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Cat grieving/depression?

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by *Amber*, Jan 24, 2012.


  1. *Amber*

    *Amber* PetForums Senior

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    Hi, I was wondering if anyone knows if cats can grieve and become depressed? My year old male Ragdoll has really lost weight, and seems most of the time uninterested in food, it's upsetting to see him so thin. He's been checked over several times by my vet, with regular weighings, and the time before last, he'd lost a little more than the time before, and last time, he'd only gained 4g. I haven't changed his food or anything, and the vet can't find anything wrong apart from a small lump in his abdomen which doesn't move or get any bigger, but we think it may be scar tissue from when he had his retained testicle removed. The only thing I can think of that's changed, and it was about the time he lost interest in his food, was that my Staffy sadly had to be put to sleep at the end of August, and they were very close. Could losing his friend have had this effect in him? :(
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  2. Space Chick

    Space Chick PetForums VIP

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    Yes, without question.

    When Henry our terrier died in July, Thomas our cat got very depressed... He started eating loads more and would mope around looking for him and you could tell in his change of personality he was grieving. Sadly Thomas himself died in December of cancer.... But I like to think he's back with his brother at Rainbow bridge.

    Hope your cat gets over losing his friend in time x
     
  3. *Amber*

    *Amber* PetForums Senior

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    Awwww I'm so sorry about your pets. :(

    It has been months now though, and he's still the same. We got another dog, but he doesn't seem at all attached to her like he was Fen. xx
     
  4. Space Chick

    Space Chick PetForums VIP

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    Sorry he's not bonded with the new dog... Although its only been 5 months.... And cats are perceptive creatures, so I think they do feel things acutely.

    Give him time x
     
  5. *Amber*

    *Amber* PetForums Senior

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    Thank you, it's hard to think he's sad. :( xx
     
  6. Ianthi

    Ianthi PetForums VIP

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    Amber - How much weight has he lost altogether?

    Sounds to me you could be dealing with a medical problem here as well as grief and I think it's important to investigate things further if only to exclude it completely. The grief will pass but a medical condition would only get worse. Has he ever had an ultrasound to explore this lump for instance? Not saying it's anything serious-might be adhesions ( can be painful ) for example or if located in the stomach could well explain the reduced appetite. This would be my next step.
     
  7. ChinaBlue

    ChinaBlue PetForums VIP

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    Yes, I concur with Ianthi's post - I think your vet should investigate further. I do believe he is grieving but it is a little worrying he hasn't gained any weight and is still off his food after all this time. Could you contact his breeder for a chat and just see if they perhaps know how his litter brothers/sisters are doing (it would be interesting to see the breeder has maybe had updates) to see what sort of difference there is (longshot but may be worth asking).
     
  8. *Amber*

    *Amber* PetForums Senior

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    Thank you for your replies. Yes, I am worried, so am taking him back to the vets tomorrow when I take my other cat. He has always been an ill cat ever since the day I got him from the breeder! He was born with a severely kinked tail, which the breeder didn't tell me about until we visited him! He had Giardia from day 1 and runny eyes, which the breeder denied all knowledge of, and said her other cats were fine! His PCR test also showed that as well as Giardia, he was positive for Feline Coronavirus. The vet said his runny eyes could be due to the FC, and they have never stopped running, but the Maxitrol drops do help if they are particularly bad. I have no faith in the breeder at all, and I believe she knows her cats are ill! It took months of him having the runs before his Giardia was finally sorted and he was better. I will ask the vet what else he can do or try, as I'm going out of my mind with worry. He's lost about half a kilo, and doesn't look lovely and chunky like how he used to with his big fat pad hanging. I can feel his spine, it's horrible. He does eat, but it's usually about 10-20g a feed, rather than the 35-40g he used to eat twice a day, and sometimes, he just won't eat any of it! I just want him better! :(
     
    #8 *Amber*, Jan 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  9. swatton42

    swatton42 PetForums Senior

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    Yes I believe they can get depressed. When our Dad was ill he was in and out of hospital sometimes for months at a time but Boris wouldn't behave any differently. When he passed away he was searching the house for ages trying to find him and pining and crying all the time. It was so sad.
     
  10. *Amber*

    *Amber* PetForums Senior

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    Awww that's so sad. :(
     
  11. Ianthi

    Ianthi PetForums VIP

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    Lots of cats ( though kittens less so ) can harbour Giardia and be totally asymptomatic until immunity is lowered by a stressful event or other illness, so the breeder may be totally unaware of it in her own household.

    This is very little food indeed and I wonder about his hydration levels. Does he drink a lot? Dehydration would also add to appetite problems Sense of smell ( lack ) would be another.

    How did he react with the pelvic examination? My feeling here ( ruling out a blockage of some sort ) is that some sort of gastric inflammation could well be behind all this as this can cause nausea/make it uncomfortable to eat and since you mention the Giardia ( this can cause intestinal damage, particularly if it took months to sort out ) and corona might be at the root of it. The other thing I'm wondering about is a low grade pancreatitis-this is quite painful and you have mentioned he's a bit depressed-this is a classic sign. An ultrasound would detect an inflamed pancreas.

    Good luck with visit and hope he's on the mend soon.
     
  12. *Amber*

    *Amber* PetForums Senior

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    Thank you very much for your reply. My boys have a water fountain to encourage them to drink. Yes he is drinking normally I would say, I haven't noticed an increase/decrease in his drinking. The vet said he doesn't think he has a blockage, and the first couple of times the vet felt his tummy, he seemed a bit uncomfortable as he flinched, but last time, he seemed fine, and in no pain. He hasn't been sick at all, and his poos are normal. The Giardia did affect him well after it had cleared up, his intestines were still inflamed, so he continued to have the runs afterwards, but he's had normal poos for ages now, so I don't know. The vet said it could be the Coronavirus making him feel poorly. Thank you for your help, I will definitely ask the vet about an ultrasound to check his pancreas. He is insured with Petplan, so money is no problem. I just feel now that time hasn't changed anything, he's still not any better, and I want some other tests carried out now. He does seem depressed sometimes, but saying that, he's been happily playing with our new kitten today! I will let you know what the vet says tomorrow.
     
    #12 *Amber*, Jan 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  13. *Amber*

    *Amber* PetForums Senior

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    Another thing I've noticed is that he's always had this thing that when I'm grating cheese, he runs into the kitchen, and stretches up until I throw him a bit of cheese for him to eat, and he always used to, but now, he runs in, I throw a bit, he'll sniff it, then walk away. It's like he wants to eat it, but then he sniffs it and his face looks disgusted like it smells awful or something. :(
     
  14. notsure

    notsure PetForums Senior

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    Just to throw another idea in the mix but has he had his teeth checked recently if there is a problem with his mouth, it may explain why he doesn't want to eat - an infection in his mouth may also be affecting his sense of smell.
     
  15. *Amber*

    *Amber* PetForums Senior

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    Thank you, yes, the vet has checked his teeth, and they all look fine, and gums appear normal too.
     
  16. carolmanycats

    carolmanycats PetForums VIP

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    Has the vet run a general blood profile on him? If not, insist he does, this will show if his liver, kidneys etc are OK. We have a 12 year old cat with liver problems, she has lost a lot of weight and can be difficult with her food as it makes her feel nauseous, she has steroid injections to make her feel better and stimulate her appetite. Not ideal but it's all we can do for her now. We know she won't ever get better and we will eventually lose her from this but at least we know about it and can do what we can to make sure she is comfortable and happy for as long as possible.

    I would also get him x rayed to make sure there are no blockages/tumours etc.
     
  17. Ianthi

    Ianthi PetForums VIP

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    Now THIS is a classic sign of nausea to me. In fact after I posted last night I wondered if he's ever had an anti-nausea medication and if it made a difference.

    Hope visit goes well and keep us posted.
     
  18. Ianthi

    Ianthi PetForums VIP

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    Which condition is this Carol? Milk thistle is supposed to be excellent with liver problems. The liver is a wonderful organ and capable of regenerating so the outcome needn't necessarily be a bad one.
     
  19. *Amber*

    *Amber* PetForums Senior

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    Thank you for your replies. No, he's never had anti sickness med. I have had to leave Marlow at the vets earlier, and the vet is going to take more bloods, they did only do bloods a while ago, and all seemed ok, but they are going to do them again. They want a poo sample too, I'm hoping he goes while he's there, but I highly doubt it! The vet isn't happy that he's lost more weight since the other week. He is also going to do an ultrasound to check out the lump he can feel, and he said he wanted to check his pancreas, and see if he can see anything else that might be causing his probs. Just waiting now for the vet to call me.
     
  20. *Amber*

    *Amber* PetForums Senior

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    Just been to pick my Marlow up, and the vet said he'd been very good as usual! His blood test was completely normal. His intestines and liver look fine. The lump that he has been able to feel, is actually one of his kidneys that is in the wrong place! He thinks this may have something to do with the retained testicle he had removed. His other kidney is in the right place! He said that as his kidney function is normal at the moment, it's fine to just leave the odd kidney where it is, but it might not be working, so he'll need his kidney function regularly checked. I've got to get a poo sample to take in, and got to wait for his pancreatic test results to come back. Apart from the kidney, the vet couldn't find anything else wrong on the ultrasound. Worried about my boy! :(
     
    #20 *Amber*, Jan 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
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