Our family has recently adopted a new cat. At first she and our first cat, Lenny got off to a rough start. Soon after they seemed to be fine in the house. Now I notice that Lenny is not eating, sleeping a lot, seems to be losing weight and has no interest in anything or anyone. Also his eyes look funny and his fur looks very tattered. Not sure if he is sick or depressed. Please help
I would say he is sick - definitely. For one thing, not eating is quite serious, cats can't go more than a couple of days without food. And even less without water.
If need be, you can get a feeding syringe and a liquid or powder (that you mix with water) at most pet stores so that you can feed and hydrate your cat until he decides to eat.
However, first take him to the vet, ASAP. He could have an infection, a parasite or one of a number of other ailments. It also sounds like a kidney condition is a possibility. It is difficult to tell from what you are saying, only a vet can diagnose him.
Good luck. Let us know how it goes and don't hesitate to ask other questions, ok?
Thank you for your input. I took Lenny, my cat to the vet today. They said he has a fatty liver disease.I guess it is quite serious. He needs to be force fed, that is not an easy task. I tried to feed him earlier and he wouldnt take the food and I was having trouble getting the food to stay in his mouth. He got really stressed out and started crying and panting a million times a minute. This was very scary. I have not had time to do any research yet, but if anyone has any information on this type of disease, I'd appreciate hearing from you.
Feline Hepatic Lipidosis, or Cirrhosis or fatty liver disease is pretty common and reversible when you get to it in time. It can be treated dietarily - the idea is to force feed the cat enough nutrients to reverse the metabolic malfunction that caused the condition in the first place. The force-feeding regimen commonly takes about 6 to 8 weeks.
You will need to use a feeding tube if you can't force feed him sufficiently with a feeding syringe. If you need to use the tube, don't panic, it's not that difficult once you get the hang of it, I've done it. You can get a tube kit from your vet and he/she will give you instructions on how to go about it.
Your vet should help you put together a diet that will contain all the necessary nutrients and hydration. There are liquid foods available only from vets and others that you can buy online. There are a lot of different formulas, I'm sure your vet will tell you which one is right for you. You may have to use a blender. It is sometimes helpful to add a bit of pureed pumpkin or some broth to the formula. You will have to force-feed several times per day. If you are using a syringe, here are a few tips:
You will need a plastic feeding syringe - get several, since he will bite them, so they won't last too long.
Take him in your lap and position him so that you can get at his head and mouth. Do your best - most cats don't like to be held on their backs, so you will have to support him up. If he really struggles you can try wrapping him in a towel, loosely, and/or wearing gloves. If he is struggling, he may make a mess, so keep a warm, wet washcloth handy to wipe drips from face. Otherwise it will cake up in the fur, be difficult to clean and end up causing some fur loss.
Fill the feeding syringe and insert the tip between his teeth. You should do this from the side to avoid making him choke. Just squeeze it slowly into his mouth, a little at a time and give him ample chance to swallow before giving him more. The two of you will work out the most efficient and comfortable way to do this, with trial and error. He should freak out less once he gets the idea of what is going on.
If he will swallow and it doesn't make him too miserable, you should have success with the syringe feeding. Otherwise, you will need to use the gastric tube or a combination or the two techniques.
Hydration is very important. He should get sufficient water from the liquid food. Keep an eye out for constipation or diarrhea - either of which, for different reasons, will require giving him extra water.
I hope this helps a bit. Let me know if there is anything else I can do.
I know it's scary, but it can be dealt with and I'm sure you'll do great. My thoughts are with you and Lenny. Let me know how you're both doing, ok?
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