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!