Weight loss, Picky Eating & Nausea (consolidated thread)

  
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Freckles- (1993-2011)

My beautiful old- lady!
 
 
Purred: Tue Mar 3, '09 11:10pm PST 
There were several threads dealing with how to gain weight and tips to tempt picky eaters or sick furts to eat. I’ve summarized and consolidated all the great info in this thread so the information is easier to find.

The following furts contributed to the discussions: Arthur, Alaidh, Minxy, Flower, Patrick, Alex, Emma, Maximillian-Klingon, Isaac, Zachary, Bear, Samantha, Edgar, Princess Penelope, Jake, Scooter, Elsa, Beloved Angel Amelia, Lulu, Arnold P, Rascal, Scooter (from Arizona), Simon, Tigger, Boomer, Edie and Taillee

Minxy and Alaidh also recommended these sites as good resources Tanya’s feline CRF site - Persuading your cat to eat and Cooking for your sick cat

Freckles- (1993-2011)

My beautiful old- lady!
 
 
Purred: Tue Mar 3, '09 11:10pm PST 
Weight loss or depressed appetite/nausea can be signs of illnesses that are either new or have got worse so it’s always a good idea to check with the dreaded vet if you haven’t had a check-up or blood tests for a while.

It’s very valuable for you to get your mum to weigh you regularly as weight loss can be gradual and difficult to notice but if you get a set of baby scales you can track your weight within an ounce. Spotting that you are losing weight means that you can identify illnesses early and get treatment before any damage is done.

Hyperthyroid is probably the most common disease that causes weight loss even though you are always hungry and eating well. Diabetes will make you very thirsty and unable to properly convert food to energy, you’ll lose weight, may have a weak appetite and drink/pee a lot. Kidney disease/CRF (chronic renal failure) can cause nausea and depressed appetite and cause you to lose weight and pee a lot. Sore teeth may make it difficult to eat. Infections, especially kidney infections can affect furts seriously and make you lose your appetite and lose weight.

If you are diagnosed with any of these illnesses check out the Group Links on the Olde Furts home page and you’ll find useful links to threads and websites there.

Freckles- (1993-2011)

My beautiful old- lady!
 
 
Purred: Tue Mar 3, '09 11:11pm PST 
There were lots of suggestions for making food more appetizing. A popular suggestion was to warm up food for a few seconds in the microwave makes it smellier and closer to mouse body temperature that is appealing to cats. Adding warm water or plain broth (no onion) to make a nice soup was also suggested by several furts. Feed small amounts several times a day or make dry food available all day helps as several small meals add up. Try raising the food dish which helps if we have acid stomach. Adding appetizers was also suggested – plain tuna water (not the salty brine), bonito flakes or catnip. Sprinkling brewer’s yeast onto food provides taste and B vitamins.

Alaidh’s recipe for Catfood Soup (serves 1):

1 part water
1 part canned catfood
dash of glucosamine (if in tablet form, pulverise into a powder)
sprig of catnip (optional)

Mix together water, catfood and glucosamine suppliment and heat in microwave approximately 15 seconds (microwave ovens vary, so make sure soup does not get too hot). Remove from microwave and stir to make sure all lumps have dissolved. Add catnip for garnish. Enjoy!


Freckles- (1993-2011)

My beautiful old- lady!
 
 
Purred: Tue Mar 3, '09 11:13pm PST 
Furts also suggested foods to try if your regular food just isn’t appealing any more. Some of these foods are not suitable for long term, especially if you have CRF, but they are all good options for getting you to eat and avoiding a crisis. For cats with CRF who aren’t eating their kidney food or any other illness, these foods will help keep you going while you work with your vet.

Here are the suggestions:
1) Send your human to buy a can each of several different brands/flavors to find ones that you like. Sometimes you just need a change. Canned food, the stinkier the better is good. Fancy Feast, Friskies, kitten food, TikiCat, Trader Joes cat food and cat tuna, and Evo were favorites mentioned.
2) A/D wet food is very stinky and tasty and you can get it at the vet
3) Baby food (just meat and thickener/corn startch , no onions or spices) is very palatable. Gerber and Natures Best were mentioned. The Gerbers chicken and gravy has the most calories – 100 per jar vs 70 for the other meat ones
4) Try human food. Tuna, deli meat (plain/no seasonings) and cooked/roast chicken were favorites.
5) Kidney foods to try – Purina NF, Royal Canin LP (pouches or dry), Medi-Cal Reduced Protein (Canada only) are tasty ones

Note for cats with CRF or recurrent UTI’s, try to avoid high protein foods (Evo), dry foods and fish based foods. Again if you are not eating anything is OK but try to avoid these as long term diets.

Freckles- (1993-2011)

My beautiful old- lady!
 
 
Purred: Tue Mar 3, '09 11:13pm PST 
Probiotics were also suggested, especially if you also have an upset stomach or diarrhea. A healthy digestive system helps you absorb more of the nutrients from food and make the most of what you are eating. Cat Fancy recommended a particular beneficial bacteria - Enterococcus faecium, that's in Forti Flora.

Freckles- (1993-2011)

My beautiful old- lady!
 
 
Purred: Tue Mar 3, '09 11:14pm PST 
If the above suggestions don’t work you may need to look at supplements or assisted feeding.

Supplements are high calorie and very tasty foods that you can feed in small amounts to help provide extra calories or to use in assisted feeding. Ones that were recommended were Nutrical, Doc Ray’s Forti Cal (which comes in granules), CatSure, Clinicare

Assisted feeding means mum/dad helping you to eat and can include:
1) Keeping young cats from bugging you while you eat.
2) Being offered a dish of food while sitting on mum/dad’s lap rather than having to go to the dish on the floor in another room
3) Feeding by hand – mum/dad putting some food on their fingers. You can either lick it from their finger or they can wipe it on the roof of your mouth
4) Syringe feeding. Wet food or A/D is mixed with enough water to make a paste and put in a big syringe without a needle. Then mum/dad squirt a little bit at a time into the side of your mouth. MaxCal is a soft/liquidy high calorie prescription food that can be syringe fed

Freckles- (1993-2011)

My beautiful old- lady!
 
 
Purred: Tue Mar 3, '09 11:15pm PST 
With CRF or other illnesses you sometimes get nausea and depressed appetite and the vet can give you meds to help that. If you are licking your lips that is a sign that you are feeling queasy and probably the reason you are not eating.

Appetite stimulants that furts have used are cyproheptadine (Scooter got a side effect of making her nervous, agitated or howly but other furts has good success with this med), valium (Boomer stagger for a while after each dose) or prednisolone (immune suppressant). Because of the potential side effects they should be used sparingly and under the direction of your vet.

Anti-nausea meds are pepcid AC, Reglan and Ondanesetron.

Since it may be difficult to take pills when you are feeling nauseous ask your vet about getting meds as a transdermal gel.

Edited by author Sat Apr 25, '09 8:45pm PST


Freckles- (1993-2011)

My beautiful old- lady!
 
 
Purred: Tue Mar 3, '09 11:17pm PST 
When Minxy got acupuncture for her CRF it used to improve her appetite for a couple of days after each session. She'd eat more at each visit to her food bowl and make more trips to eat so it really helped her maintain her weight towards the end.

If you can't find a vet that’s trained in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) there is a good book called Four Paws Five Directions by Cheryl Schwartz, DVM that you can use to try acupressure yourself. Here are the points to try according to Four Paws Five Directions. You just need to use your index finger to apply gentle pressure per the directions below:
• Stomach 36 – strengthens chi and digestion. Location = On the outside of the hind leg, just below the knee, outside of the vertical portion of the main leg bone, the tibia. The point is in the middle of the muscle belly. Use a small clockwise circular motion for 10-15 seconds.
• Pericardium 6 – regulates chi and calms nausea. Location = On the back/underside of the front leg, just above the sole pad (just above the wrist). The point is between the two tendons that run very close together. Flex the wrist and hold the point between the tendons. . Hold the point for 10-15 seconds.
• Conception Vessel 12 – helps digestion and appetite. Location = On the midline of the abdomen, halfway between the end of the sternum and the belly button. Stroke the point in a small downward motion.
• Kidney 3 – this helps the kidney and appetite. Location = Inside of the hind leg, just above the ankle, at the midpoint between the Achilles tendon and the bony protuberance of the ankle bone. Hold the point for 15-30 seconds.

Edited by moderator Tue Mar 3, '09 11:30pm PST


Freckles- (1993-2011)

My beautiful old- lady!
 
 
Purred: Tue Mar 3, '09 11:21pm PST 
It is hard to eat when your nose is stuffy, because you need your mouth to breath and can’t smell your food. Hand feeding or holding the bowl up for you helps as when your head is up your nose drains better. Mum/dad can also try a baby suction syringe (the blue ones that look like a short turkey baster). It’s very annoying but it clears the goop! You just have to be careful and put it against the nose, not try and stick it up the nose that does not go over well. Chlorpheniramine is an antihistamine that your vet can prescribe to help clear your nose and improve your sense of smell.

Freckles- (1993-2011)

My beautiful old- lady!
 
 
Purred: Sun Apr 26, '09 2:38pm PST 
Bumping this thread up for Taylor and Thomas

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