Cat not eating much

newhomeseekerOctober 6, 2010

I adopted a cat from an animal rescue in February. She had been there two years. She is 3 yrs old. she doesn't like other cats. I tried to integrate her into my "herd" (have five others) but she got picked on by my normally sweet timid female and chased by some of the others. She took over my bedroom (always sleeping on the bed) but had to run downstairs to use the litter box. I would feed her separately. About a month ago I decided it was too stressful for her to have to run to the basement to use the litter box so I put a litter box in my attached bathroom and shut the bedroom door. She seemed happier with this arragement for a few weeks. I went on vacation for a week and had someone house sitting for me. It was reported that my secluded cat would only eat dry food that week.

I have noticed she is looking thin (my other cats are all around 10 plus lbs and she is 8 something. I tried feeding her different types of foods but she just nibbles and walks away. Tried catnip (heard it can be an appetite stimulant) but that seemed to cause her to eat even less.

She does eat so its not as though she's starving herself but she just licks the gravy from canned food or nibbles on a few crunchies. When I feed her in the morning often she doesn't even get up to look at the food. I will put it on the bed in front of her and she eats two bites and walks away. I thought maybe she was depressed or lonely so I put my least aggressive sweet baby cat in there with her. She seemed interested in this for a few days (she perked up) and now she's back to being miserable and grouchy and not eating much at all.

I took her to the vet last week and she found nothing wrong with her. Did a stool sample test for bacteria and everything was negative. Vet gave me an antibioitic to give her "just in case" there was something she didnt' catch. I'm worried about giving her the antibiotic if the cat doesn't need it because it can cause loose stools and mess up the normal good bacteria in her stomach. So I gave her two doses and stopped. Vet now says we can put her on an appetite stimulant-mirtazapine- but I've read some things about it that I don't like. the cat weighs 8.2 lbs. Vet said she is healthy and she can feel fat pads around her underarms and back. Just doesn't carry fat on her stomach the vet told me.

My other cats all beg and plead for their dinner and breakfast and maybe that is why I'm so worried because this one seems to care less if you feed her or not. she does seem to eat more at night (when its dark). Any ideas?

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mazer415

Feed her at night when she is more comfortable. You probably are over worried because the new cat is so different from your other cats, but spending 2 years in confinement will do that...paying attention to what she wants and working with her seems to be the key. She probably does not eat alot because she is not expending alot of calories since she is not moving about much...so she is self regulating her food intake - smart cat. SHe may never get over her extended confinement, some animals never do no matter how good we make their lives. Stimulate her by spending time playing with her and hopefully she will come out of her shell. It appears she is not socialized because of her extended stay and may not konw how to be a cat..hopefully she will learn by watching your other cats and become more integrated into your cat pack. Good luck and kudos to you for getting a rescue

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 3:05PM
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newhomeseeker

Thansk for your reply. Her situation isn't that different than being at the shelter. At the rescue she was housed in a large room with 10-20 other cats depending on how crowded the shelter was. All the cats are free roaming and not in cages. Now she is in a bedroom. Has the bedroom and the attached bathroom to roam, a closet to sleep in if she watns and a window to look out. She does know how to be a cat- she LOVES to play. I think it is a stress relief for her. She enjoys playing with string. The other day (when I got back from vacation, I bought her one of those cardboard scratch boxes that you sprinkle cat nip on. I told her it was all hers and she was very pleased with herself and her new toy. I doubt she's had anything that was just hers before. She sat on that thing for days. She would sleep on it. She knew exactly what it was for though becasue she was always sharpening her nails on it. She does run around the bedroom a lot. Especially at night. She gets that crazy-cat look in her eyes and takes off in a mad dash.

She is probably bored in there all alone by herself but being around my other cats seems to stress her out way too much and she is always mean and angry when they are around. She can be very sweet though. She loves to lay on top of me (my back or stomach) at night and always demands to be petted late at night when I'm trying to fall asleep.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 4:06PM
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