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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-09-2015, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Question on food intake and ear...

Hi everyone,

It's me again and I need some advice for Snowy. I really don't know whether I am just being paranoid but it's better to be safe than sorry so here I am asking for some advice again.

1) How much wet food do a cat usually eat to be considered normal? I feed Snowy grain-free Holistic Select twice a day, and it takes him about 3 days (6 feedings) to finish one 5.5 oz can (that is the only size available in my country). Is that too little? I tried giving him more but he just won't have it...He is about 1.5 year old now and weighs around 4.4 kg (9.7 lbs).

2) I usually add a bit of dry food for him to nibble on in between meals (less than 1/2 cup a day). However, since about a week ago, he hardly eat his dry food (he used to love them). I know I should be happy about him refusing to eat dry anymore, but the thing is his wet food intake is still the same. I thought he would want to eat more wet food since he stopped eating his dry kibble, but he would not eat more than his usual amount. Should I be concerned about this? He doesn't seem lethargic or weak at all.

3) Snowy has problem with constipation a few months ago but ever since I start to add Lactulose to his wet food (Miralax is not available in my country so this is my best option), he has been pooping once every 2 days. However, ever since he stopped eating his dry food, it became more like once every 3 days now. Unlike the time when he is constipated, he is not lethargic or weak at all. Should I be concerned at all about this? He still pees fine. The last time he pooped was Friday morning and I am still praying for him to poop again today (it is Monday afternoon where I am now).

4) It has been about 2 weeks since I stopped giving Snowy his ear medication. The inside of his ears has cleared up a lot, but his ear lobes seems to get dirty really easily now. Almost every morning, I can see some brown flakes on the outside of his ears. Does it take time for his ears to go back to normal? Is this something I should be concerned about? Do I need to bring him back to vet for this? I mean I don't mind cleaning his ears every morning if it is something I have to do but will his ears ever go back to being pink and normal without me having to clean it everyday?

Sorry for asking so many questions but I really don't know why Snowy just have all these problems. My sister bought her cat around the same time as me and her cat never has any of the problems I have with Snowy at all. So it is really frustrating for me...
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-09-2015, 05:51 AM
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1) I'd say it depends. My cats always act like they're starving come feeding time, and one, Robin, would probably eat a whole turkey if I let him. How much I feed them depends on the calorie amount in their food, and right now they each get the following -

* Scamper (9 years, 10-15 pounds, very inactive) = one 5.5oz can (216 calories)
* Robin (1 year, 8-9 pounds, pretty active) = one 5.5oz can (216 calories)
* Ammy (1 year, 6-ish pounds, somewhat active) = 4/5 of a 5.5oz can (173 calories)

(I've worked on adjusting their feeding amounts for a few weeks when I started them on this food, to make sure I wasn't giving too little since every kitty is different, ESPECIALLY when you factor in weight/activity level)

If he won't eat more than that, and he doesn't seem thin or act hungry, then I guess I wouldn't worry much? Although that does seem like very little for a cat of his size..

Have you tried offering him other food or treats? Does he eat anything else (besides his food) when offered?

That's about all I can offer. I'm not much of an expert so I hope you'll get better answers from the other wonderful people around here.

And sorry to hear about all of your worries with Snowy. I know how it feels - I've dealt with some similar issues with my dog. It's frustrated and worrisome, but you'll work through it. Snowy is lucky to have such a caring owner. And never apologize for asking questions! There are never too many questions when it comes to our furry babies.

Proud parent of Scamper (age 12) and Robin (age 4)
At the rainbow bridge: Slippy, Faramir, Gabriel, Lucky, Ammy
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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I am super worried now. I just weighed Snowy and he is only 3.8 kg (8.4 lbs). Last time I weighed him when he was 4.4 kg was about a month ago. He still refuses to eat his dry food, and his wet food intake remains the same. Should I bring him to the vet or something? He doesn't even want to eat the treats he usually loves too. The only thing preventing me from taking him to the vet is he still eats the same amount of wet food, and he doesn't look sick at all...still walks about as usual when he is not sleeping.

I don't know if this is related but my sister just gave birth 2 weeks ago and so she has been living in my house (I live with my mom and grandma) with the baby ever since. She will be staying here until the baby is one month old. Could Snowy be stressed because of the presence of my sister and her new born baby? My sister sleeps on the second floor, and ever since she moved in here, Snowy doesn't even want to go up to the second floor anymore. Even if I carried him up, he will come back down straight away. He hardly hangs around the second floor last time but he does go up there from time to time unlike now.

I have started to give him some appetite stimulant that my vet prescribed to me before. Hopefully it will help and I will monitor his weight from now on to make sure he doesn't lose any more weight
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 12:25 PM
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Hi Christine,
New baby and Sis, could well be a Super stressor for Snowy!

The other thing, could be some kind of a tooth/mouth problem, that makes it hard for him to eat the dry...
Have you seen him pick up food, only to suddenly drop it? Or have you seen him paw at his mouth, like he's trying to remove something? These are signs of mouth issues...
I hope the appetite stimulate helps!

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An everyday family name; A particular name;
And the name but the Cat Himself Knows, and will never confess." T.S. Eliot

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Sharon,

I checked his mouth and it seems fine. But maybe there is something deeper inside that I cannot see. He does seem to keep dropping his dry food when I try to hand feed it to him. But I have never seen him paw at his mouth...
But I have decided to bring him to the vet again tomorrow. Better be safe than sorry after all.
Sigh, it seems like I have to take Snowy to the vet once every month
I feel so helpless like I am the worst owner in the world sometimes...
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 11:41 PM
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Oh dear, sounds like the the guests in the house + baby is probably adding to Snowy's stress like Sharon mentioned.

I guess for a kitty like Snowy, a vet visit sounds like the right thing. Do try to keep everything else as routine as possible for him, as small things to us can actually be a lot of added stress to him. One question I you feed him in a quiet part of your home? If his bowl is in a noisy area like the kitchen/dining area where the baby might be, it may be better off to place another feeding area where it's nice and quiet so Snowy can relax? Same deal with the litter boxes, too, if this idea hasn't occurred to you yet.

Have you tried giving Snowy a different type of food? Some cats are picky, or just plain bored with their same-o, same-o food. Just an idea anyway.

Btw, what was wrong with his ear? Yeast? Infection? Sorry, I don't recall if you posted earlier about this issue. If it was yeast, I'd probably look for a grain-free (low carb food), whatever you can find in your area.

Hoping the best for you and Snowy. Let us know what the vet says. Just ignore if they try to put him on an Rx diet though. I can just predict most vets will jump at this chance.

Last edited by TabbCatt; 11-10-2015 at 11:44 PM.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-11-2015, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
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Hi TabbCatt,

I turned my dad's old study room into Snowy's room from the day I first found him. His food, water and litter box are all inside the room. This is also where I would confine him at night (he gets to roam freely from morning till bed time). Whenever he feels sick, this would also be the place where he would retreats to. But I have been letting him sleep with my mom these past few days (my room is upstairs and aside from his room, my mom's room is the next place he loves to hang out at).
Snowy's room is relatively is near my dining area, but not close to the kitchen or living room.

And here is the weird sister calls me crazy for doing this but I spoon feed Snowy his wet food (he would only eat a little bit otherwise). He loves to walk about while eating and I will follow him while spoon feeding him -_-
He tends to eat the most in my mom's room while gazing out of the window though...

Currently, I feed him grain-free Holistic Select, and occasionally Wellness wet food. Those are the only "good" brands available in my country. I did mange to find Nature's Variety but it costs like $6 for the 5.5 oz can here. On the other hand, a 5.5 oz can of grain-free Holistic Select costs about $2.60, while Wellness costs $3.30. As you can see, they are very expensive in my country and this is the best I can provide for Snowy.

The only other brands available are the likes of Whiskas, Frisky and Fancy Feast. I used to feed him this brand call Super-Cat, but I stopped and switched to Holistic Select ever since he got badly constipated a few months ago. Should I try switching him back to these brands?

The same for dry food. I feed him a mixture of EVO (which I have to buy all the way from Singapore) and Royal Canine. It is really very hard to find good cat food in my country, and even if I managed to find them, the prices are really expensive. I think the 2 kg pack of Wellness dry food costs about $25 here.

I even tried feeding him chicken meat before but he just refuses to chew it

I did start a thread about his ear a couple months ago. The insides were extremely dirty. I tried cleaning it but it just didn't get any better after a week or so. So I bought him to the vet just in case it might be an ear infection or ear mites. The vet said it wasn't ear mites. She said Snowy's ear is just prone to getting dirty easily. But she still gave me a ear mite medication that she told me to use for 3 weeks just in case. It has been about 2 weeks since then and even though Snowy's ears is much better now (the insides are no longer filled with ear waxes), but the outside (the pink area) is easily covered with brown flakes now. So I still have to use baby oil to wipe it off every morning.

I also hope it is nothing serious. Crossing my fingers for the vet visit tomorrow

Last edited by cpr34; 11-11-2015 at 01:10 AM.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-11-2015, 01:32 AM
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You know, whatever grain-free cat food you can find that Snowy loves, I'd give it to him. Heck, I'd even give in and give him Fancy Feast (the classics only), which are also grain-free to give more variation to his diet.

The way I got my two to eat raw meat was by mixing some hot water into their pate style canned food so it was more like a gravy, and using small pieces of chicken thighs (like the size a fingernail), but you can easily use small chunks of chicken hearts (cheap and healthy as it's full of taurine) or other small fowl, like quail or duck, whatever you may eat yourself. Eventually, I added less gravy and more meats, occasionally some with livers, kidneys, gizzards, and chicken wing or necks for a more balanced nutrition.

My two cat's ears were so filthy when I got them, and they were from two seperate litters, so they are not related to each other! G still needs occasional cleaning, so I use one by Vibac called Epi-Otic Advanced, but I've also heard good things about Zymox, so I've got that stocked up as I finish off Epi-Otic. I know some cats are just prone to more wax than others, so hopefully that is all it is, and not anything serious.

More crossed fingers for you and Snowy tomorrow.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-12-2015, 12:34 AM
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cpr34, I hope the vet visit went well. If his ears are that dirty, maybe the vet will do a culture on the yucky stuff in theear. That's how Celia's fungal infection was diagnosed.

I think it was someone else who had a kitty with an ear infection that wouldn't eat? When Celia had her infection, it was likely causing her ears to pop every time she opened her mouth. My theory is that the sensation was unpleasant, so she was avoiding opening her mouth. She was barely eating anything, and several vet visits didn't find anything.

I don't think that's necessarily what's going on with Snowy, but maybe those ears are bothering him in some other way?
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-13-2015, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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I got back from the vet last night and thank god there wasn't anything wrong with Snowy's mouth. I told the vet about the situation with my sister and her new baby and she agrees that Snowy is most probably just stressed over the new people living in my house. She gave me some appetite stimulant and did a bit of accupunture on Snowy to relieve some of the stress.

I don't know whether it is because of the accunputure but Snowy actually went up to the 2nd floor by himself last night after we got back! He also finished his wet food this morning! So I am really hoping this is a sign that he is finally adapting to my sister and the baby. He still hasn't touch his dry food though....and the vet told me to continue monitoring his weight. If he loses any more weight next week, she told me to bring him back and get some blood-work done to rule out any kidney issues. I am really hoping I won't have to do that *crossing fingers*

Oh, and about the is actually not that bad. I can easily wipe away the flakes with some mineral oil. And the vet say that there was nothing wrong with his ears (just a bit mites or infection).

In any case, he is still eating his wet food now, so I will just continue to monitor his appetite and weight closely. Thank you to everyone who has replied
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