My Cat is Having Trouble Eating and Drinking

by Michelle
(Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada)

Last week, my cat Misha started vomiting. Initially, it was the cotton elastic from our roast that she must have taken out of the garbage can. However, she continued to vomit up a pinkish, slightly foamy liquid. She stopped eating and drinking, quickly becoming listless and hiding. The vet gave her sub-cutaneous fluids, an antibiotic, an anti-nausea medication and a day or two later, a steroid. She had tenderness in her epi-gastric region and we suspected that it was the same problem she had last May (2007). Back then, she had the same symptoms and exploratory abdominal surgery (for a suspected obstruction) found only that she had a thickening in the ileo-cecal junction and enlarged lymph nodes. Although it was inconclusive, following the surgery she recovered. I suspected she might have some sort of bowl inflammation.

Unlike the last time, Misha didn't respond so quickly to the medication. She has had to be hydrated 3 times and she is on a 5mg daily dosage of prednisone. She sniffs at her food but will not eat or drink on her own so I have to assist her either by letting her lick food from my finger or inject it into her mouth with a syringe. Today is day 3 on steroids and she is still not eating voluntarily. She will sniff and ignore it unless it's on my finger. She ate a mix of Prescription a/d mixed with Yop, ground flax and cream. I injected chicken/turkey broth which she seemed to enjoy.

After each mouthful she opens her mouth in a weird way. She definitely wasn't doing that before. The vet had checked for string but hadn't noticed anything. It's just so strange that she can't/won't eat out of a dish or bend her head to get food.

Does anyone have any idea what might be the problem? She seems a bit better (doesn't hide, will groom herself again) but I'm concerned that I can't give her enough food this way and she may become dehydrated.

Thanks so much for any information you can provide. It's been such a stressful week. Misha is a wonderful little cat (only 6.0lbs - she was a tiny stray barn kitten when we found her two years ago).


Answer by Kate
It sounds as if the vet is trying to do all he can for and so lets hope that the medication he is giving her will make her better in the long run. However the medication is either making her stiff in some way which makes it difficult for her bend her neck or her sense of smell has been affected in some way which means that her food is not appealing to her.

You can try and warm the food a little with either a small amount of hot water or put it in the microwave for a couple of seconds. this will increase its smell. Also perhaps life her bowl up on some books etc so that she does not have to bend down so far.

I hope the vet can sort her out soon, poor little thing, sounds like she has gone through the mill lately.

best wishes Kate

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