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Old 02-13-2009, 06:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Adult Cat (Thirsty, Not Eating, No Bowel Movements)

I noticed my 13 year old cat, Jadey, was acting strange a couple of weeks ago. She seemed to be really thirst all of the time. She lost interest in drinking from her normal bowl, and decided to hang out in the shower and beg for us to turn the faucet on for her.
As with most cats, I thought it was just a phase she was going through. I did notice she was not eating as much as usual, but her appetite goes up and down. I thought maybe we'd been giving her too many cat treats, and that was why.
Well, a couple of days ago, I picked her up and noticed that for the first time ever (she's normally 9 lbs) I was able to feel her spine. My usually chubby cat has her bones poking out a bit. I got worried and pointed it out to my boyfriend, who said I was over reacting (because I'm pregnant and emotional).
Yesterday, I decided to give her a little "treat". I never let her have it, but she LOVES tuna. I poured the juice from the can into a bowl, and she barely touched it. Shocking! So, I pulled out canned cat food (reserved for special occassions, she's on a dry diet) and she had a couple licks, but left it alone. This is completely unusual for my cat!!! My boyfriend said she was just being finicky and was probably not hungry, but I pulled out the creme de la creme of kitty treats. She has crunch treats that she goes wild over. She went over to them and seemed to just look at them for a minute or so. I usually have to move my fingers out of the way because she might nip me from eating them so quickly. She put one in her mouth and it looked like she tried to chew, and it fell out of her mouth. It took her about 3 mintues to eat four small treats, something that usually takes her about 3 seconds.
Today, I noticed that she's not had a bowel movement in 3 days. Her fur is not matted, as she is still grooming. Her behavior seems exactly the same.
The only unusual thing in the house is a new baby on the way (more toys and furniture filling up the house), and we left our patio door open two weeks ago, and she was gone for about 12 hours. She's been an indoor cat for about 11 years, since I adopted her. Other than that, her diet is the same. I only use natural cleaners, absolutely no chemicals, in the house. No drugs, no smoking. What can be wrong???
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Adult Cat (Thirsty, Not Eating, No Bowel Movements)

check her skin and gums, if its yellow in color shes suffering from kidney failure and needs to see a vet asap. other than that, it sounds like shes constipated. the vet can get her to poo if she is constipated, though it is messy cause its pretty much an enema.

that happened to one of my kitties, he ate less and seemed more thirsty than normal. we took him to the vet, they gave him an enema and when we got him home he was back to normal. he had some other issues that was going on including liver failure, lethargic, weight loss and peeing outside of his box.

if you can afford it ask your vet to test your kitty for FIP. he was diagnosed with it and passed away. I dont want to alarm you because constipation is common for cats in her age frame that is on a dry diet. im sure the vet will ask you about it and would recommend a dry and wet diet.

also stop listening to your boyfriend
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Adult Cat (Thirsty, Not Eating, No Bowel Movements)

A diet of all dry food is not good for a cat of any age. Dry food is completely opposite of what a cat's predator digestive system is evolved to handle. You should be feeding your kitty wet food.
Bring you kitty to a vet to resolve the constipation issue.

Many years ago, Sam (R.I.P.) was constipated, and told me about it. He went to his litter box, dug a couple of times with his paw, looked at me and said,"Can't!", quite clearly. I understood what he meant, and immediately went to the vet with him. The vet prescribed a constipation remedy that came in a tube, like toothpaste. I applied some to Sam's paw for him to lick, and in a couple of hours all was well again. Sam was very grateful, and thanked me.

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Old 02-13-2009, 09:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Adult Cat (Thirsty, Not Eating, No Bowel Movements)

The thirst issue makes me wonder about diabetes. Since you are seeing so many different symptoms it would be a good thing to take your kitty to the vet just to have her checked out- if nothing else just to make yourself feel better about her.

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Old 02-14-2009, 01:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Adult Cat (Thirsty, Not Eating, No Bowel Movements)

You may just have a constipated cat, but it's not usually accompanied by weight loss, so I think that's unlikely. A cat that eats less than half it's normal intake of food or doesn't eat at all for more than a day is at risk for fatty liver disease. Sometimes this can occur spontaneously, other times there's an underlying cause. The symptoms you describe are also very consistent with kidney failure. A correction though...kidney failure does not cause yellowing of the tissues, that is caused by jaundice which is associated with liver failure. Diabetes is also a possibility.

All of these issues are very serious, your cat definitely needs an immediate vet visit...meaning first thing tomorrow, and emergency vet if your regular vet can't fit you in. This is not a wait and see situation.

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Old 02-14-2009, 09:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Adult Cat (Thirsty, Not Eating, No Bowel Movements)

Increased thirst, weight loss, inappetance, and constipation are all frequent symptoms of renal failure, which is all too common in older cats. You need to get your cat to a vet ASAP and have a full blood chemistry and CBC run. There are, of course, other diseases that fit this symptom profile, as well, but kidney failure is at the top of my list.

There is not much that can make a CRF (chronic renal failure) cat feel sicker or in more pain than constipation, so that needs to be addressed immediately. Your cat probably will not eat if she is badly constipated, and if she doesn't eat for more than 24 hrs, she is at risk of developing a potentially fatal liver disease.

Get her to a vet NOW.

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Old 02-18-2009, 02:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Adult Cat (Thirsty, Not Eating, No Bowel Movements)

Thank you everyone for your tips. I took Jadey to the vet on Saturday morning. He confirmed that she is jaundice and based on her symptoms, he said it could be her kidneys or her liver. He said that because she was dehydrated and not eating or using the litter box on her own we needed to treat her first before we could do a biopsy. In other words, she needed to get better before we could help her.
She was given a subcutanious injection, tube fed, medicated, and shots given to prevent nausea. Unfortunately this round of treatment only made her worse upon bringing her home. I've been force feeding her here at home since Sunday. It's been heart breaking to see my baby in this condition...
She's unable to walk more than a few steps without collapsing, she can not drink or eat on her own. I thought I would loose her the first night because she was so weak. She has shown slow signs of improvement over the last day or so. She is finally peeing, she's licking when I'm force feeding her, and she tried to groom herself this morning, she also tried to drink water out of her bowl this morning on her own.
The vet has suggested we check her in to the hospital to be put on an IV to really get her fluids back in order. Also, because I'm syringe feeding her, a lot of her the fluids are dripping out of her mouth, and honestly- I can't hydrate her fast enough for her to really recover quickly. It's a tough battle.

Edited by doodlebug
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