Getting a cat to eat...

Mom is super worried about me. I haven't eaten since yesterday morning, technically. I went to the vet yesterday, and she said there wasn't anything wrong with me aside for me seeming sluggish. Since I was exposed to our new kitten, she decided to prescribe clamavox just in case she and I shared a URI.

Mom can usually only medicate me through food. But I am still not eating, aside for a bite here and there.

Mom called back the vet and the nurse there said to not mix clamavox with the food until I am eating somewhat normally. Also, if I have not eaten something approximating a real meal (2 bites or more) by tomorrow afternoon, I am to go back to the vet post haste.

Meanwhile, mom has tried all my favorites, and baby food. She's about to try tuna juice and see what happens. So far I've responded to nothing. She is really worried right now, and wishes I would stop scaring her like this.

Does anyone have any advice aside for the obvious?

Asked by Boris on Jun 24th 2008 Tagged eating in Emergencies & First Aid
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Until your cat gets an appetite back, feed him Nutri-Cal. Put a ribbon about an inch/inch and a half long on the underside of your pointer finger. Open your cat's mouth and scape the ribbon of Nutri-Cal onto the roof of the cat's mouth, using the cat's upper front teeth to scape the Nutri Cal off your finger. Do this 4-5 times daily to keep your cat's weight up during the illness. I put the NutriCal tube in the refigerator, so that it comes out in a nice solid ribbon on your finger. Otherwise, at room temperature, the stuff is loose/messy like syrup. This is the best advice for any cat that will not eat. I've tried all of the other prompting/tricks with my 14 year old persian with CRF (kidney failure). You'll find that something will work for a day or so, and then the cat will stop responding to your prompt/trick. It will make you a basket-case. If I were you, I would try the food trick, but be prepared to do the NutriCal in the event that the food doesn't work.

Member 646419 answered on 6/25/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I have the same problem, just not as serious (Harvey eats, but not much, and is losing weight). Aside from the NutriCal (and thanks for the instructions on how to use it, Visitor--it is indeed messy at room temperature), people have suggested that I feed him with a syringe, although I'm not sure what you can feed with a syringe, or what kind of syringe it should be. I suppose you could feed KMR by syringe, or some kind of high-calorie food like Hill's Prescription a/d (yeah, I know, Hill's, but it's better that than not eating anything, and it's made for cats who need extra nutrition). It's just that I've never tried the syringe thing myself, and don't know how you get pate consistency food to come out of a syringe. Poor Boris. You're really taking this invasion of the new kitty to heart. My Spot reacted to the invasion of the Maine Coons in the opposite way--he started engaging in comfort eating, and became seriously overweight. I hope this resolves itself soon!

Harvey answered on 6/25/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Oscar J. Cat

Poor Boris! What is his super special treat food? Maybe instead of just the tuna juice, maybe some canned tuna in water? Our vet says that it's okay for a treat now and again and if it gets his appetite back up, so much the better.

Oscar J. Cat answered on 6/25/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Izadore (Izzie)

Boris, honey, you stop scaring your mom right now and eat something! None of my animals will eat anything that has medication, even a vitamin, in it. If they do eat it on rare occasions, we will find the pill in the bottom of the bowl. Boris, are you protesting because of your new little sibling? Are you on a hunger strike? Can mom try some deli turkey or ham? No matter how angry Ernie or Izzie get with me, they will always force themselve to eat that. Grilled salmon is a big hit too. Last night, Ernie ate more than I did. Now, Boris, you stop acting up and you eat! You don't want to have to go back to the vets!!

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 6/25/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer