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Hi,

My 1 year old cat is currently in the hospital. Somebody was checking on an feeding our cats while we were away but we came back to him having difficulty breathing, was very low energy, and laying in his own urine. We rushed him to the hospital where they said he had an upper respiratory infection and possibly a UTI. We took him home and gave him the medicine, he improved a little but would not eat. He had been drinking water though. We took him back to the hospital and they took him in hospital because he wasn’t eating and one of his kidney values was high, although the doctor said it was weird it was only one and that’s not usually the one that’s indicative of kidney disease. After a day in hospital he improved significantly. His eye infection receded, he had a lot more energy and was using the litter box, and that one kidney value was lowering. The rest of his numbers were all stable but he still wasn’t eating.

He still isn’t eating and last night they used a feeding tube and he held down the food. The vets say they want to do an ultrasound but we are starting to near the end of our financial resources.

I guess my question is if his not eating could be attributed to depression and stress? He gets really sad when we leave, when we left him to be neutered the vet told us he’d never seen a cat miss his people so much, and I was gone for two weeks for the holidays and my partner was gone for 1. I can’t help but wonder if the stress of us being gone led to him being so sick, and if his not eating is also tied to stress or depression? The vet says he isn’t showing signs of stress, but he’s never been one to be scared or hide, but I could see him being depressed. He gets anxious if we don’t give him enough attention sometimes.

Could it be depression? If so could being in the hospital make it worse? Would it be a good idea to bring him home for a day or two and see if that helps him to eat? Or do his symptoms really suggest something is wrong in his stomach?

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Sorry to here about your cat.  There are many things that can cause a cat not to eat.  For more information on the topic, here is an article:

My Cat Won’t Eat! What Should I Do?

Sometimes, the root cause snowballs into a another cause.  For example, perhaps your cat is stressed out, ends up getting feline upper respiratory infection as a result, then stops eating because he is lethargic and not feeling well, and then you eventually end up with a dehydrated cat that is not eating well.  It could also end up with a minor bout of pancreatitis which can cause similar symptoms.

The bottom line is, there is no way to tell why your cat stopped eating.  If you had bloodwork done and they are all normal, your cat should begin eating again once its dehydration is corrected.  If your cat is a fussy eater, being at the veterinary hospital could certainly cause enough stress to keep him from eating.  Sometimes they just stop liking the food being offered at the hospital and they are around it for such a long time while feeling sick.

However, it could also be something much more serious depending on the age of your cat, such as cancer that is just not showing itself.  Your veterinarian should help rule things out.

Again, very sorry for what you and your cat are going through and I hope your cat has come home and started to eat on its own.

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