Feeding a CRF cat

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your cat's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your kitty!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster's choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.


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Purred: Tue Feb 19, '13 2:48pm PST 
My beautiful 19 year old K.C. was diagnosed with CRF and Pancreatitis in December. Since then it has been an uphill battle getting him to either gain or maintain weight. He has daily SubQ hydrations and HATES the kidney formulas but will tolerate the Hills Dry renal at a push but since hydration is an issue dry food is not really a good option. I have researched wet foods and called the manufacturers to get dry matter values and found that by my calculations some of the Hills Science Diet foods, Wellness pouches (some varieties) and Solid Gold are the lowest in phosphorous but a little higher in protein. Didn't really matter. K.C. would eat them for a day and them just give them a cursory lick the next. End result was weight loss and this is not good as he was back down to the original weight when he was diagnosed. His numbers are better than when diagnosed but he needs to gain weight so I abandoned my search for a "healthier" wet food and now have him on Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers chicken and he just inhales it. I make sure I don't overindulge him but just knowing that he is tolerating it without vomiting and/or diarrhea is encouraging. He has even gained a little weight in the last few days. He continues to have his numbers monitored bi-weekly but so far the Fancy Feast is what he needs. My opinion for what it is worth is feed your cat what he/she will eat and the rest will fall in to place. Take hope all ye wonderful parents of CRF/Pancreatitis kitties. They have loved you unconditionally and they deserve the best. kitty

Angel Hallie- (5-15-96/11-- 7-12)

Please consider- adopting an- older cat!
Purred: Tue Feb 19, '13 5:25pm PST 
I totally agree with you about feeding CRF kitties whatever you can get them to eat when they aren't willing to eat well. CRF causes cats to develop painful mouth ulcers. CRF also causes a cat to have a buildup of excess stomach acid which in turn causes nausea and vomiting.

It can become so difficult to get a CRF cat to eat anything that it turns into a case of letting the cat eat whatever kind of cat food it wants, just to get SOME kind of nutrition into the cat. Veterinary medications to help heal mouth ulcers and to help neutralize excess stomach acid and counteract nausea often will help a CRF cat regain some of its appetite.

I also have given Nutrical, a concentrated nutritional gel, to my CRF cats when they wouldn't eat. Nutrical and other similar products are available from your veterinarian and are made to help sustain an animal who isn't eating enough to maintain itself.

It's very important to also make sure a CRF cat stays adequately hydrated and if your CRF cat isn't drinking enough water to stay well hydrated, it will be necessary to regularly give your cat sub-cutaneous fluids to maintain hydration and help keep toxins from building up in the cat's system. It is very easy to give your cat sub-cutaneous fluids. Your veterinarian can show you how to check a cat's hydration and how to give a cat sub-cutaneous fluids and advise you on how much sub-cu fluid to give your cat and when.

I've had cats all my life, and I firmly believe that CRF is the commonest cause of death of elderly cats. CRF certainly was what finally took the vast majority of my elderly cats across the Rainbow Bridge at the end of their lives.

This page at the wonderful Feline CRF site discusses Common Problems Related to CRF, including those that cause or that are related to appetite loss and anorexia.

Best of luck with you and your kitty as you fight the long hard war together against CRF.