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Avatar universal

Emaciated cat always hungry, soft stools

I have an indoor cat who was born a feral and never became very tame. He prefers to stay in the basement far  away from people, and only rarely lets me pet him, but nevertheless, he has a huge spot in my heart and is very sweet-tempered. At least now he has food, safety, and shelter. I've had him for about 8 years, along with another cat who keeps him company. The last time he came home from the groomers (he had developed hair matts, but it took months to catch him with a cat trap), I noticed he had lost a lot of weight under all the fur that was shaved off. He's always been a "fat cat," but now is very emaciated. I was shocked to see how thin he was, with even his bones showing. I always fed him in the basement (where he felt most comfortable) and just presumed he was eating normally, but it appears he may have lost some teeth (?) because he now refuses all dry food unless soaked in water (and my other cat has become a lot fatter). I've also recently discovers little piles of soft dark feces all around the basement and near his litter box. I immediately switched over to canned food and / or dry food soaked in water, which he eats ravenously. He appears to have gained some weight in the past weeks, but still looks thin - which is unusual for him, as he always was quite chubby. He appears to feel normal and has even been coming upstairs a lot more often, playing with my other cat. I'd like to take him to the vet, but my big problem is catching him again - I know that sounds easy, but believe me, it's not! He's very fast and smart and will not go anywhere near that trap. Plus, he appears to feel normal yet it would seem there is something wrong?  Until I do manage to catch him, does anyone have any good advice??? I've also been putting daily probiotics and natural enzymes in his food.
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Avatar universal
I have two previous feral cats that have no teeth, and they have no problem eating dry food, but I prefer not to give it to them because they swallow it whole and it doesn't stay down very well.  Both of them had to have all their teeth pulled but are pain free and doing well.  I had to leave one at the vets after having the extractions  for a week so he could give him his meds. I wasn't going to attempt that every day, I still have the scars from just getting him to the vets. Its one less injury I have to worry about now when I take him for a check up, he can try biting me all he wants but gets nowhere.  He's 13 so he's even gotten slower on attempting to scratch me, but still is so much faster than me when trying to grab him for the carrier.  Good Luck.
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Avatar universal
PS. The loose feces seems to have presently cleared up, too. I think he was just literally starving before my eyes. His hair got real dry, too, probably from the malnutrition. So sad. Presently, he's being fed like royalty to make up for it!! I can't help but feel so guilty, and if anyone else has an animal who won't eat, please take tooth problems into serious consideration!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thank you, I appreciate your help - we must think alike because that's just what I did to catch him for the groomers - I had to go through 3 different cage-traps and it took half year to catch him! Thanks for understanding how different feral cats are, they are shy, timid, easily traumatized, and do NOT want to be caught! Yet most are very sweet and non-aggressive, unless they fear for their lives (such as being caught). Thankfully, my feral boy seems to finally be filling-out after a month of lots of canned cat food, dry food soaked in water and mixed with probiotics and enzyme supplements. I feel so guilty for not having noticed his losing  so much weight due to all his fur, obviously, he lost some teeth and couldn't eat the dry food. He must have just helplessly watched my other cat (who has grown much fatter!) gorge himself, while he sat by unable to eat. Breaks my heart to think that such thing happened to him, as he takes life so hard anyway. A long time ago a vet told me no dog or cat will starve itself, it will eventually eat even food it dislikes (such as when trying to change the diet), but he never took into consideration animals who have no teeth!!! Not  even considering the cat had no teeth, I just kept feeding him bowls of dry food everyday that he couldn't chew. I feel so guilt, but at least I don't think he has an illness, I think he's just toothless! Thanks for caring!!!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I don't have any good advice, I wish I did.  I know how hard it is to try to catch a cat that doesn't want to be caught,  it can end up being terrifying for him and bloody for you.  I agree that it could be teeth problems, some of our ferals had to have all their teeth removed, and weren't eating very well before they did.  My only suggestion is to keep the trap, unset, where he hangs out the most, for a week or two so he used to seeing it.  After awhile, then set it with tuna.  I had an agreement with my vet that if I was lucky enough to catch the cat I could bring him in at any time and they would keep him there until they could examine him and do the dental work, and I would pick him up when they were done.  Good Luck.
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