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Old 12-19-2011, 06:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default encouraging elderly cat to eat

My Blitz (aka "Doo Doo") is over 17 years old now. He had most of his teeth removed due to Feline Odontoclastic Reabsorbtive Lesions (ok, I think that's what FORLs stands for, if I'm right, consider it showing off), hyperthyroidism, arthritis/spondylosis and early onset kidney failure, which is very early on and stable.

So... he's got to have dry food for his remaining teeth, wet food for his medicine, both of which have to be specially formulated kidney food, a pill for his thyroid, metacam and arthri-aid for the arthritis. Thing is, he hates the kidney food. He has lost 30g in the last month because of his refusal to eat much of it at a time (he actually licks the medicine off, so it's not that...).

The vets say it is more important that he eats than for him to eat the kidney food at this time. She did say that if he doesn't eat properly, he has 3-6 months left.

So we've been mixing other meats in with his food and thus far (since I joined this site) he's been doing well. She's advised boiling chicken and fish for him too.

When I originally joined, I'd just got the news and was hoping for advice. Since we are doing well, I'm hoping for advice as a Plan B in case he gives up again.

Thanks
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandoren View Post
So... he's got to have dry food for his remaining teeth,
Why?
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think the idea is that the dry food helps prevent the build up of plaque and stuff. That was the impression I got from the vets. Anyway, he doesn't eat it much, he far prefers the wet food. It's there if he wants it.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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At the age of 17 I would let him eat what he wants. If he likes canned, so be it. The important thing is that he eats to keep his weight and strength up.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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At the age of 17 I would let him eat what he wants. If he likes canned, so be it. The important thing is that he eats to keep his weight and strength up.
This.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The first time we tried moving away from the kidney food, he was interested for a while and then gave up even on the fishy food we were offering him. He's ok at the moment but I'm a little concerned that he might see this new food as a novelty and when it wears off, he'll lose interest again. I guess I'm just wondering what people might recommend as a next tactic.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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When I switched Chiquita over to better wet food, I bought a variety and made notes on which ones she really likes.
Now I have a 1/ dozen that she really like to rotate so she doesn't get jaded on any one flavor.
She really likes Merricks, Grammy Pot Pie, Turducken and Thanksgiving Dinner.
I agree feed him what he'll eat that the important thing to keep his weight up.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi. My 16 year old cat also has hyperthyroidism and is on the meds for it; I use
the gel transdermal pen to apply the medicine directly to his ear flap. He has
been on it for several years now and there seems to much less nausea with the
gel pen form than with oral meds.....SweetPea doesn't have as
much nausea with this form of his meds and has a better appetite.

You might try adding a little grated Parmesan cheese to his food to try and tempt
him to eat more. I've also found that adding a little warm water to the canned food
helps, as well as crushing some dried bonita flakes and sprinkling them over the
wet food.

Hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck with your Blitz.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thankee muchly
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My vet recently reminded me most cats do not chew dry food anyway, so the fact that my kitty has had so many teeth removed (most of her molars and almost all of the front tiny teeth) doesn't matter much in terms of my food choices for her, though she gets the majority of her nutrition from a 5.5 oz can of wet food each day and dry to nibble on when she pleases. I'd follow what your vet recommends, but question the need for dry food really.

I hope your kitty feels better and finds her appetite soon. Have you tried baby food? When my cat was really sick with a virus this summer and at her very worst, my vet said give her whatever she will eat. What was finally successful was Beech Nut chicken baby food (just chicken, chicken broth and water in the ingredients). There were a few days that she only ate baby food, then I added the baby food to her wet food (Weruva canned chicken) until eventually I was only giving her the canned food and she had regained her health.

I hope it never gets to this point, but if your vet recommends medication to stimulate appetite - tread very carefully. My cat was prescribed Mirtazapine and did not tolerate it well at all. The prescribing vet as well as a second I took her to really seemed quite clueless about the side effects.
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