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Old 01-24-2007, 02:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to get my cat to eat again?

Tabby (my cat) has just recovered from deadly virus infection. Now, the challege is to get her to start eating again otherwise the vet would not discharge her. Everytime when I visit her, she will keep meowing, wanting me to bring her home. I can't bring her home unless she starts eating on her own.
The vet is force feeding her at the moment.
Can anyone please help me? I have tried bring all kinds of food - home made or canned.
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Old 01-24-2007, 03:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm sorry to hear Tabby has been sick. Have you tried Fancy Feast? That usually helped when my guy was having trouble. Also try human (meat only! like turkey,meaf, or lamb) baby food. It's not a good balanced food for a cat but it can really jump start an appitite. Another thing that can help is to slightly warm the food.
How long has he not been eating? Does the vet know why? Is he stuffed up? Cats will generally refuse to eat if they can't smell.
If you can't get him to eat you may want to ask the vet about giving him an appitite stimmulant. It's a last resort (barring a feeding tube) but if he really won't eat anything, it might be something to consider.
I hope that helps.
Keep us posted on how he's doing.
EDIT: you may want to ask a mod if they can move this to Health and Nutrition as it might get more attention there.
BTW Welcome to the forum!
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Old 01-24-2007, 08:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by nanook
EDIT: you may want to ask a mod if they can move this to Health and Nutrition as it might get more attention there.
Done And a welcome from me also

Nanook's advice is excellent -- those are good strategies to get a cat eating. Fancy Feast is very smelly and attractive to most cats.

I am also curious to know what is keeping your cat's appetite down. Is it possible she's not eating due to stress? One of my cats would not eat a thing at the vet Is she well enough to do a trial run at home to see how it goes?

There are members here who have had to force feed their cats, such as Heidi N Q. I have done it also, but my cat unfortunately was too ill to recover. It sounds like your cat is on the mend, which is wonderful
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Old 01-24-2007, 12:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It sounds to me like Tabby would be much happier at home.
May I ask how your vet is force feeding her? If the vet is using a tube, she'll have to stay. If the vet is force feeding her by hand (syringing a fine wet food) I would like to ask if this is something you could do to/for your cat?

If you can't, poor Tabby will have to stay at the vet's. If you could argue that you could bring her home and do the feedings yourself. However, something to consider is how debilitated she became from her near deadly virus infection and if she has the body condition to return home...

My Malibu went through Hepatic Lipidosis (cat jaundice) just before Turkey-Day last year. We had just spent $250 on parts for my car and another $250 w/ Mal at the vet for the visit and testing to learn she had HL. Vet said the cheapest she could get treatment down to was $400. Well, after spending $500 and still needing to make the mortgage payment...I was faced with euthanasia or treating Mal at home.
My vet said most cats with HL that were treated at home died. They died because the owners could not get enough food into them. This is usually because the owner cannot force themselves to make the cat eat. The only way to save the HL cat is to make it eat, or it dies. Period.

I stay at home and was able to feed Mal every couple hours, only stopping for the 6hrs/night I slept. She pulled through and has done wonderfully! We are even closer now, which is surprising to me, because she was an aloof previous feral before her illness. Now she is a snuggle-muffin with me and getting friendlier with hubby, too.

If you CAN force feed your cat, I'd say to bring her home and do it. If you work, you can schedule her feedings for right when you get up, another just before you leave, immediately upon returning home and perhaps 2-3 more between then and bedtime. I think minimum is to get 60ccs into them daily. I was able to feed Mal 14-20ccs/feeding, and I think that amount would work well for Tabby, too. I would recommend (prescription thru vet only) Eukanuba Maximum Calorie over the Hill's a/d because the Euk has more protein than the Hills.

I purchased many different brands of dry food to tempt Mal. It was a wonderful moment when I heard her crunching dry food on her own in the middle of the night. I knew we had turned the corner. The dry food that tempted her was Fancy Feast Gourmet Gold in both flavors.

Good luck with Tabby, I'm sure she'd be happier at home and I hope you get to bring her home soon.
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Old 01-24-2007, 06:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Some more suggestions that have worked for me: wet food, warmed up; add a little hot water; add a little tuna juice; make a gravy with hot water and wet food; mix in a raw egg yolk.
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