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Micki, Expert in cat behavior and health
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 3193
Experience:  Expert in cat medical and behavior issues.
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My cat is acting afraid to eat...wont eat!

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We have a 13 year old cat who is suddenly quite skinny. Over the past week, he has gone from nibbling at food, to only drinking a bit of milk, to avoiding the food/water bowls altogether. This morning he opened his mouth to take a sip, then yelped and ran from the bowl as if stung! We are taking him to the vet tonight but are terribly worried and curious about the cause of this strange behavior.


I am VERY glad to you are going to the vet.

It sounds like he is obviously experiencing pain in the mouth or upper GI tract.

I would carefully inspect his mouth and as far back in his throat as you can. Look for any thing foreign, sores, redness, broken teeth, cuts, and that sort of thing.

Dental issues are the most commonly seen condition when cats behave in this manner.

Also he may have swallowed something that he shouldn't have. It could be causing pain, and unable to pass through his stomach, intestines, and bowels on its own.

Those are your 2 main concerns to have your vet look into when you go.

It is very important that you do get him seen. As when a cat stops eating, the liver can become impaired very quickly in cats. As soon as 2 days.

If you can, at least try to hydrate him with a medicine dropper. Try using unflavored pediltye. Just 2 cc every hour for a couple hours.

Let me know what you vet find out.


Micki and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Micki's Post: Thank you...I suspect you are right and we didn't realize how bad it had gotten until last night when he ran from the milk.
I should have mentioned, this is a feral cat who adopted us a few years ago...So catching him is tricky and my examining his mouth is out of the question. (We did get him to the vet about 8 months ago, where he had teeth cleaned and 3 teeth extracted.) I was able to get him to take a little water by mixing a little wet food into it for flavor, but immediately after he had a few laps of it he sort of coughed/choked and then bolted away again. I am going to lure him into the pet carrier... We have a 6:00 appointment at the vet. I'll let you know how it goes. After you get a chance to read my reply, I'll accept your answer. :-) THANKS for caring!

Thank you for the update.

I am sure he will just fine. Do let me know what your vet discovers.

Since he had some previous dental issues, that is probably the problem.

I do hope it isn't nothing foreign stuck somewhere causing the choking and gaging.

Good luck getting him into the carrier too. I usually wrap my "mean one" in a towel like a mummy then shove her in real fast.


Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Thank you, Micki.

If I hit accept now, how will I let you know how things went at the vet tonight?

I have to leave at 4:30 to get home to get the cat and then get to the vet...But I do want you to get paid. :-)


Once you click the accpet button, it will still allow you to come back to the quesion link to respond at any time you want.

The same way you have sent me your replies so far. It doesn't change.

I will cross my fingers for you and you fur baby.




Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Micki's Post: Went to the vet does appear to be his mouth that is causing the trouble....showed us very inflamed gums/soft tissue, the dr. had a word for it but I can't recall it now.

They extracted one tooth, gave him a shot of antibiotic and painkiller...In the end, we opted to leave him at the vet until Monday because he requires twice-daily oral medications (antibiotic and painkiller) and we are concerned that we would be less than stellar at administrating it. If they keep him until Monday, at least he will get the best regimen until then and then if we fail to be good at it ourselves, at least we can get him back to the vet and let them administrate it...although I HATE to think of him in a cage until then :-(

Also, the dr. is worried that his major weight loss might be to more than just this mouth she is going to check him for thyroid, diabetes and cancer (oh, no.)

I am going to try to get some sleep...I hope we did the right thing leaving him at the vet. I don't want him to be miserable, but if we failed and couldn't get the meds into him, I was worried he would starve to death.

Thanks for listening...I do love my kitties; they are like kids for me.

A hug to you, fellow cat lover, wherever you are, Customer

Thank you soo much for the update. That helps me put my mind as ease a little more knowing he is under professional care right now.

I know the guilt you are feeling for leaving at the vet, but he will receive the best care there. Just go and visit him today if you can.

As for the other tests, I hope they all come negative. Hopefully his mouth was just keeping him from eating good all this time.

If it's his thyroid, that can be managed very well with medication. That condition is called hyperthyroidism. It is when the thyroid gland makes too much of a hormone called T4. It speeds the metabolism and causes weight loss, hyper activity, and usually an incredible appetite.

The diabetes can be managed as well with mediation. I just hate to have to see you go through giving daily injections of insulin. Frown

I will be praying for you that is nothing like cancer.

Thank you for allowing me to help you through this. You are a wonderful cat mommy.

Let me know.