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Bengal Cat Forums • View topic - Need help with digestion- weight loss, not eating right.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:15 am 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:26 pm
Posts: 65
Location: Peoria, AZ. USA
Hello! I haven't posted in a LONG time, just busy, but I'm at the end of my rope with one of my Bengal girls. She's one of a pair of sisters I've had since they were about 14 weeks. Not show quality Bengals, but they're my babies. Sekhet, the one I'm worried about, was typically 12.8 pounds. Smaller and a bit more compact than her sister.

Around the first of the year, we noticed she looked a bit skinny. No behavioral or other issues noticed. We weighed her and she was 10.8 pounds. So we went to the vet and had her blood work, fecal, xray, etc. All that they could do there. Blood work and everything is perfect. No issues with kidney, liver, etc. No parasites. PERFECT. Yet in that intervening week she went down to 10.2 pounds.

She has been hovering between 10.2 and 9.8 depending on time of day, etc. for the past two-three weeks. She plays, gets crazy every evening...very affectionate. The one thing I noticed is that she lays on my lap a bit more than she used to. And this led me to ONE discovery that the vets have no answer for. I have heard sounds come from her that sound like a steam engine or pressure cooker. Look, I've had cats for more than 30 years now. My family used to breed them. I know digestive sounds. Sekhet has always been a bit gassy and a bit sensitive in the stomach. Feed her some shrimp or something for a treat and more often than the other cats, it comes back up within 5 minutes. I've noticed in the past that with something (e.g shrimp) if she eats it a couple of times in a row and vomits it back up, she'll refuse to eat it for a good while- maybe a month.

Ok, so I'm hearing these weird, pressure cooker hissing types of sounds. She doesn't act distressed, and when these sounds happen, I'm not smelling any gas. But the sounds are WRONG. I'm pretty certain something is going on in her digestive tract- intestines, etc. We didn't see her grazing at the dry food, so started giving her some wet a couple of times a day- whatever she will eat. She doesn't eat a lot.

We HAD switched from the ProPlan we've always used, to some supposedly really good Blue Buffalo dry food. So we switched back. I've noticed her grazing a few times a day now at the dry food as well, but again, weight staying the same and not gaining. Over the past two weeks, I notice stomach rumbling and normal sounds coming from her, haven't heard the steam engine sounds again until this morning around 6AM when she was on my work desk being petted. 3 short, sharp hiss sounds coming from within. No distress or behavior change.

So I've ordered some other dry food- Instinct with probiotics and some Rachel Ray Nutrish. All grain free, etc. Haven't been able to locate any Innova to try.

Ok, so I'm worried that perhaps the Blue Buffalo made her have issues and then she associated the food with discomfort and stopped eating except for what she absolutely NEEDS. I was good with that theory until I heard her make those sounds this morning. She hasn't had the Blue Buffalo for 3-4 weeks now and I thought we had seen the end of it. Haven't heard this since. Understand, these sounds have been so loud that I can have the TV on and be watching a video on YouTube on my computer and hear the sounds from her on the other end of the couch. Loud enough to attract my attention and say "What was THAT?"

I apologize for the length of this post, but I wanted to provide the details and all I know and have seen. Our vet says the only thing left is to do an ultrasound but that would mainly just show if there's a blockage, mass, etc. With the bloodwork and X-rays all being absolutely perfect, they didn't recommend this. Maybe she's just lost some weight as a part of her life cycle. She and her sister just turned 9. But the sounds make me think this is NOT a natural thing.

I'm looking for some pro-biotic that I can give her perhaps to see if that's out of balance and causing the problem. I need to find something I can force down her throat though as we have tried multiple vitamins, etc. in the past that you "add to food" and "cats love the taste!" and she and her sister WILL NOT TOUCH THEM. So I need to be able to put it in a syringe or something and give to her. But...that's a shot in the dark. Might not work..COULD possibly even make things worse. I just don't know.

Has anyone had or seen something similar to this or have any other knowledge that might help us out?

Thanks in advance and again, sorry for the length. I just want her to be healthy and happy and although she is acting fine, I know this just isn't right.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:58 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
Posts: 4490
Location: Portland Oregon, USA
Sorry to hear it, that must be very upsetting. It sure sounds like there may be some kind of medical issue there, but while that is being pursued, trying to feed her things that she will eat with gusto and keeping track of what she is eating is helpful.

When you say that she isn't eating much, what exactly is the behavior? Is she enthusiastic when you put down food? Sniff and walk away? Eat with gusto but then stops abruptly? You may get some hints through careful observation. Have you tried giving her any "jackpot" meat treats? What is her reaction?

I'm not sure I'm buying the Blue Buffalo food aversion theory, that sounds unlikely to me. If eating is causing pain, I would suspect some kind of dental issue in that case.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:10 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 9217
I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. The only way to see what is going on with the digestive system is with an ultrasound which is a few hundred dollars. My bengal has inflammatory bowel disease and went from over 13 pounds down to 9.5 pounds. He was also vomiting several times a day and had loose stools. Saw a specialist who did an ultrasound and found thickened small intestinal wall. The vet cautioned that this could turn into lymphoma (cancer). Put on Prednisolone and Metronidazole. The vomiting stopped and the stools improved but now have gone back to mush. Raiden now weighs 15 pounds.

The digestive tract supports the cat -- and a cat losing weight for no real reason shows a severe issue that needs to be resolved. Unfortunately, without some expensive testing, there isn't much that can be found. Blood work only shows the values and while they can show an elevated white blood count, they can't show the reason for the elevated white blood count. Thus, your vet is going to have to dig a little deeper. They can scope your cat from both ends (would have cost me $2,800). I didn't want to put mine through that. We decided to try non-invasive tests and medications first to see if he improved and he has. Your vet may want to do biopsies as well. You are going to have to decide how far you want to go with this.

As for a probiotic, I add FortiFlora to Raiden's wet food. Hasn't made a huge difference, but it can't hurt. We have his annual appointment on March 2 and we will go from there. I know this is difficult for you and your baby, but it seems regular bet visits may be in order to determine what is going on. I am so sorry.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:59 am 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:26 pm
Posts: 65
Location: Peoria, AZ. USA

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:38 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:37 pm
Posts: 203
Has she been checked for pancreatitis?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:23 am 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:26 pm
Posts: 65
Location: Peoria, AZ. USA

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:05 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:37 pm
Posts: 203
.. Seems you have a long trial and error ahead now.. maybe remove normal food and start from scratch with bland food - boiled Turkey or chicken, single things, with nothing else, and then start again reintroducing very slowly singular types of protein one by one? Its what my vet recommended to check if mine was intolerant to something. Not sure what else to recommend, it must be so distressing to see her lose weight. Also it seems that if cats are feeling nauseous they'll not eat, although sometimes it's barely noticeable that they're feeling like that.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:12 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:18 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 9217
Kitties and food. Mine will LOVE a food one day and turn their nose up the next day. It is the craziest thing. I've bought a couple of cans of food that they inhaled and when I bought a case of 24 cans, they wouldn't eat it. I wish I knew what was going on with them. Because I toss a LOT of wet food out.

Losing weight is a big issue. I really hope a great veterinarian can help you out here. It is hard not understanding and not knowing what is going on. If only these kitties could TALK.


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