Q: My 6-month-old cat has not defecated for a week. I took her to the veterinarian for a second time, and she noticed the cat was backed up "up high." Anastasia now has stopped eating. When I take her to the vet, she gets traumatized. Any suggestions? A. -- B.B., Cyberspace
Q: My cat has not eaten much lately; mostly, he likes Whiskas CatMilk. He wants food, but runs away from the dish when it's put down. He's also become really affectionate and wants to be petted, which he never did before. I can't easily get him into the cat carrier, and I'm on blood thinners so I worry about him scratching me again if I try. Maybe there's a sedative I can give him. Do you think he needs to see the veterinarian? -- T.M., Cyberspace
A: Both of these questions prompt the same answer from Dr. Elizabeth Colleran, past president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners.
"I'm very concerned that there's something medically potentially serious going on with both these cats," Colleran says. "Perhaps these cat owners can enlist help (from a friend or neighbor) to get their cats into the carriers to visit the veterinarian, or find a veterinarian who makes house calls. Long-term carrier training is possible, but I don't believe either owner has the luxury of time."
Colleran, of Chico, CA, says that the 6-month-old kitty is apparently constipated, "But this may be more than a matter of the poop not going into the shoot; it's a cat who apparently feels so poorly she's lost her appetite." Colleran is concerned that there may be an obstruction as a result of your kitty eating something she shouldn't have. However, there's no way to diagnose what's going on without a veterinary visit.
As for the cat who likes Whiskas CatMilk, but seems uninterested in anything else, Colleran advises, at least for the time being, feeding him whatever he will eat. Maybe you can use the Whiskas product to lure him into a cat carrier. Any cat who refuses food may be prone to a potentially fatal fatty liver disease. Of course, one obvious sign of concern is the cat's lack of appetite. Another is his newly affectionate nature. Pets don't just change their behavior or personality for no reason; often the explanation is actually physical health.
Colleran, spokesperson for Cat Friendly Practices, addresses both owners: If for whatever reason you've lost faith in your veterinarian, consider an internal medicine specialist or feline veterinarian, though what's most important is to see a veterinarian ASAP.
©Steve Dale, Tribune Media Services