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Unread 08-20-2017   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Unanswered: My 16 week old kitten has stopped eating

Hello,

Our baby Georgie is 16 weeks old. On Tuesday August 15th she went in to have her spay surgery. She came back healthy and engertic, was eating normally and everything seemed to be fine. We had to quarantine her because we did not want her stitches to open because she was so playful with our other cats. But as of Thursday she has not been eating, has become lethargic, and has diarrhea. We took her to a vet today (not our normal one because it was closed on Sundays). They said she seemed fine but did not do any xrays or bloodwork, gave her some antibotics and fluids in a shot and sent us on our way. We are worried because we don't know how long she will last without eating. We are taking her to the vet first thing in the morning to get tests done but any help anyone can give us would be greatly appreciated.
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Unread 08-20-2017   #2 (permalink)
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You've done exactly the right thing. Sorry the ER vet wasn't better at his or her job.

If there's an infection at the spay site, the antibiotics will be working on that.

The fluids will prevent against dehydration, hopefully holding Georgie over until tomorrow. However, you might try to entice her to eat.

Too bad they didn't give her something for pain.

What have you tried so far? Canned foods? Instead of putting a big plate of food down in front of her (overwhelming when she doesn't feel well!), get just a little bit of some canned food really smelly, and warm it up by adding a little warm water to it. Put some on your finger and hold it out to her. Rub a little on her lips to get her to taste it.

If she likes it, keep offering it to her on your finger. Until she's had a teaspoon full or so. then wait a little while before giving her more. Her tummy wil be shrunk up, can't give her too much at once.

You can also try baby food. The plain meat and broth kind. With nothing else added. Just chicken and broth.

Same method. Warm it up and put some on your finger. Rub it on her lips to encourage her to take a taste of it.

Sometimes, just getting some food into their tummies helps them feel better enough to start eating again. Just remember, tiny amounts at a time, half hour later,a little more, and so on.

You can make some bone broth, Very nourishing. Get a chicken leg (bone and skin on) and put it in a pan of water, just covering the meat, and simmer until the meat is falling off the bone. Take the meat out with a little of the broth and when it cools, offer Georgie tiny slivers of the meat and broth.

Continue letting the bone simmer for a few more hours making sure the water doesn't boil down too low, until the bones have softened. Then strain out the bones and scraps of skin and let cool. It should gel when cooled in the refrigerator. The broth will be very healing.

I'm going to bed now but will check back in the morning to find out how Georgie fared over night. All paws crossed for her here.
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Unread 08-20-2017   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you for your advice!

We have tried giving her 3 different kinds of wet food for kittens plus a tuna pure treat for kittens. Tried nutria-cal on our finger, which she normally looooves, and will not touch any of them.

I forgot to mention they did, I think, give her something for the pain and something like Pepcid if she may have had heart burn.

I also forgot to mention that she has thrown up about 4 times since Thursday. one was food and the other 3 were bile. Sorry because this was an extremely important detail I left out but my girlfriend and I are really starting to worry and panic a bit.

I have not tried the broth but with try tonight.
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Unread 08-20-2017   #4 (permalink)
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Of course you are worried! It's very scary when a kitten can't eat!

How long ago was it she was seen by the vet and got all the meds and fluids?

When was her last bile vomit?

Standing by for your answer....
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It was this afternoon around 1:30 when she got the shots. She was having quite some trouble and had to wrestle with her a bit so that may explain the lethargy.
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Unread 08-20-2017   #6 (permalink)
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1:30 where? Are you in the US? East coast or west? for a time frame...?

(working on another reply)
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Last edited by acerlt; 08-20-2017 at 10:07 PM.
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Unread 08-20-2017   #7 (permalink)
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Mike-I have to go to bed, it's way past my bedtime now, I get up at 5 a.m and it's past 10.

here is my advice for tonight. I had to add a smiley at the end, otherwise this post would show up as part of my last post (weird forum glitch) I had to put 4 smileys in there (the maximum) and one here to make the posts tay separate.

I'll check in, in the morning

Can you get some plain chicken and broth baby food? I think you should try something she hasn't had before. Something completely different, that she won't associate with any of this so far, do you know what I mean?


But before you try with the baby food:

The pain meds may also be causing some lethargy. Do you know what they gave her? It should be on your receipt.


There are a couple of things to think about here. If she is feeling very unwell (which she obviously is) even the smell of food can make her feel worse. So now she is associating all this food you have tried, and your stress and urgency over getting her to eat, with these same foods.


Another problem will be how worried and stressed you and your gf are. Cats, even baby cats, pick up on their human's emotions very quickly, and she will be feeling as stressed as you are.

I would leave off the fussing and eating enticing for a little while. Let her rest and recover from her vet trip. Keep her in her safe room (I am sure you already are) and make sure she is comfortably settled and let her have a nap. While I know she does need food, the fluids will keep her going for a while.

Leave her in there for a little while by herself. Leave a low light. You don't want to make it completely dark, because then you will have to turn on the light when you next go in. So a lamp, over in a corner, blocked by something, to make it less bright. Don't drape anything over a lamp, dangerous fire hazard!. Just try to block it with a box or furniture or something, without making too much of a ruckus. All that of course if the light in the room is bright. You may already have the light situation worked out.


Leave her in there, for an hour or so, if you can't stand it. At least a half hour. Busy yourself in the rest of the house, so everything sounds normal to her, being in her room. Nothing noisy of course, but let her hear normal every day sounds, you and gf talking to each other and the other cats, TV on low, for instance.

After a half hour, maybe a little longer go back in, and just sit very quietly on the floor. Just one of you. Two is too much fuss. Just one person at a time. Bring a jar of warmed up baby food with you, but don't approach her or give it to her yet. Just keep it in your hand, with the lid off, letting the smell drift out (warming it up will make it smellier)

Talk to her softly as you sit there. Wait at least 10 minutes, just sitting quietly to see if she will approach you on her own. When she does, let her call the shots. If she asks for petting, run your hand lightly down her back. If she wants you to rub her face, just stick your fingers out and let her rub against them. Like that, you totally passive her making the advances. After she's used to you sitting quietly, if she hasn't taken notice of the baby food yet, dip some out onto your finger and let her sniff it, and rub it gently on her lips or let it bump against her nose leather for her to lick off.

If, after you've sat there for 10 or 15 minutes and she doesn't get up to greet you, leave her alone again, for at least an hour, and then try again.

I know all this may seem excruciatingly slow, but you must pace yourselves and be patient! Really, this is the best way to approach things. What you are doing here is reducing her stress, helping her (and yourselves) to relax, and taking the emphasis OFF food. Removing the urgency of it. "oh, food? Sure I have some...."

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Unread 08-20-2017   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you so much. We really appreciate it. The fact that you're losing sleep to help us really makes me feel like you genuinely care. So again, thank you. Gives us a little piece of mind.

It was 1:30 EST so, as of now, 8 hours and 45 min since she had them.

We will try and be calm and collected. I understand what you're saying about stress and them picking up on it. She already seems to be doing better and seems more lively. But still has not eaten. Will try the chicken and broth approach.

We are going to call the vet first thing tomorrow if the eating habits have not changed. However I am also worried that the constant traveling and vet visits post surgery will increase her stress even more. So I am torn as to what to do.

Again thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts.
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You're welcome! Georgie is still on my mind. I hope she had a better night. I'll be checking in when I come home for lunch for an update! xxx
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There was some success with her eating the chicken and broth. You were so right. Just act like theres nothing wrong and don't put emphasis on the food. And eventually she ate it. She is definitely not eating enough yet but it is definitely progress!
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