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New cat is badly sick

October 12th, 2009, 03:37 AM

We just got our cat Spock on Friday, which was 3 short days ago, and since then it hasn't been fun for him.

We rescued him from the humane society where feline URI was going around. The day we brought him home he was active, exploring her new house, meowing and loved to be petted and held. Every single time we touched him he would purr. Then he started vomiting and sneezing later that day. All through Friday and Saturday he laid down and seemed weak, uninterested and depressed.

We took him to the vet on Sunday and got meds, Albon for infection, and RM for vomiting. First off, it is SO hard to give him these meds. He struggles, cries, spits up and I'm not sure how much is actually going down. Are there any tips for this?

Secondly, he hasn't eaten or drank since we got him, and it's been 3 full days. The vet gave him some fluids but he has to start eating. The meds are making him drool uncontrollably and giving him bad diarrhea, to make matters worse.

I feel like he hates us and acts like we're not there when we're around. He doesn't purr or act like he is happy when we go visit him. We try to go pet and love him as much as we can throughout the day. The pet recommended we keep him in our bathroom, and he HATES it in there. But if we keep him anywhere else he will make a huge mess.

I just feel so bad for the little guy and want him to feel better. The vet said he should start to feel better in 3-5 days but how are we supposed to make him eat??? Any help?


October 12th, 2009, 03:38 AM
The Humane Society said he was 5 years old but the vet said he is more like 1 - 1.5 years old.

October 12th, 2009, 06:56 AM

So sorry to hear about your kitty!! Ive been having similar problems with my cat as far as eating goes.

What are you feeding him or trying to?? If its dry food I suggest going to a canned food as this is more tasty and healthier for him anyhow. I would try something low in grain or grain-free and high protein like EVO or Wellness. If he still doesn't eat this on his own I would try warming it up and/or sprinkling some parmeasan cheese on it (this works well for my cats). Also, sometimes if you put alittle on the inside cheek he will then want some himself.

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT HE STARTS TO GET NUTRITION!!! My cat wouldn't eat anything and she ended up very sick just to give you some insight.

As far as the meds go, are they liquid or pill?? I find liquid is easier to give then pills. With liqiuds I wrap my arm from behind so my cat's head is resting in my hand which gives control. Then squirt in the cheek area. Make sure though that your cat is not laying on his back when giving anything by mouth because this could cause choking!! If it is a pill the only way I have had luck is to just get it behind that tongue and massage the neck so they swallow. It also helps if you give them alittle water through a syringe after also.

Im sure some other people will give some great advice here too. Good luck and let us know how the little guy is doing.


October 12th, 2009, 07:25 AM
Hey there! so sorry your going through this! Its really important to keep your kitty hydrated so make sure he gets some fluids into him! if he wont drink on his own then I would add water to his food!

What are you feedling? if only kibble then go out and grab a can of good quality wet and try that! The vet reccomending keeping him in the bathroom is likely so he doesnt make a mess and go hide somewhere! There are lots of tips on how to pill a cat...just google it and you will find videos etc!

Cats are pretty good at hiding their pain so keep an eye on him!

Do you have any other animals in the house?


October 12th, 2009, 07:27 AM
Your poor kitty! :sick: I'm far from an expert on this like many on this board are, but I just went through one of my kitties having trouble with felinie anorexia. One of the problems cats have is that when they don't eat for a while, their hunger instinct sort of shuts down and they lose interest in food. :wall: There are a few things you can try to get him to start eating willingly. If those don't work, there are many on the board who can share more experience about syringe feeding him until he feels better.

If you're giving him canned food (you should be - it's far better than dry), you can try heating it up just a bit - that sometimes made Oscar sit up and take notice. Try and find one that's soft so he can kind of lap it up. Right now, getting him eating is more important than finding the perfect food.

Baby food is a trick used by a lot of vet's offices and it worked for Oscar. Find one that's just chicken and chicken broth (no cornstarch, gluten, or thickeners) and no vegetables (look for stage one foods - they usually don't have any chunks or gravies that might have thickeners). They probably may not lap it up immediately but if you can get it on or near his mouth, he'll lick it off and may be interested. It worked with Oscar - he'd eat that when he wouldn't eat anything else! ;)

The other thing Oscar would eat is plain boiled chicken breast. Because he had lost so much weight, I fed him the whole thing - skin and all - and he willingly ate most of it.

Canned pumpkin sometimes works (NOT pie filling). There are also flavor additives that you can get at many pet stores to make food smell more appealing. Also, your vet can prescribe an appetite stimulant but others here can speak to that as it may or may not be good with the other meds your baby is on.

As far as pilling the poor guy, others here are familiar with my frustration. I have to give Oscar four pills twice a day :eek: and every time I did, it ended in tears - not because he would scratch me or anything but just because he hated it so much. :cry: Here's a site that offers some videos on how to pill a cat and some of them are useful.

Based on some suggestions here (drooling was a problem with the antibiotic Oscar is on), I coated one of the pills in butter - that way he couldn't taste it. Before that, I think he drooled most of the stuff out! :frustrated:

For Oscar, the best way to pill him was to wrap him in a towel (so he couldn't claw me), put him on my lap, pry his mouth open, and drop the pill near the back of the throat. It's a good idea to give them some liquid afterwards to make sure the pill doesn't stick. It's difficult but the towel is mostly unnecessary now. I won't go so far as to say Oscar is happy about his pills, but he just kind of gets it over with now.

Good luck with your baby. :grouphug: There are really good people on this board who can probably help you more. :fingerscr

October 12th, 2009, 12:22 PM
We took him to the vet on Sunday and got meds, Albon for infection, and RM for vomiting.

I'm not sure what the RM is. Do you mean Reglan? Remeron?

Secondly, he hasn't eaten or drank since we got him, and it's been 3 full days.

This is an emergency. Cats are at great risk of becoming very sick if they go without food for even just 48 hrs. Call the vet and tell them you're stopping the Albon, which is likely partly responsible for his loss of appetite, and fully responsible for his diarrhea. Here are the side effects:

Albon may cause stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, facial swelling, excessive thirst, excessive urination.

He might need an appetite stimulant at this point, and I'd recommend trying mirtazapine (aka Remeron). You only need to give it once every 3 days, and in most cases, one dose is enough. Plus, it also addresses the nausea issue.

Try offering plain baby food, as rjesak mentioned. Maybe some small amounts of yogurt. If you can get to a health food store, my suggestion is to pick up some slippery elm bark powder (helps with diarrhea and vomiting) and some probiotics (Natural Factors Ultimate Multi in capsules is a good one). The probiotics will help replenish the good intestinal bacteria that have been destroyed by the antibiotics. I can help you with dosing and how to administer them, if needed.

How is Spock's breathing? Does he seem very congested? One thing that might help with that is keeping him in the bathroom for 10 minutes, a few times a day, with a hot shower running. The steam might help loosen up the mucus. Congestion could also be interfering with his sense of smell, which is going to affect his appetite. Find some really stinky food, like sardines or tuna, and see if he'll eat that. Some flavours of canned Fancy Feast, like Cod, Sole and Shrimp Feast, are very smelly and might be appealing to him. Whatever it takes, he's gotta eat!

Good luck! Please keep us updated.

October 13th, 2009, 10:19 PM
Hello everyone! Sorry for the delay replying, it's been a busy two days and we're trying to make sure we give him as much love as we can. Even though I haven't replied I have read everyone's posts and it has helped me a ton. Thanks everyone SO MUCH for your thoughts and concerns!!

I brought Spock to the vet again today because he still hasn't been eating. I was really worried there was something else wrong. He still had a fever of 105 so his antibiotics weren't working. They took xrays and a blood test, and both had positive results, which was a relief! They also gave him about 150 ml of fluids under his skin and I am going back tomorrow so they can give him more. It seems he just has a wicked infection mixed with the stress of his new home and needs a whole lot of love and care.

They switched his antibiotics to a different kind so hopefully that will help with his nausea and start to kick his fever down. He is also now taking a pill instead of liquid, as the liquid was very hard for him to get down.

He still won't eat, but we keep syringe feeding him every hour or so. Before we do it we try to see if he will eat himself, but with no luck so far. He did drink a lot of water today all by himself so that's good! He also walked out of the bathroom and even fell asleep on my lap, which was great! He actually purred again for the first time today since Saturday! He is moving around a bit more, but still clearly under the weather. I hope to give you guys another positive update within a few days! :)

Thanks again!!

Here are a couple pictures of our lovely Spock attached.

October 14th, 2009, 06:58 AM
Have they taken blood to check for toxins? I see drooling which indicates some pain in the mouth or esophagus. Any abcesses or sores in his mouth?

Calicivirus can cause sores in the mouth, very sore joints and high fever, which antibiotics won't help.

October 14th, 2009, 08:58 AM
By the way, I just gotta say I LOVE the name Spock! My next cat will be Kreacher but then I might steal it. :laughing:

Good luck - I hope he continues to feel better.

October 14th, 2009, 11:24 AM
Aw, poor Spock, certainly looks miserable in his photo, definitely not a happy boy! Sure looks like he has sores in his mouth with all his drooling. Do hope he's getting better and eating more. Any update?

October 14th, 2009, 01:01 PM
Wow, your cat is pretty sick! It's generally a bad sign when cats drool. Most cats are fairly high maintenance and don't drool for nothing!

Has he been checked for Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency? You need to make sure he was combo tested for that. 150mL of fluid is actually quite alot! It's probably about appropriate given his size though, so that probably very helped him out quite alot.

Why was he on Albon of all things? That's good for gastrointestinal infections... not much else. It's commonly used to treat coccidia.

Do you know what he is on now?

Everyone else has such great advice already. Hope Spock feels better soon!!! :grouphug:

October 25th, 2009, 12:43 PM
Do they think that this is an upper respiratory infection? This would be typical for cats adopted from shelters. Years ago my Mom adopted a shelter kitty and like your Spock, she became very ill within 24 hours. Started with sneezing and then she stopped eating and drinking for several days. Had to have her admitted to the Vets for hydration and forced feeding. She finally came around and is happy and healthy today.

When cats can't smell anything from an upper respiratory infection they just won't eat. Once their sense of smell returns they'll start eating on their own. But in the meantime you do need to syringe feed him and try to keep him hydrated. Try wet food and heat it up a bit so it will increase the odor of the food. That might help him.

October 25th, 2009, 04:09 PM
I had a cat on Albon last year, and he would not eat or drink, and kept throwing up foam. I took him off of it and he improved within a couple of days. The diharrea would not stop, and the vet told me to give him canned but also dry food for more fiber for awhile. That worked too. Wellness is the only food I can get one of my sick very finicky cats to eat, and only one certain flavor.

October 26th, 2009, 05:37 PM

Your original post just sounds like a new cat getting used to a new house? How is it going so far?