days after the other cat was euthanized we went to the shelter and adopted a 2 month old female kitten.

We brought the kitten home and put her in the living room (we have french doors) with her own litter box, food dish, and bed. During the first night my adult cat looked at her through the glass and was very curious about her, but we kept them separated as we are supposed to. During the second day, I let them meet for a very brief amount of time (like five minutes) and then put the kitten back in the living room and closed the door. For the next two days I let them meet only for short periods of time and only when I was home (which I mostly am). When I was not in the living room I went out of my way to pet the adult cat and give him as much attention as possible.

The kitten has had zero adjustment problems and is incredibly happy. She is confident, exploring, and not afraid of my adult cat. However, after a few days in the house, the adult cat started hissing at her and batting her with his paw. My boyfriend and I have both tried to praise him more and pay more attention to him to assure him, but he avoids the kitten and, of course, the kitten is always coming near us, wanting to play and be petted. The kitten tries to eat from the adult cat's dish and has gone to the bathroom in his litter box a few times (which I promptly clean out). She is also trying really hard to play with the adult cat but he has zero interest in her. And I'm starting to go crazy trying to keep the kitten out of his things. Due to the way my apartment is set up, it is not really feasible to keep them locked in separate quarters long-term. And my adult cat is going out of his way to avoid her, usually leaving the room if she comes in.

So, now to the real problems and my questions:

Yesterday my adult cat barely touched his cat food. I have moved it up onto the counter above where it normally had been on the floor (to keep the kitten out of it). He knows where the food is (I did this maybe 4-5 days ago) and has eaten from the dish up there. Today he hasn't eaten at all. Normally he has a huge appetite in the morning and wakes me up to feed him, but didn't do so today or yesterday. Part of me thinks that this is nerves from making the adjustment to the kitten but part of me is paranoid about him becoming blocked (since I just had that experience with his brother) or even having gotten sick from the kitten. However, both he and the kitten look incredibly healthy and are otherwise acting normal. I have a vets appointment for both cats at the end of next week (first visit for kitten, yearly shots for older cat). However, I'm concerned about my adult cat not eating.

So... after reading all that, I have some questions.

1- Has anybody had any experience with a similar sort of thing (cat not eating after stressful adjustment period)?

2- Is there anything else I should look for in my adult cat to see if the lack of appetite is coming from somewhere else?

3- How can I better help older kitty adapt to little kitty?

4- Did I make a bad decision adopting the new kitten so soon after the other cat had passed away? I'm afraid the answer to this might be yes, but my cat seemed to be adjusting totally fine- I thought it better to do just one adjustment period than to go through two. Maybe that was a bad idea.

Thanks again for reading the really long post. I really love my cats and I want to help them, so any and all input is much appreciated!
post #2 of 9
Quote:
So... after reading all that, I have some questions.

1- Has anybody had any experience with a similar sort of thing (cat not eating after stressful adjustment period)?

2- Is there anything else I should look for in my adult cat to see if the lack of appetite is coming from somewhere else?

3- How can I better help older kitty adapt to little kitty?

4- Did I make a bad decision adopting the new kitten so soon after the other cat had passed away? I'm afraid the answer to this might be yes, but my cat seemed to be adjusting totally fine- I thought it better to do just one adjustment period than to go through two. Maybe that was a bad idea.
1. Yes, this is actually very typical behavior for the resident cat when you bring in a new cat. However, you MUST get your cat to eat. If he doesn't eat, it can lead to whole host of other problems, none of them good. Try some canned food (such as Fancy Feast) or even baby food, meat stage 2 with no garlic or onions.

2. You should watch your cat for other problems brought on by stress such as inappropriate elimination (peeing and pooping outside the litter box). Be sure you have 3 litter boxes, too.

3. Invest in a Feliway diffuser and run it 24/7 for the next several months. The feliway has a hormone in it that helps reduce stress. We run 2 in our house 24/7 and have for the past 5 years to help my 2 older kitties. We started when we went from a single cat household to a 2 cat household. When we go visit my dad, I take one with us even.

4. No, you didn't make a bad decision, but ideally they did need more time separated and then the very gradual introduction.

To get your older cat to eat, try feeding him in a separate room with the door shut and you in there with him (or feed the new kitty in a separate room). You have to get him to eat NOW. Give him some wet food that's been warmed up for about 10 seconds in the microwave. This enhances the aroma and makes it more appealing. If he doesn't start eating today, call the vet first thing in the morning. Also be sure he continues to drink water and use the box.

Continue to praise and fawn over your older cat. Seek him out and love on him and tell him how much you love him. Be his protector. When the new cat wants to jump on him and play, divert her attention with a toy or redirect her to a different area of the apt. Use a towel to separate them and "herd" her away if things start getting a bit rough. Also, and this is hard, try not to stress over it. Cats will pick up on your stress and they'll start to stress. Most of what you're explaining is normal and will lessen over time, but it does take time.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response. I have managed to get him to eat (though not very much) and he is drinking and using the litter box. I am going to buy the
diffuser.

Yesterday seemed to be a significant improvement in their relationship- both cats slept in our bed with us last night (not close together, but a few feet apart). Up until last night the older cat had hissed/batted at kitten or sprinted out of the room when she came into the bedroom. Last night the older cat was ok with kitten coming in and sleeping with us and was not aggressive toward her. I'm hoping that this is a beginning to him accepting her. I'm still going to do the things you recommended, but I'm crossing my fingers that things are starting to get better.
post #4 of 9
That's great news!! Just continue to lavish love on him and encourage him to eat. I really can't stress how important it is for him to eat. Keep us posted!
post #5 of 9
After we got a new kitten our 2 yr old cat got sick. She started gagging, appearing to throw up a hairball without results. She also quit eating but would drink. Took her to vet and she had xrays to rule out a blockage. They also gave her barium and it went thru intestines fine. She developed a fever of 103. Also had sores in her mouth. They said she has a virus that developed due to stress from adjusting to new kitten. Vet bill was $518.81, all due to me bringing home new kitten. Now older cat hides alot. Will. Hey ever get along? Or should I wait it out? Dont wanna put her thru that again let alone pay more vet bills.
post #6 of 9

I've just had the same thing with my 1 year old female.  We originally had 2 (brother and sister) but sadly the boy was run over in May and died, and so last Sunday we collected our new male kitten (actually a nephew of our female).  She started gagging last Friday night but not being sick and as she was no better by Saturday I took her to the vets who checked her temp and said it was high so thought it could be due to a viral infection.  She was given a shot of anti-biotics and anti-inflammatories and she is much brighter now and stopped gagging instantly. 

However, not she is off her food, not eating - she goes to the bowl when I put it down but turns her nose up.  I had moved her bowl onto the side away from the kitten to stop him eating it, and as I thought this might have been the issue I now put it down where it previously was and give the kitten a little bit in his own bowl at the same time to encourage her, but its not working. :(  They get on fine,playing together and cuddle up in their bed at night, but she's not 100% comfortable yet I can tell.  She has seemed to take on a motherly role with him and as soon as he miaows shes looking for him and watches over him a lot (in fact when he ran up my curtains the other night, she was straight over to pull him down!) so im hoping she'll relax after time?  We only got the kitten 2 weeks ago?  Any advice would be appreciated!

post #7 of 9

hello, I'm having the same problem, last week i brought home a new kitten and my 7 year old cat looks very sick, he gags constantly without throwing any food or hair out, doesn't seem to want to drink any water or eat much food unless i put the food right in front of him.

he seems very stressed out and sad, the new kitten is very friendly and wants to spend all the time with the older cat but he's not happy at all.

he also seems to have stopped grooming himself which is rare.

can anyone tell me what to do or what this might be? would he ever get over adjusting to the new kitten?

 

Best Regards

post #8 of 9
I realize this is an older post, but how did everything work out? We adopted a kitten several weeks ago and our 19 year old cat is not doing well. He spent the last 3 days at our vet's office and I brought him home last night. He hasn't had my water or food...i'm a loss of what to do.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mar14 View Post

I realize this is an older post, but how did everything work out? We adopted a kitten several weeks ago and our 19 year old cat is not doing well. He spent the last 3 days at our vet's office and I brought him home last night. He hasn't had my water or food...i'm a loss of what to do.

 

Hi @Mar14.. I doubt you will get a response here as it is an older thread, but if anyone has some input, perhaps they could go to Mar14's thread here to help?

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