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HELP...cat not eating...

post #1 of 84
Thread Starter 
I think I have to take my cat to the vet tomorrow...

But does anyone know what might be going on? I'm sorta freaking out...for real.

I have a 12 yr old Turkish Van. Indoor cat. She's been eating less and less over the past week. At first, she stopped touching her dry food...she ate maybe 5 pieces of her dry food over a 36-48 hour period. So I started giving her canned, moist food...which she ate really well, at first. And I got her some cat milk...which she seemed to enjoy at first. Appetite for both milk and canned food started to wane. It's been about 7 days now. This morning...she's not eating anything. She's refusing dry food, canned food, milk, cheese, water.

She comes begging to the kitchen, as usual...as if she were hungry. But she walks away from anything I give her.

She's only had one bowel movement over the past 4-5 days. Otherwise, she seems normal. Just her appetite is VERY diminished...and she's not pooping very often.

How old to cats live? I don't even know. Is it nearing the end for my Angel?
post #2 of 84
Hi and welcome to TCS. 12 is a good age for a cat and although considered 'old' many cats live to 16 or even older.

Because she's not eating, this can cause an illness itself called hepatic lipidosis, so it's important to take her to a vet ASAP. Lots of things can cause a big decrease in appetite and one thing that needs to be thoroughly checked is her teeth, as you said she stopped eating the dry but would eat the wet and cat milk for a while, as well as how she seems keen but does not eat the food.

She really does need to see a vet, and quickly. Good luck with her.
post #3 of 84
Many cats can live to 15 or older but at 12 she is definitely a senior citizen. When you bring her to the vet DEFINITELY do bloodwork. I did for my cat recently because of recent weight loss and dimished appetite and was shocked when he was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure. He is doing well now but the sooner you have your kitty looked at, the better.
post #4 of 84
Thread Starter 
The last time my cat had bloodwork done was about 2 years ago...at that time, kidney's were still 100%. But I fear that's not the case anymore. I just have a bad feeling it's her kidney's.

I just did that dehydration test by pulling the skin up on the back of her neck...my kitty is dehydrated! I just used a dropper to force feed her 1/4 cup of a water/cat milk mix. I'll probably force her another 1/4 cup later this afternoon...and then again in the evening...and maybe again tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow afternoon...she's going to the vet! Man...I hope it isn't anything serious. I'm not ready to lose my kitty yet! And I can't afford JACK if it turns out to be expensive treatment!

This sucks so bad...I'm practically hysterical...
post #5 of 84
The sooner you can get your cat to the vet, the better for both of you. Cats need to eat, and as mentioned before if they go off their feed, they come quickly in line for fatty liver disease. A vicious disease that throws them in an anorexic state and needs to be fought quickly and aggressively. I hope your Turkish Van has been seen by a vet by now.
post #6 of 84
I don't blame you for being worried about your girl... but try not to let her know how upset you are. You know how easily cats pick up on our emotions! She's already not feeling great, so you don't want to worry her now.

You're doing the right thing by trying to keep her hydrated - that's VERY important. I would do liquids with her every couple of hours. If she is extremely dehydrated, though, you shouldn't wait til tomorrow to see a vet.

It may not be her kidneys, but if it is, please know that you can treat her. Many cats with kidney disease can live to ripe old ages - I know one who is 19! Still, try not to jump to conclusions. Just keep her eating and hydrated as best you can til you get to the vet. Give her lots of cuddling to reassure her. And try not to panic!
post #7 of 84
Thread Starter 

haven't been to the vet yet. taking her tomorrow afternoon.

i am praying that hepatic lipidosis has not set in...from what i've read, i don't think it has. i read at vetinfo.com that hepatic lipidosis can set in as little as three days of not eating in some cats...however, in other cats it does not set in even after an extended period of starvation. it also said that hepatic lipidosis is more prevalent in overweight cats.

today is the first day my cat has refused to eat all together. before today, she ate...just not very much (25%-50% of her normal intake). and my cat has always been a skinny little cat. so...i'm hopeful that hepatic lipidosis has not set. (crossing fingers!)

as i posted above, i just realized that my cat is dehydrated (skin test)...so force fed her 1/2 cup of water/cat milk mix with a dropper. i'll repeat that a few more times before she we go to the vet tomorrow afternoon...to keep her hydrated and get at least SOME calories and nutrients in her from the cat milk.

i'm just praying she'll be alright...and that i can afford whatever treatment she requires...
post #8 of 84
Thread Starter 

I don't think she's VERY dehydrated. when I lifted her skin, it didn't snap back immediately...it took about 2-3 seconds. and i watched her drink from her water bowl a LITTLE this morning. and she did urinate in the litter box sometime while i was sleeping.

i think she's dehydrated...but not very much. so i'll keep using the dropper to get some water and milk into her till we see the vet tomorrow.
post #9 of 84
The time frame is in the safe zone. Is her nose crusted over? A cat that can't smell won't eat. Try these tricks- buy stinky canned cat food fish flavored, nuke it in the microwave just a few seconds-

See if she will eat some boiled chicken pieces. Don't add spices, just water and chicken, when the broth is cooled see if she will drink some-

Dribble tuna juice into some Pedialyte and see if she will drink that, if you are forcing water into her mouth, do so slowly and gently or she could get fluid in her lungs

Give her some acidopholous, buy the capsules, and break them apart. Wet your little finger, dip it in the powder and then rub your finger on her gums

Give her a pinch of catnip in her canned food. It won't hurt her, it might tempt her taste buds and encourage her to eat. It also gives her fiber. Worse case scenario, if you give to much in the food, she will become a picky eater and not eat UNLESS there is catnip in the food, so be careful with this one tip-

Good luck- also try her with grated cheese, cream cheese, plain yogurt, canned pumpkin, sardines are good, in water not oil, or kippered herring-

Good luck!
post #10 of 84
Thread Starter 
It's so weird...she seems completely healthy. She's running around...swatting at my hand and playing...purring and rubbing against me, following me around the house...sitting on the window sill, staring at things passing by...her coat is nice...she's napping in her little basket...etc etc.

She's almost completely normal. But she's not eating/drinking...and she's dehydrated...
post #11 of 84
Thread Starter 

her nose: i never took notice before...but my cats nose is dry (as opposed to a dogs perpetually wet nose). but there's certainly no crustiness or cracking. it's just not wet or runny like a dogs. should it be?

i tried giving her gated cheese this morning...she seemed pretty uninterested. i'll try some of the other ideas later!

post #12 of 84
You should do some "force" feeding too. You can add water to her wet food to dilute it enough that it will easily come through a syringe. If you don't have a syringe, put a bite of food on your finger and put it on the roof of her mouth. She won't be thrilled about this, but you've got to get some nutrition into her. Have someone help you if she's a handful, or wrap her tightly in a large towel so you can do this by yourself if necessary.

Call your vet first thing in the morning and see if you can get an earlier appointment -
when you explain what's going on, I'm sure they'll agree she should be seen as soon as possible.

Please let us know how your girl does at the vet. I know you're doing everything you can for her til then.
post #13 of 84
Thread Starter 

Force feeding...I've been thinking about doing that. I think I will...just like you described, mixing water with her canned food. And I'll be sure to let you know how my little kitty does at the vet.

poor kitty. whats wrong with you?

thanks you guys.
post #14 of 84
Originally Posted by celerystalksme
It's so weird...she seems completely healthy. She's running around...swatting at my hand and playing...purring and rubbing against me, following me around the house...sitting on the window sill, staring at things passing by...her coat is nice...she's napping in her little basket...etc etc.

She's almost completely normal. But she's not eating/drinking...and she's dehydrated...
Isn't it irksome? This is how we don't know our kitties are ill until it is advanced. They are such masters of disguise.

Good luck in the handfeeding. Sometimes it only take a small amount of food handfed to get the kitty eating again. With my boy I sat and put a few pieces of dry food on the floor at a time while I sat next to him and told him what a good boy he is and he ate quite a bit.

I'll say prayers that your kitty turns out to be o.k.
post #15 of 84
I am so sorry...it's awful to not know what's happening with them. You've had some great advice, I'll try not to just repeat it

Another food to try would be plain baby food (don't think I saw this one listed)...just be sure it's plain meat (gerber is a good brand) with NO onion.

This is also easy to make into a slurry with some water and to then gently assist-feed with a feeding syringe (into side of mouth, not directly into back of mouth, you don't want her to aspirate).

If she's become constipated it can be one reason she's not eating, and the dehydration is also an appetite killer. At 12, I honestly would expect you to have more years with her...16 to 18 is not uncommon, and a number of kitties go to their 20's these days

I realize this may not be kidney failure, but it doens't hurt to read over one or two of the best sites I know of on this...or to look at *if* she is diagnosed with crf tomorrow.

Feline CRF dot com and Feline Crf dot Org

If you have any nutrical in the house (available at petco and petsmart), it wouldn't hurt to give her some...it's a good high calorie supplement paste that you can smear on a paw so she'll lick it off, or see if she'll lick it off your finger.

I hope to see a note after your vet apt., and hope the news is nothing serious.
post #16 of 84
Thread Starter 
Well, I tried a couple of the food suggestions mentioned...she didn't have a appetite for them. Through force feeding I was able to feed her 1 cup of fluid (Healthy Essentials senior milk formula, diluted with water)...I was also able to mix in a total of one 3 oz can of food into some of her water feedings...

She's getting REALLY good at expelling the food bits while only drinking the liquid.

Anyway...I'll probably give her a teeny bit more before I go to bed...some more in the morning and then off to the vet.

post #17 of 84
Sounds like you did very well! I just blenderize the heck out of anything I want to feed via a syringe (and actually your vet will have a food called Hill's A/D which is great for assist-feeding - for short term use, it's packed with calories and nutrients and of a pudding consistency.
post #18 of 84
Thread Starter 
Just got back from the vet...they took some blood to do blood work. They'll have results tomorrow.

The vet doesn't think there's an obstruction. She was able to feel stuff in Angel's bowels/intestines. And the junk is soft and can be easily broken up. My kitties teeth are not so good. But given that fact that my kitty is not eating canned food and not drinking, she's not sure if it's a oral problem.

I was given some "prescription" a/d food. I have no idea what it is but I'll give it to Angel. And I was given some pills that stimulate appetite. I was also given a syringe for force feeding (should be easier than the dropper I was using!).

So I guess I'll have to wait to find out what the blood work says...(crossing fingers)...

oh, i forgot...they also took her temperature, which was normal. and then they pumped my dehydrated kitty full of fluid and electrolytes!
post #19 of 84
a/d is a high-calorie food for pets that are recovering from surgery or illness that's supposed to be very appetizing, and has a soft consistency so it's easier to force-feed if you have to.

I hope it works for you, and that Angel is feeling better soon.
post #20 of 84

Here is a link that will tell you about A/D from the manufacturer: Hills Canine/Feline A/D

Hope this helps The syringe they gave you will help make it easier to assist feed the a/d to your kitty,

here's hoping the blood work shows a minor issue, easy to resolve,
post #21 of 84
Thread Starter 
I didn't post this earlier cuz I was in a hurry...but check this out...

RIGHT after we got home from the vet, my kitty goes over to her food bowl and takes several nibbles! I'm like...:censor::censor::censor:?!?!?! Did the visit to the vet scare you hungry?!?! It was just three bites of food...but that's three more voluntary bites than she's had in the last 36+ hours!!!!

Before resorting to the appetite inducing meds, I got a little experimental. I went out and got some cat nip. I sprinkled that stuff on her food. BLAM! Worked like a charm! She hasn't eaten her food that fast since the time I left for work early without feeding her and didn't get home until evening!!!

BUT...here's the wierd part. She experiences no thirst. Still hasn't taken any voluntary sips of water in forever. Still refuses even milk!!! I even tried sprinkling cat nip in her water bowl...she attempted to eat only the cat nip without drinking the water. She was unsuccessful. So she left the bowl.

Why is she so opposed to drinking anything? I guess the bloodwork will tell. In the mean time, does anyone have any ideas?

Also...will the appetite meds the vet gave me stimulate my cat to drink??????

post #22 of 84
Aww i hope the best for your kitty.
I dont have any more advice with this stuff as i havent gone through it.
But i hope your kitty will get ewll reall soon
post #23 of 84
Try letting a faucet dribble, show it to her and see if she'll drink from that.
post #24 of 84
Three cheers for catnip (LOL)!!! Glad that worked for Angel!

Angel's probably not drinking now because she isn't thirsty due to being given fluids at the vet's. When the fluids have been absorbed, she'll become thirsty again.

Hope you'll get good results with the bloodwork. Got my fingers crossed for you and Angel.
post #25 of 84
Thread Starter 
I'm practically in tears...

My Angel's kidneys are failing. The vet said they're doing real bad. At least 75% compromised. They want to get her on some med that binds the phosphorous, to get that out her system. And they want me to give her IV fluids daily. I have an appointment this Friday for them to show me how and to get me the meds. And they want to get her on a lower protein diet.

They want to see her again real soon after they get her on meds, IV, and low protein diet...to more blood work...and see where she's at.

I forgot to ask the vet how much quality time my kitty has left...
post #26 of 84
Originally Posted by celerystalksme
I'm practically in tears...

My Angel's kidneys are failing. The vet said they're doing real bad. At least 75% compromised. They want to get her on some med that binds the phosphorous, to get that out her system. And they want me to give her IV fluids daily. I have an appointment this Friday for them to show me how and to get me the meds. And they want to get her on a lower protein diet.

I forgot to ask the vet how much quality time my kitty has left...
I am so sorry, I know this was not the diagnosis you wanted to hear. Fwiw, by the time kidney damage is usually found, 70% of kidney function is gone, so that number is NOT unusual to hear.

The support list I belong to is incredible, if you'd like their address, please PM me.
Please take the time to go to both the links I sent you, they are detailed and accurate sites on all the issues involved in caring for kitties with chronic kidney failure, the meds, the how tos, food lists to consult that will give you the levels of protein and phosphorus in foods, etc.

We'll support you here...I've been doing sub-q fluids (which is what you'll be doing, using IV fluids but giving them just under the skin=sub-cutaneous aka sub-q) for over 2 years with my sweetie Patrick, it's a very quick procedure.

Ps...financially, it will be beneficial for you to order iv fluids, tube kits and needles, versus what you will pay if you buy them from your vet...and I am talking from reputable medical supply companies. Your vet just needs to supply you with the necessary prescription.

Joining the list I mentioned will give you access to reviewed, trusted sources.

hang in there, there may be several more good years with your kitty,
post #27 of 84
I'm sorry to hear that.

Please know that some cats with kidney failure can still have a good quality of life, depending on many factors. My CRF cat lived well for almost 5 years after her diagnosis.

If Angel tolerates the medication, diet, & you giving her fluids (it really sounds harder than it is), hopefully she'll feel much better for some time.

The www.felinecrf.com and www.felinecrf.org websites that Pat mentioned earlier are great sources of information, if you haven't already taken a look at those.

I hope sweet Angel is feeling better soon.
post #28 of 84
I'm so very sorry The websites provided have been invaluable to me! My kitty was just diagnosed with CRF two weeks ago. I know the shock you feel but it will get better. My cat is feeling so good right now I'm just taking it day by day and enjoying what time we have left together. I hope all goes well for you both.
post #29 of 84
I am sorry about the diagnosis, but at least you know what you are facing. The list that Pat gave you is invaluable for support and ideas. As for quality of life, you need to watch your cat closely. If you are in tune with your kitty, she will tell you when she feels the fight is no longer worth it-
post #30 of 84
Thread Starter 
My kitty is not drinking very much at all. That's a bad sign, isn't it? Her CRF is probably pretty advanced?

Her followup appointment to get meds, low protein diet, and daily IV/SubQ fluids is scheduled for Friday...

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