Our Beloved Cat Has a Mystery 'Illness' - Any thoughts?

Michael B-C

FOTCM Member
As if life wasn't challenging enough...

Our beloved 'Puss' has developed a mystery condition that has vets and academics baffled and I would really appreciate any thoughts or suggestions...

In a nutshell:

1. He's 6 years old with no history of previous illness.
2. About 2 years ago I finally manged to get him onto a fresh meat diet (cooked lamb/pork mince and occasionally chicken - not his favorite). Previously, he was shall we say food obsessed and increasingly overweight. Also being a long hair, he suffered badly in the summer from bites and his skin used to end up covered in swollen bleeding sores. I was convinced this was due to the diet of 'normal' cat food i.e. high in carbs. Eventually I managed to get agreement in the household to the new diet and for the past 2 years things were great - very healthy, weight reduction, somewhat less obsession with food (though still insistent!) and most importantly all the summer sores and bites went away. All good.
3. Slowly over say a 3-4 month early this year he began to show more and more reticence around his food - subtle but noticeable. Then out of the blue he started to emit howls when he eat as if there was something going on in his mouth.
4. Visit to the vet - teeth needed cleaning and one tooth requiring extraction. Simple we thought.
5. Came home - it got worse. Over and over he would emit these cries every time he eat and eventually would only eat if I pureed and fed him by hand, and even then...
6. Back to the vet. Total mystery. They agree he seems to have high sensitivity right at the front of his mouth - but nothing on x-ray. Nothing that any examination could reveal...
7. Blood tests. Horror of horror - vet suddenly says he's got high markers for cat Leukemia. Red and white blood cells well well down. But they cant explain why his bloods are so bad but his coat, his spirit his behaviour is so buoyant. No symptoms other than crazy mouth which has them baffled. They send tests to a university veterinary department - they study and are baffled why he was showing such strong signs in his bloods but absolutely no symptoms... other than mouth - they think there is no connection - suggested he was maybe trying to fight off/adapt to something significant - and it could go either way...
8. Back home. Given vet cat food which I puree and hand feed. No meat.
9. Back to vet a week later - they are all baffled. He is in great form but for the teeth - do blood tests again and suddenly his white cells are way back up but his red are as low - they say he most likely doesn't now have Leukemia but rather anemia .. but they are still baffled.
10. Comes home. Great form. Purr as loud and as often as ever, cuddles as ever, but increasingly grooming and grooming... sleeps near me all day long... every day... and also starts sleeping in strange places

11. As days go by the mouth issue seems to go away at last... eating pureed food still... then starts being sick... in the dead of every night hours after eating...
11. Back to vet - worried his fir is changing colour... going paler... more blood test suggested at the end of the month...
12. Wondered if there was too much water in the puree mix I was feeding him so went back to the cooked meet - crumbled. No problem.
13. Tonight for the first time in weeks he asked to drink from the bath tap (I know! he does ask by the way. The only way he will drink). Immediately after - big howl - and violently sick all over the bathroom floor..

So that's a lot of concerning signs. The vets are genuinely baffled and just suggest a whole heap of more tests but they don't know what they are looking for...

He is in really good form - but he does groom excessively as if he knows something is not right...

It goes without saying he's irreplaceable. I never met or shared time with a more 'conscious' cat, a more 'now' cat - my son and I swear he's stand out 3rd density candidate! Even jump straight to 4th! So, so hate to lose him...

Any thoughts at all?

Thank you.
Aww, poor little fella. I'm sorry I don't really have any ideas or knowledge, but, best wishes..I hope you'll find out what's wrong and be able to help him as soon as possible.

I guess you told the vet what his diet was before they changed it to the vet cat food? Could the mince you were feeding him, if it was meant for humans, have some extra or different ingredients that aren't ideal for cats? (ordinary mince sold by supermarkets here I think has different balances of things than pet mince, and added sulphites and such, at least. I don't know if, or how much, difference it'd make with cats.. Or do you buy pure minced meat from a butcher or something?)

Our dog is so conscious like that too, definitely 3D candidate! I've never met another such human-seeming animal before. She also really strongly picks up on the mood of people around her.. I wonder how these more 'advanced' animals are affected by the general atmosphere in the world these days..
Hi Michael BC,

Oh I am very sorry to learn this, I am no doctor and even less of a vet, but have they done X rays? I presume they did, but since you didn't mention them I figured I'd double check.

Maybe his discomfort comes from something he ate that hasn't passed properly?, probably stuck in his intestines or thereabouts? Maybe soap or something, not sure.

I recall a few years ago, one of my dogs was having severe vomiting episodes, followed by eating grass and leaves, so much so that he literally kept me up all night and swept through all the grass available in the backyard and I had to resort to feeding him tobacco leaves. Could not figure out what was wrong, until I found out that he had eaten a slug, and since they do not chew much, dogs that is, it was probably alive and stuck somewhere in the tract. He finally got it out and slept all day after that, but did it again two days later -____-

I do hope with your cat it's something simple like this (although it might not be simple at all) and not some form of virus that could change his life for the rest with medication or a condition. I do hope that you guys figure it out soon.
Maybe you should change the vet? Is there a Veterinarian Universtiy in your city? Sometimes they are the best.
Vets are like doctors. If the allopathic medicine do not works, we should try something else. A vet that works with Homeopathy?

I hope he will be ok. He is a beautiful cat!
My cat howls awfully when she is about to be sick.
So I know what you are referring to.
I think it is when she has been unable to digest some of her raw food and eats grass to get it out of her system.
This is what I think has happened after consultation with a vet who specialises in animal nutrition. Also a whole year of observation.
She developed a food sensitivity to tripe (i fed her too much of it for quite a while). I finally realised that the tiniest amount would create an inflammatory reaction in her gut. This food sensitivity problem was what the vet thought it was likely to be.
Then her digestion was compromised so she couldn’t digest cartilage and pieces of bone etc in her raw food this becoming stuck in the gut.
This is what’s worked for my cat-
Poached plain rabbit meat (it looks just like chicken breast so that may be okay too). I poached it in bone broth. Then cut it into small pieces and cooled. This is her gut healing protocol. It is very easy to digest and will clear any constipation.
To make things easy I freeze the broth into an ice cube tray and use two cubes for poaching the plain meat.
Then slowly I switched back to the plain meat raw and continued to supplement with broth.
Also some freeze dried venison heart as treats also easy to digest as it contains no connective tissue.
One other thing I added to her food for about 1-2 weeks is a tiny amount of Enterosgel to absorb anything toxic that shouldn’t be in her digestive tract.

I hope that helps
Also check where your raw food is coming from.
China had bought up a lot of pet food brands in 2014 in Australia including raw food brands. My cat is violently ill on one of these brands and never used to have a problem with it so I am suspicious if it.
There was a big problem in USA in 2009 with Chinese brand pet foods and a melamine scandal. Melamine being added to the food to increase the protein level test results.
Would hazard to opine on this for your little fluffy one, Michelle B-C. With our dogs (and you are talking feline) we had to do a lot of trial and error - and vet to vet to holistic vet when problems developed, including laser (which might be something to consider down the road depending out the diagnosis). In the meantime, hopefully one of our more knowledgeable animal physicians here can offer you something based on the symptoms provided.

The howling when eating, well that reminds me of possible kidney issues from experiences with one of our old kitty's (not sure if this is a male over female problem), yet your vet was baffled.

Yes, gottathink, imports and manufacturing have caused a lot of problems in pet food.
Thanks everyone. I'll certainly look into an animal communicator, Cassandra - hadn't thought of that thank you.

As I say he's done great for past 2 years on a meat only diet and as Irish meat is grass fed and actually of a really high standard compared to many countries, I don't think it was his previous diet - but could be wrong. As for the pockets from the vet (they contain Magnesium and a couple of other 'Urinary Care' healers hence the change) they are EU sourced - and he was only on them for a week or so with the problems emerging before he started them and since Ive stopped. I'll definitely look at your diet suggestion gottathink, thank you.

I didn't mention that he had been licking the concrete outside the back door quite a lot recently and this was suggestive of what the vet thought might be a toxicity issue. We have considered whether its an allium poisoning issue because we cook with these quite a lot and as with any person-cat he has been known to demand and steal licks from plates left around! A long build up - but its possible.

Something in my mind has been the smart meters that were installed on our estate last summer - we were the only household that refused and blocked the installation ... but we are surrounded by them so there is a nagging concern that he could be presenting as a 'canary in the mine'... Im getting EMF engineers in to do a survey anyway.

I was sitting up late last night and he came back in - frisky, meowing for connection (we talk a lot!) and purring like crazy. I gave him a very small amount of cooked meat. Over night sick again. He was given a tiny drop of fresh filtered water this morning - sick straight away. Not good.
I'm sorry to hear about Puss. I believe you once said that he is very gregarious, he gets around, and that you suspected he was being fed by someone. Could this be a reason perhaps? Maybe you could attach a collar with something inscribed with "Crucial! Please do NOT feed!"

The people on the Prayer Group board are mostly huge animal lovers. You could put your cat's picture up there, and I'm quite sure he would be quite a high priority. I did this once with Murphy, a beloved family dog. He wasn't on the collage, but a lot of people said they would pray for him. The adorable picture of Puss in the cupboard would be a hit.

Meanwhile, I hope Puss gets well very soon!
I am very sorry that your cat is so sick. Something I remember is this. When meat is cooked as food for the cat, it loses the taurine that is essential for the cat. It should therefore always be added as a dietary supplement to food prepared by yourself. The deficiency symptoms often only appear after months or years. Drinking from the tap was an indication of the onset of renal insufficiency in my cat. I really hope that you can quickly find out the real cause. My thoughts are with "Puss" and I will pray for your adorable cat.
I am very sorry that your cat is so sick. Something I remember is this. When meat is cooked as food for the cat, it loses the taurine that is essential for the cat. It should therefore always be added as a dietary supplement to food prepared by yourself. The deficiency symptoms often only appear after months or years. Drinking from the tap was an indication of the onset of renal insufficiency in my cat. I really hope that you can quickly find out the real cause. My thoughts are with "Puss" and I will pray for your adorable cat.
I think you may be onto something Kari Baba. I only learned this could be an issue a week or so back when researching his symptoms and then with all the strange signs and mystery responses from the vet I didn't remember to take it any further (nor did they mention when we explained his diet). I've ordered some taurine powder for cats and will definitely give this a go. Whether its the actual cause however... but definitely not an issue to underestimate, so thank you for the nudge.
I'm so sorry you are having this problem with your cat. He's a beautiful boy. Cat lady here, so just adding another possibility. I see he has gorgeous long hair. Sometimes the hairballs with this type of coat are more difficult to expel. They can get lodged, or even become hardened over time, even cause blockages in the intestines. There would be then be frequent but unproductive vomiting. It can even cause a type of hairball gastritis. It seems you've had extensive testing by the vet, but just wanted to make sure they took good pics of his digestive tract. If they haven't, that would be a good idea. Many thoughts and prayers for your sweet boy's healing.
Si désolée d'apprendre les malheurs de PUSS qui sera dans mes prières personnelles et pensées, je l'ajouterai le soir aussi aux prières du groupe...
Ne mange-t-il pas de poisson ? Mes 4 chatonnes adorent le thon naturel en boite ainsi que l'eau contenu dans la boîte, peut-être pouvez vous essayer... Ils aiment aussi les filets de poisson crus que je leur coupe en tout petits morceaux.
Avez vous essayez le poulet toujours en petits morceaux, toujours alimentation humaine (viande, poisson, poulet) pas celle pour animaux.
J'ai perdu mon chat Lancelot d'un cancer des gencives, après lui avoir ôter toutes ses dents, il a fallu l'euthanasier pour éviter une fin trop douloureuse...
Je vous envoie tout plein de courage et de douces caresses pour PUSS... Tenez nous au courant... Merci.

So sorry to hear about PUSS's misfortunes that will be in my personal prayers and thoughts, I will add him to the group prayers in the evening too....
Does he not eat fish? My 4 kittens love natural canned tuna and the water in the can, maybe you can try... They also like raw fish fillets that I cut into very small pieces.
Have you tried chicken always in small pieces, always human food (meat, fish, chicken) not animal food.
I lost my cat Lancelot to gum cancer, after removing all his teeth, he had to be euthanized to avoid a too painful end...
I send you a lot of courage and soft caresses for PUSS... Keep us informed... Thank you.

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