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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21417
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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My indoor cat is not eating very much all of the sudden. Hell

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My indoor cat is not eating very much all of the sudden. He'll eat a couple of bites and then wander off. It's been about 3 days since this has started. His energy is good, very playful, he is still loving, friendly and alert. I took him to my vet who checked did a dental exam, checked his bowels, bladder, lymph nodes, hearts and lungs. She said he was very healthy. The vet thought he may be being finnicky so I am experimenting with his food. When should I take him back and are there any specific test that he should have done?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.
Hello, shellann.

How old is your cat?

What food was he eating when the problem started?

What food is he eating, now?

Does he seem to prefer dry or canned food?

Is he urinating and defecating as usual? No straining, blood in the urine or loose stools?

Have there been any changes in his environment re: houseguests and/or pets, new appliances, carpet, furniture, changes in your schedule?

Any vomiting?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi Cher-

My cat is almost 2 years old.
We have been feeding him the dry science diet adult cat food.
The food we tried at the vet was Hills Perscription diet C/D with chicken flavor.
He only eats dry food and won't eat wet food at all.
He is urinating 2-3 times a day. He wasn't have bowel movements, but he had one today. My vet gave me laxtone. When she checked him yesterday she said their was poop in his bowel but a normal amount. I've only seen him urinate and he had no problems there. He drinks water a couple of times a day.
No changes in his environment and our schedules have stayed the same.
No vomiting.
Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.
Hi again, shellann, and thanks for your reply with additional information.

Science Diet isn't the best food (even though it's sold by most vets), because it contains ingredients like corn, gluten, wheat, soy, artificial additives and preservatives, which are common allergens for cats. Some well recommended brands of nutritious and healthier cat food, which you should be able to find in your major pet supply store, are: Wellness, Newman's Own, Halo, Innova, Felidae; these are just a few, there are many others. As long as the first ingredient is meat (not meat by-products), or it is within the first few ingredients, and it contains no corn or other cereal fillers and only natural preservatives, foods like that, are best for your cat.

In a male cat, I'd be worried about a urinary infection and/or obstruction, but you have seen him urinate and the vet checked that out, so that's good news. The fact that he wasn't having regular bowel movements, but had one today, and is now taking Laxatone, is also good.

When cats experience a sudden change in appetite, it's usually due to either illness, stress, or not liking the food any longer. I'm glad your vet did a dental exam on your boy, so you're reasonably sure there's no dental pain or disease.

I understand him not liking canned food at all, as I had a cat with the same preference. Try mixing a very small amount of a tasty/aroma-rich canned food in with a small amount of dry, and see if he'll go for it. If he eats it, add a little more canned to his next serving. Canned food is really better for cats in general, but if he'll only eat dry, that's alright, as long as he's drinking enough water on his own. Try to offer him fresh water more often, as this will also help his stools be less dry and he'll be less likely to become constipated again.

I'm glad to hear that you sit with him while he eats; I'm sure he enjoys that!

Even though the vet did a thorough exam, blood tests and a fecal analysis would provide more diagnostic information, so I'd recommend making an appointment to bring him back in about a week, if he's still not eating as usual, but is still eating. Intestinal parasites are possible, as a cause of his decreased appetite and/or he might have ingested a toxic or other non-food substance, so an x-ray might also be needed.

For now, see how he does when you introduce a new, healthier food, and mix a small amount with his existing food, as you did before; then, each day, add more of the new food, decrease the 'old', and you should be gradually changed over within 7-10 days.

Even though the vet did a dental exam, watch him carefully for any discomfort as he crunches his dry food, and/or any pawing at his mouth, or other signs of pain, there.

I hope your cat will be back to eating normally, again, and that all will be well, if he needs to have further tests at the vet's.

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