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Ok, I came here because of an ongoing issue with our family cat. Bear with me as I need to give context to the current situation.

About 9 months ago, our cat got sick. He had really bad nasal congestion and it wasn't going away. We ended up having to bring him to the vet. The vet didn't tell us anything definitive, just that there could be a few different causes. The vet gave us antibiotics for him to take to see if it would help.

After giving him the antibiotics, he got better. The congestion went away and he was eating normal again. However just a couple weeks after cessation of the antibiotics, the congestion came back. Not only did it come back, but he lost a lot of weight in the process as well.

We brought him back to the vet again and did blood work. All the blood work came back fine and oddly enough, didn't even show signs of an infection or any other type of cause for the nasal congestion. The vet also gave us more antibiotics, stronger ones this time, which again helped get rid of the nasal congestion.

It has now been a couple months since the last dose of antibiotics and the congestion hasn't come back. However, he still isn't putting the weight back on and isn't eating much at all. He is very gaunt, to the point where his body slopes inwards just in front of his hind legs and you can feel the ripples in his spine when you stroke his back.

We are at a complete loss as to what we should do here. Due to the economy, we are extremely tight on money and can't keep bringing him to the doctor all for them to keep telling us nothing is wrong with him when we know there is. He always begs for human food as if he hasn't eaten in days (which when he was very sick we would give him from time to time), but when we give him any now, he just throws it up or gets diarrhea as he seems to have a very sensitive stomach. His stomach has always been sensitive, but it's even worse now. He barely eats his own food and we feel horrible as for some reason, he's just so skinny.

We have tried several different types of foods, different brands (of the healthier choices out there), tried warming it, putting chicken broth on it, and more. It seems like the only food he wants is the human food that he can't hold down.

We are at a complete loss as to what to do here. I am hoping someone who's either more knowledgeable, thorough, and/or experienced than the other two vets we brought him to might be able to give us some insight as to what is going on here and what we can do. Any and all help you could offer would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Hi and welcome. I am so sorry to hear about your sick kitty. I would copy your post and post it to "health and nutrition". I am new here and am not an expert by any means. But, here is what I got:

We had a very sick cat and she just stopped eating, also. It was a totally different situation from yours, though. Maybe try mixing whatever he will eat with water until it is almost soup. Try that with very small amounts - maybe a level tablespoon at a time. Diarrhea and vomiting will dehydrate your cat. Feeding him watered down food in small amounts will have a better chance of being absorbed. We are doing this with our new kitty and it works well. Also, if he has had diarrhea and antibiotics his gut doesn't have any beneficial bacteria. If you find some food he can keep down maybe go to the pet store and ask for some probiotics to sprinkle on the food he can handle. That will help repopulate his gut with beneficial bacteria and help curb the diarrhea.

Have you tried canned tuna juice? Maybe a teaspoon of tuna? Those were the only things our sick kitty would eat and not turn to diarrhea. What kind of human food does he crave? Maybe try very small amounts at a time. Sorry, that's all I've got. Try posting over in "health and nutrition" and chances are you will meet some real experts who can offer you better advice than I have. Best of luck.
 

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I'm so sorry your kitty is sick!!

My kitty just went through a sick spell where he lost his appetite and lost a very unhealthy amount of weight as well. He continued to lose weight, be antisocial and lethargic until last week -- about a week after we found a new food that he was willing to eat while being sick.

He's been improving since then, but we have no idea what was wrong with him in the first place - he had every test the vet had to offer and right before he started getting better the vet recommended I take him to someone else for a second opinion because she was all out of ideas. It was a horrible experience not knowing what was/is wrong or how to fix it. I'm so sorry you are going through a similar situation. :(

If there's any chance his current food is making your kitty sick you might want to try something based on a different protein - in case he has developed allergies for example - I know it can be hard to find, but try something that isn't poultry based?

Human baby food is another idea that was given to me when I was trying to find food my kitty would eat.

Also if his stomach is irritated, my vet told me it's safe to give cats 5mg of generic Pepcid per day.

Also, was he tested for FIV and FeLV?
 

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Thanks for all the info, it's much appreciated.

We have found some new food he will eat, but just like with the human food, the diarrhea is still an issue. As far as what you suggested chuck, we tried watering the food down and he won't eat it. He is the pickiest cat I have ever seen in my life, seriously. I'll also see what I can find as far as pro-biotics. Hopefully that will be able to do the job for his digestive system. Oh, and yes, tuna gives him the runs as well. I'm hoping that in time, his stomach will become more tolerant of the new food, as other than the pro-biotics, I'm not sure what else to do here.

Thanks for your feedback as well Jennn. As far as the food, it seems like he likes this new chicken flavored type. He's not eating a whole lot of it, but seems like he's at least eating more of it than the other type. If the diarrhea doesn't stop soon and he doesn't start gaining anymore weight from this new food, I think we might explore that baby food option. Oh, and yes, he was tested for both. They tested for just about anything that it could possibly be and it all came up negative.
 

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Was your cat tested for feline herpes?

That's a big question because your cat most likely has had Upper respitory Infections and feline herpes causes multiple ones for the rest of their lives.

It's stressful and I hope he/she gets better. :( We got Pinky from a shelter and she came with a nasty URI but got better and tested negative for Feline Herpes. Thank goodness.

I really hope your kitty gets better!
 

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Was your cat tested for feline herpes?

That's a big question because your cat most likely has had Upper respitory Infections and feline herpes causes multiple ones for the rest of their lives.

It's stressful and I hope he/she gets better. :( We got Pinky from a shelter and she came with a nasty URI but got better and tested negative for Feline Herpes. Thank goodness.

I really hope your kitty gets better!
Yes, herpes was one of the very first things the vet tested for. The vets we went to weren't idiots, they just couldn't find anything wrong. However, they knew to check for all the most common causes for these issues.

Anyway, we found a decent brand cat food that he seems to be eating more now. We'll see if it puts the weight on him or not. So far, it seems promising.
 

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I'm glad he's eating *something*!! I hope it keeps up and he starts to gain a little weight!

Re: Probiotics - I started giving this one to my kitties sprinkled on their food when the one got sick: Amazon.com: Purina FortiFlora Feline Nutritional Supplement, box of 30 x 1 gram packages: Pet Supplies

I honestly can't tell if it makes any difference or not but it was worth a shot. I'm sure local pet stores will have other suggestions/recommendations as well.
Thanks again. Like I mentioned in the recent post of mine, he does seem to be eating now. Also, though he did have a bit of loose stools in the beginning, they seem to be getting better now. I will definitely keep this in mind though depending on how things go.
 

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Is he being fed food without grains? (no wheat, barley, soy, rice, and especially corn). Cats really don't digest these well, as they are basically carnivores, not omnivores like dogs. Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition :: healthy cat diet, making cat food, litter box, cat food, cat nutrition, cat urinary tract health

Generally speaking, a good quality no-grain canned food is better to feed than dry kibble. Kiibble will put on more weight, and in my experience Evo Innova is a high protein, high fat food that is very palatable and very good at putting on weight. Healthy Pet Product Search ? Organic Dog Food, Dog Treats and More ? Natura Pet Products

Any changes of food should be done very little at a time over the course of a week to avoid digestive upsets.
 

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Is he being fed food without grains? (no wheat, barley, soy, rice, and especially corn). Cats really don't digest these well, as they are basically carnivores, not omnivores like dogs. Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition :: healthy cat diet, making cat food, litter box, cat food, cat nutrition, cat urinary tract health

Generally speaking, a good quality no-grain canned food is better to feed than dry kibble. Kiibble will put on more weight, and in my experience Evo Innova is a high protein, high fat food that is very palatable and very good at putting on weight. Healthy Pet Product Search ? Organic Dog Food, Dog Treats and More ? Natura Pet Products

Any changes of food should be done very little at a time over the course of a week to avoid digestive upsets.
It's the Purina One type of cat food. My wife did her research and according to her, it is supposed to be one of the better ones for cats, but I don't know all that much about it as I just trust her judgement on that one.
 
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