Sorry, no pictures included. I’m a bad mommy that way.
We adopted 2 cats recently to cheer up our older 10-year old cat, Jack. He’s a happy, playful, non-lap cat kind of guy. He was crying a lot for attention, and chewing at his fur, so we decided he was lonely and needed a friend. He has a friend, but she’s 21, mostly blind, deaf and arthritic, and these days she doesn’t want to do much of anything but sleep. Can you guess where this is going?
So we’ve had the 8-month old kittens for almost 2 weeks. They’ve finally gotten mostly acclimated to the house and its inhabitants. They are not particularly hostile to Jack, although they occasionally throw a hiss in his direction, but they seem to co-exist pretty well most of the time. But now Jack is not eating. This is a cat who would knock you down the stairs in his rush to get to his food. This morning, out of desperation I put the food dish right in front of his face while the little girls were downstairs eating, and he walked away from it.
Now I’m concerned. I’m hoping that it’s just early yet and he’ll get over it eventually, but he was here first, and we love him. We’re very fond of Lizzie and Anna-Banana (why, yes, my kids named them) but Jack’s our boy.
Does anyone have any suggestions? Should I just wait it our for a while longer? We’re giving him loads of attention, but not eating thing really worries me.
I would take him to a vet. He may not be depressed at all and has picked up one of the parasites that run rampant in shelter kitties. About two weeks after I introduced my older cat to the kitten she stopped eating too. It was a parasite from the kitten and the vet treated her with flagyl and she got better in about a week. Regardless, it is serious for overweight housecats to stop eating:
If the vet says he’s ok then try some catnip. I have an old cat and she sleeps most of the time but if I throw a sock with catnip in it on the floor she is on-top of it is .00001 seconds and then she’s a 6 month old all over again. Well for about 20 minutes and then she is done and goes back to bed.
We got little Eddles to give Dewey something to do all day. For weeks after we introduced the kitten I was a wreck because I was afraid we’d ruined Dewey’s life. He wouldn’t sleep in his bed behind the couch, he wouldn’t fetch his stick, etc. Then one day I came home to find them both in the bed behind the couch and Dewey’s been a mommy to Eddles ever since. They’re always licking each other or playing with each other’s tails and such. It took a while, though. (And it’s weird, sometimes when one is licking the other the other will try to lick back, and the first cat will grab the second by the throat until he stops trying to lick back and the licking will continue. Nobody gets hurt so we figure it’s none of our business. Other times they both lick simultaneously.)
Explain to the cat that it’s a freaking CAT and has no responsibilities. Tell it, in no uncertain terms that, if the simple jobs of being aloof and ignoring/biting the hand that feeds it are becoming tedious, then it can pick out its own marinade.
I’m thinking now he’s not depressed but he’s sick. We watched him this weekend, and he’s hanging out near the new kitties and doing his usual Jack things (mostly involving sleeping, purring, and licking in hard-to-reach places) but he sniffs at his food and walks away. We’re taking him to the vet first thing tomorrow morning, after the usual chase-with-towel-but-still-end-up-with-scratches-all-over-us drama that we always go through with him, although we’re sort of hoping he’s too weak to do too much damage. If he’s full of parasites, we’ll get to take the other 3 in later in the week.
Thanks for all the serious suggestions, and the not-so-serious ones that cheered me up.
Jack had his visit this morning, cat’s feces included. They took blood too and we’ll have the results tomorrow. The doc said that it wouldn’t be unusual for a cat who was biting off his fur because he was unhappy to stop eating when new cats are introduced. (How stupid can he be! We got them for him! Stupid cat.)
So now he has to get over the trauma of going to the vet in addition to the trauma of dealing with new kitties in his house. Poor guy.
Just an update: all the medical tests came back negative. He’s just anxious/depressed. The good news is that he ate last night and this morning, just like his old self. And he and the little girls are hanging out near each other without much hissing or obnoxious behavior, so it looks like they’re all getting used to each other. The doc had some ideas about getting him to eat–feed him separately, which we were doing anway, tempt him with gourmet food, like Fancy Feast, and if all fails, they could give him an appetite stimulation drug. He seems to be eating well now though. Thanks for all the advice and commiseration.