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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28006
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I brought 2 new kittens into the house last week. They are

Customer Question

I brought 2 new kittens into the house last week. They are well segregated from my 17 year old cat, but she knows they are here. She has stopped eating and hangs her head over the water bowl, thought she drinks water. Up until last week, she has been a very happy and healthy cat. Is this food/water problem related to the new kittens?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
The kittens may represent the stressor that "broke the camel's back". While hanging the head over the water bowl isn't taught as a symptom in vet school, I've recognized it as a very important symptom in cats. It represents profound dehydration and a conflicted cat; in other words, my patient requires additional fluids but isn't "programmed" to drink more because they're desert animals unaccustomed to doing so.
A 17 year old behaving in that manner is likely to be suffering from chronic renal insufficiency although there are a multitude of disorders that result in a dehydrated geriatric. Hanging her head over the water bowl is a clue not to be ignored. Please have Buddie's vet thoroughly examine Buddie including diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests. You should know within 24 hours why Buddie is now anorexic and dehydrated.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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