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Cat ? - now eating! post 29

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  • Cat ? - now eating! post 29

    One of my cats threw up a couple of times in several days so I took him into the vet. Blood results showed kidneys to be very slightly high. Vet didn't seem overly concerned but this quickly turned worse the last time I dealt with it. Vet has not diagnosed CRF. Vet gave a shot to help settle his stomach and gave me pills to give him twice a day for 5 days to also help with his stomach. Also sent him home with Hills Science Diet l/d. Cat ate pretty well the first 24 hours after the shot but is now picking at the food. Doesn't help that he was always picky about food to begin with. This cat won't generally even eat chicken or canned food if offered.

    Is there a something that I can safely mix with the dry food that might entice him to eat more? I locked the other cats on the porch and left him in the house so he can pick at it as he pleases today.

    Should I be asking about an appetite stimulate?

    Vet says to bring him back in a month and that if levels are normal, he could go back to his old diet (Iams indoor formula). Is that such a good idea or is there something else I should switch to that I could give to all four cats (ranging in age from 7 1/2 to 10)?

    How long should I allow him to pick at his food before I panic?

    I've tried to find a link between the other cat and this one. The other cat found a mouse about a week and half before I noticed symptoms. The mouse was wet and I thought at the time that was a little weird. Current cat wouldn't go near a mouse though. Other cat might have licked up some spilled horse probiotics. This cat is too picky for that plus I haven't been giving the horses probiotics since then. I haven't found anything that they might have gotten into and I don't put out rodent poisoning.

    The only commonalities I can think of (besides they were both indoor cats) are 1) they both got Iams indoor but I'm on a different bag and (knock wood) the other three cats haven't had problems. 2) I flea treated about 2 weeks before the first cat got sick and I'm starting to wonder about the long term safety of it. 3) Both cats had rough starts. Cat 1 was a bag of bones with a terrible upper respirator infection when he found me. Cat 2 had the worse case of worms I've ever seen and the kitten doses of de-wormer didn't touch them. We weren't able to kill them until he was old enough for adult wormer. Oh and cat 1 was 6 1/2 when he got sick. Cat 2 will be 10 in June.

    Any suggestions or positive stories would be welcomed! I've been doing some web research but you guys are always a wealth of information. TIA!
    Last edited by Holly Jeanne; Mar. 25, 2009, 09:26 AM.
    Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe

  • #2
    I doubt it's your "fault".
    Renal disease is not uncommon in cats.
    I don't recommend dry food at all, but if your cat won't eat canned, then that's not going to work.

    Might try the juice from canned tuna on the food. Some cats really like that. Clam juice (which you can buy at the grocery store) tempts some of them.
    Strained meat baby food (without garlic or onion added) is worth a try.

    If the inappetance is secondary to renal disease, I've found over the years that owner-administered SQ fluids, which improve the hydration status make the cat feel a lot better, so depending on the lab values, etc., that might be something to discuss with your vet.
    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


    • #3

      There is a wealth of nutritional information at this site. Of particular interest is the problem of cats not drinking enough and how that effects the kidneys.
      "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


      • #4
        When my elderly kitty started failing and not eating the vet said to give her half a human pepcid tab - it helped a lot, until age just caught up with her.

        I think she got one a day, until she started eating again and she'd be fine for a few days. This kitty wasn't fussy though - she loved all kinds of food so I'd tempt her with her favorites - canned pineapple, corn on the cob (yes off the cob!), any flavor of yoplait yogurt, Doritos - yeah, I know they're not good for cats, but give a dying lady her treats.


        • #5
          You are doing Great be vilgilant - getting you cat hydrated is most important - I agree with tuna juice, salmon juice... also warming food in microwave as cats are very SMELL oriented - warming brings out that fresh baked smell. Your vet can administer IV fluids -do hestiate -- trust your gut - you to can administer fluids once taught if you have a helper - this fluid therapy usually gives them quite a boost . With cats I have found that waiting is not the same as horses or dogs -- my cats seem to need intervention sooner. Good-luck and let us hear from you on your cat's progreess BE PRO_ACTIVE. What is his/her name? I have a specialist in Chicago who has helped us with our dog and cats in this area - keep us updated I can call for advanced help.
          Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


          • Original Poster

            Thanks - keep 'em coming

            Thanks for all the suggestions. I've been reading the website Eclectic provided on switching from dry to canned food but I probably need to get him eating the vets perscription food and stabilized before I make a switch to canned. I have two kitty water fountains and they do seem to like those. I tried mixing in a little canned food last night in hopes the smell would help but he wanted nothing to do with it. Please keep thought (and jingles) coming. Oh, and his name is Hansa.

            I guess I've been lucky. I"ve had cats all my life (on dry food) and it wasn't until 2009 that I had any kidney problems.
            Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe


            • #7
              Originally posted by Holly Jeanne View Post
              I guess I've been lucky. I"ve had cats all my life (on dry food) and it wasn't until 2009 that I had any kidney problems.
              Holly, I agree with you, my last cat was 21 years old and only ate dry food (Hills RD) his entire life. In the end, I did have to give him plain pedialyte to drink (this is what they give human infants for diarrhea) and ultimately force fluids to keep him hydrated.

              That's a pretty impressive age to reach so I'm not sure that I buy all the hysteria about feeding. But I do think that with the lack of regulation in this area, pet food manufacturers have been experimenting with exactly how much cheap crap they can put in the food and get away with it. They were getting away with more and more grain gluten, etc. until the chinese went over the line by adding harmful chemicals. Not only does canned food contain more water (which helps to flush things out of the system) but it also can contain less grain and other crap.

              I just tried to look up "Nutri-Cal" for you, which is a paste that comes in a tube that you put on a cat's paw and it stimulates their appetite. Lo and behold, I found a whole website on kidney failure and persuading cats to eat! Enjoy!

              Last edited by Eclectic Horseman; Mar. 23, 2009, 11:38 AM. Reason: add new info
              "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


              • #8
                I used that "Nutri-Cal" stuff when my kitty got beaten up and was too swollen and grumpy to eat. Seemed to tide her over pretty well, but she's not a picky eater.
                Click here before you buy.


                • #9
                  I feel for you - about two years ago now, I lost a 3 year old cat to renal failure after battling it for about 3 months. I still miss her!

                  She became a -very- picky eater, too, and I tried a little of everything. She refused the prescription food, so I fed her human baby food chicken and turkey for a while (until she got tired of eating it). If you do that, make sure it is ONLY chicken or turkey - no garlic or onions as they are not good for cats. I also fed several different kinds of non-prescription canned food, trying to find one she would consistently eat. I think it takes a lot of experimenting to find what's right - talk to your vet, too. If he/she has experience with CRF, they probably have some tricks up their sleeves, too.
                  Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

                  Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com


                  • #10
                    You may want to call your vet and ask for a different food if your cat isn't eating the I/D. Iams makes a similar prescription formula (Low Residue), which might appeal more to her palate. Both foods also come in dry, but your vet probably wants you to stick with wet food because it will help with water consumption. There are also prescription foods that help with kidney issues, but it sounds like your vet was trying to get the vomiting back under control with a bland diet before addressing the renal issues.


                    • #11
                      Just my experience and opinion

                      You couldn't pay me to feed Iams or Science Diet

                      I had a kitty who had fairly elevated BUN and creatinine levels. Yes, after she'd eaten Iams for several years Coincidence or not, I have no idea.

                      I started her on Flint River food (holistic) at that point, and subsequently switched around among Dynamite, Wellness, Felidae, and few others of that quality.

                      Additionally, while on the FR, I started her on a protocol I got from Purely Pets. I used KidniBiotic on a daily basis. I also used KidniKare and KidniFlow,and while I'm not positive, I'm pretty sure I would use one bottle of one, then switch to the other, switching back and forth. I was given that program after discussing the issue with the nutritionist, Darleen. My vet was ok with it.

                      After a year, her BUN and creatinine were both back within normal range, and never went back up. I did keep her on the higher quality foods, which I'm sure played a major role.
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                      • Original Poster

                        thanks folks!

                        Thanks for all the suggestions. In the shortrun, I'm picking up some cans of the l/b stuff on my home tonight as well as some of the other things ya'll recommended. In the long-run, I'm going to look at some feeding alternatives. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of selection in town and I have a total of 4 cats to feed but I'll figure out something. It will NOT be business as usual. I've also ordered some carbo-veg which is what my vet in PA recommended for nausea for a cat with inflamatory bowel just to have on hand in case. Thanks everyone! Please jingle for Hansa!
                        Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe


                        • #13
                          I wouldn't let him go too long picking at her food. He could be at risk of developing Fatty Liver disease within a short period of time if he does not get enough calories.

                          My cat was diagnosed with CRF, and it has been horrible trying to get her to eat. The kidney disease and the liver issue both can cause a lack of appetite, and the kidney issues can upset their stomach. My poor kitty has gone from 12 lbs at the last checkup where she felt good before her diagnoses to 8 lbs It has been a real struggle trying to find the balance between an enjoyable life where she doesn't eat enough or force feeding her so she doesn't decline so quickly but has that negative experience every day.

                          Some of the things we tried based on the vet's recommendation were a 1/4tab regular Pepcid AC twice a day to settle her stomach, and an appetite stimulant. It worked for quite a long time, although apparently she was still losing weight. Ultimately, we think she has some kind of GI problem in conjunction with the kidney and liver issue, plus an infection of some kind. Her kidney values were brought down nearly within normal range with fluid therapy, so there is no real explaination for how poorly she is feeling. I think we are near the end with her, but we are trying a last ditch attempt to treat the GI issues and possibly get her over this hump, since the kidney stuff seems to be well managed I am having a hard time knowing when to let go since she doesn't look that sick, but she is just not herself.

                          So, I would ask your vet about the pepcid. If settling her stomach doesn't get her eating, I would ask about the appetite stimulant. If your cat is dehydrated, consider doing fluid therapy at home - it took a while to get used to, but my cat was surprisingly cooperative after a few weeks, and I can do it by myself now very easily. It can really help them. If your cat likes tuna, I would put tuna juice on her food, or even actual tuna if she likes it. I put tuna in the food processor to blend it into a liquid consistancy, and sometimes she would eat that. Some cats like the baby food, but you have to be very careful - I think beechnut is the brand with no onions. It is also almost smooth enough to syringe feed if necessary. My cat is currently eating science diet A/D because it can be syringe fed, but apparently some cats find it very palatable (it's not great for kidney issues though except short term). Unfortunately, my cat is like yours and will only eat dry food (or tuna juice.) Since she has been feeling sick, she won't even eat the tuna itself any more. Good luck, it sounds like you managed to catch a potential problem very early, so you are likely to have good luck managing this!


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JB View Post
                            Just my experience and opinion

                            You couldn't pay me to feed Iams or Science Diet

                            I had a kitty who had fairly elevated BUN and creatinine levels. Yes, after she'd eaten Iams for several years Coincidence or not, I have no idea.

                            I started her on Flint River food (holistic) at that point, and subsequently switched around among Dynamite, Wellness, Felidae, and few others of that quality.

                            Additionally, while on the FR, I started her on a protocol I got from Purely Pets. I used KidniBiotic on a daily basis. I also used KidniKare and KidniFlow,and while I'm not positive, I'm pretty sure I would use one bottle of one, then switch to the other, switching back and forth. I was given that program after discussing the issue with the nutritionist, Darleen. My vet was ok with it.

                            After a year, her BUN and creatinine were both back within normal range, and never went back up. I did keep her on the higher quality foods, which I'm sure played a major role.
                            I agree with this 110%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            I lost a cat to the canned Science diet in 2007 and my current 10yo male that didn't eat the stuff, recently came down with some kidney problems that my vet traced to a pet food allergy. He had massive amounts of diarrhea and vomiting. She did all sorts of tests on his liver and kidneys and it turned out that a marker came back positive for food allergens. He has been on Iams his whole life. We tried the S/D prescription formula, no change for 6 months. I then found Wellness, and he is now 100%better! His coat looks the best that it ever has, his eyes are bright and shiny and he plays with his 2 yo buddy. He has less hairballs and the litterboxes don't have as bad of an odor. Wellness makes a sensitive stomach/kidney formula that contains cranberries. You can even smell them when you open the bag. My cats love it! We feed the canned in conjunction with the dry.

                            The problem with Science Diet and Iams is that it's full of grain fillers which are harder to digest for cats (including the Rx stuff) They really need a majority meat-based diet. I now have a policy when feeding my pets, that if I don't understand what's on the back of the label for the first 10 ingredients, then I don't feed it. Period. I've just had too many problems with them not doing well on the more mainstream foods. Even my vet is making the switch to more natural products in her practice.

                            I see the difference every day between the commerical foods and the more "natural" foods. Some may believe that it's all hype, but I can tell a big difference in my cats and dogs. Weight, coat, energy, eyes, hairballs, stools, etc.

                            I really hope your kitty gets to feeling better soon.
                            Unashamed Member of the Dressage Arab Clique
                            CRAYOLA POSSE= Thistle


                            • #15
                              When my cat had kidney failure the only food she would eat was fancy feast. I tried all of the expensive foods she just would not eat them. For my kitty I saw big improvement after a course of antibiotics, I guess she had some infection. I could tell she was feeling better because she would eat a mouse and a can.

                              Best Wishes!


                              • Original Poster

                                I feel stupid

                                Guess I'm still upset over the other cat as I could have sworn he said the kidney function was high but I double checked and he says it's the liver function. Sigh. I lost Nusie within a week with the exact same symptoms so I guess I'm relieved but I still need to resolve the eating. The good news is he finished his breakfast while I was at work yesterday. The bad news is he begged for dinner but then wouldn't eat it. I tried the baby food - no go. The canned prescription - no go. The tuna water on the dry food - nope. As an experiment, I put a few pieces of his old Iams in the dish and he removed them one at a time with his paw and ate them (I guess he didn't want them contaminated ). His sister loved finishing off the canned stuff and the baby food and his buddy loved the dry food with the tuna water. Him, not so much. However, he did eat half the prescription food overnight. He turned his nose up at it again this morning but was eating a little when I left. The vet is ordering the Iams version since Iams is what he is used to but I am looking into what to feed once he's stabilized. Where does one get the Wellness and can I afford to feed it to all four cats? Thanks everyone!!
                                Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe


                                • #17
                                  Teeth! Did the vet check the teeth really really thoroughly? I have one 14 and one 15 year old cat. The not eating can cause the liver values. Whenever they have a bad tooth, they go off of their food and may puke more.

                                  The other thing I have found is the hairball foods can be too much for some cats. My 14 year old started this throwing up thing about 9 years ago. She acts completely normal, but starts throwing up, and then stops eating, continues throwing up for almost a week, I take her to the vet, all the tests, nothing. We have stumped 10, yes 10, vets. After 5 or 6 days she starts eating bribe stuff, mainly chicken, and then goes back to food like nothing ever happened. If I go the vet, treatment route, stomach meds, etc it lasts 5 days. If I go the leave her alone, make sure she's drinking, and wait it out, it lasts 6 days. One episode got so bad she didn't eat for weeks and was on her way out. I had my vet friends help me give her fluids to make sure she wasn't dehydrated. I finally hit the point it didn't seem fair, and took her in. They did bloodwork to check and it wasn't that bad. After almost 3 weeks of no food, we thought maybe the weakness was from that. They had never put in a feeding tube before, and asked if they could try. I figured dying under anesthesia wasn't worse than the euthanasia I expected to have to do, so I said ok. Well, not only did she make it through the surgery, she wanted food when she woke up! They used a scope during the surgery and nothing - no ulcer, no tumor, no reason for the puking. We used the feeding tube for a while, and she gradually went back to eating. She had been on SD Hairball before the tube, since before the puking episodes ever happned, because that is all she would eat. After the tube came out, she wouldn't go back to it, so we changed. Other than the usual cat puke here and there - not one more episode. A friend also almost lost hers due to the same kind of symptoms on a hairball food, I think Iams. She did all the tests, vet had no idea. Teh cat stopped eating that food, and no more problems. The indoor formulas are the same idea. I don't know if it blocks them up or what. My vet is absolutly not a SD fan. She rec'ds Royal Canin. I just switched to their old cat formula, and they LOVE it. Neither of them will eat canned food, so I know how you feel!


                                  • #18
                                    I've had a couple dozen cats over the years and I never had much luck with getting them to eat the canned Science Diet regardless of the prescription. It made me realize that no matter how good something is it won't help the animal if they won't eat it! You just have to find something you and the cats can live with.... It may take some reading, some digging and some posting but eventually you will get there.

                                    DO keep the cat eating!!!! Not eating can just compound the problem--so find the best stuff you can and get that cat eating....

                                    Nutri-Cal is okay but the vitamins, etc. are a bit skewed. You might do better to feed the cat a complete vitamin/mineral product like Felovite.... Ask your vet first though--don't know if there's something in there you should avoid....
                                    "I'm not much into conspiracy theories but if everyone thinks alike you don't need a plot!" ~person from another bulletin board whose name has been long forgotten~


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Holly Jeanne View Post
                                      Where does one get the Wellness and can I afford to feed it to all four cats? Thanks everyone!!
                                      The Wellness website has a store locator where you can find someplace near you to buy it.


                                      It is expensive, but remember it is the whole diet that counts so even if you can't afford to feed all Wellness, you may be able to use it for part of your cats' diet. Shop around because some places are cheaper than others and may give quantity discounts. There are also some other high quality protein based cat foods on the market (Evo and Weruva, to name two) and you may find one of those to be less expensive.

                                      Good luck.
                                      "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Fharoah View Post
                                        When my cat had kidney failure the only food she would eat was fancy feast. I tried all of the expensive foods she just would not eat them.
                                        I found exactly the same thing. I have an old girl that is starting to have kidney issues. She has always been on Wellness. Now she won't eat it. I couldn't find anything she'd eat except Fancy Feast. Figures she wants to be a junk food junkie in her old age. (17)

                                        So to try and put weight on her I add a holistic supplement which helps build antibodies and boosts the immune system. It also adds extra calories. I also cook up chopped chicken liver and if I have time I chop up cooked gizzards and hearts. I put a lot of water in while it's cooking so that I have a bunch of liquid to be able to spoon over her food. The organs get mushed up and mixed in.

                                        So far so good.

                                        With regards to the Wellness... see if you can get a case deal. Also call around, find the best price and ask your local store if they'll match it. I feed Fromm's to the dogs and my local store was $1.00 a can more (with 8 dogs that adds up!) I told them how much I could buy it for, where and told them if they could match that prices I'd buy from them. They apparently got after their rep about giving them a better price and they did match it. I buy enough of the stuff that I deserve a break over the guy that buys a LOT less.

                                        To the OP.... Good luck with kitty!
                                        Sometimes I just think funny things - Dudley Moore in Arthur
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