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? for anyone who's successfully gone through Fatty Liver Disease

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
My cat is in about week 8 of recovery from Fatty Liver Disease. He's gained a lot of weight back (not as much as he weighed before, but he's no longer skeletal) and he's doing really well, but I'm still having to force feed him with a syringe for the most part. He likes cooked ground beef, but he doesn't eat a substantial amount of it; I put out enough to cover the bottom of a cereal bowl. Sometimes he'll finish it over the course of a day, sometimes only half.

Feeding him with the syringe a few times a day has become part of my daily routine, but I'm hoping he'll start eating by himself soon. He's a much happier cat now that he's living with me and not at the shelter, so I have no reason to think he'd become depressed again, but I don't know if I should just start putting out food and hoping he'll eat by himself or what.

How did you make that transition? Any tips?
post #2 of 5
I syringe fed Spooky for around 3 months before she started eating on her own. I think I started putting food out for her at about the 2 month mark, and she nibbled at it (although the bulk of her intake was from syringe feeding.) It did take a while, but eventually, I was able to decrease (and eventually stop) the syringe feedings, and she increased the amount that she ate on her own. Surprisingly enough, it was the same food that I was syringing to her that she began to eat from the plate. Some people think that most cats will avoid what they were 'force fed', but Spooky wasn't. She was so underweight from the Hepatic Lipidosis, that I wanted to keep feeding her the Hills a/d to bulk her up. She actually ate that for pretty much the rest of her life (she passed away about 3 1/2 years later from CRF.)

You might want to ask your vet about Periactin (cyproheptadine), which is commonly used as an appetite stimulant for cats. It is a human antihistimine, which is used for inappetance caused by feline renal failure. The usual dose is 1/4 of a 4 mg pill, once a day, but can be dosed every 12 hours. I didn't know about it when Spooky had HL, but later, my parents used it very successfully with their CRF kitty, Samson.

Good luck! I hope that you are successful with the transition to regular eating patterns.
post #3 of 5
as soon as kismet started gaining weight back I fed her less and earlier in the day and then left food out for her overnight , and one night it was gone. After that i hand fed her small amounts several times a day to make sure she ate it all/

Congrats for getting this far, you're on your way
post #4 of 5
My Maine Coon Hazel had this at age three and ultimately lived to nearly 19 years of age.

She actually had a stomach feeding tube. I mixed some high calorie Science Diet with water in a blender and then had to feed the food through a syringe into her tummy. That was in 1987, so quite some time ago.

It took a long time. I remember it was about 3 months of this before she showed interest in food. The vet actually said that I should put out something that was wildly appetizing to most cats and that is Meow Mix. Horrid stuff, for sure, and the vet knew that back then, but it helped get her back into the swing of feeding herself.

I remember still how good it sounded when I first heard her crunching that stuff. Within a short time of her starting to eat again, I moved her to better quality food.

I would put dry food out for him and leave it out. He'll probably start eating it on his own soon. You might also try some Gerber chicken baby food as well.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice everyone.

I talked to my vet at about the 4 week point about cyproheptadine, after learning about it here and they said that until his liver was completely recovered, it wasn't a good idea to use that stuff. Maybe at this point it is, but I'm not sure.

I have heard that about Meow Mix. The problem is that as disinterested in wet food as he is, he's even more opposed to dry. I haven't tried feeding him dry food in a few weeks, but he's still not interested in the treats I've tried giving him.

I had been using Gerber baby food to syringe feed him, but as someone in another thread pointed out when advising someone on how to get their cat to eat (after another illness, not HL), make sure you get baby food without any onion products in it. I ran to the jars of baby food I still had left and what's in them? Onion powder. And since Albus went through anemia around week 4, I am not going to risk it.

Interestingly, the vet said that if onion had caused his anemia, there would be something in the blood sample, I think called "Hines bodies" (don't quote me on that) and those were not present. But I'm just going to avoid anything with onion in it.

Last night I was just too exhausted to feed him, so I left out a dish with a kitten-sized can of Nutro Turkey & Lamb. He licked all the gravy off, and when I woke up this morning, there was about 1/3 of the chunks gone. Yay!
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