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I think our cat is dying - Crappy update 11/13 at end - I don't know what to do


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Updated 10/30:

Such great news this morning!  I took a paper plate and offered him a little of a bunch of different foods and he ate. At first it was not a lot and that was okay but he wandered back to the plate not long later even though the other cats had licked it clean. So I gave him more of the one he liked (wet kitten food covered with a broth that came in a packet) and he ate again. Yay! Now he's napping in the sun. Oh, he also bloodied DH and I while giving him meds this morning. We are thrilled he put up a fight. I feel so much better. DH and I were convinced he was going to die. Last night I put him back on the ground after giving him his medicine and ran my hands down his side. I normally do that when I put him down because he's so furry but when I did it this time I got a really good look at just how skinny he is. There was almost no flesh on either side of his backbone. I'd be willing to bet he's getting close to 10 pounds. There is no effort at all to carry him any more. But today is good. Really, really good!

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I hate this year. I really, really do. If I knew 2021 was going to be better, I think I could hold on until then but I have no faith that it will be.

Every night before bed, I shake the cats' treat container. I have them all trained to go into the part of the house where they spend the night. This cuts out any night time disagreements between a couple who aren't the best of friends. So when I shook the container Saturday night and Havoc didn't come running, I realized in a flash that I hadn't seen him since him climbing into my lap that morning. With 5 cats, it's hard to keep track of what they are all doing during the day but I still feel like a pet parent failure just the same. But because I wasn't quite sure if I was remembering correctly, I left him under my bed (where I found him) even though that isn't his assigned room. I wanted him close.

The next day he only came out once to use the litter box 

*I had to stop writing this post. He started vomiting. He's really going to die, isn't he?

I took him to the vet first thing Monday and they found his mouth to be swollen and tender. They took blood for a panel but couldn't find his bladder to get urine. They gave him an shot of antibiotics and a vitamin B shot as well.

The next morning I got a call saying the blood test looks like he has FIV and we've started him on a course of steroids and potassium (which he was low on). To tempt him out from under the bed for his medicine, I was able to get him to eat some treats and have some water as well. By night time he wouldn't eat treats anymore but still took some water. This morning he won't take anything and now has started to vomit. He's weaker today and not fighting taking the medicine like he was.

This year has been tough with a lot of expensive home repairs, missing my grandson's birth due to Covid, and my DH falling off the roof and breaking his leg because the roof started to leak. Now he's out of work. All of that on top of quarantine and Covid, pandemic shortages, not seeing family....everything we are all going through. I don't know...I don't know if this is feeling so overwhelming because of all of that or it would feel this way any way. I still haven't got over putting our dog to sleep just under 2 years ago.

He just can't die. He's only 6 years old.

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Edited by stephanier.1765
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Updated 10/30: Such great news this morning!  I took a paper plate and offered him a little of a bunch of different foods and he ate. At first it was not a lot and that was okay but he wandered b

I took Havoc for his follow up visit yesterday and they redid his blood panel. They just called this morning with the results and they weren't good. His platelets are lower than when I took him in jus

Look who's hanging out in my lap today. 😻 Well technically, he's partially on my lap and partially on the chair because he's too big to do otherwise. I'm squished against the other side and I don't ev

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He is beautiful.  I'm in tears reading this and everything else you are going through.  Sending big hugs.  I hope he pulls through.  Thinking of you.  😞  ❤️

 

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Beautiful boy. He looks like my ThorBear. Those are not good signs. They were not good signs for my beautiful boy and he was only 7. 

I hope things turn around. He’s lovely.

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I'm so sorry. The same thing happened to our cat Seamus years ago. He was a stray that we took in, back before testing for FIV was common (around here, anyway). He was seemingly healthy for a few years and then just suddenly declined. He was right around the same age as your kitty.

If you haven't already, you should talk to your vet about getting your other cats tested.

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He's a beautiful boy, I'm so sorry he's sick. 

Many cats live for a really long time with FIV. The swollen mouth might be why he doesn't want much food or treats, and hopefully that improves with the steroids.

Stress management can be really important for FIV, especially if he's one of the cats who doesn't get along with the others. Can he have a different place to sleep? Possibly a different litter box? Is he a roamer or would he be happy in mostly one room? We have two high tables that are in the common area, but that have a litterbox and feeding area and are used only by our senior cat, aka Her Majesty. It's the only way to manage the stress other cats create for her. 

Positive energy headed your way!

 

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He is beautiful.  I am so sorry.   This year really is a pit of suck isn't it?   Sending lots of peaceful and healing thoughts for him and many hugs for you.

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1 hour ago, katilac said:

He's a beautiful boy, I'm so sorry he's sick. 

Many cats live for a really long time with FIV. The swollen mouth might be why he doesn't want much food or treats, and hopefully that improves with the steroids.

Stress management can be really important for FIV, especially if he's one of the cats who doesn't get along with the others. Can he have a different place to sleep? Possibly a different litter box? Is he a roamer or would he be happy in mostly one room? We have two high tables that are in the common area, but that have a litterbox and feeding area and are used only by our senior cat, aka Her Majesty. It's the only way to manage the stress other cats create for her. 

Positive energy headed your way!

 

He rules the roost around here. I don't know if that's because he's the only male or because he is substantially bigger than the other cats (maybe both) but they all leave a wide circle around him wherever he is. They will go in a different direction if they see him. I've been keeping him in my room though and he's happy about that I think. He has always begged to sleep in my room at night but I don't let him because that only lasts a few hours and then he wakes me up to let him out. So the first night I let him stay in my room, you could almost see the look on his face as if he couldn't believe his luck.

I put food and water under the bed with him so he wouldn't have to do much to get to them but it doesn't look as if he has had any. There is also a litter box nearby. 

Before he got sick, he weighed nearly 20 lbs. He's a Maine Coon, so he's a big boy. When I was getting him out of his crate, the vet said, "He's 10 feet long!"  When they weighed him, he only weighed 14. You could have knocked me over with a feather when she told me. That's a big loss. I feel sick that I didn't see it.  We knew he had lost some weight but we thought that was because he could no longer steal the kitten's kitten food. All that fur probably helped disguise the loss...I guess. I don't know. That is just so much weight.

Thanks everyone for all the kind words. It helps to lose myself here.

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I'm so sorry! I've been going through health challenges with my kitty, but she's 15. It's so stressful not knowing, because they can't tell us how they feel. I hope the steroids and medication start working soon.

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Our calico cat had a dental cleaning and a couple teeth removed, and apparently it triggered some awful autoimmune thing in her mouth where everything in her mouth caused lots of pain.  Her gums bleed a lot.  We did several rounds of steroids and antibiotics, which helped, but we've mostly we've gotten to a place of equilibrium through time.  I really thought we were going to have to put her down because of not eating stemming from the mouth pain, but extra gravy pate food seems to be okay, and she got better and put weight back on again.  

Don't feel guilty about noticing the weight loss.  It's sooooooo hard to tell in long haired cats.  The floof really hides it.  

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I am so sorry you all have been through so much this year. We had a young cat nearly die a year ago from "fever of unknown origin". It was touch and go for at least 2 weeks, but she did eventually recover. Hopefully yours will, too. It's so, so hard to see them sick.

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56 minutes ago, Kanin said:

@stephanier.1765, how's your cat today?

Thank you so much for asking 🙂

He's the same. Not eating. I can't tell if he is drinking or not but he did do a good sized pee last night. Not as much as he usually does but still better than he has been. No visit to the litter box yet today. He's still hanging out under the bed. I had my son, the one he is closest too, come over and visit with him. Havoc loves this kid to the the moon and back, head over hills in love but he didn't come from under the bed to visit with him. My son did spend a good amount of time talking to him and reaching under the bed to give him scratches. Havoc did purr and lift his head so I hope that means he hasn't given up yet. One of the reasons I had my son come to visit was to hopefully lift Havoc's spirits and, just in case, say goodbye. My son is Havoc's boy.

But despite no real changes, I'm feeling more upbeat today. Him vomiting yesterday really freaked me out. I thought that might be the start of a quick decline but he's holding steady. I sure wish he'd eat something to help him gain strength to fight this but I can't even tempt him with his favorite wet food.

Please keep us in your thoughts. I woke up sick today. It feels like the start of a cold but my chest already hurts. We are really in trouble if I get sick. That would mean we can't take Havoc to the vet or my dh to the doctor. Tuesday is supposed to be the big day for the doctor's visit. It's the one that decides if dh can start physical therapy, which would be a huge step towards recovery and getting back to work. We need that income badly so me being sick just isn't an option.

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7 minutes ago, stephanier.1765 said:

But despite no real changes, I'm feeling more upbeat today. Him vomiting yesterday really freaked me out. I thought that might be the start of a quick decline but he's holding steady. I sure wish he'd eat something to help him gain strength to fight this but I can't even tempt him with his favorite wet food.

Holding steady is better than declining! I laughed a little at the big pee in the litter box. I'm also litter-box stalking these days.... my cat has been on and off antibiotics for a UTI for TWO months now, so I watch the litter box like a nutcase. He must be drinking some to be peeing, right? I think if they're not eating much, not much litter box-ing happens... at least in my uneducated experience. 

It sounds like his mouth really hurts. When my cat is sick, she'll often eat baby food in a jar - the kind that's just plain turkey or plain chicken (no weird gums added). Hoping he's just resting and letting the medication do its work. Also hoping that you're not sick!

Waah. Life is so hard these days. (hugs)

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1 minute ago, Kanin said:

Holding steady is better than declining! I laughed a little at the big pee in the litter box. I'm also litter-box stalking these days.... my cat has been on and off antibiotics for a UTI for TWO months now, so I watch the litter box like a nutcase. He must be drinking some to be peeing, right? I think if they're not eating much, not much litter box-ing happens... at least in my uneducated experience. 

It sounds like his mouth really hurts. When my cat is sick, she'll often eat baby food in a jar - the kind that's just plain turkey or plain chicken (no weird gums added). Hoping he's just resting and letting the medication do its work. Also hoping that you're not sick!

Waah. Life is so hard these days. (hugs)

I scoop boxes every day so I've been amazed at the difference not having Havoc use them. It seems he is the biggest producer of waste, by far. By far! Crazy. For some reason, he's been using the box when I brush my teeth at night so it's been easy to stalk him, thankfully. Knowing that something is coming out eases my mind a bit. Like you, I think he must be drinking if he's peeing.

Baby food! That is brilliant! We are definitely going to try that. Thank you!

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When mine was so sick I would syringe feed her bone broth. Of course she was able to keep it down--she wasn't vomiting. If Havoc's tummy gets calm enough to keep something down, you can ask your vet for a medication you rub on the ears called Mirataz. It definitely helped with appetite. That was the last hurdle to recovery--getting her to eat on her own.

I'm a saying a prayer for you that you fight off any illness.

Thanks for the update.

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Tuna water and baby food can help him eat.  Your vet we'll have a special high calorie emergency food that you can syringe feed him as necessary.  My cats really like this https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072F3ZT57/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_6S3MFbRTYAV46?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

you may have to really put in a good bit of time and effort to get him to eat rather than just waiting for him to feel like it. 

 

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10 hours ago, stephanier.1765 said:

 Baby food! That is brilliant! We are definitely going to try that. Thank you!

You can also puree cat food with an immersion blender if it's an ongoing issue. My cat is 20 years old and this is a disgusting part of my life now. 

She absolutely loves the "lickable treats" that come in a little foil pouch, they're like wet food but even wetter, and apparently have cat crack in them. Her favorite is the bisque style, a thin puree with no solid bits. They're like a dollar for one serving, but maybe a good thing to add to the temptation arsenal. 

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Our big girl weighs 14 pounds, she looks like a mix of Maine Coon or Norwegian Forest Cat. A couple of weeks ago she was vomiting, a week before that didn't jump on any furniture. She vomited probably 8 or 9 times that one day and I finally decided to take her to the ER since what I read about cats and vomiting alarmed me (hello 10:45 p.m.). I was concerned she was dehydrated. A sonogram showed enlarged lymph glands in the abdomen (2) and possible infection. They gave her a steroids shot and antibiotic. We brought her home and she is basically back to normal and no vomiting. Appetite is back, litter box habits normal, all good. 

We used to give her a little bit of canned food every day even though she drank from the water bowl. We started giving her a little bit of canned food daily again. She is 10 years old. We were cautioned to slowly switch her kibble to other brands rather than anything with a buffalo or bobcat on the label. Pancreatis or pancreas cancer is common with the brand we were giving her. 

I hope you and Havoc are feeling better soon. Best wishes on husband's leg and employment.

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10 hours ago, MercyA said:

My husband loves Havoc's name and says he absolutely looks like a Havoc. (I think his name is awesome, too.) 🙂 

His original name was Achilles because of the one white foot, as if a white cat had been dipped into the River Styx and turned black except for the one foot he was being held by. But then we got to know him better and, needless to say, his name now is a much more accurate description of him. LOL

10 hours ago, Shellydon said:

Tuna water and baby food can help him eat.  Your vet we'll have a special high calorie emergency food that you can syringe feed him as necessary.  My cats really like this https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072F3ZT57/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_6S3MFbRTYAV46?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

you may have to really put in a good bit of time and effort to get him to eat rather than just waiting for him to feel like it. 

 

Thank you for saying that effort needs to go into getting him to eat. I was just offering wet food (actually it was the lickable treat @katilac mentioned) and when he wouldn't, I would just wait until another time and try again. So it's good to know that I need to be more encouraging and proactive. Last night he came out from under my bed about the time I normally give the cats their nightly treat. He didn't want any but I was encouraged that he came out and stayed out. After getting all the other cats situated for the night, I opened our last package of the lickable treat to offer to him and he ate a few bites. 🙌 It wasn't much but it sure felt like a win. He then drank quite a bit and used the litter box. Less urine than the day before but right now I'm encouraged by anything.

I'm not feeling great today. Really lightheaded and dizzy when standing and walking so I'm afraid to drive any where so I'm going to see if I can get any family to go to the store and buy a few different kinds of foods to see what he might be willing to eat. If those don't work then I'm ordering the food you linked to on Amazon.

11 hours ago, popmom said:

When mine was so sick I would syringe feed her bone broth. Of course she was able to keep it down--she wasn't vomiting. If Havoc's tummy gets calm enough to keep something down, you can ask your vet for a medication you rub on the ears called Mirataz. It definitely helped with appetite. That was the last hurdle to recovery--getting her to eat on her own.

I'm a saying a prayer for you that you fight off any illness.

Thanks for the update.

If he doesn't eat on his own today with some encouragement from extra tasty food, I'm going to try that. I hate the idea of stressing him out further but keeping him from starving to death trumps stress at this point.

7 hours ago, katilac said:

 

You can also puree cat food with an immersion blender if it's an ongoing issue. My cat is 20 years old and this is a disgusting part of my life now. 

She absolutely loves the "lickable treats" that come in a little foil pouch, they're like wet food but even wetter, and apparently have cat crack in them. Her favorite is the bisque style, a thin puree with no solid bits. They're like a dollar for one serving, but maybe a good thing to add to the temptation arsenal. 

I discovered those lickable treats when scouring the cat section for anything I thought might get him to eat. He wouldn't eat the first one but did take some bites of the second. 🙌 According to my other cats, it is definitely crack. You should have heard the fuss they put him when I only gave it to Havoc. I think they were insulted when I gave them the leftovers. You know...cats and their attitudes...after they completely devoured it.

7 hours ago, gaillardia said:

Our big girl weighs 14 pounds, she looks like a mix of Maine Coon or Norwegian Forest Cat. A couple of weeks ago she was vomiting, a week before that didn't jump on any furniture. She vomited probably 8 or 9 times that one day and I finally decided to take her to the ER since what I read about cats and vomiting alarmed me (hello 10:45 p.m.). I was concerned she was dehydrated. A sonogram showed enlarged lymph glands in the abdomen (2) and possible infection. They gave her a steroids shot and antibiotic. We brought her home and she is basically back to normal and no vomiting. Appetite is back, litter box habits normal, all good. 

We used to give her a little bit of canned food every day even though she drank from the water bowl. We started giving her a little bit of canned food daily again. She is 10 years old. We were cautioned to slowly switch her kibble to other brands rather than anything with a buffalo or bobcat on the label. Pancreatis or pancreas cancer is common with the brand we were giving her. 

I hope you and Havoc are feeling better soon. Best wishes on husband's leg and employment.

I'm so happy to see that your cat is better. I should have known earlier that he was sick when he stopped sleeping in the cat tree or the back of the chair. It didn't occur to me that it was a sign of illness. He had surgery one of his legs a few years ago and I thought maybe that was bothering him. At least now, I know better. It gives me hope to read about your girl's recovery. Thank you. I'm going to ask someone to get us a few cans of the wet kitten food(as well as other tasty treats) that he used to steal from our kitten. We know he likes that. No, he loves that! 

 

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  • stephanier.1765 changed the title to I think our cat is dying - update in first post-

Great update!

5 hours ago, stephanier.1765 said:

His original name was Achilles because of the one white foot, as if a white cat had been dipped into the River Styx and turned black except for the one foot he was being held by. But then we got to know him better and, needless to say, his name now is a much more accurate description of him. LOL

Achilles is still quite fitting - he created quite a lot of havoc! So that should still be his given name. Good luck to you, Achilles "Havoc" 1765!

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So happy for update! Hope he turns around now!

 

It sounds like he’s keeping his food down which is great!

we have a regular vet and an alternative vet... alternative vet is into supplements and such for pets.   Lying in sun made me think of ... once again ... Vitamin D, which may be low in domestic pets, and is involved in immune function.  With FIV he can probably catch any little thing, so helping his immune system might be something to look into along with food and TLC.

 

He’s a gorgeous cat!

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1 hour ago, Pen said:

So happy for update! Hope he turns around now!

 

It sounds like he’s keeping his food down which is great!

we have a regular vet and an alternative vet... alternative vet is into supplements and such for pets.   Lying in sun made me think of ... once again ... Vitamin D, which may be low in domestic pets, and is involved in immune function.  With FIV he can probably catch any little thing, so helping his immune system might be something to look into along with food and TLC.

 

He’s a gorgeous cat!

Thank you, that is good to know! I really need to sit down and do some research. It's all been so overwhelming that I haven't done much more than read up on what it is. 

He's been back under the bed since his brunchtime foray into the main parts of the house. I slipped another plate of food under the bed for him at dinnertime. He only had a few bites but maybe his tummy is sensitive after not eating for so long. I do wish he would stay out more but I like to cocoon myself when I'm not feeling well as well so I can understand his desire to stay there. 

Does anyone know why there would be a dry patch on his nose? Dehydration? 

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2 hours ago, stephanier.1765 said:

Thank you, that is good to know! I really need to sit down and do some research. It's all been so overwhelming that I haven't done much more than read up on what it is. 

He's been back under the bed since his brunchtime foray into the main parts of the house. I slipped another plate of food under the bed for him at dinnertime. He only had a few bites but maybe his tummy is sensitive after not eating for so long. I do wish he would stay out more but I like to cocoon myself when I'm not feeling well as well so I can understand his desire to stay there. 

Does anyone know why there would be a dry patch on his nose? Dehydration? 

 

Maybe dehydration .  

Do his ears feel warm? Could be fever making nose dry.

A hydration test is supposed to be skin above shoulders pinging right back into place if pulled up and released. It it’s slow they are dehydrated. 

Do his gums seem normal if he lets you look/feel or tacky instead of properly moist? 

 

 

My cats have liked Solid Gold canned tripe food (only part tripe), when not feeling well and it could be wetted down for even more fluids.  Idk if many cats would or if it’s atypical. It tends to be sold in dog section. 

 

If they cannot get enough fluids from eating/drinking, Some cats get hydrated with an external fluids bag and a needle inserted under skin.  It isn’t as hard as it sounds .

 

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