vomiting mystery solved...new problem - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-21-2009, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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vomiting mystery solved...new problem

After noticing objects slowly being destroyed (shredded edges of our treadmill mat) or outright disappear (my hair ties) and finding them in Velvet's puke which graces us with its presence four to six times a month, we've finally figured out the reason for his vomiting episodes. Ladies and gentlemen, my cat will eat ANYTHING. If he can get it into his mouth, he'll try to swallow it. Wires, carpet fiber, tissue, bits of paper, plastic, metal (yes, metal. I saw him try to bite off a piece of our treadmill. Chipped a tooth doing it...fortunately, the vet checked it out and declared there was no damage other than the slightly chipped tooth)...you name it, he'll try it.

So this is what I did. First, I consulted with the vet to determine whether this eating anything and everything in sight was based on teething or perhaps some sort of nutritional deficiency. After checking him over, she answered in the negative and told me that some animals are just like this...little vaccuum cleaners with no regard to the consequences. She told me that I would simply have to be careful about what I leave lying around and hope for the best. She recommended bitter apple spray to try to lessen the chewing incidences.

It's been over a month since the vet visit. We vaccuum frequently to pick up stray carpet fibers and other little bits and pieces that occasionally fall to the floor. I keep an eye out to make sure there's nothing he can swallow within easy reach. I'm using the bitter apple spray on wires, the treadmill mat and other places he eyes for potential chewing. I say "No" firmly or clap my hands loudly when I catch him in an illegal chewing act.

But he still manages to find stuff to swallow 'cause he's still vomiting up random objects along with his food. For whatever reason, he only vomits up objects after he eats, and today is the second day in a row that he's done so and I still don't think he got rid of whatever it is he swallowed. And before you all start worrying, he has kept down 1 meal since he threw up once yesterday and once today, is being his usual hyper self and doesn't seem otherwise affected by it. I even gently prodded his tummy like the vet showed me and he seemed fine. The vet told me that if he's doing all his normal stuff during vomiting episodes and doesn't try to bite my hand off if I gently prod his stomach, he is probably ok.

This is driving me bananas. I'm getting tired of cleaning up cat puke. Tired of constantly worrying that he'll one day swallow something that won't come out in vomit...like a lot of people, we're scrimping to get by on one salary because the job market blows and there's no way I can afford thousands in vet bills. Velvet KNOWS he isn't supposed to be swallowing anything other than his food and water. I know he knows because he bolts like lightening whenever I catch him in the act and tries to hide under a chair or table (his typical "I've done something I shouldn't" behavior). But I still can't get him to stop.

Help?

Oh...and I thought perhaps it might be due to boredom. Hubby and I have spent more time playing with him and he has a few toys he adores that he plays with and can safely chew on. That hasn't really helped much though.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 03:07 PM
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Re: vomiting mystery solved...new problem

That's quite a problem you've got there. I'm just thinking out loud here but I'm wondering what kind of food you are giving him. If you are feeding him only or mostly wet food he might just want something to crunch down on?

I was also wondering if maybe when he eats he just isn't satisfied and feeling full after his meal and just has a bunch of extra energy??

Remember I was just thinking out loud here, just in case all of that sounds stupid.

Good Luck!

Mm
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: vomiting mystery solved...new problem

Not stupid at all. Thanks for replying.

He actually does get mostly wet. I rotate between Chicken Soup and different flavors of Blue Spa and Natural Balance along with whatever natural food brand (like Wellness) happens to be on sale for a bit of variety. But, I do give him a few tablespoons of dry every day because I thought he would like some variety in texture. Plus, he adores raw chicken so whenever I'm cooking (at least once a week), I wash and cut up some bite size pieces of chicken and he happily tears through those. He seems to eat well...always eagerly diving into his food and cleaning his plate nearly every time so I don't think it's a matter of an empty stomach. He weighs about 8.5 lbs and in one day, he gets roughly 6 oz of wet and about 2 oz dry.

As for being full of energy...well, he's the poster cat for that. And most chewing incidences happen when he's hyper. But quite a few happen when he's not, so there doesn't seem to be a link. Regardless of when it happens, I immediately tell him no or pick him up and remove him from the scene of the crime. I really don't know what more I can do. I've checked with the vet, spent more time playing with him, feed him the best diet I can, and discipline him the best I know how. I think I'm gonna have to resign myself to the fact that it's just the way he is and hope for the best while doing whatever I can to make sure that he doesn't swallow too much junk.

He's only 11 months right now, so I'm hoping that when he gets a little older, he might mellow out a bit and be more interested in cat napping than chewing.

By the way, does anybody know if it's ok to give a cat Petromalt or petroleum jelly a few times a week? I know that you're only supposed to give it to them when they're having hairball issues, but I'm contemplating giving it to Velvet about 2 or 3 times a week in the hopes that whatever garbage he swallows might come out easier if things are well lubricated. Perhaps a bit of olive oil would be healthier?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 10:02 PM
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Re: vomiting mystery solved...new problem

Petromalt is just flavored petroleum jelly, so either one is okay. I do not think I would give it too often, I would be concerned with it coating the intestines and hindering the absorption of nutrients. I do not know if it *does* that, it is just a thought that popped into my head.
You could spray a nasty tasting deterrent on items you don't want chewed, though be warned, if you touch those items with your hands and then don't wash before you eat, your fries may taste terrible. Don't ask how I know. *shudders* Also, he is young and they do tend to chew/teeth and explore their world and he should grow out of that juvenile stage as he matures.
As for poster cat for hyperactivity, that made me LOL! I can just imagine him with the Zoomies and racing around in Rocket-Butt mode!
heidi



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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: vomiting mystery solved...new problem

Rocket butt?

Try Lear-jet butt. I've never clocked him, but I bet he could put a cheetah to shame 'cause when he gets going, all I see is a blur of gray streaking repeatedly across my apartment and only occasionally becoming visible when he attacks my ankles. Not sure yet what my ankles have done to offend him.

I agree with you on the Petro malt thing. Don't want to give it to him too frequently, but I think/hope 2 to 3 times a week, a couple of hours before mealtime should be ok.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-22-2009, 11:05 PM
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Re: vomiting mystery solved...new problem

Our cats get to racing around the house in the evenings and Flooter is probably the most entertaining because he will leap up onto the sides of walls and furniture to make a "bank shot" turn in mid-run. He's like a pinball. You can never tell what direction he's gonna go in!



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