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Six Month Old Scottish Straight is Off Form - How to Help

  • 23-11-2022 10:45am
    Registered Users Posts: 14,694 ✭✭✭✭ Kintarō Hattori

    Hey Folks,

    We noticed on Tuesday that our 6 month old kitten was quite lethargic and just not in good form. We brought him to the vet who said he had an infection and a temperature. He received an injection and some antibiotics which he has started today (he gets two doses a day).

    So he's off form and not really eating anything. His current kitten food he licks the gravy but doesn't eat it. He's ignored his kibble which he usually enjoys. I tried him with some roasted salmon that we had for dinner the other day. This was ignored too. He's drinking water thankfully. I bought some cat milk this morning, thinking that might help him a bit.

    He's meowing a fair bit, but largely he's just lying in his shelter looking pretty miserable.

    Any words on how I might be able to help nurse him?


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 30,417 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Faith

    Have the antibiotics helped? Are there any other symptoms other than lethargy and loss of appetite?

    It'll be really important to keep his caloric intake up. He can't fight illness if he has no energy. You can try giving him treats, ideally in liquid form like the tubes you can get from Maxizoo or Petstop. Ask your vet for Royal Canin Recovery food (either liquid or powder) or Hills A/D. You might need to syringe feed if he won't eat himself - ask the vet for a syringe and gently and slowly syringe food in from the corner of his mouth, where the jaw hinge is.

    Hopefully it's just an infection and it will pass. I'm just going to name my experience, though, in case it helps - my cat experienced lethargy and loss of appetite, had a fever that didn't respond to antibiotics and had persistent colitis. He ended up being diagnosed with FIP, which is very serious and needed immediate action to save his life. Again, I 110% hope your cat just has a normal illness, but if it doesn't respond to antibiotics or you notice any other symptoms, please bring back to the vet and request a complete blood panel be run, just to be sure.

    I don't want to go off on a tangent as FIP is thankfully very rare and your cat is experiencing common symptoms of dozens of routine illnesses but I'm happy to chat more if you think it would be helpful.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,694 ✭✭✭✭ Kintarō Hattori

    Thanks Faith, I really appreciate that.

    He only had the injection yesterday and his first round of antibiotics was this morning. I syringed it into his mouth but he was trying to get it out I think. He looked something like this (not our cat):

    I topped it up a bit more and squirted it a little deeper into his mouth, which seemed to stop him trying to expel it from his mouth. I'll call into the vets reception and see if I can get some food that I can feed him by syringe as he's deffo not eating. Other than lethargy and loss of appetite, I don't think he has any other symptoms. He's a fairly quiet cat but has been quite vocal the last two days.

    I'm sorry to hear about your own experience, that can't have been easy. I'll keep an eye on this fellow and will take you up on your offer to chat if I need some more advice. Thank you.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 30,417 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Faith

    The vocalisations could indicate pain or discomfort, or it could be just him feeling sorry for himself. You can of course try blitzing his normal kitten food with some water or cat milk into a paste you can syringe, but our super fussy cat actually preferred the Royal Canin recovery stuff to all other food when he was unwell. Even though his appetite was gone, he'd lick that off the syringe or at least tolerate me gently syringing it in to his mouth.

    As you've found, cats are great at keeping stuff out! The trick is to gently pinch the sides of their jaws and angle the syringe there, as that triggers a reflex to open the jaw. Tilt his chin up and head back and syringe slowly so he doesn't cough or choke, and doesn't hold it all in his mouth and then spit it out when you're finished! There's a good video here:

    Also, if it's flagyl/Metronidazole that he's on, I think it tastes vile - our cat used to spit it everywhere and destroy the place!

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,694 ✭✭✭✭ Kintarō Hattori

    I called up to the vets but they didn't do any liquid food. They gave me the stuff below. He at least licked some from a spoon, though he didn't eat very much. I fear if he doesn't eat much in the next day or two it'll be into the vet for blood tests.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 30,417 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Faith

    That's better than nothing! He might feel nauseous which might make him want to eat little at a time. Keep offering him a bit frequently and let him eat whatever he can. It's just about getting the calories into him really. You might even be able to mash that up into a softer texture that you could syringe?

    The creamy cat treats I mentioned are another good idea. The Catit ones are commonly available now - e.g.

    If you're anywhere near a Maxi Zoo, these are some other lickable options:

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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,922 ✭✭✭✭ Alun

    See if you can find Lick-e-lix cat treats. They're almost liquid in a small sachet that you can squeeze out. I've seen them in MaxiZoo before. We used them on our cat when she was being ultra picky about eating, and these were the only things she'd touch. They're pure cat heroin :)

    EDIT: The Premier My Cream sachets Faith linked to above look very similar.

    Post edited by Alun on

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,694 ✭✭✭✭ Kintarō Hattori

    Thanks for the advice folks. Sadly our lovely little man took a turn for the worst in the evening. I rushed him into the UCD veterinary hospital but he had developed FIP and had to be euthanised. By all accounts the vet said there was nothing they could do, his organs weren't working and the only thing to do, was to have him put to sleep. We may only have had him for two months but it felt like a long walk back to the car. He had a big impact on our lives. Telling our 5.5 year old this morning that the cat she adored was no longer with us, well, that was hard.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 30,417 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Faith

    I am so, so sorry to hear that, KH. I feared the worst when I read your post yesterday. FIP is treatable now, but you have to know where to go for the medication and not all vets are aware of it or on board with it (it's technically the grey market because of the pharmaceutical companies being dicks. Vets can't prescribe or administer the medication, but they can provide supportive care).

    You should notify your breeder ASAP of what happened. If you felt comfortable with it, could you PM me the breeder so I can share with my FIP group and see if they're known to the group?

    In the meantime, I'm so sorry you have to go through this grief. FIP is a bastarding motherfocker of a virus, it really is.

    Post edited by Faith on

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,694 ✭✭✭✭ Kintarō Hattori

    Thanks Faith. In fairness to the vet he did tell me that there was treatment available but that it was through the grey market, not approved and not something he could point me in the direction of. I know nothing of the disease but in Pearl's case I think he may have been too far gone. Almost as soon as he started having a seizure we got the address for the vet and I rushed him there. It took about an hour from where we live and he pretty much didn't stop the whole time. The vet said his indicators were all over the place and realistically, putting him to sleep was the only humane thing to do.

    I will indeed message the breeder. We have a friend who got one from the same chap and to my knowledge there's been no issues with him and she has him some time now. I'll message you the breeders details shortly.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 30,417 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Faith

    Oh the poor kitty 😭. And how frightening for you. FIP can cross the blood-brain barrier and cause neurological symptoms such as seizures, and at that stage it does become a much harder beast to treat - it's a real emergency situation so it doesn't sound like there was much that realistically could have been done. Pearl was lucky to have you looking out for him and loving him so much.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,922 ✭✭✭✭ Alun

    So sorry to hear about your kitty. It sounds like an awful disease.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,694 ✭✭✭✭ Kintarō Hattori

    Thanks Alun. I don't know a huge amount about it so can't claim to be well informed, but the speed of his demise was pretty shocking. It does seem like a horrible horrible disease.