Seemingly loss of appetite- disinterest in food, trying to save or something more?

Benji ThompsonBenji Thompson Member Posts: 7,380
edited 8 February, 2010 in Cat Health
Noble is usually very enthusiastic to eat his food. So enthusiastic, in fact, that he's earned himself the nickname "Garfield". At times, I used to wonder why I didn't name him Garfield. I know it was one of the names I'd considered. Back when we fed him cheap food, he'd gobble it up despite how much meat it didn't or did have in it. Whiskas, Friskies, Meow Mix, Special Kitty, 9 Lives... When I started feeding medium (but not so great) quality, he'd gobble it up, too. Iams, Purina ONE, Fancy Feast, Pet Promise. And, then, when I made the switch to great quality, he gobbled it up, too. Blue Buffalo, Wellness, NV. I've always fed a rotation because it's easier on my budget and more convenient. Lately, though, Noble hasn't been as interested in his food. He'll pick at it. If it's wet food, he'll leave almost the entire can. When it's dry food, he'll only eat about ten kibbles and he'll leave the rest. If it were Malik, I'd assume that he's just being finicky. Malik can be finicky. But, it's Noble. Noble has never been finicky. If it were one steady food, I'd think it's a loss of interest in the food. But it's not one steady food. Or even one steady protein source. I've discovered that he likes turkey best. And, for a while, he'd finish up all his food if it were turkey. But, now, he's not even doing that. When we first got the cats, we free fed all our animals. That was my moms decision as, at the time, it was easier on us all. And we only had two dogs. And they never bothered each others food. As time went on, we got Lilo. Then Sakura. Then Sandy. And by the time we got Sandy, I was feeding the animals and I decided that free feeding wasn't working. So with the dogs, I started the fifteen minute rule. Now, I don't do this with the cats except for their wet food. I discovered that their wet food spoils fast when I leave it out too long. So if they don't finish their wet food within the fifteen minutes, I take it away. Their dry food is left out from the time their fed in the evening (four o'clock) to the time they get fed again in the morning (five o'clock). Usually, both of their dishes are completely empty. However, lately, Noble's is still full. Could he be trying to save it? It seems odd that he would try and save all of it, though. I was also worrying about health problems. Is it possible that it could be health related? If so, what kind of health problems could it be a red flag for? He's a strictly indoor cat. Is never and I repeat never allowed outside. However, when Spot and Gypsy were still with us, they were allowed outside. Is it possible they brought something home that is only just starting to show? All our cats were vaccinated. They had their leukemia tests done. The works. Maybe I'm just worrying too much. The other thing I was thinking was stress related. There has been a lot of stress in our house lately. Spot passing away, Chance passing away, Gypsy going missing, a few job losses, the works. Noble is very attached to us people. Is it possible that he's picking up on our stress? I was thinking maybe the loss of one of the animals is getting to him but to be blunt, he was never that close to Gypsy, Spot or Chance. He's always been closer to us humans. He doesn't seem outwardly sick. Then again, with some illnesses, they don't, I suppose. I'm getting a bit panicky here. I've tried everything. I've tried putting egg over his food. He licks at it and walks away. I've tried mixing in meat. Again, licks at it, walks away. I've tried every protein source imaginable. Chicken, turkey, salmon, beef, on and on and on and on. I know when we feed store brand food, he loved foods with cheese. Especially the Friskies variety. Can't remember what it is. Just that it had cheese. But I can't ever find any high quality foods with cheese. Suggestions? I've thought about cooking like I do for Sandy. But, gosh, I wouldn't even know where to begin with a cat! I've also thought about raw. But, once again, I don't yet know where to begin. Still got some research to do. It's just confusing and I'm rambling so I'll let you guys tell me what you think. (x posted to food & nutrition)

Comments

  • Paula K-Paula K- New YorkMember Posts: 2,244
    edited 25 January, 2010
    Noble, I think a visit to the vet is in order. You should have bloodwork done to make sure you're not running a little infection. I had one once and completely lost my appetite. Once mom gave me some pills my appetite came right back. If it was one flavor you didn't like I'd say it was probably the food, but all-around appetite loss sounds like something more. Good luck and keep us posted!
  • janice lancasterjanice lancaster temple gaMember Posts: 2,505
    edited 25 January, 2010
    There's a whole forum dedicated to raw feeding here, as well as one for home cooked. If you just want to make sure he isn't sick, Id suggest going and getting a can of fancy feast and the teeniest bag of Friskies, Meow Mix, or whatever, if you can remember his favorite then get that one. If he snarfs any of it down, then at least you know it isn't a physical problem. You can always donate the rest of the bag to a rescue group that is looking for donations, if you don't want to feed it and don't want to throw it away. (That's what Meowma has ended up doing with all the "extra good" foods she's purchased for me--I've made it 14 years without them, and won't tolerate the first kibble of it in my dish now! Ringo was used to (we guess) eating from a dumpster, and won't touch them either)
  • Katie DillnerKatie Dillner Member Posts: 175
    edited 25 January, 2010
    It could be a combination of stress and the constant changing of foods. For almost a year I was constantly changing Neva\'s food because she has food allergies and I was trying to figure out what she was allergic to. In November she went through a very stressful time where she was going to the vet a lot for several health issues and her appetite decreased dramatically. I tried different foods, baby food, cheese, etc. She had been to the vet and had bloodwork done so I knew nothing was seriously wrong. I realized that I had been disrupting her schedule. I was following her around the house trying to get her to eat, checking on her every 20 minutes. This stressed her out even more. I finally buckled down and fed her one type of food and left her alone. After a couple days she began to eat normally again and now she comes and finds me for attention! I would take him to the vet to make sure it\'s not anything serious. If not, then I would stick with one brand of food (different flavors are fine) and keep to a feeding schedule. My cats get three feedings: morning, early evening and right before bed. I would also just let him do his thing and give him attention when he seeks you out for it. I currently have Neva on Wellness Pouches though I\'m not sure they\'re a good food to start with since many cats don\'t care for the meat chunks. Best of luck.
  • Benji ThompsonBenji Thompson Member Posts: 7,380
    edited 25 January, 2010
    Thanks everyone for the input! So it's possible that it could be health related? Sometimes I just feel so cat ignorant. I won't deny that I've got a lot of learning to do with cats. My family has had several over the course of my life, but Noble is my first cat that is just mine and, therefore, the first cat that I've had, technically. I thought about getting a can of Friskies and seeing if he's just being finicky with high quality food for some cat-forsaken reason. But, I don't know. Even for just one meal, I'm not sure I could do it. :)) It's a thought, though. And if I get kibble, it could be donated to a shelter. They'd appreciate the donation. I'll try and get him into the vet ASAP. I didn't even think that it could be an infection. But that makes sense and it's definitely a possibility. I remember when my moms late Pomeranian had an infection, she wouldn't eat, either. She often didn't feel like eating. I guess because it hurt? I'm not sure. But after a visit to the vet and some pills, she, too, felt better. Likewise, I didn't even think that my monitoring his schedule as of late could affect it. I have been watching him, trying to entice him to eat, the works. I'll try to cut down on that and see if it helps. Also, I'll try and feed one steady brand and see where that goes. My dogs do great on rotation. But dogs are dogs, cats are a whole other species. As Noble has taught me. I've posted in the Raw forums before. Got a lot of great advice. And I lurk, too. Maybe it's time for me to become more active there. I've never posted in home-cooked because it doesn't seem that active. But, I'll give it a try. Thanks everyone! Any more advice is welcome and I'll keep you all posted. :-h
  • Paula K-Paula K- New YorkMember Posts: 2,244
    edited 25 January, 2010
    Hey Noble, if you're going to try a "Friskies" level of food to see if that's it, I understand there are some flavors of Fancy Feast that are healthier than others (no wheat gluten) and a quick web search should help you find them. There's also a "Special Diet" flavor of Friskies that seems a little better than their regular flavors (I think it's turkey & giblets). Not that I recommend feeding those regularly, but if it's a test and the quality is bothering you, one of those might be a good middle ground. And if he doesn't take to one of those, I still say a visit to the vet can't hurt just to be sure it's nothing physical. Good luck!
  • Lissa NicholsonLissa Nicholson SydneyMember Posts: 1,562
    edited 25 January, 2010
    With such changes in behaviour, I would strongly recommend a vet visit. A loss of appetite can be a sign of many things, from infections to tooth troubles. While I understand the appeal of a rotation system, I would also recommend sticking to one food. Cats have quite delicate digestive systems when it comes to changes in food.
  • BambergcatBambergcat Member Posts: 838 ✭✭✭
    edited 25 January, 2010
    It could be dental problems. Cats hide their problems well. If he was such a great eater before, there is a problem that a vet can handle. This site is great but a trip to the vet is better. We can't see the cat, the insides or any other problem. Cats don't need varity like we do. They are content with the same....that being said most cats food aren't that great nutritionally. I like Wellness a lot. Check out the ingredients and you will see what I mean. Try a smelly food on your cat and that might be tempting. Heat the food just a little to bring a smell on. But again, check with a vet...
  • Dawn HarmanDawn Harman SpeedwellMember Posts: 1,079
    edited 25 January, 2010
    IMO you should get to your vet! Us cats can get very sick if they are not eating. I agree with what has been said already but is better to be safe than sorry. Please keep us all informed as to what happens. |:|
  • Tina BTina B Vancouver IslandMember Posts: 2,238
    edited 26 January, 2010
    Hi Noble what I am thinking is that this could be from stress in the household, but it could be something health related too. Not sure exactly what kind of tests you have had done. A little off topic but after reading the news today about Melamine found in milk products again in China, im just wondering if its not in our pet foods again, I mean if its in human food what about pet food? since its not regulated very well. Im making sure anything I feed my pets is not from China, or any ingredient sourced from there. Anyhow, everyone knows here how I feel about dry food, if you could I would try and feed one type of wet food for now to see if things improve. How are your cats bathroom habits? to put it nicely, mol!! We leave wet food down in the morning until its gone ( afew hours) no problems. I also would not free feed the dry. Having food available all the time is hard on the cats pancreas, and kidneys, even the smell of dry food down all the time raises their urinary Ph. Your cat must get enough calories in a day, otherwise will be prone to hepatic lipidosis. Your vet can prescribe pills that will give your cat an appetite. Also I dont mean to push or anything,but maybe you could start reading up on a raw diet, the raw forum cats will be happy to help you with this. This is a good site to read: http://www.blakkatz.com/dryfood.html
  • Benji ThompsonBenji Thompson Member Posts: 7,380
    edited 2 February, 2010
    Sorry for the disappearance. I do that on Catster sometimes. :r Well, I've got him a vet appointment. He'll be in this week. Lets all hope it goes well. :-h Natasha, I know that some foods are better that others, believe me! I learned that the hard way with my corgi mix, Sandy. She has allergies and a sensitive system and encouraged me to do my research. I found out that rotation is better for pooches. Stupidly, I guess, I thought it was the same for cats. That, I'll admit, was my mistake. :r But I don't feed Meow Mix or anything like that anymore! I like Wellness, too and feed it when I can. It isn't exactly readily available in my area, though. I'm thinking of switching them completely to Blue Buffalo. What do you guys think about that? Just until I feel comfortable going completely raw. I guess I'll ask more on that in the Food & Nutrition. I know that wet food is better, too. I've been wanting to go completely canned for some time. Maybe now is the time. I know you guys can't tell me exactly what's going on without seeing Noble. But, I just wanted to know what it could be. So I could know what to ask my vet... I'm definitely not using you as a quick vet or anything. ;) His bathroom habits... hmm... There has only been one change. Sometimes, instead of peeing in the litter box, he pees on the paper the dogs pee on. I didn't think anything of it. But, could there be something to it? Other than that, they've been normal. eTA: And, I'll definitely look more into the raw diet. :-h
  • emma clarkeemma clarke Nottingham Robin Hood CountryMember Posts: 6,819
    edited 2 February, 2010
    Changes in usual habits such as eating and toileting can often be a sign of a medical problem. With Nobel being off his food and toileting outside the box, it could well be a urinary infection. Hope Nobel is better soon! Incidentally, if cats are eating significantly less than their usual volume of food for several days, they can develop a serious liver condition (especially if they happen to be overweight to begin with), so it's always best to get a loss of appetite checked out as soon as possible.
  • Benji ThompsonBenji Thompson Member Posts: 7,380
    edited 8 February, 2010
    Thanks, Blade! I thought about a urinary problem but wasn't quite sure. So far, he's checked out fine. Nothing was wrong with his teeth, but I had them cleaned anyway. I didn't know that loss of appetite could be a sign of a UTI. I'll definitely talk to my vet about that next time I'm in. The good news is, Noble has been eating better. I've been feeding him only canned. I've fed him Friskies (the turkey & cheese variety) a few times and Blue Buff the others. He eats the Friskies with more excitement but has been eating both. I've been letting him graze and that seems to be helping, too. Sorry for the delayed reply. Life's been hectic over here, I've even been seldom on Dogster. And I'm usually very active among the pups. I'll keep you guys updated, though. :-h
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