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My cat is so fickle its making me nuts

catladyintraining

Savannah Adult
I got George a few months ago, and it was shortly after he had a food scare, he suddenly and unnoticed by his previous owner stopped eating his dry food. When they noticed, the vet gave him fluids and he was put on wet food (yuck Friskies gravy) and his liver had started to get bad. When I got him he had nasty runny poop and was vomiting between meals so I upped his meals to 4 a day and had him on 3 oz cans. That seemed about right, he's roughly 12 lbs now. After a little bit he started eating 4 5.5 oz cans a day because he would cry for more food after he ate the 3oz cans. He would act as though he was starving between meals.

I switched him recently from Soulistic chicken to Stella's Chick Chick Chicken and he was doing amazing..I was going to go with the canned and freeze dried raw but he started refusing the canned and running to where I make the raw...it was great for a week but yesterday he just suddenly didn't eat as much. He's playing, he's spunky (chasing my poor 10 yr old ragdoll mix around biting her neck from behind like he thinks he can do something with her..they are both fixed) but he isn't eating as much. His poop smells like flowers and look like they should (well not flowers but not like death either) I put about 15 Stella nuggets in the bowl 4 times a day like he used to want to eat and he will eat it but not as enthusiastically as he was before.

I have cases of food we have gone through that he has loved and left behind and I am more invested in getting him on the Stella and Chewy's than the rest because I can control the water and I can put as little/lot in there as he seems to want and I know its really healthy but the sudden drop in appetite has me a little worried. He's done this before and then I switched flavors on the canned foods and he was great again. Is this normal? I ordered some different flavors of the Stella's to see if rotating that will help but with him getting so sick before from refusing food with previous owner, I know he can wait it out a long time and so I am afraid to test the "outwait him" method. Is this normal? Maybe he pigged out to get his weight up to normal and now he's just on maintenance? Any thoughts would be greatly welcome.
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
If all else has been ruled out -- thyroid, liver, kidney disease, irritable or inflammatory bowel disease, allergies etc., you can relax. He is likely just on self-imposed maintenance. I believe it's good to offer a variety of types of food, just in case a favored food becomes no longer available or an allergy is developed to it.

I used to incessantly worry about the amount of food my cats ate -- I measured the weight of what I gave them and the weight of what was left over. But I've come to realize that how much they eat is dependent on a lot of factors -- their age, the weather, level of daily activity, boredom in general or boredom toward a specific food, and plain old mood swings. Kinda just like us. So the only thing we can do is feed them a set amount per day and, unless they start acting/looking ill, not worry about fluctuations in appetite.

You can try doing what I started doing -- feed him less than he's used to for a day or two and then feed the usual amount. Try to mimic what would occur if he was hunting for his own food.
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
You have good reason to worry about George given his history of self-enforced fast in the past, but I think observing a less than ravenous appetite for one day is not cause for too much worry. I suspect as you do that he has finally 'caught up' in his nutritional needs and is finally starting to settle into a maintenance diet. I think you said that he is eating, just not as much or with as much gusto, is that right?

Having said that, I like the idea of having different flavors of Stella's to rotate through, that is what I have done myself. You might even try some of the food that he previously ate then turned up his nose at later on. He may just be a cat that prefers a diet with variety.

Definitely however, if he completely stops eating for more than two days he needs to go to the vet asap. A three day or longer fast can lead to more liver problems, and they can be serious.
 

catladyintraining

Savannah Adult
You have good reason to worry about George given his history of self-enforced fast in the past, but I think observing a less than ravenous appetite for one day is not cause for too much worry. I suspect as you do that he has finally 'caught up' in his nutritional needs and is finally starting to settle into a maintenance diet. I think you said that he is eating, just not as much or with as much gusto, is that right?

Having said that, I like the idea of having different flavors of Stella's to rotate through, that is what I have done myself. You might even try some of the food that he previously ate then turned up his nose at later on. He may just be a cat that prefers a diet with variety.

Definitely however, if he completely stops eating for more than two days he needs to go to the vet asap. A three day or longer fast can lead to more liver problems, and they can be serious.

He's eating but not a whole lot. I am used to him crawling over me and crying because he is always hungry but that was before Stella's. I got him to eat this morning about 20 chunks with extra water and he's eating the raw food pellets if I only wet them a little and offer them like a treat but just a couple of the chunks at a time on the floor not in the bowl, weird cat. He's VERY interested in the herring sample I had around here from the pet store that originally gave me the samples but didn't want it when I dumped a little bit in water and offered it and chased me down for the Benito flakes and scarfed the little bit I gave him while trying to trim 1 nail at a time. (not very successful because he is not a fan of restraint and I am afraid to lose his trust) There are enough raw foods out there that I should be able to mix it up to keep this fickle cat satisfied. We did a whole panel on him a few months ago because of the poo patty problem and it was negative...and when he stopped eating that vet did a panel and blood work and all negative there, too.
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
I know you've been really thorough on his health care so don't think it's an illness that has caused him to lose his appetite. Just keep an eye on his appetite, and on his weight as well if you can. I find it pretty easy to weigh adult cats by weighing myself holding the cat, then without the cat and subtracting the difference.

BTW, a trick I've used to trim nails which has worked so far with every cat I've tried it on is the binder clipnosis:

http://vet.osu.edu/cvm/clipnosis-technique-can-calm-cats-vets-office-and-home

http://dailypicksandflicks.com/2011/07/10/clipnosis-how-to-calm-down-a-cat-with-a-binder-clip-video/

In fact I just used it on one of my girls just before I read your email (talk about timing!) and it took me less than two minutes to finish clipping her.
 

Chris Elliott

Savannah Super Cat
I also used the clips before clipping two of my cat's nails earlier today. I think it's easier on both of us if I put the clips on from the start. If I try to clip their nails without the clips on, they get rather wound up around the third nail and then it's a struggle to put the clips on and calm them down. Happy clipping!
 

catladyintraining

Savannah Adult
Sorry for the necro but wanted to thank you all for the helpful advice. I think George did "catch up" and now he has been here about a year and even though he isn't eating 4 5 oz cans a day anymore, he is healthy and happy and his weight is steady. I guess cats really do seem to how much they need to eat most of the time. He went from a ravenous cat to normal appetite and NO MORE STINKY POO, I mean it doesn't smell like roses but it doesn't smell like death all through the house anymore. I think a good diet really helped his digestive system. Anyhow, just wanted to let you all know how it all turned out and thank you for your help, there is lots of wisdom here :)
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
Very glad to hear that George's diet has stabilized and that he is doing so well :up:
 
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