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URGENT- cat not eating

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My cat, who it seemed had been successfully treated for Ghirardia, is now refusing to eat.

This is a cat who needs to lose some weight and enjoys her food. For the last two weeks she's barely eaten anything at all. I've tried all sorts of things--her regular food, kitten food, treats, scrambled egg, yogurt, boiled chicken--and she's not interested.

It's almost as if she's forgotten how to eat. Could all the pill swallowing have something to do with this? She'll sniff at the food, will PERHAPS give it a lick, and then just sit there, licking her lips. She won't eat anything solid but does usually manage a tablespoon of Hill's IB wet food if it's mashed with some homemade chicken stock. But, today even that is not appealling.

I'm worried that she's becoming dehydrated. There is still a stool and a urine "clump" in the litterbox most days (always at least one or the other). I'm keeping her isolated during the day so that I can better monitor her food intake--and litterbox.

Please do not just reccommend a trip to the vet. I live in Russia and vet care here is not the first line of defence. Anyone who has experience with re-teaching a cat to eat and drink, please let me know! I'm worried and absolutely clueless.

post #2 of 8
First, you can check to see if your cat is dehydrated. To do this, grip the skin at the back of her neck, the scruff, and give it a little tug (gently) and let go. If it goes back into place, she is okay. But if it stands up in a ridge, she is dehydrated, and at that point, I'm sorry to say, there probably isn't much you can do but bring her to the vet, because you are not going to be able to get sufficient fluids into her orally to rehydrate her--she'll need subcutaneous fluids. However, if she's not dehydrated yet, you can try giving her fluids with an eye dropper--water or plain chicken broth (NO ONIONS OR GARLIC). In terms of eating, try giving her very small portions of food over the course of the day, hand fed if necessary, to get her eating again. If she hasn't had much to eat lately her stomach is contracted, and it actually might be giving her a stomachache to eat. If she's still going to the litterbox, she must be still be eating something, but if she stops going, then I'm afraid we're back to the vet issue again, because she could have an intestinal blockage.
post #3 of 8
The first thing you need to do is get water into her. You can use a baby syringe, the kind with a wide opening and no needle of course, and fill it with water, and squirt the water across her mouth (rather than down her throat). She'll have to swallow it.

You could also use this technique to feed her the chicken stock paste you created.

She will be deeply unhappy about it though.

Does she have any other symptoms, like is her nose stuffy? If so, she might not be able to smell it. If this is the case, warming her wet food a little makes the smell much stronger, and sometimes then they eat it right up.

And what are you giving her as a pill, and was she originally diagnosed by a vet for giardia??
post #4 of 8
Mix up some canned food with additional water and syringe feed her if you have a large syringe. Even a turkey baster could be made to work in an emergency. You need to get food and water into her.

Syringe feeding info here, and more here.
post #5 of 8
imogen, my friend lived in Russia for awhile, so I understand what you mean about vet care.

Do you have any catnip available? If you do, sprinkle the catnip on top of the food.

Heat the food up, also check the cat's nose to be sure there is no crusty discharge, if the cat can't smell, she can't eat.

Push fluids on her. Use an eyedropper, give her several eyedroppers full about every five minues. Do this slowly, do not give it to her fast or she could asphirate.

Is canned food available? If so, stir it with your finger. If she takes a few bites, stir it again.

Any mice around? Can you catch one, put it in a small see through container, and set it by her food? Stimulating her prey drive may prompt her to eat. Don't feed her the mouse though, or she could get sick again.

Good luck, it is unfortunate that in some places cat care takes a back seat in the veterinary world. But if she doesn't eat soon, you may lose her. I hope that you don't.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks to you all. I posted this and then had my internet access disappear.

She is still barely eating--but is eating. It takes her nearly a week to eat 1/4 cup of food.

Thanks for the ideas. I didn't know how to check for dehydration. We've tried catnip and warming the food...but she's not buying it. I'd never heard about the mouse idea! I don't know if I can find one, but I'll try...

She'll nibble at a bit of dry food now and turns up her nose at wet. It's taking her several days to eat 1/4 cup of dry food. I did figure out that the food that is flat rather than pill-shaped is better for her.

I've been keeping her away from my other cat (who is younger, smaller and a bully) so she can eat in peace. It also lets me keep track of her food intake--and her litterbox.

She's affectionate and playful...but I just wish she'd eat some more!

Maybe it's good. Maybe the parasite was causing her to overeat and now she's getting back down to her healthy weight. (And, yes, the medication was Rx from a vet in the US)

Thanks again. Any further tips are welcomed!

post #7 of 8
Is she not eating because she does not like the food?
Or is she not eating because she is ill?

And are there any other symptoms?

Usually, when a cat stops eating it is a sign that something is wrong.
How old is she?

You may want to check her gums. If any areas are much redder than the others it could be a tooth problem.

Can you tell from the lumps in the litter box if she has diarrhea?

Will she eat any fish?
post #8 of 8
Can you buy Gerber baby lamb meat there? It worked wonders for one of my cats when he stopped eating. Get the stage 1 or 2 without onions and other ingredients.
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