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Recurring problem with cat not eating

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Chris Slinn, Mar 8, 2021.


  1. Chris Slinn

    Chris Slinn PetForums Junior

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    I have posted before about one of my cats, Bonny, slowly over a period of days going off eating eventually resulting in not eating anything, or very little. This happened a few months ago so I took her to the vets, she had blood tests and scans and they couldn't find anything wrong or any health reason why this was happening. At the time I fed both my cats at the same time and my other cat, Lagertha, would usually bully Bonny away from her dish so I bought a chipped cat feeder so she could eat on her own and come back to her food when she felt like it. This seemed to work for a time but slowly over the last month she's steadily been eating less and less. I struggle to get more than half a pouch of food down her some days, other days she'll eat nothing at all.

    She seems hungry on a morning, rubbing against my legs and jumping on he worktop while I prepare her food, but then she takes a look at her food, maybe a sniff or a lick, then walks away. I see her during the day approach her bowl, and the same thing, she just walks away. I've tried putting small mounts of other foods in her bowl to see if she's just fed up of the same food but nothing seems to peak her interest.

    Over the last week or so I've noticed she is starting to look skinny, she's not looking skeletal and she hasn't lost much weight but she is down on where she was last month.

    Part of me still thinks there is a behavioural issue going on, maybe she's stressed, but she seems happy and bouncy, she's very active for an indoor cat and loves cuddles and playing around so I can't see this being the issue.

    I have her booked in at the vets on Thursday but I don't want to go round in circles again getting scans and blood tests so I wanted to get the communities thoughts on this. Is there anything that could be causing this which wouldn't have been picked up by blood tests or scans which I can ask the vet to check for? Or any suggestions on how to pick her appetite up?

    Sorry for the long post but I'm sure we can all relate, this is making me worry and starting to cause me a lot of stress as I feel like I can't help her and I don't want her to suddenly fall ill because I haven't tried something obvious to other people that I've missed.

    Thanks
     
  2. loonyloon

    loonyloon PetForums Newbie

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    I just wanted to say I feel your pain on this one. It sounds just like my Luna, some days she just doesn't like anything and will even turn her nose up at some of her favourite treats. It's very concerning, especially as she is constantly begging for food but refuses to eat.
     
  3. QOTN

    QOTN PetForums VIP

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    If a cat appears hungry but then refuses food, it can be because they feel nauseous. Have you tried raising her dish or even hand feeding her? Did Bonny have a fpl blood test with her last investigation? Pancreatitis can provoke this sort of reaction. Presumably the vet checked her teeth and gums for any problems.
     
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  4. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Was about to post the exact same thing. Especially the nausea part, but I too noticed the op didn't mention if the vet checked her mouth.

    I'd be asking for the additional blood test (warning, it's expensive) and some cerenia, anti-nausea medicine, to help her eat while further diagnostics continue.

    The vet may prescribe appetite stimulants, but these really should not be used until the possible nausea has been addressed. The stimulants make them frantic for food, but the cat still won't be able to eat, if she's nauseous. So cerenia first, before appetite stimulants.
     
  5. Chris Slinn

    Chris Slinn PetForums Junior

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    They did check her teeth and gums yes and all was fine, I don't know the exact blood test they took but if the fPL is the next level up from a standard blood test then I doubt it was that. I'll mention this to the vet and see if they have records of the previous test.

    When you mention raising her bowl, I take it you mean lifting it just off the floor so she doesn't need to bend down to eat?
     
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  6. Tigermoon

    Tigermoon PetForums VIP

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    Now I have to say that at this time of year my cats often reduce how much they are eating, often markedly. There is nothing wrong with them, it's just down to the time of year and as they are going through a coat change they probably don't feel on top form. Some cats seem more affected than others I find, but spring and autumn do seem to be times when my cats just eat less, some appear to eat nothing at all. I weigh my cats once a month and have done for years, and every one loses weight at this time of year, regardless of gender or neutering status. It could therefore just be part of the natural cycle for your cat Bonny, as it is for mine.

    I believe you've had trouble before at least once, possibly twice with this cat? What started her eating again? Did she just suddenly start to eat again, or was she given medication?
     
  7. Chris Slinn

    Chris Slinn PetForums Junior

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    They both had a noticeable loss of appetite when they had their first vaccinations, Bonny lasted longer before getting back to normal. The second time it was just Bonny and she just slowly fell off, eating less and less. This was when I took her for her bloods and a scan. The solution that time was to feed Bonny in a separate area to Lagertha (to stop her being bullied away from her food) and to give her a micro chipped feeder so she could come back and finish her food whenever she wanted to. This worked and all seemed fine until recently when she seemed to fall off again. She's never been given medication for her lack of appetite

    How long does it last with your cats if they lose their appetite at this time of year? I worry that this isn't a normal thing to happen, she now hasn't eaten for two days (apart from a couple of biscuits and some treats) and this can't be healthy for her. Nothing has changed in her personality though and she isn't dehydrating (I did the scruff test)
     
  8. QOTN

    QOTN PetForums VIP

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    Yes it can help if they don't have to bend their head to eat. It sounds as though Bonny is one of those cats who stop eating when they don't feel 100% and the difficulty is deciding exactly what is causing the trouble in any particular situation. I don't have that problem myself as I am told all the cats I have bred are absolute gannets so I know if any of mine go off their food there is something really wrong with their digestive system.
     
  9. Tigermoon

    Tigermoon PetForums VIP

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    So mine haven't been clearing their bowls for probably a week now. Similar to yours they just steadily eat less and less then suddenly they are like a wolf pack again. Honestly I can't think off the top if my head how long it lasts in general but definitely longer than a few days. They tend to pick rather than sit down and eat during this time and loads gets left. In your case the microchip feeder would help here as the food is kept fresher and if course the other cat can't just scoff the lot.

    Obviously if worried you should see your vet but I would start to keep a detailed diary to see if there is a pattern that she follows throughout the year.
     
  10. Chris Slinn

    Chris Slinn PetForums Junior

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    Thank you very much, a diary is a good idea and hopefully Bonny is just going through a similar thing as your own.
     
  11. lillytheunicorn

    lillytheunicorn PetForums VIP

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    My forests are starting to drop weight as the weather has warmed up, they are more active and eat less. They then start eating more and doing less in the autumn. Loki (Male neuter) goes from 7kg to 6.3kg every year. The girls usually drop from around 5kg to 4.5kg ish. Always around a 10% drop on their body weight from winter to summer. It’s slow and gradual. However Monty (moggy) never changes weight, has been exactly the same weight now at 1st booster.
     
  12. Douglas’ Dad

    Douglas’ Dad PetForums Senior

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    If you think it’s behavioural (and food and behavioural factors are closely linked with cats) then think of getting the advice of a feline behavioural therapist. They understand how a cat “thinks” better than a vet. There’s a great one in London. I’m sure she’d do video consults.
     
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