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My cat is hungry but can't eat

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

I am at my absolute wit's end with my cat situation.  This is going to be very long, but I don't know what else to do, and I am really hoping someone has been through something similar and will be able to help me.

 

I have a 7 year old Russian Blue, a neutered male named Rain. A little over a month ago, I noticed that he wasn't emptying his food bowl like he normally does. When I would watch him at his bowl, it was clear he was trying to eat, but something was causing him pain or discomfort.  He would pick up the food, try to crunch it up and either swallow a tiny bit after much work or just let it fall out of his mouth.  I tried feeding him soft food as well, but he would just lick the juice up.  If he got a flake in his mouth, he would smack a couple of times and filter it back out of his mouth. 

 

After a week or two of this, I took him to his usual vet (of six years) who said that he had gingivitis that was probably causing the problem. She prescribed Metacam and gave him a fluid injection, then told me to come back in a week for a cleaning. I gave him the Metacam once a day for two days, during which time his eating improved, but on the third day, I noticed that the bottle said "For Dogs Only," and after researching and seeing all the horror stories about renal failure, I stopped giving it to him and took him to another vet.

The second vet said she didn't think his teeth looked bad enough to keep him from eating, but did bloodwork (which appeared normal) and then cleaned his teeth. She said there was diarrhea while he was under anesthesia and it was very smelly, so she prescribed some stomach antibiotics and sent him home. By the next day, there was no change, still not eating, so I took him to a different vet (mostly because I didn't get great vibes from the one from the day before). This vet was much better, gave him another fluid injection, a steroid and B12 shot, and sent him home with some prednisalone, telling me to keep giving him one of the stomach antibiotics. I did this for a week, and for two days he ate pretty well. On the third day, he stopped eating again.  He had a strong appetite and would meow and beg for food, but no matter what I would give him, he was unable to eat it successfully.

The next week, I took him back to this same vet who gave him another fluid injection, another B12 shot, and referred me to a veterinary dentist about 2 hours from here. The earliest they could see me was 2 days later. They did mouth X-rays and found a tooth with resorption, which they extracted. This doctor said he didn't think the resorption was severe enough that it should've been keeping him from eating. He said he had considered TMJ, but while Rain was under anesthesia, the vet was able to open and close his jaw manually without resistance or apparent discomfort from Rain. They sent home a pain reliever to be given twice a day for four days. That night, and the next day, Rain ate better than he had since before this all started. The day after that, though, he was already tapering off and by the third day after the surgery, he was back to more or less not eating at all again.

I suspected maybe the tooth extraction site had gotten infected, but he wouldn't let me look in his mouth, so I took him to a fifth vet yesterday (because the third vet, who I liked, is closed for the week) and this vet did more blood work and checked his mouth for signs of infection. The blood work came back with very low readings in all the places where a starving cat would be low, but other than that, it was normal. He also said he saw nothing in his mouth that should've been keeping him from eating. He said he thinks Rain has become anorexic because he is used to the pain when he eats so has decided to avoid it by not eating, and told me to give him Metacam again, and gave him a B12 shot to stimulate his appetite. I didn't want to give him the Metacam, but he is so thin and hungry and has lost so much weight, I don't know what else to do.

I gave him a dose of the Metacam yesterday afternoon and again today and so far there has been no noticeable change. I have pureed some canned cat food which he licks up reluctantly. He is more eager to eat it when I dip one of the medical syringes that I used for his pain medication in it; he licks the pureed food off of the syringe. I am happy to have him eating something, but I am not satisfied with any of the solutions I have been given, especially the one from yesterday that claimed that the whole thing may be psychosomatic. It seems obvious that he is in some kind of real physical discomfort when he tries to eat.  The Metacam is doing nothing, so I think I am going to stop giving it. 

 

Here's a video I took last night of him trying to eat his dry food, the same food he has eaten his whole life with no trouble: 

 

 

 

 

 

Other than the almost complete inability/unwillingness to eat, there have been no obvious symptoms. A little diarrhea here and there, maybe some excess eye gunk, and he did throw up once the other day, but that's it.  I am taking him again tomorrow and asking to have him referred to a specialist at a vet school 3 hours from here, because he is becoming dangerously thin already and I don't know how much longer I can deal with this.

 

Thank you so much for your time and any help or experience any of you may have with something like this. This cat is my best friend in the whole world, and the last month, watching him go through this and not being able to help, has been one of the worst months of my life.

 

Thanks again.

post #2 of 31

I'm sorry you are struggling with this, kitties that can't eat can be very stressful, I know. Although I've never experienced a cat unable to eat, I've had ones that refused to eat. We will typically get every possible wet food at the store to try to encourage them to eat. It is entirely possible the food company changed their formula and he just doesn't like it anymore. Weve had to feed 3 or 4 different wet foods in a day because the cat would refuse to eat the same thing twice. We don't spoil them like that normally, just when they go off food. 

 

There is also a high calorie liquid, basically kitty Ensure,  that you can try. We've had success with that when a cat doesn't want to chew. You can get it from the vet. 

 

And there's baby food. Stage 2 beef or chicken has worked for us as well. 

 

Prone other question, has the kitty been given an antacid?  One of our cats will go off food when his stomach is upset. A day or two of acid reducer usually gets him right and eating again.  Ask the vet before u do this, they can give u dosing info. We buy the generic Target brand acid reducer for our guy. 

 

I would look into a couple of these things to see if any of them help. 

post #3 of 31
Hi, I'm just wandering if you ever got an answer as to what was going on with your cat? I am just going through the exact same thing with my cat (who is a Burmese and looks suspiciously like yours). It's been a month of vet visits, antibiotics, metacam and yesterday she had a tooth pulled. She was starving last night when she got home from the vet and ate quite a bit then today she's back to eating tiny quantities even though she seems hungry. eats just like yours does and she also licks her lips a lot and has worn away some of the skin on her nose from the licking. I'm back at the vet for a follow up visit in a couple of days but hate to see her suffer. If you have any answers I'd love to hear them! I'm hoping that your cat is feeling much better.
post #4 of 31

Teeth problems for sure or stomatits, I have a cat whom has the same problem it can be chronic...vet recommended pull all teeth from canines back? I am managing with steroids at the present time but considering the teeth pulling because he is 12 years old and it is causing him a lot of pain. When he eats he shows the same kind of problems like something is stuck in his mouth and sometimes gags, I also get a small syringe and put plain warm water in it a do a mouth rinse after he eats to help push and food out of his teeth. hope this helps.

post #5 of 31


Has your baby been check for kitty aids and feline leukemia?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by annettescats View Post

Teeth problems for sure or stomatits, I have a cat whom has the same problem it can be chronic...vet recommended pull all teeth from canines back? I am managing with steroids at the present time but considering the teeth pulling because he is 12 years old and it is causing him a lot of pain. When he eats he shows the same kind of problems like something is stuck in his mouth and sometimes gags, I also get a small syringe and put plain warm water in it a do a mouth rinse after he eats to help push and food out of his teeth. hope this helps.



 

post #6 of 31
Thanks for your reply. My cat is 17 years and 3 months old and also has kidney disease. We haven't cleaned her teeth as the vet says they look ok and doesn't want to anesthetize her for that long (it was just a quick one to have that tooth pulled). She's still not eating so this morning I phoned the vet and he gave me some pain meds for her and carafate for her tummy - so far still not really eating just licked some yoghurt and maybe half a teaspoon of meat. She tries to eat, gives it a lick (uncomfortably) and then turns away. I'm hoping with another dose of carafate tonight she'll start eating a bit more - we are back at the vet tomorrow for a recheck so we'll see what happens. No to the kitty aids or feline leukemia test but she's an indoor cat so highly unlikely - probably complications of old age.
post #7 of 31

Hi - have you found out anything about what is wrong with your cat?

 

I'm very curious because my cat is going through pretty much the same thing. He's a 17 year old Domestic Short Hair (with pre-existing hypothyroid and heart murmur both are being monitored and are in check) and the vet has checked his mouth and says nothing is wrong but he seems to clearly not be able to successfully eat foot. He's throwing around food with his mouth and much of it lands on the floor. We'd had xrays, blood tests and he even went in and went under so they could do a good inspection of his month and everything has come back negative. His next step is an ultrasound.

 

We have tried everything including putting tuna through the blender to get him to eat and he acts like he's starving but when we put the food down he can barely get it into him but the vet says there isn't anything wrong with is mouth.

 

Our poor baby is slowly starving to death in front of our eyes and we feel so helpless. If you had a proper diagnosis from a vet we'd really appreciate it if you could post a reply. Thanks so much for your help.
 

post #8 of 31

Going by your user name & if the Vancouver is in WA. IMHO perhaps you might want to seek out the feline only vet clinic located in Orchards./// not affiliated in any way.

post #9 of 31

Some kitties that have problems eating can have FORLs (or Tooth Resorption for short). Here's info on that: http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+2121&aid=380. I recommend a vet dentist to give a thorough examination, unless the regular vet has the equipment to detect this as sometimes these can't be seen with the naked eye because they are under the gum line.

 

Also, when my Maine Coon, Maxie, was almost a year old he was having trouble eating like the kitty in the video. I thought he had a tooth problem, but it wasn't that. He was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex (EGC) inside his mouth. Luckily switching to a balanced raw diet "cured" him (he can't eat commercial canned; I don't feed kibble). He'll always have this, but on a raw diet you would never know he suffers from this. Here's a link to info about this: http://www.fabcats.org/owners/skin/eosinophilic_granuloma.html.

 

Most often when a kitty is positioning his/her head in a non-normal way when eating, and their appetite is good, but they just can't eat, it is related to something inside their mouth. Next would be an illness that makes them not feel hungry, but you're not normally going to see the odd chewing position in that case. The odd chewing position will not always be seen with the above either, but it is pretty indicative of a tooth or other oral problem. Rule out teeth issues and then pursue other causes. In Maxie's case the vet knew right away what it was.

 

Hope this helps a bit! rub.gif
 

post #10 of 31

i had a similar issue. my vet couldn't figure out what was up. after multiple visits to my vet, i went to a specialist after she had gone from 10 lbs to 6. found out she has lymphoma.

post #11 of 31

Just a few thoughts-

Has he been tested for pancreatitis (A spec fPL or PLI test)?

 

You said he eats well after getting pain control medications, right?  This is what made me think pancreatitis, combined with the smelly diarrhea incident.

For one I'd ask the vet for an appetite stimulant, mirtazipine, cyproheptadine or even midazolam if the other two don't work.  Sometimes the anesthesia drugs give a cat the munchies and that gets them to eat, sometimes the pain alleviation is what gets them eating.

 

Has Rain had radiographs (x-rays) taken?  I hate to say it, but my own cat presented this way about 2 months before being diagnosed with carcinoma, and by the time we caught it, it had already spread to the liver and was inoperable.  I'd consider x-rays, and possible even an ultrasound examination of the full abdomen just to make sure there isn't something lurking in there.  (Just make sure it is a full ultrasound, not just looking at the intestines/GI tract, it should include liver, both kidneys, spleen, bladder, adrenal glands, gall bladder and pancreas.)

 

As one other person suggested a FIV and FeLV test isn't a bad idea, especially if he from a rescue or shelter.  These things can lurk undetected for a long time, in the case of FeLV it can be undetectable for most of the cat's life and suddenly hit them as elderly cats.

 

On the subject of metacam and all the associated horror stories, in low doses it is fine and perfectly safe, so long as the cat is eating and drinking.  I would not give it to an anorexic cat unless that cat was being syringe/force fed at least 6 ounces of food a day.

 

best wishes, and please update us soon!

post #12 of 31

This is an old thread.  You can read the updates in the YouTube comments.

post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by etp23 View Post

This is an old thread.  You can read the updates in the YouTube comments.
Hi, I literally just found this incredible site several days (& 4 weeks) too late. That being said, I am stunned to be reading PoorMatty's query from 2012, as we just went through a very similar and excruciating experience with our little Elsa. I'm wondering what follow up comments were made, and how & where to find them? We are stunned, completely perplexed and hurt by what happened, and while waiting for final results from necropsy, still searching. I had just lost my mother 10 days before it began and had her into the vets shortly thereafter. It never dawned on me that this site existed. Oh how I wish I had known.... Thanks for any help anyone can offer.
post #14 of 31
The link to the video on YouTube is in the very first post - you have to click on it (it is highlighted in blue) to see the comments. I just read them. It turns out the kitty had GI lymphoma and passed away. frown.gifrbheart.gif

Another member (BarbB) had a kitty (Toby) with similar symptoms that turned out to be large cell lymphoma. They tried chemotherapy, which seemed to be helping at first, but in the end, he didn't make it. bawling.gifrbheart.gif

I have a kitty that had similar symptoms, but they found a large mass in his stomach. It also turned out to be large cell lymphoma. We are very fortunate in that he responded well to chemotherapy. He is close to celebrating two years since it was diagnosed (he was given four weeks to live without treatment), and 1.5 years of remission. cross.gif

I'm so sorry for your losses hugs.gifhugs.gifhugs.gif
post #15 of 31
LDG, thank you so much for the help and the synopsis. Based on this news, I'm beginning to think the specialist she was with this past week made the right guesses which couldn't be proven through surgical biopsy given her weakness and weight loss. I'm hoping the results show an adena carcinoma - which he said was not treatable; we would have done whatever it took to make her happy and healthy once again.

We will never understand why our once trusted & highly esteemed vet missed the numerous chances he had to help her over the course of the past month when surgery could have been done. He had solved other challenging issues for her, and also upon diagnosing CRF for our other cat, Socks, he could not have done more to follow up the first few weeks & months. Now that I've found this site, I'll know to research here, first, if & when things change for him. We're at a loss to know which practice to change to...we thought we were with the best.

Again, many thanks for your help.

AND, last but not least, SOOOO happy for you & your kitty! YEA!! (I'm emoticon-less) May your success continue!
post #16 of 31

OMG.  I am going through the same thing with my Bubba.  I have spent over $2000 on him in the last two months.  I have dental X rays of his teeth, skull, throat, and jaws.  The Vet said that he couldn't find anything that would be causing him to try to eat with no luck.  He has gone from 18lbs to 11lbs and still losing.  I am at wit's end and I love my baby so much.  Bubba does the same exact thing that Rain is doing.  He acts like he is starving and can't get the food in his mouth.  If he does...it falls out.  My Vet referred me to a specialist to take the X rays.   Something is wrong and it has to do with his mouth or jaws.  If you find out what is wrong.....please let me know.  I have cried until I'm cried out.  Bubba has had Steroid shots...all kinds of medicines.....  Also he has diaherra.

post #17 of 31

I am going through the same exact thing.  I have been taking my cat to the Vet for over 2 months with this problem.  I have had test done...X rays...no answers.  If you find out anything about your cat...please let me know.  I'm doing the same thing...watching my baby starve.

post #18 of 31

Did you have to have X rays done to find this?

post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by donnaphelps View Post

Did you have to have X rays done to find this?


With Rain, they ended up doing an abdominal ultrasound, and it turned out he had Lymphoma frown.gif.  Has Bubba had any exams past his jaws and mouth?  Since all of those were negative, I'm thinking someone needs to look into his stomach and intestines, quickly.  hugs.gif  In the meantime, as you force feeding him?  How is he getting any nourishment? 

 

vibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gif

 

(LDG's cat also had Lymphoma, and he was treated with chemo and is still doing  well as you can see by her above post)

post #20 of 31

We did a X ray of Bubba's body.  It really didn't show a lot.  His enzymes are high and losing so much weight so quick really startled his Vet and me.  Bubba is eating small amounts at the time.  I got some sugar free Ensure and I put some dry food, wet food , Ensure and little water to his food.  He loves this.  He is better at taking in liquids that eating food.  Yet at bed time...He gets his Yum Yums and eats them.  A few crumbs will fall out of his mouth.  His Vet called me today and we are starting him on Prednisone and Vedco twice a day.  She thought that by looking at his X rays of his teeth that maybe one of the upper teeth wasn't fitting properly with the bottom.  When he tries to chew....he tilts his head to one side and when he is drinking fluids..he has a smacking sound.  In the last couple of months I have spent close to $2000 on him.  Still no answers.  His Vet and the Vet that took X rays have said that they are puzzled.  They cannot figure out what his problem is.  The next step will be a scan.  I am afraid of what a scan might show.  Can't stand the thought of losing my baby.  If you could make the perfect cat....Bubba would be it.  So sweet....loving.  Purrs all the time.    Thanks so much for responding.   My Vet is going on Vacation next week.  But I certainly will ask her about what you mentioned.  

post #21 of 31

Hi,

Im so sorry to hear the distress of your cat and yourself.

Does he have any of the symptoms of Key Gaskell Syndrome?

post #22 of 31

So sorry to hear.

Has your vets ruled out Key Gaskell Syndrome?

post #23 of 31

Thanks so much for the reply.  Bubba is now eating.  He's not putting much of the weight he loss back on.  His Vet said that he had loss some muscle mass and putting the weight back on would take some time.  I have just about worried myself sick over him.  The only thing left to do is a scan which we are setting up next week.  He has been on prednisone since the 22nd of August and we have seen some improvement.  He ran out of it a couple of days ago and his Vet wants to start it again tomorrow for a couple of weeks.  I'm hoping the scan will answer what is wrong with Bubba.  If he has something that can be cured that will be great....if not...I don't know if I can prepare myself.  I have 3 cats and I know I love them way too much.  

post #24 of 31

Bubba had a scan done Friday and the results are that he has cancer.  My heart is broken.  So far he is still eating and seems to be happy and laid back.  I didn't ask how much time he has left.  I really don't want to know.   He seems to be doing much better than I am.  Thanks for all the replies that helped me try to pin point his illness.

post #25 of 31

I'm sorry but my Bubba went through the same thing.  X rays of teeth...his body.....skull...Nothing showed up.  I've been going through test ..since May.  Friday I learned from a scan that Bubba has cancer.  I wish I had done the scan months ago but his Vet said that as far as the prognosis it wouldn't have made any diffeence.  He is on prednisone and it seems to be helping.  I read last night that this drug is the next best thing to chemo.  At this stage  Chemo will not do Bubba any good.  I do suggest that you have a body scan done.  It might save you a lot of the heartbreak I'm going through.I

post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by donnaphelps View Post
 

Bubba had a scan done Friday and the results are that he has cancer.  My heart is broken.  So far he is still eating and seems to be happy and laid back.  I didn't ask how much time he has left.  I really don't want to know.   He seems to be doing much better than I am.  Thanks for all the replies that helped me try to pin point his illness.

I'm so sorry the results were not good.  hugs.gif  AT least the pred is helping. 

 

:vibes::vibes::vibes:

post #27 of 31

I'm curious WHY none of you consider going to a Homeopathic Vet.? The prescription drugs do more harm than good!!! I adopted a cat 6 weeks ago, she was underweight, her fur was dull and sparse also fell out when I brushed her and of course had worms. I did all the research I could to try and figure out what was going on with her. I was thinking either Hyperthyroidism or Diabetes, she couldn't get enough to eat. Of course that was because of the worms, but she still wants food every 3 hrs. and will at first cry softly and then she starts screaming like she's starving to death. She also wakes us up in the early morning. Sometimes 3 or at 4 AM EVERY MORNING!!! I don't know her history, but I wanted to try and treat her myself before I go and spend $100.00's of dollars!

 

I bought 2 different products. I found them from Googling for Natural remedies. The 1st was for Diabetes. It's called VETIONIX Dia-Ion-X. It's natural ingredients and it does work so well that cats that have been on medicine end up not needing it, if the are given this regularly. the 2nd product is Pet Essences Thyroid Balance and it's also natural ingredients flowers to be exact. There are 0 side effects. If that isn't the problem they're having it won't hurt them to take it.

post #28 of 31

Many people here do use homeopathic remedies in addition to conventional vet care.  There are a few that go to both a homeopathic and a conventional vet.  Vets that combine both are very hard to find.  My vet does a little with supplements but I think they are ones that have been accepted by conventional veterinary medicine.  Most people here have made their own decision about the parts of homeopathic medicine that they use and when conventional care is needed.

post #29 of 31

My cat Ollie is having similar problems. I have been thinking it is because he is upset that the house is being sold. There have been a lot of strangers in and out (got him a thundercoat and crated him for those times, he is an old rescue cat and not very friendly), and some noisy construction. We are done, and he seems to have the same ambivalence towards food still. But one thing does seem to help! If I give him some cat nip he gets the munchies.

post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post

The link to the video on YouTube is in the very first post - you have to click on it (it is highlighted in blue) to see the comments. I just read them. It turns out the kitty had GI lymphoma and passed away. frown.gifrbheart.gif

Another member (BarbB) had a kitty (Toby) with similar symptoms that turned out to be large cell lymphoma. They tried chemotherapy, which seemed to be helping at first, but in the end, he didn't make it. bawling.gifrbheart.gif

I have a kitty that had similar symptoms, but they found a large mass in his stomach. It also turned out to be large cell lymphoma. We are very fortunate in that he responded well to chemotherapy. He is close to celebrating two years since it was diagnosed (he was given four weeks to live without treatment), and 1.5 years of remission. cross.gif

I'm so sorry for your losses hugs.gifhugs.gifhugs.gif


LDG, what's the name of the chemo that worked well for your kitty? Thanks.

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