Hi, I'm new and wondering if anyone has any advice for me about what to do for my poor, starving kitty.
As a matter of background information, my cat Jasmine has had kidney problems her whole life. She has been in a general state of good health for several years now, but always with the nagging kidney issues from time-to-time. She is currently 7 years old but has the kidneys of a 12-year-old cat, the vet says.
When my husband and I were gone on a vacation in February, she stayed for about three weeks with my in-laws, who are very good at taking care of cats and have two of their own. One of the last days Jasmine was there, my mother-in-law noticed Jasmine was going to the bathroom more frequently than she had been, so she took her to the vet. The vet confirmed that yes, Jasmine's bad kidneys were probably bothering her again and suggested that we switch her to Science Diet k/d formula, a low protein food for cats with bad kidneys. Sounded like a good solution to me that would help prolong a healthy life for her.
(Note: I recognize that studies have recently shown that wet food is better than dry food and that Science Diet is not the best brand to feed cats, but since Jasmine received this food when she was a baby I continued to feed it to her since I have heard that switching cat foods can be quite traumatic.)
Anyway, she ate the k/d food for a few days, but then threw it up. After it made her sick, she wouldn't touch it. Knowing that the cat needed to eat above all else, my in-laws tried mixing her old food (Science Diet Sensitive Stomach). She snarfed that down, but then she threw THAT up a few days later. Now she gags whenever she smells either food, and we've since bought about five different kinds of wet and dry food in the last month, none of which she's eaten more than a few bites of. She gags at completely new food, even. She hasn't thrown anything else up, but she has just lost her taste for food, it seems. Basically, I think switching her food has sent her into a psychological tailspin.
She has been to the vet in our hometown twice now, where they have given her an IV to hydrate. Yesterday, they also fed her through a tube. They said sometimes the tube feeding can stimulate appetite again. It has only been about 12 hours, but it doesn't appear that Jasmine has really eaten any food yet at home.
She is a happy cat and still acts like a happy cat, but she has lost weight and her movements are slower. I don't know what to do! I can't keep giving my cat an IV and sending her to the vet for tube feeding. I need to find something she will eat at home, voluntarily.
So, has anyone had any experience with feline annorexia or problematic pet food switches and have any advice for me? So far the only suggestion I've really gotten from other cat owners is to buy a new bag of her old food and see if she'll eat it, or to give her some catnip to possibly stimulate appetite.
Thanks in advance,