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tips on tube feeding and how to get them eating again..am i doing the right thing?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
My cat hasn't eaten on her own since Saturday night. Tuesday night at the vets they force-fed her, and today we were going to put her down but instead decided to try an esophagostomy tube and tube feed her until she starts to eat again. The vet thinks she just stopped eating because her blood sugar levels were high and she didn't feel well, and now her stomach has shrunk and she doesn't feel like eating. But she said she couldn't rule out cancer.

The main problem is that she has been on dry food all of her life, and the vet says we have to switch her to canned food because she is a pre-diabetic. She has never wanted to eat canned food even when offered to her when she was healthy. As of now I don't even know if I will be able to get her to eat her normal dry food. She is very picky.

She is 13 years old, I'm getting up every 4 hours to feed her, and I've already spent $1500. I've put in so much effort that I don't want to give up on her, but she looks so uncomfortable with the tube in. I regret not putting her to sleep, but the vet said that she would "probably" get better if we gave the tube feeding a try. She has to eat by Sunday because I'm going back to college and nobody else is going to want to tube feed her.
post #2 of 4
Hi there,

If her blood sugar levels were high enough to cause her to not want to eat and to feel crappy, I'd think she WAS diabetic as opposed to "pre-diabetic." do you happen to know just how high her blood sugar level was? Would be a real shame if she's actually diabetic and her blood sugar levels continue to run very high (even if she's not eating) and she's not getting insulin.......then it's just a vicious cycle and she'll continue to feel lousy. Did the Vet suggest checking her blood sugar level again?

They do make low carb dry food............I have a diabetic cat and I belong to the Feline Diabetes Message Board.........why don't you go join there and explain your situation there, too........you'll get tons of support........but anyway, many on there have diabetic kitties who refuse to eat canned food.......so lots give them low carb dry, like EVO. That might be something your kitty would like. Plus there's now a lot of "grain free" dry foods out there............and it's the grains that make them so 'high carb.' So you DO have options if she does refuse canned..............

Cats generally don't feel yucky from having a high blood sugar level unless it's pretty high............so I have a feeling your Vet doesn't know that much about feline diabetes (and truthfully, very many don't). If kitty is truly diabetic, all the tube feeding in the world will not help much because she'll still be feeling rotten from having such a very high blood sugar level - in that case, she'd need insulin.

Here's the address to the health forum at the Feline Diabetes Message Board.......I think you'll get tons of help and support there:


What type of food are you tube feeding kitty?
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the link, I'll post there now; I believe her blood sugar was around 340. She did get an insulin shot today but the vet said she was afraid it would go too low, so she's not getting another until we go back on Friday.

I am tube feeding her "DM" wet food.
post #4 of 4
Thanks for the info.

That's great you'll post over there, they're awesome folks, just awesome. I learned more there about feline diabetes and monitoring it and insulin and all that, than I ever did from any Vet.

Yes, it's ideal that a diabetic cat eat canned only but like I said, if the cat refuses, there are still good "dry" options. One canned food though, that many very fussy cats like.........Fancy Feast. Many vet clinics actually stock it, because often very ill kitties will eat this one when they refuse others. It's low carb, too. This is what my diabetic cat eats twice a day (he's been diabetic, on insulin, for 5.5 yrs and doing great).....because as much as I've tried to give him the good quality canned, he just won't eat enough of it.

I'm glad she'll recheck the blood sugar level on Friday before deciding about more insulin. It IS much better for a cat's sugar level to run high than it is for it to fall "too low" (hypoglycemia).

You can also ask her about Appetite Stimulants...........there's 2 that people often give their kitties to stimulant their appetite: Cyproheptadine and Mirtazapine. It's often only needed for a few days just until kitty gets the desire to start eating again.
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