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Older cat, not wanting to eat

May 15th, 2008, 08:33 PM
My cat is about 13 and had dentistry a couple of months ago as he had tartar problems and had stopped eating. It was a slow recovery but he did get back on his food, and back to the crunchy food too.

A couple of wks ago he stopped eating again so I took him to the vet and she said he had an infection on his gum where it had been scraped. She gave him an antibiotic needle that's good for two wks and a 24 hr pain needle and I got 2 of them to bring home. He really hasnt eaten a lot since then, and it's about a week later. I got a few more pain needles to tide us over the wkend last wk.

He will drink chicken broth and did drink milk and cream but doesnt seem to care for that now. He wont eat cat food, I think the smell scares him, he equates it with pain. Just a theory. I bought some chicken baby food today and he wasnt interested in it either.

I bought yogurt as he does like that and will try that tonite. I am worried about the old fella. I did rub his face with my hands and he did not react at all like he had any pain, I do believe he's just afraid it will hurt to eat.

Any ideas how to get him over this hump? I am willing to try just about anything.

Funkynassau, Ontario Canada :confused:

May 15th, 2008, 08:51 PM
Have you tried canned wet food ?

Dr Lee
May 15th, 2008, 09:43 PM
The canned food is a great idea. If the still isn't working, then I would also recommend adding warm low sodium chicken broth to the wet food to both increase the palatability and soften the food. Warming the food can help.

If this does not improve, this could be serious. When cats do not eat, it is a big deal. If there is not quick resolution, then I would recheck with your veterinarian for other possibilities.

Does your vet believe that he has stomatitis?

May 15th, 2008, 09:46 PM
Not eating is very serious for cats, and at this point I recommend calling the vet ASAP. He may need an appetite stimulant and maybe some blood work to see if there isn't something else going on. I know that oral antibiotics can cause nausea and inappetance in cats but I'm not sure about the injectable form. In the meantime, try anything and everything - tuna, salmon, sardines, deli-meat, Pounce treats, whatever it takes. He's at risk for Hepatic Lipidosis (aka "fatty liver") if he doesn't start eating.

May 15th, 2008, 09:53 PM
Oh yes I've tried canned wet food, I've diluted it with water, I've tried the mushiest I can find, mashing it more with a fork. It seems of he gets even a tiny chunk of food, he gets freaked out and runs off to hide. He's had the "recovery" canned cat food from the vet, it's very wet. He was eating that at first but now he wont, I think the smell makes him think it will hurt as we did have a session where that food did seem to hurt his mouth.

I've rubbed his face with my hands to see if he reacts, to see if one side or the other elicits a response and it doesnt. I am leaning to thinking it's in his head, that he isnt in pain, he just is scared to eat for fear it'll hurt.

The broth seems to be what works the best at present. He was having some yogurt tonite and I thought he was doing well with it and suddenly he stopped eating it and ran off. My guess is there was a bit of strawberry in it that he didnt like the texture of.

I have added the broth to canned cat food, to thin it, and I do warm it a bit in the microwave.

What is stomatitis? I've never heard that word before.

I will take him back to the vet if I cant resolve this soon, I hate to see him like this, that's why I am trying all that I can think of.

Thank you for the quick replies.

May 15th, 2008, 09:57 PM
Sugarcatmom, your reply came as I was typing my previous reply. His blood work was fine when he had the dentistry a couple of months ago, and I do realize things can change.

I have tried tuna and salmon, and he likes the salmon juice. It seems to be he's fine with broths and juices but if there's any texture or "lumps" in it he wont eat it. I gave him a tiny piece of deli chicken lunch meat and he picked it up, dropped it, and ran off. Normally he'd love to eat it.

All I have any luck with is the broths and juices and water, sometimes milk.

He purrs and seems as happy as usual.

May 15th, 2008, 10:19 PM
You could add a teaspoon of the vet food to whatever is his broth du jour and put it in the blender. Gradually work up to a tablespoon, then two.
If he doesn't seem to be in any pain and the vet doesn't see any infection, I'd drop the meds, on the off chance that they are affecting his appetite.
Good luck getting the old boy back on track. I've recently been through the same thing myself and it is no fun.

Dr Lee
May 15th, 2008, 10:44 PM
What is stomatitis? here is a fact sheet written by Dr Bellows, a dental specialist

What is FGS?

Feline gingivostomatitis (FGS) is a severe oral disease that affects some cats where the body becomes allergic to plaque around the teeth. The allergic response appears as marked inflammation at the area where the tooth meets the gum line.

What causes FGS?

The specific cause of FGS is unknown. It is not related to feline leukemia virus, feline immunodeficiency virus, sex, spaying or neutering, or diet.

What are the signs of FGS?

Severe inflammation around the teeth exists with FGS. In many cases there are also inflammatory lesions in the back of the throat (stomatitis). Affected cats may have difficulty chewing hard food. Oral pain may cause a decrease in self grooming, resulting in a scruffy hair coat.

How is FGS diagnosed?

An examination usually reveals inflammation completely surrounding the teeth. The maxillary and mandibular cheek teeth are most commonly affected. In severe cases, the canines and incisors are also involved. In 20% of affected cats, the pharynx appears cobblestone red.
How is FGS treated?

There are many options that may give short-term response including antibiotics, steroids, laser therapy, as well as interferon and other immune modulators. Extraction of the teeth behind the canines will resolve between 60% to 80% of the stomatitis cases.

What is the prognosis for FGS?

With extraction of the teeth, the prognosis is good to excellent.

Dr. Jan Bellows is a board-certified veterinary dentist. His office, Hometown Animal Hospital and Dental Clinic, is located at 17100 Royal Palm Boulevard in Weston, Florida. He can be reached for consultations at 954-349-5800.

Date Published: 6/17/2002 5:42:00 PM
Date Reviewed/Revised: 4/13/2007

Copyright 2002, Veterinary Information Network, Inc. & Jan Bellows, D.V.M. Dipl. AVDC

May 16th, 2008, 08:24 AM
Thanks for the info. The vet didnt say anything like that, she said there was pus on his gum where the teeth had been scraped in the dentistry and that's likely what hurt when food touched it. So he got an antibiotic needle good for 14 days and a pain needle good for 24 hrs. I brought home a couple of extra pain needles. This was 9-10 days ago. I have one pain needle left. He doesnt appear to be in pain, and rubbing his face with my hands doesnt seem to hurt him.

I have left a msg. for the vet to call me, hopefully she will do that soon. I'll be sure to let you folks know what I learn from her.

Thank you for the replies!

May 16th, 2008, 08:33 AM
pus = infection
I hope the vet considers this follow-up care - and doesn't charge you - since it might be her fault, although not intentional.
Did she do xrays of his mouth before the surgery; I'm just wondering if there's an underlying problem (abcess,etc.).

May 16th, 2008, 09:15 AM
He doesnt appear to be in pain, and rubbing his face with my hands doesnt seem to hurt him.

If it is stomatitis, it's possible there are ulcers further down his throat that hurt when food passes over them. Stomatitis can be a pretty nasty problem and as Dr. Lee's post explained, sometimes a full mouth extraction is the only relief. There was someone else here recently that had to have that done with their cat, here are the threads:

Hopefully it doesn't come to that with your kitty. Let us know what the vet says, and my fingers are crossed that he starts eating soon. :fingerscr

May 16th, 2008, 09:17 AM
Sorry to hear you are going through this with your kitty :sad:. :sorry: I don't have any advice to add you have gotten some good info already.

May 16th, 2008, 12:40 PM
I talked to the vet this morning and I have an appt. for my cat this afternoon. She has some nutritional liquid that I can try.

My cat was looking pretty sad this morning, he didnt much want his broth, he had a bit. He's now gone outside, we live on a farm, he doesnt wander.

I talked to hubby and I am going to ask the vet to be honest with me, is this worth pursuing or is kitty nearing the end. To me it looks like the end is in sight. Hubby is capable of going to the vet to have kitty put down, if that seems to be the best option. Of course I dont want that to happen, but I am trying to be realistic. I could not do that to my cat, stand there and watch him die.

So, I'll check in later and let you know what happened.

May 16th, 2008, 12:45 PM
Sorry to hear about your kitty. :grouphug:

What brands of canned food have you tried? Have you tried Wellness? ...

Good luck at the vet today. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

May 17th, 2008, 12:01 PM
Just following up to say we had our kitty put to sleep today and I am beyond distraught. It was the humane thing to do, I know that, but it still hurts.


May 17th, 2008, 12:18 PM
Oh, I'm so sorry! It's the hardest thing to have to let our loved ones go. What was your kitty's name?

May 17th, 2008, 12:21 PM
Oh no, :grouphug: I know it is so hard for you. :rip: sweet kitty.

May 17th, 2008, 12:37 PM
So sorry for your loss. I know how sad if feels. He had a wonderful life with you. Your kitty is now with all the others who passed on.

Dr Lee
May 17th, 2008, 12:43 PM
It is always so hard to lose a family member. My condolences.

May 17th, 2008, 02:56 PM
I'm sorry!
So hard when they suffer but even harder to let them go.
:rip: old fellow.

May 17th, 2008, 03:42 PM
Thanks everyone. His name was Moo because he was white with black splotches and looked like a Holstein cow...

He's buried down the back of our farm with 3 of our dogs who passed on over the years.


May 17th, 2008, 04:27 PM
I am really sorry you ended up having Moo put down,I suppose it was more to his problem than his teeth.
13yrs old is not an old cat,but if he was suffering,you did the right thing.
:rip:little Moo

May 18th, 2008, 10:08 AM
Thanks. He was slowly starving to death, the amount he was drinking was not enough, and he would not eat. It was almost like he knew his time had come.

I thought he'd hang in there for another 5 yrs since he'd never been sick at all.


May 18th, 2008, 10:17 AM
I am so sorry for your loss! My heart aches for you.

May 18th, 2008, 03:00 PM
I am very sorry to hear about Moo. :sad:

My deepest condolences to you and your family for your loss. :grouphug: :candle:

May 18th, 2008, 10:32 PM
:sad: I'm sorry for your loss

Moo is playing happily @ the Rainbow Bridge ( with all those before him

:rip: sweet :angel2: Moo :candle:

Jim Hall
May 19th, 2008, 10:16 AM
im sorry He was a lucky guy to have wonderfully

May 22nd, 2008, 10:00 PM
Thanks folks. I miss Moo a lot...