Update: After one day of taking the meds the vet gave Sebastian, he was back to eating like normal. Hopefully that means we’ve found the issue and that he’ll continue to get better.
So I know I haven’t been updating the new kitten situation in a while, as things have been more or less alright between Sebastian and Spriggan so far. But some things have come up today that made me decide that blogging a bit about my cats is probably going to be a thing going forward. So I’ve created a Kitty Korner tag for this.
The kitten is doing fine as far as kittens do. He’s still a mess and a ball of energy, constantly challenging me to find cat-proofing things, such as my desk, to protect it from prying paws.
He’s a teenaged kitty, and he’s acting like one.
You can’t tell him what to do. You can’t train him. He complains loudly until he gets what he wants. He gets into everything not nailed down.
I keep buying him toys (I should blog about some of those, eventually), but his attention span is so short, it’s hard to keep him entertained. But trust me, you don’t want him entertaining himself.
Aside from that, he gets along with Sebastian well. I’m still trying to bond with him, though, as he’s so flighty, it’s hard for him to sit still long enough to make a more affectionate connection.
Sebastian’s Loss of Appetite
So, on to the reason for this article. My older cat, Sebastian, hasn’t been feeling well.
He is a cat of habit. He also has a duty to ensure all food is properly disposed of (in his mouth) as catly possible. So when I see things out of the ordinary, I know something is wrong.
Last week, he wasn’t eating his wet food, which he gets every morning. At first, I wondered if he was just being picky about the flavor or the texture. He’s not usually a picky eater, but with cats, you can never tell.
Spriggan tested some of the wet food for himself and ate it without problem. Sebastian was eating dry food, so I just kept re-introducing the wet food each morning until it finally got eaten.
Everything was okay Saturday.
Sunday was the first morning I saw trouble. He didn’t meet me at the bedroom door first thing in the morning (to let me know he’s hungry) like he always does.
Second, he was doing something odd — tilting his head sideways, licking out the corner of his mouth. From time to time, he’d hunch over as if he was trying to cough something up, but he never did. I was concerned, but thought maybe he was chewing on a toy and got something in his throat. So I fed him, he ate, and he acted fine the rest the day.
Yesterday, I woke up and he was acting the same way – head tilting, licking, gagging. I started getting worried. Two days of him acting that way was more serious. I fed him and he wasn’t interested in wet food again. I left it out for him, though, to see if he’d eat it while I was at work.
He did eat it by the time I came home, so he was eating and drinking. He acted okay the rest the night.
Today, I didn’t see signs of head tilting or licking, but he wasn’t interested in wet food. Nor had he eaten the food I’d left out for him.
I decided that was enough of that, and I called the new vet, who had taken care of my kitten’s shots and surgery. This is not Sebastian’s normal vet, but his vet is often so overbooked, there’s no hope to get an appointment with them on the fly.
Last year, he was having trouble throwing up food, and they weren’t very helpful – just telling me to let him eat the dry food if he was only throwing up the wet, or to change the food brand. Eventually, they said it was probably hairballs, and gave me something for that, but they didn’t have time to take my concerns seriously. But that’s a grouch for a different time.
The new vet got him in immediately this morning. I’m very glad I took him in.
They did a thorough check-up for my cat. Instantly, the vet noticed that Sebastian had an inflamed gum and maybe infected tooth. That would explain a lot, if that’s the cause of his head tilting, licking and lack of appetite.
But then, he dropped a bomb I didn’t expect. He told me Sebastian has a heart murmur. I was floored. I’d just taken him in for shots and a check-up at the other vet in December… how did they not catch that then?
Anyhow. This is not good news. But it’s also not the end of the world because…
- Sebastian is still fairly young (only 6-7 years old).
- We caught it early. The vet rated it a 3 on a scale of 1 to 6.
- X-rays showed that his heart has not enlarged, so there’s not much damage done yet.
- It’s going to be costly, but it can be treated. I will have to take Sebastian to a cardiologist.
It’s likely he’ll be put on medicine when he gets older to prevent heart damage. But the vet seems to feel Sebastian can still live a long life.
For now, though, Sebastian is on antibiotics and steroids to treat the tooth. He’ll be going back in two weeks for a tooth cleaning and deeper inspection. If that problem tooth needs to be pulled, that will be determined then.
If that doesn’t help his appetite, we may have to run blood tests on him to investigate other issues.
Somewhere down the line this year, I will have to get him pre-tested at my vet, and then take him to the cardiologist, which is in a larger city about an hour away. I’m more worried about taking him on a long drive like that… he has a fit about a short 15 minuet drive across town!
And yeah, this is all going to cost money. But Sebastian is my cat-buddy and my literal spirit animal. I’ve not had a cat, or any pet like him, that I’ve connected to so closely. I’m willing to pay what it takes to keep him healthy and feeling well.
At least I finally have a vet that’s listening and taking my concerns seriously!