Dehydrated cat refuses to drink/eat - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
CatForum.com is the premier Cat Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 07-07-2010, 05:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
Jr. Cat
 
antigone21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Posts: 47
Default Dehydrated cat refuses to drink/eat

Hello, this is my first post I have been reading this forum since last week while preparing to welcome my new kitty who arrived home yesterday morning. I really like it so far and I plan on contribuating and posting on here.

I hope someone can help me about this little issue that I have with her, I would really appreciate it. Sorry if this is really long, but I don't know the cat much since I only got her yesterday so I feel I should put you into context and tell you everything I do know about her.

So to put you into context, I adopted her on saturday from the SPCA but couldn't bring her home because she had to be spayed. The SPCA vet spayed her on monday and she was ready to be picked up by monday night but I couldn't go (I work an evening shift) so I went first thing in the morning on tuesday (I didn't sleep all night, I was so excited thinking about welcoming her ). The vet told me she hadn't eaten yet and gave me tips about taking care of her for the next 48 hours to let her recover from the operation. Basically, she was supposed to eat only half of her first meal and go back on her regular schedule for the evening meal. I am feeding her the food they suggested at SPCA which is Royal Canin Indoor Adult 27. Her file said that she is around 1 year old and the reason for being abandoned was "no money". For a one year old kitty, she is VERY TINY and I suspect that the previous owners didn't feed her properly or that they just lied about her age. I figured that feeding her a little less than half a cup twice a day would be appropriate. On tuesday, she wouldn't eat at all. She wouldn't even approach the food and the water bowls and she seemed scared whenever I pointed them to her. I tried to feed her directly from my hands, giving her one piece of food at a time and tried it very often. Sometimes she took them, sometimes she didn't even if I put it at the entrance of her mouth and encouraged her to open it but she ignored it and closed her eyes. So yesterday, she had about 10-15 little pieces of dried food. Then before bedtime she started sneezing. The SPCA told me that cats often get cat flu once they get out of there so I was kind of expecting it.

Same thing today, she doesn't eat from the bowl (she did it only once yesterday, so I know she can do it even if the elisabethan collar might obstruct her way a little. It is technically possible). It is now 5pm and she had about 10-15 pieces of dry food since early morning. But at least I know she CAN eat when she wants to, it's just that she doesn't most of the time. I do know that lost of appetite is a symptom of cat flu, but I am worried about the fact that she didn't touch her water yesterday nor today. It is extremely hot and humid here in Montreal, 41 degrees celsius. I tried everything, from leading her to the bowl of water, trying to make her drink from the bathtub faucet and trying to drip water into her mouth from a damp cloth but she just doesn't want to know anything about it. So for two days, she barely ate and didn't drink at all. And I know that on monday night at the SPCA clinic she only had a small portion of food and a tiny bit of water because she had just gotten operated.

The SPCA said that there is no need to bring her back if she starts getting the flu as this is common, but I am worried that the flu combined with the recovery from the operation and the possible dehydration from not drinking when the temperature hot might be dangerous. Other than that, she is adapting well to me and my boyfriend and acting "normal", at least for a cat that got into a loving home for the first time of her life. It is calm, spacious and she cuddled a lot yesterday. She sleeps a lot and hangs out in cool spots under furniture but doesn't mind getting picked up and petted (she purrs like crazy). She came by herself to sit on my lap a couple of times. One last thing, she only went to her litter once for a teeny tiny pee-pee.

Sorry if this is so long! I would like to get your opinions. I am ready to go through the door and buy a feeding bottle to hydrate her myself. What else could I do? Should I call to SPCA and bring her in to their clinic to get her checked (they have a 30 day "warranty") even if they told me not to if it's just a flu?

Thanks in advance
antigone21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-07-2010, 06:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
Premier Cat
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: northern Minnesota
Posts: 4,102
Default Re: Dehydrated cat refuses to drink/eat

Quote:
Originally Posted by antigone21
Hello, this is my first post :)
Welcome, and congraulation on your new family member. I'm sorry you and she are having a rough time of things at the moment.

It is not uncommon for a cat to go off food when she is stressed, and your girl is undoubtedly under some significant stress from the surgery, the new living environment, the URI, and wearing the E-collar. Even though her inappetance may be completely justified at the moment, it's still very important that she takes in sufficient food and water.

Quote:
I am feeding her the food they suggested at SPCA which is Royal Canin Indoor Adult 27.
That's the first problem. Canned food is MUCH healthier for her than kibble, esp. in this situation. Cats typically won't eat what they can't smell, and if she's congested, she's probably not smelling much. Kibble, aside from it's many other faults, doesn't have much of an aroma to begin with, so it's not helping you out with your cat's current problem.

Here's what I suggest you do. Go out and buy a bunch of different flavors of canned cat food, including some fish flavors (which tend to have the strongest aromas). Just before you feed her, put her in a carrier in a steamy bathroom for 15 mins to help clear her sinuses so that she can breathe easily. Mix about 2 oz of canned cat food with enough water to make it a gruel that she can lap up. That will help with her hydration. Warm it in the microwave for a few seconds, just enough to really bring out its aroma. Be careful not to get it too warm, though, or she'll reject it because of the heat. With any luck at all, she'll lap that up enthusiastically. Feed her 5-6 oz of canned food like that every day. It may also be helpful to buy some 500 mg L-lysine tablets anywhere that sells vitamins (K-Mart, Walmart, a pharmacy, etc), crush one, and mix it into her canned gruel once a day. L-lysine can help a cat fight off a herpes flare-up, which is likely what your cat is battling right now (cat flu).

It would also be advisable to remove the E-collar when you feed her so that it isn't interfering with her eating. You can replace the collar after she's finished.

If she still refuses to eat the canned gruel after you have given her a steam treatment and removed the collar, please post again, and I'll provide information on asist feeding.

Let us know how it goes,

Laurie
laurief is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2010, 08:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
Jr. Cat
 
antigone21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Posts: 47
Default Re: Dehydrated cat refuses to drink/eat

Quote:
Originally Posted by laurief
Quote:
Originally Posted by antigone21
Hello, this is my first post
Welcome, and congraulation on your new family member. I'm sorry you and she are having a rough time of things at the moment.

It is not uncommon for a cat to go off food when she is stressed, and your girl is undoubtedly under some significant stress from the surgery, the new living environment, the URI, and wearing the E-collar. Even though her inappetance may be completely justified at the moment, it's still very important that she takes in sufficient food and water.

Quote:
I am feeding her the food they suggested at SPCA which is Royal Canin Indoor Adult 27.
That's the first problem. Canned food is MUCH healthier for her than kibble, esp. in this situation. Cats typically won't eat what they can't smell, and if she's congested, she's probably not smelling much. Kibble, aside from it's many other faults, doesn't have much of an aroma to begin with, so it's not helping you out with your cat's current problem.

Here's what I suggest you do. Go out and buy a bunch of different flavors of canned cat food, including some fish flavors (which tend to have the strongest aromas). Just before you feed her, put her in a carrier in a steamy bathroom for 15 mins to help clear her sinuses so that she can breathe easily. Mix about 2 oz of canned cat food with enough water to make it a gruel that she can lap up. That will help with her hydration. Warm it in the microwave for a few seconds, just enough to really bring out its aroma. Be careful not to get it too warm, though, or she'll reject it because of the heat. With any luck at all, she'll lap that up enthusiastically. Feed her 5-6 oz of canned food like that every day. It may also be helpful to buy some 500 mg L-lysine tablets anywhere that sells vitamins (K-Mart, Walmart, a pharmacy, etc), crush one, and mix it into her canned gruel once a day. L-lysine can help a cat fight off a herpes flare-up, which is likely what your cat is battling right now (cat flu).

It would also be advisable to remove the E-collar when you feed her so that it isn't interfering with her eating. You can replace the collar after she's finished.

If she still refuses to eat the canned gruel after you have given her a steam treatment and removed the collar, please post again, and I'll provide information on asist feeding.

Let us know how it goes,

Laurie
Thank you so much for your response. You wouldn't believe what happened!!! Actually yes, since you predicted it, but I am so happy it worked! I went to buy some "Purina shredded yellowfin tuna fare in savoury broth" and I guess their label is right because as soon as I opened the can she sped to the kitchen and watched me pour a portion in a bowl, add water, microwave it for 10 sec and ate the whole thing like it was her first meal in two days (it was...!). I removed her collar and she didn't even think about licking her stitches, her meal was too **** good! I watched her the whole time and when she wasn't hungry anymore I put the collar back and now she is resting and purring on a cool ceramic tile. I didn't even have time to remember about the steamed bathroom. I will go buy the Lysine tomorrow.

I have read a lot about the cons of feeding dry food and I had already decided that I was going to change her diet as soon as she was going to heal and adapt to her new environment because I didn't want to add another shock and risk that she gets diarhea on top of everything else, but I should have thought about that twice yesterday when I realized she wouldn't eat the dry crap. I guess I didn't do it because they told me she was used to it and I couldn't understand why she wouldn't want it anymore. Now I can't stop thinking that maybe she didn't eat it during the two weeks she spent in a cage at the SPCA...Let's hope not, but as I said, she is skeletic for a 1 year old. I fed her a second portion and she touched her bowl of water which makes me really happy and relieved I can't wait to try the chicken broth tomorrow!

Thank you so much again Laurie!!!

I will post some pics of the cutie pie real soon.
antigone21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2010, 10:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
Premier Cat
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: northern Minnesota
Posts: 4,102
Default Re: Dehydrated cat refuses to drink/eat

Quote:
Originally Posted by antigone21
as I opened the can she sped to the kitchen and watched me pour a portion in a bowl, add water, microwave it for 10 sec and ate the whole thing like it was her first meal in two days
Poor starving baby probably thought she'd died and gone to kitty heaven after that meal. I figured canned food might be what she was waiting for. I'm so glad she gobbled it up so happily. I love a full kitty belly.

Quote:
I didn't want to add another shock and risk that she gets diarhea on top of everything else
I hate to tell you, but there's a pretty good chance that she will develop diarrhea on the canned food initially. It'd be a good idea, along with the L-lysine, to go to a health food store and pick up some acidophilus (probiotic). Mix just a tiny bit of it (about 1/10 of a human dose) into one of her canned food meals each day for a week or two. That'll help boost her good gut bacteria in case she does develop diarrhea on the richer food.

Quote:
I will post some pics of the cutie pie real soon.
I can't wait to see them.

Laurie
laurief is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2010, 10:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
Jr. Cat
 
antigone21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Posts: 47
Default Re: Dehydrated cat refuses to drink/eat

Quote:
Originally Posted by laurief
I hate to tell you, but there's a pretty good chance that she will develop diarrhea on the canned food initially.
I've never had a cat that had diarrhea before. She is my first real cat that "I own" (I do know that they're the ones who own us!) I lived for a year with a roomate who had a 2 year old cat suffering from FIV and I took real good care of him as if he were mine, and I probably cared more than the roomate himself, but he was real good at going to the bathroom. My last question is, do cats go to their litter when they have diarrhea or does it happen anytime, anywhere without knowing in advance? I just want to take precautions before an accident happens...!

Here is my cutie pie getting some rest, she has a raccoon tail and white tiger little legs with a couple of tan spots. Her eyes are closed but they are a goldish green. Doesn't have a name yet so I just call her Minoune which is slang French for kitty.






Elisa
antigone21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2010, 10:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
Premier Cat
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: northern Minnesota
Posts: 4,102
Default Re: Dehydrated cat refuses to drink/eat

Quote:
Originally Posted by antigone21
do cats go to their litter when they have diarrhea or does it happen anytime, anywhere without knowing in advance?
Usually they can make it to the litterbox even if they do have diarrhea. Once, though, after I accidentally administered a double dose of dewormer to a sickly kitten, she had EXPLOSIVE diarrhea all over my bed, headboard, walls, picture hanging on the wall, floor - I mean it went EVERYWHERE as though it had been shot out of a cannon! But that sort of explosive diarrhea isn't generally associated with mild digestive upset like Minoune might develop after the big change in diet.

Quote:
Here is my cutie pie getting some rest
Aw, she is a cutie pie! She'll be glad when she can get rid of that e-collar for good, I'm sure.

Laurie
laurief is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2010, 08:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
Cat
 
JulieC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 272
Default

She is precious!
JulieC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2010, 04:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
Jr. Cat
 
antigone21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Posts: 47
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by laurief
EXPLOSIVE diarrhea all over my bed, headboard, walls, picture hanging on the wall, floor - I mean it went EVERYWHERE as though it had been shot out of a cannon!
Oh geez, that is a huge mess to clean up!! Fortunately, Minoune doesn't have diarrhea and goes to the litter by herself.

She ate well the first time I fed her canned food, but she went back on hunger strike. Well, she does eat, but not enough. I opened the first can of food Wednesday night and she had about a bit more than a third, then she wouldn't finish the rest on the next day. Since what caught her attention was the sound it made when I opened it, I opened a new one to catch her attention again but that was yesterday afternoon and I still have half the can in the fridge. She doesn't seem to enjoy eating "rests". I went to buy some quality cans (EVO, Wellness and holistic something). I just opened the can of EVO 95% chicken and turkey (the two previous cans were tuna and fish) and she had less than a teaspoon. She licks it off from my fingers once or twice but loses interest after that and seems to be scared of the bowl. I tried 2 bowls, one stainless and one porcelain, both spot clean and odourless but they seem to scare her off and she walks away from them. She licks and bites the food off my fingers and then goes to the bowl and eats a little, but never enough. She didn't touch the water since the first and only time she ate well. I bought a CatIt waterfountain but she is scared of it. I do add extra water to the wet food so she is getting some kind of fluids, but definetely not enough. I bought a feeding bottle for babies and tried to force her to drink last night, but just a few squirts and the experience traumatized her. She hasn't come to me since then and doesn't purr when I cuddle her. She sometimes miaows when I approch her, but not from happiness. She spent most of the day hiding places and I have a harder time to pick her up. She is definetely scared since the forced feeding/drinking experience, which breaks my heart. She figured out how to remove her collar while I was sleeping and she hid in a spot where I couldn't pick her up for a couple hours. I replaced it with a regular cat collar instead of the little ribbon that comes with it so she can't slide from it and she probably hates me even more. It breaks my heart to see her like this, she was very cuddly and would come sit on my lap or next to me while I was sleeping on the first two days and she would stay exactly where I would put her after picking her up, but she doesn't anymore. I just want my cat to be happy and comfy. I feel like the only think I can do is bring her to the vet.

Here is what I meant by Minoune being skeletic for a 1 year old:

ImageShack Album - 4 images

I don't want to harrass you with all of my questions, but you seem to know a lot about feeding cats and would be of great help to give me your opinion about what kind of diet would be good to help her gain a bit of weight and become healthy. I would start it once the stitches, the collar, the flu and the fear are gone. She might be less than a year old, her previous owners didn't give much info at all and seemed to not know anything ( how can you name your cat Love and give her up to a place where 80% of adult cats are put to sleep??!!) Should I feed her like a kitten?

And what should I do at the moment for the next 10 days with the collar?


Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieC View Post
She is precious!
She says thank you!
antigone21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2010, 07:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
Premier Cat
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: northern Minnesota
Posts: 4,102
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by antigone21 View Post
I still have half the can in the fridge. She doesn't seem to enjoy eating "rests".
That's a pretty common problem. Make sure you are warming the food for a few seconds in the microwave to take off the chill. Cats don't generally like food cold from the fridge.

Quote:
I just opened the can of EVO 95% chicken and turkey (the two previous cans were tuna and fish) and she had less than a teaspoon.
My cats dislike the taste of EVO chicken and turkey. The only way they'll eat it is if I mix it with something else. I have found that my cats much prefer cheap grocery store canned foods like Friskies and Fancy Feast. They must contain a lot of tasty flavorizers, because my cats will always choose them over the pricey, premium quality brands.

You could also roast some chicken for her and feed her small pieces from your hand. She may love that, and it would be a good bonding exercise for the two of you. You can try the same thing with commercial cat treats like Temptations or Pounce. You really just need to get more calories into her system, even if it is in the form of kitty junk food treats

Quote:
seems to be scared of the bowl.
Rinse the bowl very thoroughly in hot water only - NO soap or detergent of any kind. It's possible that there may be some residual odor from your dish detergent that Minoune finds repugnant.

Quote:
I do add extra water to the wet food so she is getting some kind of fluids, but definetely not enough.
If she is becoming dehydrated, that can make her feel really lousy and inappetant. You may need to take her back to your vet to be rehydrated.


Quote:
I bought a feeding bottle for babies and tried to force her to drink last night, but just a few squirts and the experience traumatized her.
I'm not surprised. She just had some pretty painful stuff forced on her at the vet's office, so anything that gets forced on her right now is likely to cause anxiety. Also, it's all too easy to cause a cat to choke and aspirate water into the lungs when squirting liquid into the mouth. That's risky business. If Minoune isn't taking in sufficient water on her own, a much safer way to administer fluid is to have your vet teach you how to administer subQ fluids at home.

Quote:
She sometimes miaows when I approch her, but not from happiness. She spent most of the day hiding places
It sounds to me like you definitely need to get her back to the vet right away for a post-surgical check. Minoune may have deveoloped an infection from the surgery, and if that's the case, it needs to be treated immediately.

Quote:
She figured out how to remove her collar while I was sleeping and she hid in a spot where I couldn't pick her up for a couple hours. I replaced it with a regular cat collar instead of the little ribbon that comes with it so she can't slide from it and she probably hates me even more.
You should take that collar off whenever you feed her and offer her water. She may be avoiding the bowls because she knocks the collar against them, and that jabs and irritates her neck. Poor baby. In fact, keep the collar off of her whenever you have time to supervise her to make sure she doesn't bother her incision. Only make her wear the collar when you can't keep an eye on her.

Quote:
Here is what I meant by Minoune being skeletic for a 1 year old:
I don't know if it's just my internet connection or what, but your full-size pics aren't opening properly because of the huge file sizes. All I can see are the small thumbnail photos, and it's hard to see any detail in them. Can you reduce the file sizes substantially and upload them again?

Quote:
how can you name your cat Love and give her up to a place where 80% of adult cats are put to sleep??!!
)

I gave up trying to understand the heartlessness of many human beings a long time ago.

Quote:
Should I feed her like a kitten?
It wouldn't hurt to offer her kitten formula foods while she needs to pick up weight. They do tend to be higher calorie and more nutrient-dense than adult formulas. In fact, she might enjoy some KMR (kitten milk replacer) that you can buy at any pet store or maybe even Walmart.

Quote:
And what should I do at the moment for the next 10 days with the collar?
First, get her back to the vet for a recheck ASAP to make sure she's not actually ill and to get her some fluids, if necessary. Second, take off that collar anytime you can supervise her. Third, don't force liquids into her mouth anymore. Fourth, feed her yummy treats and cooked chicken to pique her appetite. Fifth, spend as much quiet, loving time with her as you can.

Oh, are you giving her antibiotics? If so, many of them can make a cat feel nauseous, so that may account for some or all of her inappetance right now. If that's the case, ask the vet for a different antibiotic.

If it's still extremely hot there, set up a fan at floor level in the room where she likes to hang out. That way she can lie in front of the fan if she gets too hot.

Lastly, here are links to lots of tips and tricks to help get her eating:

http://www.felinecrf.org/persuading_cat_to_eat.htm
http://www.assistfeed.com/

I hope some of this helps you.

Laurie
laurief is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2010, 12:14 AM   #10 (permalink)
Jr. Cat
 
antigone21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Posts: 47
Default

I've already been doing pretty much everything you suggested. The microwave, removing the e-collar (when it's time to eat we get in her saferoom, I remove the collar and let her scratch her ears and wash her face and legs (but not her belly or her rear), then I handfeed her, we play for a little while and cuddle - whole process might take around 40 mins and I also remove it when we are in the same room). Today has been a good day, she ate enough and drank some cat milk that I got from the grocery store. She seemed to like it a lot I will still bring her to the clinic for a checkup tomorrow (monday), they are closed on the weekend. I check the incision several times a day and it looks perfect, no swelling at all. She really doesn't try to scratch it with her paws, which is great. She already has a fan that she enjoys sitting in front, and we have A/C in the bedroom. I think I misinterpreted the miaowing at first, I made a thread about that in the behaviour section. I am not giving her any antibiotics at the moment. Thanks for the first link, I didn't know that website. I don't know what is wrong with the picture album on imageshack, works fine on both my laptops when I click on a pic to enlarge.

She is getting much love and hops on the bed between my boyfriend and I as soon as we go to bed. She sleeps very very close to me and is getting much love. I am happy she is eating and drinking more since yesterday. We will go for a checkup tomorrow and I'm sure she will be 100% better once we remove the collar for good.

Thanks a lot for you help, I appreciate it.

Elisa
antigone21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:32 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.3.2
PetGuide.com
Basset.net DobermanTalk.com GoldenRetrieverForum.com OurBeagleWorld.com
BoxerForums.com DogForums.com GoPitbull.com PoodleForum.com
BulldogBreeds.com FishForums.com HavaneseForum.com SpoiledMaltese.com
CatForum.com GermanShepherds.com Labradoodle-dogs.net YorkieForum.com
Chihuahua-People.com RetrieverBreeds.com