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How long should i wait?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My cats are going through a transition right now. The short story is that Rajah is recovering from a bout of anorexia and Elvirah is a fatty. They are both 12 years old, small framed, moderately active, indoor cats. For more backstory please read my original post here:
http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=112835

Ok - so put i Elvirah on wet food during Rajah's ordeal, and i beleive that she was maintaining or very slowly losing weight although i didn't get a scale until later so i can't be sure. At the moment she is 13lbs5oz which is up several ounces from when i got the scale, and this is a lot of extra weight on her, she should be 10 lbs, maybe less. I was giving her one can of various brands of super premium food divided into several feedings each day. But when i finally found a food that Rajah would eat (Chicken Soup dry), Virah liked it too and she wanted to snack out of Raj's bowl, hence the weight gain. In the meantime, Raj is up to 6lbs 7.5oz from 6lbs 1oz. Before the anorexia she was around 8lbs, maybe 8.5lbs. I reduced Virah's wet food to half a can a day divided in two feedings plus 1/4 cup dry divided into 2 feedings (boy, 1/8 cup in a bowl looks like nothing!) and i put down 1/2 a cup a day for Raj divided into 2 feedings. Of course they both snack out of both bowls and i can't even get Vi's weight to stabilize, it's steadily creeping up. I will not be putting her on a diet to lose weight without first getting vet input, but i have to pay off the bills from Rajah's issues first. I just want her weight to stop gaining for now.

Obviously the solution to this problem is scheduled mealtimes for both of them. But i am scared to try to put Rajah on mealtimes because she's a nibbler and i'm worried that she won't get enough food to continue to regain her weight if i try to switch her now and the last thing i want to do is to induce anorexia again, but at the same time i don't want to endanger Vi's health by letting her get even fatter. We live in an apartment with an open plan, i can't separate them all day or anything like that. And Raj lost so much muscle mass that she doesn't have the power to jump up way higher than Vi can reach so i can't put her food up high. At the moment Raj feels less disturbingly bony when i pet her, but only in comparison to when she only weighed 6lbs 1oz. Compared to her normal weight she is much too thin. How much weight do you think i should let her gain before switching her to mealtimes?
post #2 of 12
I don't have an answer to your question, I'm sorry. But I have an idea - I don't know if it will work.

When we fostered kittens with our adult cats that were on a special diet (and we free feed), we wanted kitties to have access to the high protein kitten food they need. We didn't worry about them nibbling on the special diet kibble, but we wanted to make sure they had access to the food they needed.

We took a large rubbermaid box and cut a hole in it at floor level small enough that kittens could get in but adult cats couldn't. We made sure the box was large enough so that the food could be placed far enough away that adult cat arms couldn't reach it to pull it over to the hole.

This worked.

With one kitty about half the size of the other, could this be a solution for you?

Laurie
post #3 of 12
put the most life-threatening needs first. rajah needs to eat. virah can live with extra weight for the time being...

i read your first post and it's strange that the vet didn't give a reason for the weight loss. i'd guess that it was all the trauma of surgery, a/b's and meds. what an ordeal.

you can try feeding rajah some high quality protein like egg yolk given on the tongue with a syringe or he may just lick it, cottage cheese, cream (this is straight out of a book by a vet), milk and yoghurt. chicken and turkey are better than red meats, easier to digest. you can give a little of the higher quality proteins just mentioned only to rajah as treats...in a little bowel just when you are there.

have you thought about a raw food diet?
post #4 of 12
I would be reluctant to give her dairy products (whether from a vet book or not). Most cats are lactose intolerant and you could end up with a nice bit of diarrhea.

You will also find many if not most vets know very little about nutrition - it isn't high on their study lists at vet school. There are some vets who go the extra mile and take nutrition courses over and above the medical but they are not the norm.

If you want to supplement your cat to get her to gain weight, feed kitten food and there is kitty milk or goat's milk available that you can get. Using the rubbermaid container is an excellent way to allow the "skinny" kitty to get the nutrition she needs without Virah getting into her food.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
i read your first post and it's strange that the vet didn't give a reason for the weight loss. i'd guess that it was all the trauma of surgery, a/b's and meds. what an ordeal.
What happened was that when he did the extractions, he missed a tooth way in the back that was loose (probably because her jaw and gums were really inflamed, i wish i could have had her in sooner). So she recovered from surgery and came off the pain meds and it still hurt to eat i bet, and she was only allowed wet food which she has never liked - then she had to go through it all again including a whole new round of meds when he discovered the other tooth after i requested that they remove her sutures since they seemed to be bothering her.

She doesn't like dairy, eggs, people food meats, or cat milk, at this point she won't even eat that Boar's Head roast beef or the Pounce treats - those were the only things i could get her to eat during the anorexia. One of the foods i offered her was raw medallions of the Nature's Prairie - neither of them would touch it, although i will definitely consider it for future kittens. I have no idea what i'm going to do with it either, i have a whole bag of the stuff, meh. (Maybe Vi would eat it if i cook it first...) I'm not going to syringe Raj, she's eating on her own, gaining weight, and i want to stress her as little as possible.
post #6 of 12
the syringe does not have to be stressful if you treat it as a treat and you don't act guilty or stressed yourself which they pick up on. that's how i give homeopathic remedies and when they realize it tastes good they start to lick it off the tip of the syringe themselves. but putting it in a little bowel is good enough...i think i was confusing assisted eating here...

anyway, homeopathy saved my cat when he wouldn't eat a thing and was hours away from death. he went from 11 pounds to 8. one remedy and he started to eat again...
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuna View Post
but putting it in a little bowel is good enough...i think i was confusing assisted eating here...
I'm sorry, but the devil made me do it - I'm really hoping you mean "bowl" and not bowel.
post #8 of 12
If the box idea doesn't work (though I'd give it a try!), I think giving Rajah lots of extra "treats" in the form of high protein kitten food, boiled chicken, chicken or beef baby food, &etc. while you're there is also a good idea.

Laurie
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
the syringe does not have to be stressful if you treat it as a treat and you don't act guilty or stressed yourself which they pick up on. that's how i give homeopathic remedies and when they realize it tastes good they start to lick it off the tip of the syringe themselves. but putting it in a little bowel is good enough...i think i was confusing assisted eating here...
She's stressed by the object itself, i guess she associates the syringe with all the liquid antibiotics and anti-inflammatories i had to give her, she hides when she sees it. And it's not necessary. She is eating on her own and gaining weight reasonably quickly, she is no longer anorexic and doesn't need assist feeding. And she won't eat any of the stuff you mentioned on her own, she's a true dry junkie.
Quote:
If the box idea doesn't work (though I'd give it a try!), I think giving Rajah lots of extra "treats" in the form of high protein kitten food, boiled chicken, chicken or beef baby food, &etc. while you're there is also a good idea.
Yes the box is definitely worth a try although i have to figure out how to keep Vi from flipping it over or something. She's smart and strong. As far as treats, i'm sorry to sound so dismissive, but Raj really won't eat any of that stuff, i've offered her 3 different kinds of meaty babyfood, chicken, turkey, kitten food, Kitty Kaviar, you name it. All she wants is Chicken Soup dry, and only when she wants it. I haven't found a treat that she will except, now that she refuses Pounce and the roast beef. I suspect she associates those foods with all the trauma.

I just want some opinions on how much weight she should regain before i try to move her onto mealtimes if the box doesn't work - i know that it will mean she will probably be short on calories for a few days as she gets used to it and i don't want to possibly induce anorexia again. Thanks for all the input so far.
post #10 of 12
If the box idea doesn't work (and you can use double-sided tape to keep it stuck to the floor if you put it in the kitchen or something), then I'd keep everything status quo until Rajah is back up to a healthy weight - like 8 pounds. In the meantime, give Elvirah as much extra play time (with a wand toy or something) as you can. Keep her as active as possible while Rajah puts on the weight he needs.

If Elvirah stays at her new 13 pounds or so, I'd stick to this. If she continues gaining weight, then what I'd suggest depends upon whether or not you're at home during the day.

If you're not home during the day, is the food being fed a dry food? If so, I'd consider gettin an automatic feeder that you can program. Make it put out small amounts rather frequently. The slowly reduce the frequency and increase the amount.

If you're home during the day, then I'd do the same thing, just forget the automatic feeder. Give lots of small meals frequently, regularly. When Raja adjusts to this, start scaling down the frequency - and always give Elvirah just a little bit, but give Rajah the chance to eat a lot.

Laurie
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well, the box would have to go on a carpeted area in the living room since Virah tends to camp out at the entrance to the kitchen and Raj doesn't want to walk past her.

I have been exercising both of them regularly hoping to build muscle mass for Raj and lose fat on Vi, but she gains anyway.

I'm not home during the day, so i may have to try an autofeeder. This morning i switched to not putting any dry at Elvirah's feeding station, only at Raj's. I figure Vi will probably steal about half of the 1/4 cup i put down, and i can supervise for the second 1/4 cup i put down when i get home, and that leaves a little left over for Vi to snack during the night so she doesn't get acid stomach in the morning. I really don't want to do this but if she keeps getting larger i may need to drop her wet feeding to once a day instead of 2.
Quote:
I'd keep everything status quo until Rajah is back up to a healthy weight - like 8 pounds.
OK. I was hoping i could do it a little earlier but i think you're right, i should let her fully recover before trying to change a lifetime of eating habits. Thanks for the responses.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I'm sorry, but the devil made me do it - I'm really hoping you mean "bowl" and not bowel.
i've been spelling it like that for a while...thanks for pointing it out
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