What is wrong with my cat? :( - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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What is wrong with my cat? :(

I no longer live with my two cats, Mittens and Toonces, because I graduated from college and moved away from home. They live with my mom, and she told me yesterday that something is wrong with Mittens and she's worried about her.

The background:
Mittens is 10 years old. She was pretty fat for a while, but she slimmed down a good amount over the last 2-3 years. Food seemed to be the highlight of her life, and the idea of Mittens not running to get food and meowing constantly while being fed is just not right.

Currently:
Mittens, while always rather lazy, has become especially lethargic for the last couple days. She stays where she's put for hours, and she reacts slowly - i.e. she isn't running and meowing for her food. More alarming is that she seems to not be able to eat her food. She slowly walks to the bowl and just licks it. She ends up getting it down, but that means she's swallowing it whole.

She is still happy to see my mom and purrs when she holds her, but something is definitely wrong. My mom just told me today that she noticed earlier in the week that Mittens' urine had a very strong smell, almost like ammonia. She can't recall Mittens using the litter pan for the last couple days (and it's hard to tell who's using because we have two cats) but that doesn't mean she isn't using it, but she isn't going on the floor, at any rate.

What worries me also is that the vet said they can't see her until Monday, but that in the case of an emergency she should take her to the animal hospital. Is this an emergency? Clearly something is wrong with her, but can it wait until Monday?

Does this sound like anything specific to any of you?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 01:04 PM
 
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Whenever a cat stops eating, it's an emergency! Until she sees a vet, there is no way of knowing what is wrong. The cat is probably dehydrated as well, and not eating and dehydration can complicate things further. My suggestion is to take the cat to the emergency vet. It'll cost a lot more, but once the cat is no longer eating it's worth the trip.

Good luck!!!!!!!!!
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
 
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My mom sent me an email, and this is what she said about her eating:

"For three days now she has been messy while eating, moving the food dish all over the place so much that I had to remove her water. Well, I stayed with her the entire time she ate, and, she didn't eat! ...or cannot eat. She licks the food up into her mouth. I'm not even sure she's chewing."

She also said that Mittens hasn't been willing to jump anywhere, and she's been very clingy to Mom, staying on her lap as much as possible.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 03:58 PM
 
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I would highly recommend NOT waiting until Monday. This sounds like a big BIG deal. The poor kitty!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Well I just talked to her, and things seem at least a little more optimistic as to Mittens' condition. So she IS eating, and she IS drinking, but her eating is very difficult- something is causing her not to chew. Mom bought some wet food and soft treats for her, and she gave her a treat a few minutes ago and Mom said she might have chewed once at that point. She was about to give Mittens some wet food when we got off the phone, because Mittens was sitting next to her with the "Give me food" look on her face.

She has been finishing all her food, and she's still going over to Toonces' bowl in the other room just to see if he has any left (as she's always done). So the good thing is that she's still clearly Mittens and clearly wants food, to the point where she'll make a mess of her dish trying to eat it. As to how this relates to her lethargy, I don't know.

My mom is watching her closely and will take her to the vet immediately if anything seems to get worse, but I feel better knowing at least that she is getting food and water. Thanks for the replies and I will keep you updated as she will definitely see the vet on Monday at the latest.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 07:17 PM
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I'm with the last 2 opinions, go to the Emegency Vet.

Quote:
can't recall Mittens using the litter pan for the last couple days
This may be a clue of infection that should be treated ASAP.
Quote:
has become especially lethargic for the last couple days
Monday will be 5 or more days, too long and the problems can compound.

You will feel much better doing something right away for Mittens.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-20-2005, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
 
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Well, I already have an update. I agree with you all for saying Mittens should've been taken in immediately regardless if anything changed, but that's what ended up happening anyway. After my mom witnessed her trying and failing to use the litter twice, she took her straight to the emergency vet.

Mittens HATES the vet and gets furious every time she's there, so this time was no different and they had to sedate her to run any tests. So it turns out she's severely constipated to the point where she can't poop or pee because her bladder is blocked from being constipated. So they gave her an enema (sorry if that's too much detail) and did an x-ray, which brought up the especially bad news: two "masses" on her intestines, which are causing her intestines to get all balled up. The vet said it's likely cancer, but they can't know until she has an ultrasound done and they don't do those there.

So she's going to be at the hospital overnight, and Mom will take her to the regular vet on Monday for the ultrasound. I guess once we see what exactly this is we'll find out the prognosis for treatment.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-20-2005, 08:20 AM
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Sorry you've got to wait till monday for any more progress, hopefully it's something less than cancer, that poor girl. We're never happy to go to the 'bets either. I bring them in on a leash so they can walk around a little while we wait. Best wishes for Mittens!
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-20-2005, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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Okay, quick update:

Mittens spent the night at the hospital and was able to go after two enemas. Of course a ton of stuff ended up coming out (they said it was probably about 5 days' worth - yikes), and then she fell asleep in it because she was so wiped out, so they kindly gave her a bath. They fed her twice, which she was very happy about. They gave my mom some special food to give her that should help with the constipation.

Right now Mittens is at home and she jumped up to the windowsill herself, which is a great sign to show she is feeling pretty good and that the constipation is what was causing her to act like that. Mom said she seems very happy.

Regarding the trouble chewing, the vet said she seems to have gingivitis and maybe even a cavity, so they're recommending that while Mittens is out for the ultrasound to have them clean her teeth as well.

So Mittens is in for some interesting times.. hopefully we can treat the cancer or whatever those masses are. We are willing to pay the money as long as we know it will help her and not make her miserable for the rest of her life. At the very least, the tumors will need to come out so she doesn't keep getting constipated.

That's my story...
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-28-2005, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
 
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Well, Mittens doesn't have intestinal cancer. The vet gave her an ultrasound on Tuesday and didn't see any masses whatsoever, and he didn't do any further testing aside from whatever the geriatric exam involves (my mom had to go to work, so she wasn't there for that). He said that the sheer amount of constipation Mittens had endured probably gave the appearance of intestinal masses when she was X-rayed. Mom was given some special food and stool softener to feed Mittens. I'm home for Thanksgiving weekend so I got to see how Mittens is now. This is a bit long, but I wanted to give an accurate picture of what's going on.

She got a second dose of anesthesia on Tuesday, so I'm not sure how much of this can still be attributed to that and how much is a sign of an actual problem- but Mittens definitely isn't herself. She seems to not be willing/able to do much with her back legs except walk. Her walking looks normal, but she didn't jump up to anything the entire time I was home, and she's very wary of jumping down from the couch or anything if one of us puts her on it. She leans off the couch and puts her front legs down the side of the couch, as if she's going to push off, but then she backs off and just stays up there. When we hold her, she is afraid to be put down and clings to us. I think she's scared she's going to fall, and she's probably right.

She also isn't cleaning her back half, so I had to clean her myself a couple times, and she isn't scratching her ears (normally when I scratch behind her ears she starts scratching herself). She is bathing her front half normally, and she still loves to eat. Using the litter is still a chore for her, but she has been using it once or twice a day.

Otherwise, she seems like a very slow version of Mittens. She keeps randomly walking up behind us, so we've had to be very careful not to step on her - the vet did say the anesthesia would cause this, so that's not so much of a concern. I tried playing with her today, with a piece of string, and she didn't know how to go about chasing it. She walked after it (I took her on a couple slow laps around the house), but when she got up to it she would walk over it and look around. I gave her a toy rubbed in catnip while she was lying down, and she just put her front leg over it. When I carry her around, she doesn't sniff things I hold her up to like she always did. She does, however, still happily lick my face, she purrs when Mom holds her, and she sniffs Toonces when she goes up to him. Toonces jumped on her a couple days ago and she hissed, which was normal. Otherwise, Toonces has left her alone.

So I'm not sure how to interpret all this. Can the anesthesia possibly cause all this to happen - and, if so, will it wear off or has Mittens been permanently affected? It's been since Tuesday since she got it, and now it's Monday. I would say she has improved slowly since I got home - Thursday she would hardly move and was very limp, but she is definitely walking around more now. She is a fat cat, about 15 pounds when weighed at the vet, so that is part of the consideration for how long it would take for two doses of anesthesia to fully wear off.

I've told my mom that if Mittens doesn't keep improving over the next few days to take her back in, but if any of you have experienced anything similar to this I would appreciate any insight.
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