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I will try to make this very long story as short as possible. My boyfriend's cat, Bob, escaped out an open window a few weeks ago, and broke his front two legs. He did not, however, sustain any internal injuries. After a week long stay at an animal hospital (and two "walking casts" on his front two paws) he's been home for the past two weeks. The legs are healing just as the vet said they should. However, he still has another 4-6 weeks with the casts on, and our major problem is that he refuses to eat.

He's had to go back to the vet rather regularly for check-ups and bandage changes, and initally had a feeding tube through his nose, with victorian collar. We assumed the stress of all of this was causing an already finicky cat not to eat. However, he's now home most of the week, with only one or two vet visits. They took the tube out, and we were instructed to feed him anything he showed interest in. He ate some tuna, and then refused to eat (but happily drank water) for 2 days. He's a large cat, and the vet was concerned about his not eating resulting in liver damage, so they put a different tube (called an E-tube, i believe, goes through his neck, he really does not seem to notice that it's there). So, we're back to feeding him through this tube. We offer him "real" food often. He ate a small amount of tuna last friday, but that's it.

The whole process of feeding him this way is incredibly complicated, and we're at a loss of what to do, and worried that he will continue to refuse to eat for the duration of his legs being bandaged, or even longer. Has anyone ever found themelves in a remotely similar situation with their cat, and perhaps has some suggestions? It's gotten to the point where we're having "conversations" with Bob, trying to talk him into eating....

Thanks!!
 

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Did you try an appetite stimulant before the e-tube? It's possible he is just uncomfortable feeding with the casts (not his normal way of eating) as well as the stress.
 

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Thanks for your response. Yes, we tried Nutri-cal when he had the nose-tube, when he had no tube, and after they put in the e-tube. It clearly bothers him that he can't crouch in front of his food dish, as per usual. Even when we give him water, we have to hold a little bowl in front of his face, and it takes him some time to fenagle himself so he feels comfortable drinking it -- but he does manage. When we try this with food though, he just backs away...it's just so frustrating b/c he's making progress in all other aspects, his personality is really returning, but this is the one thing we can't seem to surmount.
 

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We're not sure of the exact date yet, but it's going to be 6-8 weeks in total...meaning, if he needs to have them on for 8 weeks total, he'll be getting them off around Christmas. The vet says it's still a little too early to tell exactly when, within that time period, he'll get them off.

This whole thing is just so confounding. He's become close to his perky old self again. All he wants to do is be pet, cuddled, play with us. So it's not like he's refusing to eat, acting listless, or anything like that. He's got another check-up on Friday, so I guess we'll see what the vet says at this point...but the no-eating thing seems to be a mystery to everyone.
 

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What else have you tried?

The only suggestion you can do at home, past anything the vet could do. Is to feed him anything, chicken, turkey, beef, raw egg yolk, fancy feast, any canned food that's really stinky.
If he takes to the tuna, try the new PetGold canned foods that are mostly made of cat safe tuna, put a little on a small spoon at a time, and offer it right to his face, don't put it in a bowl, perhaps this will make eating easier for him.

Have you tried any flavor additives to get him to eat?
Also try feeding him a pouched food, such as Nutro Natural pouches, they come in cubes of meat with a lot of gravy in them, most cats find this irresistable, and maybe even warm it up a little for him to bring out the smell of it.

Here's a couple of products so you can se what I'm talking about.
These can be found at Petco's, PetSmarts, and several other places. Your vet might even have a flavor additive they can sell you to put in his food, many vets whom kennel dogs and cats with perscription diets don't like their food because, well it doesn't taste very good, so they mix this additive in to make it taste good.

Also try things like Gerber Veal, or Chicken that's been pureed, such as you would feed a young child.

http://www.petfooddirect.com/store/prod ... d=14&Page=

http://www.petfooddirect.com/store/prod ... =308&Page=

http://www.petco.com/product_info.asp?f ... 3=Pet+Gold

Scroll down to meats:
http://www.gerber.com/prodcat?catid=511
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the suggestions. We've tried turkey, tuna, peanut butter, wet and dry cat food (Nutro), chicken, and just about anything else we have in our fridge. However, they just put him on an appetite stimulator pill today at his vet check-up, and they also gave us some specific food suggstions. We're just HOPING this does the trick...I'm guessing I know what the answer will be to this, but any good tricks (obviously besides wrapping it in food of course, b/c food is the problem here) to get cats to swallow pills? We employed the "hold him down, put it on the back of his tongue, and hold his mouth closed til he swallows" method this morning but were afraid that in his frantic struggling he'd hurt one of his already injured legs. Anyone else know of a magic way to get a cat to take a pill without too much struggle?
 

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KeriBF said:
Thanks for the suggestions. We've tried turkey, tuna, peanut butter, wet and dry cat food (Nutro), chicken, and just about anything else we have in our fridge. However, they just put him on an appetite stimulator pill today at his vet check-up, and they also gave us some specific food suggstions. We're just HOPING this does the trick...I'm guessing I know what the answer will be to this, but any good tricks (obviously besides wrapping it in food of course, b/c food is the problem here) to get cats to swallow pills? We employed the "hold him down, put it on the back of his tongue, and hold his mouth closed til he swallows" method this morning but were afraid that in his frantic struggling he'd hurt one of his already injured legs. Anyone else know of a magic way to get a cat to take a pill without too much struggle?
If only there were magic. :lol: With Newt we tried everything, for the longest time we just took him in and let the vet deal with it. The stimulant pill isn't quite as bitter as the anihistimine, so you have a few options:

1)You already mentioned, finger to the back of the mouth and close.
2)Pill gun. There is a small syringe like device that goes in to his mouth and shoots it at his throat. Our vet gave us one free...you might give that a try.
3)Crush the pill in a liquid and inject it via syringe into his mouth.

I wish you good luck with the pill...practice does make perfect though. After two months we had a pretty good routine down with the pill gun.
 

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And if your cat is anything like my Asim there is no way possible for you to get your cat to take anything orally that it doesn't like, including pills in solid or crushed up form.

If worse comes to worse, ask if they have any similar product that comes in an injectable.
 
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