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Hydrating a Cat

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi,

My kitten Zoey has been doing better in the last day or so. She was apparently really bad yesterday afternoon (I had some people check on her throughout the day while I was at work) but by the time I got home, she was looking and walking better than I've seen since our ordeal (probable dry FIP) started over a week ago. I was all ready to call the vet to put her to sleep when I got home last night, but she's even better this morning than she was last night. She is starting to eat more on her own (wet food) and responds fine even when we have to force feed her (she's such a slow eater...she gets tired of eating before she has enough). However, she still isn't drinking much. I have spoken to the vet and she had IV fluids last week and Sub-Q fluids on Monday. I want to keep her hydrated, but she is fighting me tooth and nails (literally) when I try to syringe it in. I bought her a fountain, and she drank from it a bit at first, but doesn't have much interest now. I've tried mixing it with a little cat milk and feeding the cat milk on its own, but she's still fighting it. I also tried some chicken broth, although I should probably have a second go at that. We'll likely double team her tonight - wrap her in a blanket and shoot it in.

Does anyone have any "tricks" that have gotten their cat to take water? As, I said, I've spoken to my vet...her hydration is fine now (after the SUb Q)...but I would like to keep her hydrated until her vet appointment on Monday. I don't want her to get dehydrated and have to go back early. 5 trips to the vet in just over a week and all the poking and proding has definitely run its toll on her...I'd like to give her a break if possible.

Thanks for any suggestions.
post #2 of 17
I am sorry to hear about your cat. I don't really have any tricks on hydrating except for having the vet teach you how to sub-q. I did that with my CRF cat for a year. If using a syringe with water to put in her mouth becareful not to make her asperate(sp) on the water.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the sub-q suggestions. If she doesn't start drinking more on her own by her appointment on Monday, I will definitely ask about sub-q at home. I was looking at a "how to" site online, and it seemed a little scary, but I trust you are telling me the truth when you say that it really isn't too difficult!
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Just an oddity that has started happening today and I thought I'd see if anyone has any experience with it.

As I said, Zoey was really, really bad yesterday afternoon. Both people who checked on her thought she would pass away. My neighbour was so happy when she came by today and saw her walking around with wide eyes and responding to people. When I left her yesterday morning, she was lying on her blanket. I don't think she moved much all day....I feel so bad thinking of her lying there all alone when she was so sick.

That said, she was waiting at the door for me when I got home. Since then, she's barely lay down. She will cuddle, so I think she got a decent amount of sleep with me last night, but, today, she seems to have no interest in lying down. She'll sleep/close her eyes, but she's sitting with her head rested on her front paws. She usually sleeps lying down in a ball - although she often sat in the same position she is in now. She doesn't seem to be in any pain when I do lay her down or when she's cuddling. But, as soon as I put her down, she's up on her feet again.

Is it possible that she's just layed down so much in the last week that she's looking for a change now that she's a bit better? She's been very constipated, which is being treated (and is causing her a bit of pain in the rear end - but I definitely know what that pain sounds like!). She also had x-rays last week and they didn't find anything abnormal on them. She doesn't seem to have any pain in either of her sides.

Has anyone had experience with a cat who just won't lie down? Or should I be getting them to take some more x-rays to check out if she has an injury or the likes that is causing her masked pain?
post #5 of 17
Try add more water in her wet food. Just to give you an idea of how much we add 3 oz of water for every 1.5 oz of canned for Fred when he was back @ home after being diagnosed with FLUTD. I also make sure food is slightly higher than room temperature to bring out the aroma.
post #6 of 17
On the CRF site, many people refer to the "meatloaf" position...where the cat is kind of hunched together, with all four paws under them, with the head/neck kind of tucked into the chest, often not making eye contact. Here is a quote from the FELINECRF.ORG website:

A cat who has crashed will often be lying in a "meatloaf" position, with the head down and the front paws close to the body. I am often asked exactly what the meatloaf position looks like. Indie's picture, below, will give you some idea. Many healthy cats such as Indie assume this pose too, so the pose itself is not grounds for worry; you need to see the symptoms described below in addition to the pose. Here Indie (non CRF) is in the basic meatloaf position, but her head is not down, her eyes are not dull, and she's making eye contact. The day Tanya died, she lay in this position too but she refused to raise her head and her eyes were dull.



If your kitty is laying like this, in the meatloaf position, she probably isn't feeling well still. Keep a close eye on her. Make sure she continues to eat, drink, urinate and defecate. If she starts sleeping in this position, or seems lethargic or refuses to keep her head up or make eye contact, I think it's time to take her to the vet...sooner than later. Cats are very good at hiding illness. This is one of the subtle indications that they aren't feeling well.

Good luck!
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your advice on the meatloaf position. It's not her exact position (her legs are tucked under her, but not her front paws), but I am still concerned. I have decided to take tomorrow off from work and take her to the vet before the long weekend. I don't want to risk it.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Mixing her food with water worked perfectly. Not only do I feel like I'm getting a bit of water in her, but it makes it easier for her to lick up her food.

As for sub-q fluids, the vet gave her some again today. I asked about doing them at home, and he said if she doesn't start drinking on her own soon, that he's a big supporter of the idea. He showed me how to do it, and hopefully he'll demonstrate again, as she'll likely need more hydrating when we go to our follow-up on Monday.

Thanks for the advice!
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Has anyone ever softened dry food with water? I will have to work next week and leave Zoey alone during the day. She's eating well when I put food in front of her, but she's so slow at eating that she doesn't really eat a full meal. She will sniff her kibble (3 different types are out for her - her old Science Diet, Wellness that I bought for her, and the stuff the vet gave me), but won't chew it yet.

I can feed her before work, and then make sure she gets lots of food at night. For next week, grandma can likely come over and give her some lunch while I'm at work. But, I'd like to leave something out for her while she's alone. Since I can't leave wet out (it will spoil), and I don't think she'll make the switch back to dry at this point, would it be OK to try to soften her dry food with water and leave it out?

Has anyone ever done this?
post #10 of 17
i wouldn't - it sours really fast, & grows bacteria quickly, too.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Eek...doesn't sound too nice. Little Zoey is just going to have to start eating more when she gets the chance or break down and eat the dry when I'm not home. She just can't afford to lose anymore weight...she was 3.4 lbs (and skinny) when it all started, 2.9 lbs on Monday, and back up to 3.1 yesterday. To be fair, she's a small cat...but still very skinny...
post #12 of 17
I am sorry to hear about your cat.

I am very concerned about my cats water intake as I don't want any UTI's. Every day I take her kibble and soak it before feeding it to her. I soak it in 1/3 cup of water (or low sodium chicken broth or tuna water from the can) and wait until it is totally soaked into the kibble until serving it to her. I also take a couple of TBS of canned and mix it in with the soaked kibble. She eats the kibble/canned mixture right away. She is on a feeding schedule.

This has worked really well for us for years.

I would maybe chill her food in the fridge if you soak the kibble before leaving it out before serving it to her if she just picks all day. Give her a smaller portion than normal so hopefully she will eat all of it before it goes bad.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoeysmom View Post
Eek...doesn't sound too nice. Little Zoey is just going to have to start eating more when she gets the chance or break down and eat the dry when I'm not home. She just can't afford to lose anymore weight...she was 3.4 lbs (and skinny) when it all started, 2.9 lbs on Monday, and back up to 3.1 yesterday. To be fair, she's a small cat...but still very skinny...
can't remember what all you've tried... but when Java went on her 'diet', i bought some human salmon [in a pouch, no less] & fed her extra from that until she started gaining again.
post #14 of 17
You spoke about the probability of giving "Sub-Q" fluids at home.

Here are a couple of reference sites for you
http://www.weirdstuffwemake.com/weir.../catjuice.html

Overview http://felinecrf.org/fluid_therapy.htm

How-to http://felinecrf.org/giving_sub-qs_giving_set.htm

Three points stand out for me: using a fluid that doesn't sting the cat (LRS is the most common) http://felinecrf.org/fluid_therapy.htm#fluid_types , warming the fluid and using the right sized needle (#20).

Hang in there!
post #15 of 17

Hydrating a cat:  When I first heard I would have to hydrate my Bella I looked through eBay and bought a mesh bag with handles on each side and a zipper in the middle.  The bag evidently is actually used to shampoo a pet.   I pictured her really not wanting a needle to be put into her.  She fit well into the little bag, and I ziipped it down part way to expose her back for the needle, and the hydration took only 3 minutes.  However, I found that she felt better after the hydration, so she doesn't have to use the bag any more and the hydration is easy.  Her blood tests have improved greatly.  I also fluff up her wet food at each meal, and add a little water to it so she gets more fluids. 

post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by dottykittykat View Post
 

Hydrating a cat:  When I first heard I would have to hydrate my Bella I looked through eBay and bought a mesh bag with handles on each side and a zipper in the middle.  The bag evidently is actually used to shampoo a pet.   I pictured her really not wanting a needle to be put into her.  She fit well into the little bag, and I ziipped it down part way to expose her back for the needle, and the hydration took only 3 minutes.  However, I found that she felt better after the hydration, so she doesn't have to use the bag any more and the hydration is easy.  Her blood tests have improved greatly.  I also fluff up her wet food at each meal, and add a little water to it so she gets more fluids. 

 

Hi, and welcome to TCS :wave2:  Glad you are finding it easy to give fluids to Bella. What a great idea about starting out using that mesh bag ;).   Does she have kidney disease?  Is that why she needs hydrating?  My girl has it, but so far all she needs is water added to her food.  However, I had an old guy who needed sub-q fluids several times a week towards to end.  I always told him it was time to "get his tank filled". (I'm not sure he appreciated it as much as your Bella seems to)

 

Anyway, just wanted to point out that you responded to a thread that is several years old, so not many people may read it. 

post #17 of 17

My cat has chronic kidney disease.  I put extra water in his wet food and microwave it.He laps it up.  I keep small glasses of water where he naps alot so it is convenient for him to drink.I am retired so I am able to feed him several times a day ,warming his food with water.  Broth made from fresh meat  pleases him also.  He likes his Friskies heated with water best.  It is easier for him to eat.He is able to get good nutrition by swallowing.  It does not get caught in his dry mouth. So far, it is working and he is holding his own without hydrating him..The extra care and time I have spent has paid off in quality time with him and he feels better.   Hope it works for you.

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