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Cat Appetite
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Cat Appetite

Hi. I got my 6 month old kitty spayed last Weds, today is day 5. The wound (it is on her side, not tummy )is dry and clean, no irritation and the vet said a cone wouldn't be necessary. She's acting normally (although sleeping a little more), playing fetch, eyeing up the curtains etc.

My concern is that she's really not eating very much. I gave her boiled chicken on day 1 which she loved but since then she's only been eating her dry biscuits. I have tried every wet food (and fresh fish, chicken etc) known to cat to try and tempt her but she's just not having it. She's barely drinking water but she has been drinking kitty milk every day. She's pooing and although a little smaller than usual, they look the same.

I've read that cats can get fatty liver disease if they don't eat, so I called my vet to ask her advice. She seems to think that the tiny amount of biscuits she has been eating daily is enough to stop her getting sick and that as she's drinking her cat milk, she's getting enough fluids. I've been advised to "keep an eye on her"..well, duh!

Like I said, the wound is fine, she appears to be pain free, so am I worrying over nothing? I don't want to take her back to the vets just yet, in case it was the stress of the last visit that caused her appetite to drop!

Does anyone have a similar story that ended well? I have been reading that most cats get their appetite back in 24-48 hours, hence my worrying. She's definitely lost weight and I suppose it's so noticeable because she was always very lean before the surgery.

Please, someone put my mind to rest!! Thanks =^.^=
16 Comments Post a Comment
874521 tn?1424120397
I will just copy and paste what it says on a Vet site that I frequent for info...bottom line a pet should be ready to eat 24hrs post surgery or contact your Vet..some help they were!!


1) Feeding your cat immediately after feline spaying surgery:
After a cat or kitten has been spayed, it is not normally necessary for you to implement any special dietary changes. You can generally go on feeding your pet what it has always eaten. Some owners, however, like to feed their pets bland diets (e.g. boiled, fat-free, skinless chicken or a commercial prescription intestinal diet such as Hills feline i/d) for a few days after surgery in case the surgery and anaesthesia process has upset their tummies. This is not normally required, but it is perfectly fine to do.

Unless your veterinarian says otherwise, it is normally fine to feed your cat the night after surgery. Offer your pet a smaller meal than normal in case your pet has an upset tummy from surgery and do not be worried if your pet won't eat the night after surgery. It is not uncommon for pets to be sore and sorry after surgery and to refuse to eat that evening.

If your cat is a bit sooky and won't eat because of surgery-site pain, feel free to tempt her with tasty, strong-smelling foods to get her to eat. Skin-free roast chicken often works well and it is not too heavy on the stomach. Many cats also like strong-smelling fishy foods like fish-containing tinned food, tinned tuna or salmon or cooked fish fillets and small prawns. Avoid fatty foods such as mince, lamb, pork and processed meats (salami, sausages, bacon) because these may cause digestive upsets.

Be aware of your pet's medications and whether they need to be given with food. Some cats go home on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Carprofen (trade names include: Prolet, Rimadyl, Carprofen tablets) and Meloxicam (tradenames include Metacam) after surgery. These drugs need to be given with food. Do not give these drugs if your cat is refusing to eat.

Most cats that get spayed are not normally off their food for more than a day. You should contact your vet if your pet does not eat for more than 24 hours after surgery.

this isn't normal IMO to not eat for this long a period takes a day or so to clear all the anesthesia from their little bodies but after that they are usually hungry.
thats she's eating and drinking 'some' is a good sign, but a rapid decrease in calories can lead to the fatty liver disease you mentioned. I will also include a link for info on that.
good luck, keep us updated okay.♥

2190196 tn?1338204047
Hi, thanks for getting back to me.

Well, that's worrying me even more now! I've been to the pet shop again today and tried her with a couple of different pouches, but nope, she's not touching it. She's had a few biscuits, a small piece of chicken, a little bit of bread/butter and sardine paste (my son's sandwich!) and a few licks of water.

I've left her little piles of biscuits in various places to try and tempt her but whatever wet food I offer, she just tries to scratch over it. She's always been fussy but never this bad.

I'm confused. The vet said that a cat only needs a small handful of iams a day and that she would be fine on what she's getting. How can she get this so wrong? They're a specialist cat/rabbit vet only, so I had high hopes that all would be well.

I'm now so worried that she's really ill. Is it possible she's in pain with no outward symptoms apart from lack of appetite? Could it be infected even though it looks perfectly ok?

It looks like I'll need to add further stress with a 2nd trip to the vets. Poor Luna.
874521 tn?1424120397
well I don't always agree with Vets...and it really goes on CALORIES not necessarily the amount of food as you read in the link I sent.

but its a real good sign she's at least eating something, keep on tempting her with whatever you can. a meat based baby food...plain meat with no vegetables or any other additives they sometimes like. tuna (for a short time only the mercury isn't good to be feeding cats)...salmon? buy some canned sardines without salt, she appeared to think that was ok.
just keep her eating.
If she stops all together I can send you some videos on how to AF (assist feed)

yes its possible she could be in pain or have an inner infection that isn't showing on the incision. Do her ears feel warm? that would tell you if she's got a temperature..a likely sign of infection.

I will send you a site that shows all the complications that can occur post spay surgery, I didn't send it before b/c I didn't want to scare you....but now I think you do need to read it.

IMO if she's still not eating what I suggested you try than she needs to be seen by the clinic that did the surgery....there shouldn't be a charge for aftercare...sure not with my fact they insist I bring mine back if I'm concerned abt anything.
If you take her in be sure they do a blood test and also check her temp....for signs of infection.

If you would like another opinion(although would still be limited without a visual exam and blood test)
you can post this question to our Medhelp Vet, he won't likely be on to give you an answer until tomorrow morning, but its worth a try...tell him exactly how much she IS eating and drinking and whether or not you think her ears feel warm to the touch..

good luck to poor little Luna, I know how worried you must be.♥
2190196 tn?1338204047
So, we're back from the vets. He examined her, took her temperature, weighed her (she lost 4oz which he said is not a lot) and checked for signs of infection and pain. Temp was normal, no pain, no infection.

He said her eyes were a little watery and bloodshot which may indicate mild calicivirus. He said that one of his cats had surgery and developed the same symptoms as mine, and his got it's appetite back after a week. He said the stress of the surgery may have caused it and gave her a shot of painkiller just to make her feel better.

He gave me a sachet of Royal Canin powder and i've just given her a syringe of 1ml. She hates me! I also smeared some baby chicken food on her fur..she cleaned it all off but did not look happy. She tried to scratch over her bowl of favourite biscuits, yet when I took one and gave it to her on the floor, she managed to eat 3. Still not showing interest in wet food (tried sardines in oil this morning) and milk/water though.

Next was a catnip mouse I bought to cheer her up and she loves it, she's rubbing it on her face and rolling around with it. I'm amazed because I bought some catnip extract spray and she didn't even sniff it!

The vet thinks she's bright, active and healthy otherwise, so hopefully she'll shake it off. Do you have any experience with the syringing of the powder food? He said to give her 1ml at a time but how often? I forgot what he said. Also, do I need to feed her water too or will the water that mixes up the powder be enough? Finally, why can I never think of the right questions to ask the vet when i'm actually there?!

874521 tn?1424120397
well thats great news, at least theres no infection to deal with. 4oz doesn't sound like alot but to compare with an averaged sized human that would be like dropping a couple pounds in less than a week, no its not a big deal as long as it doesn't continue to drop.

I'm not sure exactly what this royal canin powder is(?) it a meal replacement? or an appetite stimulant?
1ml isn't very much were you given in total? like enough for a days use or a few days??? sorry just not sure what to advise here, depends on exactly what its meant as.
If meant as a meal replacement, than I would assume you should be giving this 3-4 x's a day at least...but as a stimulant than perhaps only 1-2x's. sorry I'm not helping much here.

Is she still drinking milk? can you mix a little water in with it so she will still drink it and be getting extra fluids??
is this regular milk? most cats are lactose intolerant and get diarrhea from milk...(not all cats b/c I have one who loves his milk as a treat)

Iams isn't a great food, I'm against all dry forms of food, too dehydrating for kitties and full of preservatives. and Iams is one of the worst(and whiskas)..but for now, if thats her favorite than don't change anything. but I would continue to try and offer can foods and hopefully you can find one she will like. have you tried fancy feast? this isn't a great choice in canned food but most cats go crazy over it and ANY canned food is better for kitty than dry.
canned foods contain 78% water, so most cats don't drink much if any water when on canned foods.
but if she's going to continue on the dry she MUST take in lots of water to compensate.

Of course she's gonna 'hate' you for the syringe ( I prefer droppers...can get them for baby's)
cats hate to be given medications or anything that way, but we do what we have too and they forgive us

I will send you a link to a video prepared by the Cornell Veterinarian Institute. it shows how to properly give medications via your case its the mixed powder but you would use this exact same technique...
keep up the great work, I really do hope she soon overcomes whatever is bothering her and EATS...-)

copy and paste this link
2190196 tn?1338204047
Re the weight drop, that's exactly what he said :)

The powder is this..

You mix it with water and I have to give her 10 ml, 1 ml at a time, every couple of hours. I've checked with the vet again, to get the correct dosage. She is not loving me at present!

I've given her 6 ml-ish of baby food and she's been and had some water of her own accord, so that's good. Still not interested in food though. I'm boiling some chicken breast, so we'll see.

She only drinks cat milk, not cow milk but she's not been interested in that since Sunday night. As for poops etc, nothing for 36 hours, and she hasn't peed today. She did drink water a while ago so hopefully that'll get her going.

You really wouldn't know there was anything wrong with her, she's still as playful and energetic as always. The vet wants me to do the powder food for the next couple of days to try and stimulate her appetite.

With her regular food, normally she has a pouch of feline fayre for brekkie, iams to nibble on through the day and another pouch in the evening. She's never really eaten all of that and usually I end up tipping some food away. She also loves the Dreamies treats but not at the minute.

The vet showed me how to syringe feed her through the side of her mouth so i'm fairly competent, though I do have a couple of lovely scratches.. It's easier to do it without a towel imo, as soon as I go to wrap her up, she's off. I just kneel down, put her between my knees and hold her still...for about 10 seconds and then she's feral!

I feel so bad putting her through this (not the assisted feeding, just the whole getting her spayed thing). If anything happens to her because of this, i'll never forgive myself. She was a beautifully healthy, well fed cat up until the procedure. I can't help feeling that it's my fault she's now struggling, all because I couldn't stand the racket she made when in heat.

I broke my cat!
874521 tn?1424120397
that looks like a great product, was never familiar with it, thx for the link.

good its cats milk that too will give her some fluids and nutrition.

yeah she'll not love you right
I'm glad you were shown how to AF..many Vets don't take the time to do proper instructions and its so important not to just shoot it into their mouths and cause aspiration, side delivery always!!

I know you feel bad, some kitties have bad reactions to any procedure...and we feel guilty, however spaying is necessary for your sanity as well as hers, she will get thru this, just takes its toll...........your doing all the right things to keep tempting her, chicken breasts is a good idea...also keep the liquid you are boiling it in, and offer that to her...instead of plain water, many kitties love the broth and its good for them.

I make my own cat food for one of my boys, d/t urinary tract troubles and his HATE of canned foods so I was forced to learn. the diet I make for him is pretty bland and one trick I learned to tempt him with is to sprinkle a tiny amount of Parmesan cheese on top...that gets him going.
try that over the chicken, but just a smiggen of a sprinkle b/c it contains salt so use VERY SPARINGLY. it has a strong smell and thats what gives them the urge to eat..

good luck. you didn't break your cat, she will come thru this in her own time.
keep us updated ((>^.^<))
2190196 tn?1338204047
I've just been reading a recent post and there are over 20 comments from people who's cat's aren't eating much lately because of the heat.. Is it possible that the heat coupled with the surgery is what's causing her decreased appetite?

The reason I ask is that I just tried to give her 10ml of the liquid food and only got 4ml into her. She's growling and yowling, very scratchy and bucking etc. I'm worried that it's causing unnecessary stress and not good for her so soon after surgery.. if it is just the heat, how would I know?! Gah!

I offered her some broth but she didn't want it. Should I just leave it in a bowl next to her regular water?

I don't have any parmesan but i'll buy some in the morning and have another go.
874521 tn?1424120397
could be....if she's feeling punny the heat wouldn't help.

did the Vet happen to check her throat? just a wild guess, but sometimes the intubation can scratch and if she has a sore throat she sure wouldn't feel like eating...just a thought.

I have my fingers crossed for her, that she'll wake up ravenous one morning...
2190196 tn?1338204047
Well, this morning she's had a poo (which means she must be eating something right?) and a wee. Her pee is a lttle dark but she's lapping at water much more and when I came back from the shop she had eaten (and thrown up) a little bit of wet food. She's still nibbling at biscuits, but still only a small amount. Do you think I should keep force feeding her? I only managed to give her 10 mls or so yesterday, she's getting so worked up when I do it. The vet said i'm probably making to much of a big deal about it and to just let her get her groove back.

Should I be concerned that she threw some food up or is this to be expected when she hasn't eaten wet food for a week?

I'm feeling cautiously optimistic...
874521 tn?1424120397
well thats good she's got the plumbing working and is eating/drinking abit more than before.
If she is doing so on her own than yes I would cut back or even d/c the force feeding....maybe this is what caused the vomiting????
keep an eye on the vomiting, not good that she's loosing what little she eats. If that continues you will need to again consult your may have happened b/c she tried to eat too quickly on an empty stomach....(?)
2190196 tn?1338204047
That's what i'm thinking. She doesn't throw up her biscuits so at least they're staying down. She had a lick of some wet food and ate some biscuits after the vomit incident and she's taking water much more regularly. My next dilemma is that she's now only eating Whiskas dentabits. They're super crunchy and supposed to be a treat. Am I right in thinking that for now, any food is good food?

I've just ordered some Liquivite off the internet, have you heard of it? It sounds disgusting but it's supposed to be amazing stuff.

Thanks so much for your replies, it makes me feel so much better to be able to get feedback :)
874521 tn?1424120397
no haven't heard of liquivate, send me a link...need to be cautious with what we give to cats especially.

the dentabits really can't be considered as FOOD I'm afraid, they are meant as a treat similar to us having a mint after a meal. its a good sign she's eating and holding it down, but I think you had better take these away from her so to encourage her to eat regular FOOD....or she'll become ill.
she needs something with high protein to build up her muscle and replace the lost weight.
2190196 tn?1338204047

Sounds perfect but it's going to come down to whether she'll drink it and with her appetite as it is, i'm not holding out too much hope. .

I spoke to my vet about the dentabits. He said that while they weren't very calorific, having them stay down and put something in her tummy might make her feel like eating properly. He said to leave some out too but still occasionally try and tempt her with actual food.

I've just tried a dab of honey on her paw (I read it can boost blood sugar to hopefully make her hungry) but still no interest in the haddock i've just cooked for her!

**Just been distracted by the cat munching on half a whiskas stick..more junk food! I have to leave it for now, I just want her appetite back and then i'll start being strict again. I hope this is the start of her recovery, it makes me feel off my food when she is.
2190196 tn?1338204047
Had a bit of a break thru. I bought some cat food from lidl, rabbit and chicken in gravy. She ate some! Typically the cheapest of all the foods i've tried to tempt her with, she seems to like it.

Fingers crossed that's the end of it. Incidentally, the heat dropped yesterday so it may have been that after all. So relieved :) :) :)
242912 tn?1402547092
Hi Andi, I am relieved to hear kitty ate this morning; I hope this continues.  However, if your girl continues to be hesitant, and since she likes and keeps down the Dentabits, have you tried putting ONE of those on top of any food presented?  Often my cat will turn her nose up at the wet food I know darn well she likes, so I will add ONE crunchy on top, and just the different smell gets her going.  I don't mean to say make a habit of this; just for now to get over this crisis, although it does sound like a corner was turned today.  

Oh, and the heat could have a LOT to do with it.  My kitty's appetite drops dramatically in the Summer, sometimes to the scary point, so I will bet the heat was only compounding things.
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