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I have a cat, Nad, who has been recently diagnosed with serious liver problems. As part of his treatment our vet has prescribed Nad a Hill’s Science Diet cat food that takes less liver enzymes to digest – or something like that. My problem is that he does not like to eat the stuff. This is made worse because we have three other cats that are still eating their regular food, so feeding them all has become a nightmare.

Nad barely touches what he is offered and goes around the house grubbing for food, looking for any tiny morsel he can find. We have to keep our kitchen trash in the pantry now because he kept knocking it over in his search for food. He acts like he is starving.

Should I be worried about this? Will he eventually learn to like his prescription food? And is there any way that I can make it more appetizing for him?

Thanks.
 

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Hi there,
I was in a similar situation - it seems impossible, and you feel so terrible that your stubborn cat won't eat the food. My cat developed kidney failure and was put on a prescription diet that he really didn't like. It's a different disease, but I'd suggest looking around online for kidney disease related websites - kitties not wanting to eat when they have kidney disease a very common problem and there is a ton of info out there on how to entice them to eat. Here's one quick link I found:
http://www.felinecrf.org/diet_and_nutri ... ption_food

A couple suggestions: mix in some of his old food with the new stuff; try warming the food slightly before serving to enhance that cat food smell; serve smaller servings to all the cats twice a day or more - more likely to each eat up all their serving and not leave any for Nad; ask your vet if there are any other brands of food you could try.

You might need to find a room you can shut off from the rest of the house for an hour or so, and put him in there with his food. Not a fun situation, but maybe you could spend some time in there with him, give him some one-on-one time and make meal time special - maybe it becomes meal/play time just for Nad. You being there and encouraging him might just do the trick.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your advice, I'll have to give it a try. The vet said that changing his diet would be hard, but I had no idea just how hard it would be.
 

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With liver disease, it usually crucial that the cat must eat. It matters much less *what* he eats!

The liver does not make digestive enzymes. Why don't you give your vet a call, let him know the problems, and ask for other suggestions. If he's concerned about enzymes, adding digestive (pancreatic) enzymes to the food.

IMHO the Hill's liver diet (l/d) for cats does not contain good quality ingredients, especially the dry food, and I have not seen cats do particularly well on it. You may want to get a second opinion.

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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Thanks. I received all this information about the liver second hand from my wife, Nad is her cat, so I can’t say that I really understand it all. However, I was concern when I noticed that he was not eating his new food. Just wanted to make sure that we weren't giving up without giving it a good try. I have started to combine a mixture of moist Iams and Hills l/d together, which Nad likes to eat. Will have to contact our vet and see if he has any suggestions.
 
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