Elderly cat does not eat

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Lilith
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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Lilith » Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:33 am

Oh the naughty one.

Is there another vet who you could ask for a second opinion? No single vet knows everything (the vet treating my poor little boy, described above, was prescribing antibiotics but never warned me about dehydration (and this was a good experienced vet.) The preference for dogs is annoying; this happens :(

Your and Mollycat's stories about pills made me laugh ... years and years ago I read that yeast pills were good for PMT so I bought some, and had one laid out on the table, when I was distracted. I also had a Siamese cross cat called The Leopard. The minute my back was turned, The Leopard ate my pill!

Luckily there's a brand of yeast pills for cats called 'Kitzyme' and she never suffered. Thrived in fact. She would!

Good luck with your girl. Do you think she might eat blended pork now if her mouth is uncomfortable? And what's her name? Beautiful girl, hope she gets over this.

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Theonic » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:34 pm

Is there a possibility the steroids bring diarrhea? She hs been taking the pill for three days now and she has diarrhea. I mean not many times but 2 times a day. Does your cat have such symptom as side effect from the steroids?

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Mollycat » Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:26 am

My cat's main problem was diarrhoea and the steroids were given to help stop it and it is working. If you think the steroid is causing diarrhoea please speak to the vet but do not stop steroids suddenly as this can cause problems. Steroids are commonly given to control diarrhoea and it shouldn't be a side effect but there are different steroids, the vet should be able to advise you.

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Theonic » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:10 am

I read this in the leaflet. It was mentioned as a possible side effect. I am thinking of giving her half a pill today. The vet said to give her the whole pill for a few days and then try to lessen it. He was not very clear about how many days. What kind of steroid do you give to your cat and it stopped diarrhea? I give her prednisolone

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Mollycat » Tue Jul 23, 2019 4:58 pm

Same, Prednisolone, the 5mg tablets. Except that we're now on the ling-lasting injection.

Our vet said 5 days on the whole tablet daily then 5 days on half then half every other day and so on.
From what others have said on here that may have been too quick cutting down, it might be better to go 1 a day for week 1 then the next week skip one dose then cut down to skip one dose every 6 days, 5 days, and so on.

Please do not skip doses at this early stage without talking to the vet, and if her diarrhoea is a side effect of it then vet can advise what to do.

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Theonic » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:56 pm

No I won’t skip doses. I will talk to the vet again. I gave her half a pill today. The vet never told us specifically how many days to give the whole pill. What he mainly wanted to make us understand was that we need to find the less dose that will make her be okay. She hasn’t had any diarrhea today. In fact she hasn’t gone to the toilet at all but this is how she used to be. But she seems okay these days. She eats dry food and wet food by herself. Okay not too much but the last years she hasn’t been eating big portions anyway. The injection must be more powerful than the pills. Is this the reason the vet gave your cat the injection instead of the pills?

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Mollycat » Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:28 am

No the injection can be for any dose, it is slow release over 6 weeks so it keeps an even release all the way through the 6 weeks. The reason we are on it is because Boo is difficult to pill anyway (despite being a dopey Ragdoll, I don't think he got the memo) and after 5 weeks of just about managing with 2 of us he got the hang of keeping it in his mouth while swallowing, and casually going to his bed or somewhere quiet and spitting it out. It melts and makes him dribble but we have no way of knowing how much he has actually swallowed. 3 days running he did this and we said enough. Plus he was beginning to hesitate about coming to us for his cuddles in case we did this awful thing to him, and that is not what I want for him in his last weeks or months before we have to say goodbye.

The reason they prefer tablets if the steroids are going to be long term is because the dose is adjustable and controllable. Once you have found the minimum effective dose, then injection can be ok. It is a little bit more expensive but my vets give it at the price of the medication if it is injected by the nurse, so I paid £9 for 6 weeks supply of tablets, or £16 for one 6-week injection, but any time I see the vet I have to pay the consultation fee on top.

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Ruth B » Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:48 am

I think that must be something on the Ragdoll genes that isn't normally mentioned, Blue, my old Ragdoll was the one cat I had to admit failure with when it came to giving tablets and ask for injections when he needed something. I think it was just because his fur was so silky that we could not hold him still enough no matter what technique we tried.

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Mollycat » Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:36 am

Oh with two of us we can hold him fine, but he snaps his head back and mouth shut without a care for fingers and then when you feel him swallow he has somehow managed to regurgitate the pill from deep in his throat. The mackerel tabby alley cat is the slippery one and I would not even attempt to pill her, it's bad enough getting her once out of 3 to go to the vets. Though once there she is petrified into being so docile you can inject her without holding her at all and do almost anything to her ... so much so that I once took her just to get a mat that had formed in her fur!!

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by booktigger » Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:15 pm

Mollycat wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:28 am
No the injection can be for any dose, it is slow release over 6 weeks so it keeps an even release all the way through the 6 weeks. The reason we are on it is because Boo is difficult to pill anyway (despite being a dopey Ragdoll, I don't think he got the memo) and after 5 weeks of just about managing with 2 of us he got the hang of keeping it in his mouth while swallowing, and casually going to his bed or somewhere quiet and spitting it out. It melts and makes him dribble but we have no way of knowing how much he has actually swallowed. 3 days running he did this and we said enough. Plus he was beginning to hesitate about coming to us for his cuddles in case we did this awful thing to him, and that is not what I want for him in his last weeks or months before we have to say goodbye.

The reason they prefer tablets if the steroids are going to be long term is because the dose is adjustable and controllable. Once you have found the minimum effective dose, then injection can be ok. It is a little bit more expensive but my vets give it at the price of the medication if it is injected by the nurse, so I paid £9 for 6 weeks supply of tablets, or £16 for one 6-week injection, but any time I see the vet I have to pay the consultation fee on top.
Actually, the injection wouldn't be suitable when you find the minimum dose, you wouldn't have the same control, they also don't like it in case they develop side effects, the injection is in the system for a lot longer. I would use the injection in your case though. Surprised nurses are allowed to give injections though, especially as they have to be seen by a vet either once a year or once every 6 months to keep prescribing tablets, we did regular bloods with Molly to monitor for side effects which covered that requirement.

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Theonic » Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:55 pm

Mollycat wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:28 am
No the injection can be for any dose, it is slow release over 6 weeks so it keeps an even release all the way through the 6 weeks. The reason we are on it is because Boo is difficult to pill anyway (despite being a dopey Ragdoll, I don't think he got the memo) and after 5 weeks of just about managing with 2 of us he got the hang of keeping it in his mouth while swallowing, and casually going to his bed or somewhere quiet and spitting it out. It melts and makes him dribble but we have no way of knowing how much he has actually swallowed. 3 days running he did this and we said enough. Plus he was beginning to hesitate about coming to us for his cuddles in case we did this awful thing to him, and that is not what I want for him in his last weeks or months before we have to say goodbye.

The reason they prefer tablets if the steroids are going to be long term is because the dose is adjustable and controllable. Once you have found the minimum effective dose, then injection can be ok. It is a little bit more expensive but my vets give it at the price of the medication if it is injected by the nurse, so I paid £9 for 6 weeks supply of tablets, or £16 for one 6-week injection, but any time I see the vet I have to pay the consultation fee on top.
Fortunately she is so calm that you can do anything to her so we don’t have any problem with the pills. I give rhem to her by myself. The pills are so tiny and i put it back at her throat so she usually does not spit it and I give her some water with the syringe after the pill. The only problem I ever had was with capsules when she had to take for her arthritis but we gave those up because she used to hide whenever she heard the sound of taking the capsule from the box. She was chewing them and then spitting them out. Does your cat eat with the injection now? You can never know if she has months or years. As long as she eats even smaller portions. My Angel seems okay with the half pill and her appetite has increased a bit. I will talk to the vet tomorrow to tell me if he wants to make it 1/4 or keep the half. My cat is so stressed when she have to go to the vet although he is just 5 minutes away by car. We always have to wait there and she keeps crying until she returns home. What worries me is that that she might not go to pee sometimes unless I put her in the sand myself. She had urine infection a month ago and took antibiotics and then the urine was checked and had no infection. I read somewhere on the internet that steroids might cause urinary tract infections. I guess I must realise that she will always have a problem.

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Mollycat » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:22 pm

booktigger wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:15 pm
Actually, the injection wouldn't be suitable when you find the minimum dose, you wouldn't have the same control, they also don't like it in case they develop side effects, the injection is in the system for a lot longer. I would use the injection in your case though. Surprised nurses are allowed to give injections though, especially as they have to be seen by a vet either once a year or once every 6 months to keep prescribing tablets, we did regular bloods with Molly to monitor for side effects which covered that requirement.
Thank you for the correction, my vet just said now that we know what dose keeps him going the injection is fine. Nurses can only give the injection and we still have to see the vet regularly but I discussed this with her and I think given all his problems every other jab, ie every 3 months, is probably appropriate for now.

To be honest now that his renal failure is uncontrolled it's a case of which is going to get him first, the kidney failure, the possible thyroid or whatever it causing the bowel inflammation. If we treat the thyroid the kidneys will get worse, if we treat the kidneys the bowel gets worse, and the steroids controlling the inflammation could wreak havoc anywhere. We're just managing the worst symptoms now.

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Mollycat » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:32 pm

Theonic wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:55 pm
Does your cat eat with the injection now?
Yes he is eating fine now, we still have him on special dry though he doesn't eat much of that, and Felix senior pouches. In 5 weeks he has regained 100g of the 900+ he lost in just 2 weeks, he was very very ill.

The steroids were our final desperate attempt to help him, our last option. We started them on Saturday 13th June, the next day he had not responded and I was thinking I don't want him put to sleep on his birthday which was Monday. But Monday at 4am he was demanding food and ate it all, 11am he wanted more so he got it and ate that, and in the evening ate his meal again, and from then he has been ok except for the 4 days we tried reducing the dose when he was slowly dying again and the diarrhoea came back. We put the dose back up and he is still doing really well. Another one of his 9 lives used up!

Every cat is different and every condition they have and how they respond to medication is different.

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Theonic » Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:12 pm

Yes I know. Who knows what they feel or they are in pain somewhere in their body and that is why they eat with the steroids. Have you tried any other wet food except felix or is your cat as fussy as mine? Did he always eat these? The diarrhea is probably from something he eats? I hope he improves. I wish the vets would know more. If the cats could only speak we would know!

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by booktigger » Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:47 pm

I know what you mean about the balancing act, Lucy has multiple health issues, she shouldn't have renal food because of her IHC, but the vet said her kidneys would kill her quicker, but we have to limit it! Fortunately introducing senior food helped with her levels. She also needs to lose weight but reduce her food and she scavenges and gets aggressive. She's also supposed to be on arthritis supplements but has now started to refuse everything bar the cheapest, so has to go for acupuncture. I dread her developing anything else, the only reason we could get her IHC under control is because the meds are only once a week, before she became ill I couldn't even worm her!

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Mollycat » Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:14 pm

Theonic wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:12 pm
Yes I know. Who knows what they feel or they are in pain somewhere in their body and that is why they eat with the steroids. Have you tried any other wet food except felix or is your cat as fussy as mine? Did he always eat these? The diarrhea is probably from something he eats? I hope he improves. I wish the vets would know more. If the cats could only speak we would know!
It's not that he is fussy, though he is not very food motivated. I had him on Butchers grain-free at first and that was fine until his kidney diagnosis, then we went to Hills k/d wet and dry but he never liked the wet and eventually it made him sick, so we stuck with just the dry for a while. Then that started to make him sick too and chronic diarrhoea. At first we could keep it at bay with vitamin B injections and then steroid injections but then it stopped working. In a matter of days he became very ill. We don't know what's wrong with him, it could be IBD or lymphoma or something else, but I am not prepared to put him through expensive tests to find out which problem he has that means an invasive aggressive treatment to possibly work or not work and maybe inconclusive. Whatever it is the food and the steroid is affordable, non-invasive and keeping him comfortable.

I'm afraid I'm not one to treat everything no matter what. If daily tablets cause damage to my relationship with my cat, or frequent vet visits cause distress, that is more important to me. Just because I can doesn't mean I should. The age and character of the cat obviously come into it, so does quality of life with or without treatment. My other one had to have radioiodine for her thyroid because she was 11 and there was no alternative treatment possible for her and she was too young not to treat. The lovely boy I lost 2 years ago at 14 had a mouth tumour and if we had found it at 4 years old rather than 14, having read up on how aggressive the treatment is, I think we would have still made the same decision. I know I sound hard and many will disagree with my choices, I don't treat my cats as disposable and I love them as much as anyone, but my definition of suffering and I guess the way I see cost/benefit trade off and quality of life above length of life is just a little different. They have no concept of length of life, they only know if they are ok or not ok. They have no way of knowing that daily torture with a pill is the only thing keeping them ok. But I completely respect other people's different choices, too. One of my old cats was blind, deaf, senile and skeletal for 2 years but she was happy, and eventually she passed peacefully in her sleep - if she had been suffering we would have done something to help her but she wasn't. It's cmpletely individual to each cat and each owner.

Hope this makes sense :)

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by booktigger » Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:04 pm

I fully agree that just because we can doesn't mean we should. , I've given up medicating cats because of the stress it was causing them, it does all depend on the individual cat, I actually tried acupuncture for Lucy expecting her not to tolerate it (she stopped coming for food when we tried Metacam) but ironically she does, although she doesn't enjoy the regular vet visits - we've gone from drawing blood to her just cowering though, which is some sort of progress. I just wish I could get her to understand that if she would take the daily supplements, she wouldn't need to go as frequently! It's a bit harder with her, as she was diagnosed with arthritis at the age of 9.

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Lilith » Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:41 pm

Makes sense to me, Mollycat and Booktigger too.

I had this situation with my Emily a year ago, with ckd, and now Mouse is doddering about, six months younger than Emmy, who was 17 when she left us. Mousey's an old crock now, deteriorating, skinny and starey coated, but still damn cheerful and brighteyed and likes a big fuss, and at the sound of a pouch or Felix or a tin of Encore - she's there!

Yes, perhaps I should get her to to vet for blood tests, meds, but she hates intrusion ... she's impossible to pill; she's terrified. I think I have to accept she's an old lass, she's running down at her own pace. It isn't a question of money - if I could turn the clock back to two years ago and pay for a miracle cure like I did for her hyperthyroid, I would. I think she just wants peace and privacy now; any problems I'll have the vet out pdq to the house.

But in the meantime - peace and privacy.

Good luck with your girl, Theonic, hope you have a good bit of time left with her.

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Theonic » Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:26 pm

I always respect other people’s opinions. It doesn’t have to be the same as mine. And of course what you say does make sense to me. The good thing is she does not seem to suffer at all but I cannot know what she feels and make her not eat without the steroids. I have other cats but not at home and when it comes to needing to take them to the vet they act exactly the same. Unfortunately when it comes to a cat that seems to have something that the vet can deal with I have to take her although she cannot understand that it is for her own good. If I hesitated to take her to the vet all these times I did she wouldn’t be alive. I agree when it comes to doing blood tests etc which we did 2 years ago and saw the problem with her liver but we did not repeat them cause I don’t want to stress her although they don’t sedate her or anything. She is so calm and basically this is how her personality has always been. She does not want other cats or other people except us or my mother. That is why we avoid having anyone at home

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by booktigger » Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:11 pm

My friend's dog has just been to the vets which reminded me of another reason they don't like using the injection long term - they can't use things like Metacam at the same time, so when Molly had her abscess, she had to come off the steroids for 2 days before, and couldn't have them for 2 days after stopping the Metacam.

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Lilith » Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:36 pm

Yes, so difficult to know what to do, but if the steroids seem to be helping, then why not? Every case is different and, as has been said, if only they could tell us (or the vet) what's going on.

Sorry if I seemed to sound a bit over the top, by the way; I'm only just starting to realise that I too have an oldie who's beginning to fail ... no matter if you've experienced it before, it still hits hard doesn't it? I'm just beginning to realise what you're feeling, Theonic (hugs.)

However, I think the cats are much more laid back than we are. Favourite bed and grub when they feel like it, tray nearby, affection and safety ... ummmm ... purrr ... zzzzz ... Bless them

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Mollycat » Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:32 pm

Thank you BT that's good to know!!

Lilith ... I think I still prefer the slow but not too long decline to the sudden shock though. Long enough to say goodbye, short enough not to be a nuisance. Oh sorry that's about me - but still it gives us time to get used to the idea. My guidance is the Serenity prayer - the serenity to accept the things I can't, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

For me the crazy thing is with all Boo's woes and multiple ailments with mutually exclusive care plans, at the same time Molly is only 12 and although she has had her radioiodine 4 months on she is obviously still adapting to being well. She is taking me through a separate roller coaster from weight loss to soft poo sometimes with bright yellow (that damn bilirubin-liver thing again!) and her purrsonality is still changing, back and forth. I'm sure it's her thyroid hormones still settling but we still don't have the money for the 6 week checkup tests. Sadly for her so many options are closed, well basically any medication or regular vet visits are impossible. So something very minor and treatable could potentially spell the end for her.

You don't seem over the top at all Lilith, you have great wisdom and insight and so much experience to share.

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by booktigger » Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:45 pm

Yes, I would rather have time to say goodbye, it's much harder when its sudden. It certainly doesn't get easier regardless of how many times you've been through it Lil, we need a hug smilie. I feel for my friend and her poor dog, nerve damage has caused muscle wastage but she can't have metacam because of being on steroids since Jan, so limited options.

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Lilith » Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:39 pm

Aww thanks for the kind words, Mollycat and Booktigger - Mollycat I'm sorry, forgot you're going through it too :(

That's interesting about the 'purrsonality change' after radio-iodine treatment, because Mouse changed radically. I said to the staff at the Centre that one of my worries was how she would accept confinement, both there and back at home, and they said breezily that the cats got used to it. They certainly did. Even when it was time for Mousey to be released from her 'isolation ward' here, she didn't come out. She had been my main bed cat - she never got on the bed again. Eventually she went downstairs and chose a favourite chair and that was It. She never went upstairs again. She never went into the garden. Just as sweet and loving, but accustomed to a smaller space ... I have seen this behaviour in a kitten who was pen-reared. I had to go to her, not her to me. The pen rearing, by the way, is used a lot for kittens' safety. I once knew a case of somebody accidentally treading back on a kitten of a few weeks :( Better a pen than that.

Sorry Theonic, I'm way way off topic by now. As always, all the best to you and your pretty girl, and to Mollycat and Boo and to everyone else with a Golden Oldie, long may our Oldies live x

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Mollycat » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:50 pm

I second that, about a toast to our oldie-goldies, and also sorry for wandering off topic, but ...

There is one change post radioiodine that makes sense, Molly no longer goes crazy for fish and dairy. She still loves them but not like a crazy loon and I wonder if her tumour was craving iodine. A few days after she came home she once lay on her back and let me stroke her chest, only once. But then she sat on my lap once in 2014. She has mellowed but not enough for me to stop calling her feral. Her appetite is more normal and even table titbits she just leaves when she's had enough, and today she politely refused tuna. But then, I had an animal communicator session with her before treatment and two distance reiki sessions, one to get her in the carrier and the other while she was in. She really seems to respond to reiki, even the one I found on you-tube seemed to do something!

One strange thing, she keeps losing her voice and likes to lie on her front with her neck stretched right out, a lot more than she ever used to. I could understand for a few days if she was intubated for sedation, but this is 4 months now!

Theonic is reiki something you might consider?

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by booktigger » Sat Jul 27, 2019 6:34 am

Lucy had reiki in the rescue actually, apparently it took quite a lot of sessions to 'crack ' her and she ended every session by drawing blood! She might be a domestic cat, but has definite semi-feral tendencies

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Theonic » Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:43 am

Mollycat wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:50 pm
I second that, about a toast to our oldie-goldies, and also sorry for wandering off topic, but ...

There is one change post radioiodine that makes sense, Molly no longer goes crazy for fish and dairy. She still loves them but not like a crazy loon and I wonder if her tumour was craving iodine. A few days after she came home she once lay on her back and let me stroke her chest, only once. But then she sat on my lap once in 2014. She has mellowed but not enough for me to stop calling her feral. Her appetite is more normal and even table titbits she just leaves when she's had enough, and today she politely refused tuna. But then, I had an animal communicator session with her before treatment and two distance reiki sessions, one to get her in the carrier and the other while she was in. She really seems to respond to reiki, even the one I found on you-tube seemed to do something!

One strange thing, she keeps losing her voice and likes to lie on her front with her neck stretched right out, a lot more than she ever used to. I could understand for a few days if she was intubated for sedation, but this is 4 months now!

Theonic is reiki something you might consider?
I am not familiar with reiki! What do you mean losing her voice? If you mean the sound of her meow mine has been like this for the past few years. Her meow is silent but when she wants she can make it sound very loud

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Mollycat » Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:55 am

Theonic wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:43 am

I am not familiar with reiki! What do you mean losing her voice? If you mean the sound of her meow mine has been like this for the past few years. Her meow is silent but when she wants she can make it sound very loud
No a silent miaow is something different. This is where her loud voice sometimes 'cracks' like a person who needs to clear their throat. It has happened since the radioiodine treatment and all the tests she had for it, including having a scan under sedation. It's normal to have a sore throat for a day or two after that but I don't know if this is something to do with the treatment itself.

Nothing to do with steroids though, she is not the one having them.

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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Theonic » Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:15 am

She does this sometimes as well. Either this or the silent meow. She seems to be too bored to even make her voice sound. The only reason to be loud is when she goes to the vet or when she wants to wake me up in the morning. When she does believe me she just wakes me up in a minute. She goes under the bed and I wake up instantly! Can you not ask the vet for this? Does he charge you even for a simple consultation over the phone?

Mollycat
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Re: Elderly cat does not eat

Post by Mollycat » Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:10 pm

Vet doesn't know, it doesn't appear to be a common side effect so we will see when she gets her check-up. To be fair they are like a general doctor, the experts are the specialist hospitals. When we get Molly's test results sent there I will have the question asked. Just wondered if anyone else has had that experience :)

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