Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Anxious and exhausted. Cat still not eating properly.

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Lynda Renham-Cook, Nov 16, 2020.


  1. Lynda Renham-Cook

    Lynda Renham-Cook PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2020
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    25
    I posted this in the wrong category and I don't know how to delete the previous post. Can someone advise me?

    So, I'm back.
    Seriously doubting my own sanity at the moment.
    Constant bickering with my husband over Lytton's lack of eating.
    This might be a long thread. Sorry about that.
    I know I'm an anxious mummy but I'm worried now that I'm becoming obsessive. Lytton is 3 years old now.
    When we first got Lytton he was on a sachet of Whiskas twice a day along with a bowl of dried food. He hardly ever ate the dry food. During the first year, we lost his sibling Schrody to FIP. So I'm FIP neurotic.
    For about two years he had a gourmet or Whiskas in the morning and one at night. Treats in between and some chicken a couple of times of the week as a treat. He would go out for long periods and sometimes eat his biscuits.
    Summer came this year and he started demanding food all the time. Sometimes having four Whiskas pouches a day. Mostly though he had three along with treats.
    Then winter arrived and he went out less and suddenly he's started eating less. He'll sometimes eat a whole Gourmet in the morning but mostly eats three quarters in between popping out. He then sleeps until about three. He doesn't demand more food and may pick at what I give him. He might pop out for a short time but if it's wet or windy he'll stay in. If I have cooked chicken and put it down, he scoffs it. I've been counting his calories and he's getting around 200 just over. It's eaten in dribs and drabs and I count the treats too but it's usually about 200 or just over. He weighs 3.8 grams.
    I took him to the vet and she said he didn't have a fever, his teeth had a bit of tartar but not much. She couldn't feel anything untoward. She said his weight was good but she wouldn't want him to get any heavier
    My husband tells me to relax. That Lytton doesn't have FIP. But why has his routine changed? Could he be using less energy now it's winter? He has a nice bed with a heat pad so he won't get cold.
    I want to take Lytton back to the vet but my husband refuses to come with me. Taking Lytton on my own is very hard as he goes mad in the cat carrier. I'm making myself ill with the worry and can't concentrate on anything.
    Should i take a step back? Lytton isn't showing any other obvious symptoms. I don't want to become an over protective cat mummy but I also don't want anything to be left. I'm in such a dilemma.
    Thanks so much for reading. It helps to let it out.
    Lynda
     
  2. OrientalSlave

    OrientalSlave Shunra Oriental Cats

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    13,669
    Likes Received:
    9,160
    I wouldn't worry about posting in Cat Chat.

    I suggest that firstly you condition score him, to help you decide if he's the right weight or not. As with people, you can't tell from just the weight.

    https://wsava.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Body-Condition-Score-cat-updated-August-2020.pdf

    Secondly how about weighing him each week? Then you can see if his weight is changing.

    Lastly, given the time since you lost Schrody (a couple of years?) I really would try to put FIP out of your mind. Also don't fall prey to 'FIP testing'. There is NO test for it, just for Feline Coronavirus which many cats have and rarely turns into FIP.

    I would also think about trying to get Lytton more used to his carrier. Hopefully it's a wire top loader as they are far easier to use, and struggling to use a carrier won't help. If you want to invest, look at the following:

    https://www.mdcexports.co.uk/product/carrying-cat-basket/
    https://www.metalcote.co.uk/

    Additionally there are no fragile plastic bits to break, no cloth for him to rip his way through, replacement securing rods are available and if you want to make a cover the shape is nice and easy.

    Do you leave the carrier out? If not, do so, and put some favourite bedding in it. Once he happily walks past it and possibly even sleeps in it, start a very gradual process of getting him used to being in it. To start with just put him in and leave the top open. Then close the top for a minute or less, when you open it give him a favourite treat and make a fuss of him. Gradually build the time up. Then put the carrier in the car without going anywhere. He might be better with the carrier covered, or he might be better without one. Do remember to put a puppy pad under it! Then short journeys, build up to the time it takes to get to the vets.

    If a carrier only comes out when a vet visit is about to happen it's not surprising he doesn't like being in it - he associates it with nasty things happening at the vets. The process above is desensitization so that hopefully you can get him to the vets & home without too much trouble. Once you reach that point take him for a car journey every couple of weeks so he doesn't forget the carrier isn't always bad news.
     
  3. Lynda Renham-Cook

    Lynda Renham-Cook PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2020
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    25
    Great advice @OrientalSlave Thanks so much.
    He is 5 on the body condition. At least at the moment.

    I'll invest in some weighing scales. Worth it to stop my anxiety. x
     
  4. Charity

    Charity Endangered Species

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    23,758
    Likes Received:
    68,927
    There are a few points which spring to mind

    Firstly I would stop giving him treats and dry food, they can be very filling and may be putting him off feeling hungry, bit like you scoffing chocolates.half the day and then not wanting your dinner. Perhaps just a very few treats once a day.

    You're right, when he was outside a lot during the summer being more active and burning up calories, this would have likely made him want his food more than now when he is indoors and sleeping more. Cats sleep on average 16 hours a day, even when outside they will find somewhere for a nap during the day.

    Cats will react to stress in the household so perhaps your worrying and dare I say fussing plus arguing with your husband may not be a good atmosphere and he could be reacting to that.

    One of my cats is nervous and very picky with her food, she never clears her plate and some days she hardly eats anything. It used to drive me mad but I've learnt to just accept her as she is and as long as she is healthy not worry about it. Me not getting wound up makes for a happier cat too :).

    Your vet isn't concerned about his weight so don't worry unnecessarily about that unless he starts noticeably losing any. Like us, cats come in all shapes and sizes, there are slim, small ones, large stocky ones so you can't always judge one cat against another. He has no symptoms of ill health which is positive. Also, as @OrientalSlave says, don't let FIP dominate your thoughts. Try to relax if you can and enjoy life with Lytton.
     
  5. ebonycat

    ebonycat PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 15, 2016
    Messages:
    4,929
    Likes Received:
    9,374
    Buy a set of baby weighting scales from eBay or Amazon. You can pick a set up for around £20.
    The flat base is easier for your cat to sit on. You can get him used to going on them by placing a treat on them.
     
    #5 ebonycat, Nov 16, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
  6. Lynda Renham-Cook

    Lynda Renham-Cook PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2020
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    25
    Thank you @Charity.
    The stress is certainly telling on me. I find I even count the hours he is sleeping and compare it to the amount he slept in the summer. I guess I should have realised that some cats behaviour change with the weather. He is going out but doesn't run around the field at the back of our house like he did in the summer but the grass is always wet from the rain so can't blame him. I do try not to think of FIP but it was so devastating at the time that's it hard not to.
    I worry he isn't getting the right nutrients. I'm just an over anxious cat mummy. Thanks so much xx
     
  7. Lynda Renham-Cook

    Lynda Renham-Cook PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2020
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    25
    ebonycat likes this.
  8. Mrs Funkin

    Mrs Funkin Human mother to Oscar

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2018
    Messages:
    8,809
    Likes Received:
    30,571
    Oh Lynda :( I know how you feel, really I do. I won't say don't worry as 1) you won't and 2) I can't talk!....but I do hope that you can find a way to deal with things. I've learnt to accept that I am a Helicopter Cat Mum, also have learnt over the past 14 months or so that cats are way more resilient than I ever thought. I do like to weigh weekly, so a set of baby scales is definitely worth the £20 that they cost.

    I will say try to relax though - and try not to fight with your husband over the whole situation, that's not good for any of you, human or feline.
     
    chillminx and Lynda Renham-Cook like this.
  9. Purplecatlover

    Purplecatlover PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2017
    Messages:
    2,227
    Likes Received:
    9,806
    I can’t help much with advice but what I can say is try and stay away from google. I know you know it’s not helpful but I think everyone is pulled to searching EVERYTHING on it (I really struggle with it) and one small thing turns into something massive. I’ve been to the vets and spent so much money on honestly nothing because of the stupid thing lol as I suffer anxiety so when I see something I need to have my cat jasper checked.


    Oh and one quote that helps me is:
    “Worrying won’t stop the bad things from happening, it will only stop you enjoying the good”
    Easier said than done, obviously but I tell myself this. (My cat was and has been quite severely ill since I got him at 3/4 weeks old) and I’ve been told he won’t hVe a long life span - so I try and tell my self to spend more time playing and cuddling and loving him instead of searching google for different things.

    sorry I’m not much help. Good luck :Happy
     
  10. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    Messages:
    5,834
    Likes Received:
    8,810
    I can understand your concerns after losing your cat to FIP. I have just lost one if my foster boys to it. The Corona virus that causes FIP is common in the cat community. I think I read that over 50% of cats may have it. Most of the time infected cats either show no symptoms or mild gastric symptoms. Very occasionally the virus mutates into a different form. In a very few cats, their immune system reacts in such a way to this mutated version that it affects their organs (a bit like some humans experience with Covid). Cats that have the mutated form are thought not to shed it.

    Your boy, like mine, was just really really unlucky. That rare combination of the virus mutating on a particular way and then his immune system reacting excessively to it. Your other cat is more than likely to have the Corona virus as it's common. He hasn't had a bad immune reaction to it and he now has a mature immune system given he is now older. I think you dont need to worry about this for him.

    Regarding food, cats are generally efficient eaters. If they are indoors more and less active they will regulate their intake and eat much less. The difference can be quite large. You say he goes out. It might be that he is getting food else where either via hunting, raiding some other cats bowl or a neighbour "taking pity" on a hungry cat and feeding him. All of mine where masters if the sad begging face and I know they have been fed elsewhere until I put a stop to it.

    I suggest as others have said, body score him, weigh him (luggage scales with him in a carrier) if you are concerned and learn your cats usual intake. If you want, you could record weight, food intake, temperature and levels of activity and that should give you a good idea what triggers his food intake levels.

    If the vet isn't concerned I would trust them. If he has clean glossy fur, bright eyes and is active then he is healthy.

    Just a word of caution worry around food can make cats reluctant to eat. They sense your fear when they are eating and to them that means that there is danger. Eventually they may associate food with danger and will stop eating. I ended up in the situation with one of my cats who picked up on my worry he wasn't eating his meds in food and stopped eating everything except chicken and then only if I was out of the house.

    Try to relax and enjoy your boy.
     
  11. Lynda Renham-Cook

    Lynda Renham-Cook PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2020
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    25
    Thank you so much. You were a great help, Google certainly makes things worse and like you I could easily be at the vets on a weekly basis xxx
     
  12. Lynda Renham-Cook

    Lynda Renham-Cook PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2020
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    25
     
  13. Lynda Renham-Cook

    Lynda Renham-Cook PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2020
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    25
    Oh, thanks so much. I’m so very sorry you lost a cat to FIP. It’s a horrid thing to go through. I’m fixating. I know. I will stop watching him eat, as I find he eats more when I’m not around. I can feel myself getting worse. Trying to make him play so I can assure myself he’s okay. If he eats okay then I focus on the fact he hasn’t played so much or he’s not going out as much. I never think rationally, like it’s winter and wet and not much fun running in the field at the back of our house. There’s no hope for me! Thanks for the fab advice. Much appreciated @kittih xx
     
    kittih likes this.
  14. Ceiling Kitty

    Ceiling Kitty Hides away from much through humour...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Messages:
    12,910
    Likes Received:
    20,828
    One thing I will say with FIP is that by the time they get to two or three years old, the chances of developing it are much smaller. We do see older cats (10-12+) suffering as well, but it's predominantly a disease of kittens and youngsters; about 4 in 5 cases are in cats under the age of two.

    While FIP can occur in cats and aged 2-10 years, it's much less common.
     
    kittih likes this.
  15. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    Messages:
    5,834
    Likes Received:
    8,810
    Hi. We are all living in anxious times at the moment. If you feel like your anxiety in relation to your cat ( or as part of other anxieties) is affecting your and your cats day to day wellbeing it may help to speak to someone and get some help and support.

    I am sure your boy will lead a long and happy life. Don't forget as he matures, especially if he is neutered, he will require less food. His activity levels and playfulness may decrease just as we don't tend to constantly hop skip jump and run about everywhere as adults as we do as kids. That's all normal.

    Why not focus on some positive activities to do with your cat so you can both enjoy spending time together. You could for example teach him some tricks like high five or following a target stick with his nose or do some clicker training with him or perhaps take up some hobbies where he is a focus such as arts, crafts or writing, whatever allows you to spend relaxing time together.
     
    Lynda Renham-Cook likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice