I have a domestic long hair that is about 11 years old and used to be almost 24lbs.

About 6-7 weeks ago, he stopped eating and losing weight (currently around 12lbs). At first, when I put food, he licks it a little bit but doesn't eat/chew. It's like he wants to eat but doesn't. Gradually, he stopped eating altogether.

I thought it might be a tooth problem and took him to the dentist. The dentist found a resorption tooth and removed it (did not have to do a root canal). A couple of days after the surgery, he still didn't eat and was losing weight. At this point, I also noticed fluid build up in his abdomen.

The first vet I took him to did an ultrasound, gave him antibiotics, and said that the ultrasound revealed some kind of inflammation in the intestine.

The second vet also did an ultrasound and found a mass in the small intestine. They withdrew some of the mass using a needle for analysis. They told me that the analysis will reveal if he had lymphoma or not. Unfortunetly, yesterday the test results came back as "non diagnostic" (I think it means the test was not conclusive). They also added a feeding tube.

Both vets did extensive blood tests, nothing was found except low levels of albumin.

Yesterday, he became so weak and agitated, I took him to the ER. The doctor there said based on all of the previous history that the other 2 VETs faxed over, there is a 95% chance he has terminal cancer and that it has spreadout throughout the intestine.

They said they know it has spreadout because they can tell by the fluid and the because the rest of the intestine was not absorbing vitamins/food properly.

They said that from the ultrasound the other 2 vets did, they can see that the "mass" has covered all around the small intestine.

They scheduled him for surgery today where they will go in and remove the mass from the small intestine and will do exploratory surgery. They will then do analysis on the mast to see what kind of cancer it is.

They said that even with the surgery, he will not eat and will waste away.

Is there any chance that it could just be a non-benign tumor....or even just a foreign object blockage?

How can they be so sure that it has spread throughout the intestine?

From my research, it looks like cats can also have fluid build up if they don't eat. I mentioned this to the VET but they said that in this particular case, it is related to cancer.

What is the likely prognosis?


1 Answer 1


I'm sorry, the best way to know what is wrong with your cat is to wait for the vets to do the surgery. I'm sure waiting is heartbreaking and you're upset and anxious for the results, but anything anyone replies at this point is even less of an educated guess than what your vets have advised.

I did have a cat whose stomach and esophagus stopped working (it was nerve damage). The vet offered to insert a feeding tube into the cat's intestines (called a duodenal feeding tube), but because of the severity of the surgery the cat would have been restricted to a cage for the rest of his life.

If your cat's intestines aren't working, and exploratory surgery doesn't reveal a reversible reason for that to be happening, then you'll have to consider what you want your cat's remaining days to be like.

In this situation, the questions I ask my vet are

  • Is my pet in any pain/discomfort?
  • Is my pet mentally aware that he is ill?
  • What are the physical side effects of this condition (will he loose control of his bodily functions? which ones?)
  • What should I look for to determine that my pet's condition is significantly worse?

I'm deeply sorry that you are experiencing this terrible situation.

  • Please keep in mind that, despite your best intentions, you can't always prevent things from happening, and it may not always be in the pet's best interest to do so. You may want to consult with your vet whether (explorative) surgery has significant benefits for your pet, since any visit to the vet is a stressful situation to you cat.
    – Sanchises
    Commented Aug 14, 2015 at 20:35

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