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Feline Anorexia

April 14th, 2007, 05:33 PM
Hi There, I am new to this and I am desperate! My cat stopped eating 2 weeks ago, I took him to the vet Monday, He was diagnosed with fatty liver disease.(brought on from not eating) He spent 5 days in the hospital! He came home with antibiotics and herbal treatment, but he doesn't want to eat! Kona is 10 years and the sweetest cat. He didn't have to have a feeding tube. He just got IV fluids. Any ideas? Thank you everyone! Michelle

April 14th, 2007, 05:43 PM
i dont know if this is a good idea (and someone please correct me if i am wrong) but i know if m dogs get sick they associate that feeling with what they ate and will not eat until the food is changed... maybe a food change will help? homecooked? something really soft and enticing? call the vet and ask if they have any suggestions.
sorry to hear about your kittys struggle, hopefully all is bettter soon

April 14th, 2007, 05:56 PM
Thank you Michelle for your reply. The Vet said the he liked baby food in the hospital. but he isn't touching it at home. I have two more older cats and they eat his food when he walks away! :( I love him , and I will do my best to entice him to eat! Michelle (Micki)

April 14th, 2007, 06:41 PM
Didn't the vet run any tests to determine why he isn't eating?

April 14th, 2007, 06:42 PM
Hepatic lipidosis can start after just 24hrs without food so please bring him back if he is still not eating, they may be able to prescribe an appetite stimulant. ~michelle~ is right they do associate the food with the sickness so you should try a different food. I'm assuming you are using something from the vets office or supermarket? I suggest looking into a good quality holistic brand ASAP. Tuna juice, engevita yeast, little bits of deli meat are some things that i've had luck with in getting my kitties to eat.

Do you know why he stopped eating?

April 14th, 2007, 06:52 PM
Hi , No, I do not know why he stopped eating. The Vet doesn't know either. I did some reading on the subject online. Older over weight cats will stop eating for whatever reason. Then liver problems start. The vet ran blood tests and scans of the liver and kidney. He was in the hospital since Monday. So it was quite expensive. But he is worth it. I will keep trying. Thanks Micki

April 14th, 2007, 07:11 PM
Usually, there is a reason why a cat stops eating. So, the blood tests didn't show anything abnormal? What about his teeth and gums? Were they checked thoroughly for infections, etc?

April 14th, 2007, 07:29 PM
I'm sorry your kitty is feeling so unwell but I'm with Rainbow ~ there has to be a reason your cat stopped eating. How about a second opinion if your Vet doesn't know the answer?

April 14th, 2007, 07:42 PM
I don't want to add anything becasue I feel exactly like everyone else. Cat's don't just stop eating...there must be a reason..teeth for one. Please try and get a second opinion. Try and get some tuna juice, salmon...any fishy smell usually gets a cat eating. Good luck I hope he starts eating soon. Does he drink??

April 14th, 2007, 08:30 PM
I'm seeing some conflicting information, like some articles are saying just obesity and stress can be a cause but most others say there has to be an underlying medical conditon. One suggestion was heart disease which I think makes more sense and of course throat or mouth problems. A second opinion/chest x-ray is probably a good idea.

April 15th, 2007, 09:46 AM
Thank you so much everyone for your replies. After much thought I decided to put Kona down. He is just not happy. I tried to give him him supplements and meds, he threw them right back up. He won't eat anything. All his life he was a little "piggy" eating all his food and more! He seems so depressed now. I have tried every food possible. He slept snuggled up to me all night. But he didn't leave the bed. I will call the vet tomorrow morn. Thanks every one! Micki

April 15th, 2007, 12:50 PM
I'm sorry, I wish I could be of more help.:sad: I was hoping someone here that had gone through the same thing would be able to give you a solution or more hope. I know sometimes they can make a full recover from this type of liver disease so really be sure you feel you've tried enough E.g. the appetite stimulant etc.. It is such a big decision that you can't go back on.:sad: I totally understand you not wanting him to suffer anymore as well though.:grouphug:

April 15th, 2007, 02:42 PM
Please don't rush into your decision. Ten years is not all that old for a cat and there is probably an underlying condition that your vet has missed. I would get a second opinion.

April 15th, 2007, 04:27 PM
It will take work on your part to get to the bottom of why he is sick as well as work on his recovery but with a second opinion as rainbow suggested he could pull through and at 10 live another 6-7yrs or more. He didn't get sick overnight so it will take time to get him healthy again.

April 15th, 2007, 05:02 PM
I would have a talk with your vet the minute s/he is available, do you have an emergency number? It sounds like Kona may need to go back on an IV, just to start building him back up while you try to get to the bottom of this. There are also medications to stimulate his appetite, you could suggest it.

If your vet continues to throw up his/her hands, I would definitely seek another opinion before making such a huge decision. There are many people who have come to this board with animals in as rough shape as yours, and they pull through. Getting a diagnosis is probably the most frustrating part, which you are in the thick of. Don't give up now, at least until you have seen another vet.

If the blood test showed no liver failure, why are they treating him for that? (unless I am misreading). In which case, the medication may be making him sick. I would stop giving him the meds for now, and try him tempting him with soft boiled chicken and rice If he likes being hand-fed, do that.

He is unhappy with his current situation, for sure! But with a little patience, there is every chance he can improve.
Let us know what happens.

April 15th, 2007, 05:34 PM
We are not vets but just pet owners like you. I don't really know anything about liver diseases in cats. Sorry to say that since your cat is 10 years old and already a senior, you should have taken him to a vet. sooner. Not eating in pets is a sure sign that something is wrong. Blood tests usually reveal how the major organs work. Did your cat have a blood test? Make sure you ask questions when you go to a vet. Is this disease terminal or does it need a long treatment? Can my cat live with this disease and how long? Is this a genetic disease? If this vet. did not give you any information, I would change vets as soon as possible. Since your cat still does not want to eat, obviously nothing is resolved. Also your cat's file can be taken to another vet., since it is your property. Hope this helps.

April 17th, 2007, 10:17 AM
In the mean time, that cat has to eat, whether he wants to or not. I went through this kind of problem last winter, as may would remember. Here is what I did to deal with the not eating. We managed to stave off fatty liver in this cat this way. For those how remember how skinny Maddy was, would you believe that she's now fat for the first time in her life? (and quite proud of her chubby self I might add)

Erica's 'assisted-feeding' mush
You will needů
- A good, high-quality wet cat food that is a very fine pate and is very tasty to kitties (Eagle Pack canned Cat & Kitten formula, Medi-cal Gastro & Hills A/D are all good choices. Given the food recall, I'd stick with EP)
- A package of chicken livers and chicken hearts & gizzards. (cook or leave raw as suits your cat)
- Water
- A blender
- a syringe, anywhere from 10 to 30 cc is good. No needle required

Combine in a blender & blend until liquified. Add water to make it a runny consistency, it must be smooth enough and liquid enough to easily draw into the syringe.

Pour mixture into a mug, grab your syringe, wrap your cat in a towel to restrain and get comfy.

Draw mixture into the syringe, stick the tip of the syringe into the side of the cat's mouth & dribble in a SMALL quantity of food. Do NOT cause the cat to choke. Wait for cat to swallow & repeat. Continue until a minimum of 1/2 cup of mixture is in the cat's stomach. Repeat 2-3 times per day.

A spoon can work as well, often they will lick this mixture off a spoon. Just dip the spoon in to coat it and present to towel-wrapped cat. If they refuse the food, dot the food on the end of the cat's nose. They'll lick it off. This may get them started. If the spoon method doesn't work, the syringe method MUST be used, whether the cat likes it or not.

Once the cat is eating, Royal Canin has a Baby Cat formula that is EXTREMELY calorie dense, softens well in liquid & is very tasty to cats. It can be added to the mixture to spoon or hand feed. Continue the process for at least a week after cat 'appears' to be eating normally. They still may not be eating enough to cover their caloric needs, which continues the fatty liver issue.
Further information at http//


April 17th, 2007, 10:24 AM
Given the IV fluids & loss of appetite, I'd have the vet re-check the kidney & white blood cell values for kidney function or infection. IV fluids are the first line of treatment in kidney disease & the results don't show up on blood tests until kidney function is 70% reduced from normal.

April 17th, 2007, 12:28 PM
Micki, how is Kona? :fingerscr :fingerscr

April 17th, 2007, 10:10 PM
5-7 days without eating and no vet visit? It took me a while to figure that out for some reason.:confused: The hospital for five days and then 2 more days without treatment or food? I hope you will notice when your other 2 cats get sick/over weight and NOT let them go through all of that pain and suffering. Since you seem to have the money for vet bills why not look into some healthy food choices as well and take some time to get to know your cats better. It appears you had no idea that cats are not "loud" about being sick or in pain. They usually hide pain quite well till they simply can't any longer but not eating in any animal is a bad sign. Just sleeping more or a change in routine can indicate they are ill, which is why it is a good idea to take them for a checkup if anything seems a little off.(yearly otherwise and every six months for a senior is preferable) If you did not decide to give up on Kona I will be pleasantly surprised however from what you've said so far I am expecting the worst.:sad: