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Cat not eating/drinking 4 days post surgery

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  • Cat not eating/drinking 4 days post surgery

    Hi friends-

    I have a cat that was spayed on Friday morning. She spent Friday night at the vet's office and has been home since Saturday morning- a little sleepier than usual but other than that she has been alert, eating ravenously, basically her normal self. I was not around during the day yesterday due to an interview and got back very late last night, and she was asleep with my roommate. This morning when I got up she did not come out when I came downstairs as usual, nor did she come running when I scooped her food. I went and got her from my roommate's room and she was acting oddly, licking and acting like she wanted to spit. She has been wearing an e-collar so I took that off and offered her food and water, neither of which she wanted. I had moved her litterbox on Saturday (we are moving) so I brought that back downstairs to its usual spot and she used it. She is still not interested in food or water and is wanting to be petted but is also content to lie back down and doze off. I gave her a pain pill but I am concerned about the lack of eating and drinking (she is NOT a cat to refuse food). She doesn't seem warmer than usual, her gums look fine, and her stitches aren't ripped or swollen. I am really just posting here to kill time until the vet's office opens, but I wanted to hear any input or advice you have. Like I said, I am moving and I had intended to be on the road by now as I am supposed to be making a day-long drive today, although it looks like that may not be happening. I don't have any food in the house so I can't tempt her with tuna or chicken. Any advice???

  • #2
    Definitely put a call into the vet like you are planning, as it could be a post-surgical issue... but I assume your house is all packed? Perhaps kitty knows a big change is coming and is scared? My cats are very sensitive to change and acted strangely when we were packing to move.

    Good luck and hope it is nothing serious!


    • #3
      Same as above. Best wishes!


      • Original Poster

        I called the vet's office and I am bringing her in in a few hours. I managed to dig a can of tuna out of the box going to the food pantry and she ate a little and drank some of the tuna water, but not much. I have kept the e-collar off because she is not really interested in grooming and when I did put it back on, she just sat and hung her head. She didn't fight it at all which makes me uneasy because normally to put anything on or in her we need to pin her down.

        The house is somewhat packed, but my housemates and I recently graduated from college and are leaving one by one, so the packing process has been gradual and two of my housemates are still here. She has travelled before and never displayed much stress about it, other than a few hours of skittishness in the new place. She is a very active cat and for her to behave like this is very odd. She is just sitting staring straight ahead right now, purring, and I know she's not comfortable.

        As you can probably tell I am a worrier... I guess I will sit here fretting until I can get her in to the vet. Animals always have such great timing...


        • #5
          Have you palpated her belly? If she is painful or she seems at all worse, get thee to thy vet asap....screw the appt. I tend to err on the worrywart side.

          Congratulations on graduating! And welcome to the real world! Keep us posted, ok?


          • #6
            Purring can mean a contented cat or one uncomfortable, stressed or in distress, as our vet told us when our very sweet cat used to purr away when he was examining her and poking around and we thought she was happy for the attention.

            Sure sounds like she is having a bad day, which may not mean she is not doing well or sick, just part of the process of healing from the spay.
            Still, better have a vet tell you all is ok, in case it is not.


            • #7
              Jingles for the kitty

              I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage

              R.I.P Ron Smith, you'll be greatly missed


              • #8
                No drinking/minimal drinking is an emergency. Cats can go into renal failure very quickly. I would take her to the vet ASAP as she might at minimum need IV fluids.
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                • Original Poster

                  Thank you very much for your advice and well wishes. Kitty and I appreciate it!

                  We went in and she has no fever, is hydrated and there was nothing to drain from the suture site. The vet advised to stop the pain meds as she thinks she is just overly sedated. I'm not sure I agree, especially since she had none yesterday, but I know they build up in the system and I am no vet so I will trust her advice. Vet said to let her come down off the meds and take her in again if she is still not interested in food by tomorrow morning; she was concerned, as I am, that this came up several days after good recovery. I think I am going to do the drive today- she travels well and usually just sleeps in the car, which is what she did today, and if this doesn't resolve I would rather have her seen by my trusted vet at home than keep dancing around timelines here (one housemate is also moving out today and I'm willing to bet snuggling in the car with blankets and quiet will be nicer than a loud house with lots of people and banging furniture). Fingers crossed that it really is just a buildup of pain meds and nothing more serious. I may stop and pick up some more tuna on the way, since the tuna water seemed to entice her to drink some and I'd rather have a smelly tuna car than a dehydrated kitty.

                  Thank you very much for the advice, I will let you all know how things go. Hopefully after some sleep and sobering up she will be ravenous and back to normal!


                  • #10
                    May not hurt to call the vet at home and give her a head's up, in case it is something that turns into an emergency by the time you get there or shortly after that.
                    That vet will tell you what to watch for and what to do.

                    Did they give your cat some fluids while it was there?


                    • #11
                      I would give the home vet a heads up,, like Bluey said. I would also have the treating vet fax the records to the home vet now, as oposed to later.

                      I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage

                      R.I.P Ron Smith, you'll be greatly missed


                      • #12
                        Did they vet tell you to force feed at all? Cats can develop hepatic lipidosis quite quickly if they are not eating anything and it is often fatal. Were it my cat, I would be syringing some A/D down her throat and offering a buffet of various potential yummies. Good luck!


                        • Original Poster

                          The vet did not say anything about force feeding. I did force some water down her throat and she ate a little tuna this morning, but nothing other then that. I put in a call to my home vet so she will be expecting us. I am stopped mid-trip right now and she is still refusing food and water, and has been sleeping the whole trip. I am beginning to regret making the drive today, but the vet this morning told me to wait it out... and I trust my own vet at home much more. I wish animals could just tell us what is bothering them... What do you recommend for easy, appetizing things to offer when I get home? I am very worried and determined to gt something into her tonight.


                          • #14
                            When my first cat wouldn't eat, I tempted her with her favorite..........MAYONAISE

                            My vet suggested meat baby food, chicken, ham, beef etc

                            I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage

                            R.I.P Ron Smith, you'll be greatly missed


                            • #15
                              Baby food, crap canned cat food, cottage cheese, baked chicken...whatever you think might interest her!

                              When I've had cats that won't eat, I hit the pet store and purchase several different brand/flavors and offer a buffet. My one troublesome cat prefers Tiki cat chicken and egg when she's not feeling well.

                              If you get into the force feeding realm, you'll need a syringe and some A/D (available from your vet) or some chicken baby food. You want it to run but not be liquid, and just go very slowly until you have the hang of it. Stick the syringe into the back corner of her mouth and depress the plunger slowly, and take frequent breaks to allow her to swallow.

                              Sometimes cats just need to get a little food in them to feel better enough to eat on their own. You can also give her anti-nausea or appetite stimulate meds.


                              • Original Poster

                                Thank you very much for the help and suggestions. I got home after the stores closed but my parents had tuna, chicken, chicken broth, cottage cheese, and scrambled eggs, all of which were rejected. She did take a little of the tuna juice and I got some water in her with a syringe so that is a little something... her skin is nice and elastic (not tenting) and she urinated tonight so I will take that as a positive sign. She perked up after getting out of the car and was not quite as lethargic, so my vet advised me to wait until morning and bring her in first thing. I have her in my room with me so the dog doesn't bug her, with various foods and liquids spread around should she want to dine during the night. Fingers crossed for my little one to feel better and get this sorted out.


                                • #17
                                  The A/D is great stuff...have gotten many cats who wouldn't eat to vacuum the
                                  stuff up.

                                  A little Karo syrup placed in her mouth will increase her blood sugar and her appetite. But since you're going into the vet tomorrow, perhaps best to wait.


                                  • #18
                                    I will be sending jingles to you and your kitty for a positive update, I know how tough this can be. When I had one of my girls spayed I panicked when she made a coughing/gagging sign for a few hours after I picked her up. A call to the 24 hour vet let me know that sometimes it is normal for a kitty to be uncomfortable after surgery due to the placement of the breathing tube used during the surgery. I recall getting very little sleep though so I could monitor her recovery.

                                    Could it be your kitty had some undiagnosed damage to her trachea that may be causing her discomfort?
                                    Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Jenm, that is interesting because my first thought this morning was that it was an issue with her neck/throat (my mind immediately jumped to the e-collar). She was doing this weird mouth smacking thing and swallowing, and when she did drink a little water it was almost like she was "picking" at it (not that you can pick at liquid, but that's the best way I can describe it). I wondered if she was having esophageal discomfort due to swallowing the pain pills or something else, but perhaps it is a trachea issue? Interesting thought.

                                      BasqueMom, with you on the A/D- this cat bit through my pinky as a kitten trying to lick it off my fingers. Kitty crack.


                                      • #20
                                        My kitties and I are sending lots of jingles to you and your kitty. It's no picnic when you are concerned about them.

                                        I do recall if was a good few days before my girl bounced back and I did panic a bit because I am not a newbie to having cats spayed. That being said, I think you are doing the right thing.

                                        I look forward to a positive update, soon!
                                        Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!