Boy, it’s been a trying week at Cat Habitat HQ! No, it’s not because one Donald J Trump now has the nuclear codes – although that is our depressing reality and something I’m still trying the come to terms with. In fact it’s much worse than that because we’ve had not one cat stop eating in recent days but two. If we rewind to a week ago Mr Pet Parent did his usual 6am breakfast feed for the Favourite Felines. By all accounts this was uneventful and subsequently both Pet Parents headed off for another day’s toil at their real jobs. Pussa is always the captain of the welcoming committee for the evening parental return, but not this day. Usually she wants to skip over cuddles and pats preferring to move straight to the critical business of dinner. But she just stayed where she was, lying on the couch. The Pet Parents came to instant agreement that somethings up, but wanted to test the theory to see if she’d eat anything. Nothing. Not even a flick of a biscuit out of the bowl. Soph at this stage was still OK and took her usual millennium to eat her rations, albeit this time without Pussa lurking close by to push her out of the way once she’d hoovered up her own. It was agreed that if Pussa was still off her food in the morning, then it’d be a trip to the V.E.T. for her.
And that’s exactly where we found ourselves the following morning. This however was only after Pussa threw the cat version of a tantrum by hiding under the bed as soon as she saw the cage come out. We of course couldn’t tempt her out with food so we had to dismantle the bed – mattress, slats, the whole shebang. This was starting out as a cracker of a day. Nonetheless, after making friends with a golden retriever in the waiting room, we had Pussa on the examination table at our good pals Vet Friends Chatswood. She was looked at all over, including her teeth, and temperature taken (not sure if she’s forgiven us for the thermometer up the bottom yet) and no obvious signs of what the problem was could be found. We opted to have some blood tests done to screen for, well actually I didn’t really know what….something bad I surmised. Admittedly Pussa had picked up a bit in the afternoon but was still off her food that evening, and then Soph our remaining healthy cat stopped eating too. What the hell? We’ve been feeding these two cats the same dry and wet food basically their entire life and now in a matter of 24 hours it was not acceptable to either. Pussa was at least sick, but nothing was wrong with Soph. We bumbled through the next day watching like hawks how much and what they ate. Numerous bowls of food go into the bin uneaten. On the upside though, Pussa was getting back to her usual self seemingly recovering from whatever it was that had laid her low. Executive orders were signed by the Pet Parents to acquire alternative brands of food the following day, meantime on the human dinner menu that night was BBQ chicken. This was apparently a completely acceptable meal even by Soph’s exacting standards. I had visions of having to buy pieces of BBQ chicken every day for the rest of Soph’s life…marvellous.
The following day as we go about our acquisition-of-new-food task we bump into a friend and fellow cat owner, Kathy, at our nearby big box pet centre. We discuss our various experiences of situations where a cat has stopped eating. Kathy said she thought that when her cat went off eating something that it might have been because of its smell. The Pet Parents looked at each other and thought yep I reckon there might be something to that. And what do you know, the biscuits from a new packet were cleaned up without as much as a crumb being left. Pussa has eaten all the new versions of wet food we’ve given her although Soph is still selective, but she always has been so that’s nothing new. Certainly with the dry food, I think they may have decided that it had got a bit stale since we were getting towards the bottom of the pack. The only thing we came up with to explain the refusal to eat the wet food was maybe the manufacturer had changed their recipe. What I do know is that we now have about 50 tins of a certain brand of cat food that look destined to be given to a local cat rescue agency. Not that that’s a bad outcome.
There can be a variety of reasons why your cat stops eating, such as:
- They’re sick: Loss of appetite and weight loss can be one of the first things to occur with a sick cat. They could be suffering from infections, blockages, kidney problems or cancer
- Dental issues: You know yourself if you have a sore tooth or gums that eating isn’t higher on your agenda
- Reaction to vaccinations: Your cat’s annual vaccinations can cause them to feel a bit off. This has happened to Pussa a couple of times and she gets quite lethargic for a day or so afterwards. We now always mention this to the vet when it’s time for the annual jabs
- Environment: Cat’s aren’t fans of change so any alterations to their physical environment can send them a bit off the rails
- Downright fussiness: Renowned for being particular about their food, cats can be sensitive to temperature and freshness, or lack thereof. Even consider the place where you’ve got their bowl or if there is any residual food left in it from a previous meal.
I can’t really complain because on the whole we’ve been pretty lucky with both Pussa & Soph in that they basically eat most things we give them. Oh, and if you’re wondering, the blood test results for Pussa came back without showing anything to cause alarm. That’s of course after spending an entire night convincing myself that she had been struck down with cancer and formulating a plan of how we would deal with that. Nothing like a bit of catastrophising at 3am is there? I shall also be buying cat biscuits in smaller packets even though it’s more expensive on a per kilo basis. It’s still got to be cheaper than throwing quarter of a bag away hey?