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petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7367
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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My 16 year old cat stopped eating. How can I get her to eat?

Customer Question

My 16 year old cat stopped eating. How can I get her to eat?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.


I am sorry to hear you are worried about Big Time. I am a veterinarian and will do my best to help.

Is she at least drinking water, so she is not getting dehydrated?

There are some good appetite stimulants for cats, prescription medication like cyproheptadine, mirtazapine, and diazepam.

Usually when a cat won't eat, they are telling us that they are sick. Often the only symptom in older cats of cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, infections, etc. is loss of appetite. Cats try to be secretive about not feeling good, and then when they finally feel so bad they can't hide it any longer, they "suddenly" stop eating. If this were my own cat, I would be doing some basic blood tests to find the underlying condition, and treat it. Often that is the only way to get her eating again.

You can check to see if she is dehydrated by gently pinching skin over her shoulders and letting go. The skin should go back in less than one second; if it takes longer she is dehydrated and that would suppress her appetite.

Check her gums; they should be bright pink. If her gums look pale, that is a sign of internal illness.

Let me know what else I can help with or answer, and how she is doing.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. Waiting by the phone for your phone call.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.

I am so sorry, but I am unable to answer questions for the website. Also, there is an additional charge for phone calls and I can't see your phone number until you accept the additioinal fee.

I can opt out, and you can wait for another veterinarian who can do phone calls, or we can continue in this format.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.

Sorry! I meant sorry, I can't do phone calls for the website. I can answer your questions here.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
please switch me for a live phone call. I've approved additional cost. It can be someone else who does phone calls - that's ok as long as I can talk to someone.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.

OK, I will opt out. Do not respond to me or rate me as that may prevent another expert from picking up your question.

Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry that you have been waiting for a response. I recently just logged onto the site and noted that your question hasn't yet been answered and your previous expert has opted out. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 25 years’ experience and would be happy work with you if you are still needing assistance.
Do you have any progress to report on Big Time? Have you been able to get him to eat yet?
Has he been evaluated by a veterinarian?
Thanks and I will respond further after you reply. There may be a slight delay while I formulate and type a thorough response or I may be offline, but if so, I will respond as soon as I am able.