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Tips to get sick cat to eat  

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well Stan's back on his not eating spree. He'll eat like 2 little bites of food, then he paws around it and walks away from it. He still walks around the apartment, drinks fine and can jump up on the bed, but he hasn't eaten more than like 2 bites of food 3-4 times a day for probably 3-4 days now.

We did have an appetite stimulant that we gave him on Friday, it started with an M but it really didn't do much.

I've tried force feeding him, that was a challenge and I'm pretty sure that I got more of it on me and him than actually in his mouth.

Is there anything that most cats will absolutely not refuse? We're getting desperate now, he doesn't seem less energetic or anything, but I can't imagine how much longer he'll last just eating tiny bits of food a day. We just want to get something into his stomach now for a few days and then work on getting him on a better diet once he's feeling a bit better.

His FIP doesn't seem to be bothering him too much right now, neither do his teeth. We've tried watering down his food and heating it up, that worked for a little while but then he stopped with that. We've given him all the different typer of Friskies they have at the store, a couple of different kinds of Fancy Feast, and another couple of brands that I can't remember.

We're on the last can of cat food right now so I'm going to go in the morning and get some more food, any ideas? I'm going to see if they have any nutrical so he's getting something, but I don't even know if it's available in Canada.

We are not in a position to take him to the vet again right now as one of our dogs has to go in for surgery on Monday, I can talk to the vet about Stan then and see if I can pick up some Hill's AD as I've heard that's good for sick cats. When we were there with Sadie (the woofer) last Friday she gave us the apetite stimulant and said she'd go over his file again so see if there's anything that she can think of that might help him. If I can't find Nutrical here then I'm going to ask her on Monday if they have anything like that there that I can give him, but until then, we need to get something into his stomach.

I'm going to open up a can of sardines and see if he'll eat any of them, if he won't touch them the dogs love them so they'll get a treat.
post #2 of 18
Tuna juice does it every time for my cats. Get chunck-style tuna packed in water and strain off the liquid using the lid to keep the tuna in the can. Offer a spoonful of juice at a time. Once he's lapping up that, offer the juice (should be renamed "kitty crack") with a few shreds of tuna. Then move on up to tuna juice, tuna shreds, and cat food.

Hope this helps your sweet boy recover his appetite.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
I force fed him a bit last night (2 small syringes), he didn't like it but cooperated more than before.

I read somewhere that the pawing around his food that he does indicates that he doesn't like the food, so I'm going to get a couple of cans of some different foods to see if he'll eat any of those, I'll also pick up some tuna while I'm out.

I will also be picking up pedialyte tonight while I'm at work to see if I can get some more liquids in him, I thought I had some on hand but of course I used it all when the dogs were sick a week or so ago. He is starting to get a bit dehydrated.

If we can't get him to eat and drink by Monday it looks like we're going to have to bring him in to cross the rainbow bridge.
post #4 of 18
Originally Posted by nerdrock View Post

I read somewhere that the pawing around his food that he does indicates that he doesn't like the food
It doesn't. It means that he doesn't want to eat it at that time and is trying to cover it. In the wild cats (and other animals) do this to hide the scent so as to not attract other predators. It's instinct. While some cats will try to bury a food they don't like, again it's just to hide it.

Have you tried baby food yet? If not, go get a couple jars of turkey or chicken. Make sure it's nothing but meat and broth, cats can't have things like onions. Start off with seeing if he'll lick a little off the spoon for you.

If you have a dry food he likes, or a nutritionally complete treat, carry some around on you (in a plastic bag). Offer him a couple pieces at a time through out the day.

I hope you can get him to eating. But if this really is FIP it's sadly just a matter of time. I wish there was something that could be done for it..
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
I had some chicken baby food that I tried to get him to eat the other day, he looked at me like I was stupid when I offered it to him, lol. It's another thing that we have around because of the dogs - when they're sick we give it to them too.

He has never really eaten any of the dry foods we've offered him, I'm going to move his litter box into our bedroom and lock him in here with the dry food so that we can keep it out all day without the dogs stealing any, that way we'll know if he eats something.

We've also tried feeding him on a plate instead of his saucer, he seems to like it a bit better but still won't really eat.

I talked to my boyfriend this morning, he doesn't want to put him down on Monday. He wants to spend more time with him and also doesn't really want to put one pet down the same day that another one is having surgery. So we're going to wait it out as long as we can.
post #6 of 18
What dries have you tried? Any treats? (most cats go nuts for Temptations)
At this point even junky dry food like Friskies, Fancy Feast, or MeowMix would be better than nothing.

Have you tried cooking anything up for him yet?
post #7 of 18
when our guy was being force-fed the vet had me mixing kmr with human baby food or a kitten wet (we used authority kitten food, the petsmart store brand) i was syringe feeding him with a small syringe 3 times a day, i got at least a can's worth of food in him every day.

do you wrap him up when you feed him? it is much easier to force-feed a cat when they are wrapped up like a kitty burrito. just left the head sticking out.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
I just got home, I bought Carlyle Just Tuna for Cats (basically the same as a can of tuna, it's cheaper than grocery store tuna too), Merrick Surf & Turf, Merrick Turducken, Before Grain 96% Chicken, Snappy Tom Sardines with Whitebait, prawns & Clams, Snappy Tom Tuna with Cheese, and a can of KMR.

I'm going to try to give him the Carlyle first and leave it out for him while I'm at work, also leave his dry food out too. If he doesn't eat any of that then I'm going to try the Before Grain. I can't remember whether we've tried foods that aren't fished based yet, but he was nibbling on some tuna the other day so that's why I'm going with the Carlyle first. When I get home from work I'm going to try force feeding him some baby food watered down with KMR and see how he does with that.

I can't seem to wrap him in a towel well enough that he can't get out of it, so I've been tackling him on the floor - putting him between my legs and going at it like that. So far it's been the best way.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
SUCCESS! As soon as I put the Carlyle down he stood up and started eating it. So here's hoping he doesn't get sick of it and we can get him to keep eating.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well he didn't eat as much of it as I liked while I was at work so I replaced it with some fresh Carlyle food, put a but of new dry food in his bowl and force fed him a bit of the KMR (1 syringe). He ate a bit more of the Carlyle and then seemed to get mad that I was hovering over him, so I left him alone and am in bed now. He is a lot less dehydrated than he had been and I saw him actually go over and drink out of the fountain a bit. I also checked his litter box and he had peed in it (or runny poop, I have trouble telling) so that's a good s

I'll hover over him some more tomorrow and see if he'll eat some more, I'm going to force him the KMR and baby food a couple of times a day until I start seeing some improvement. He's getting easier to force feed, he doesn't seem to clench his jaw or paw at me as much as he was before. Now he'll start to paw at me near the end of the syringe.

I'm going to talk to the vet on Monday when we drop Sadie off and see if she has any more suggestions and if she has Nutrical that we can get for him, here we can't buy it in stores and not as many vets have it/sell it for some reason. I put some corn syrup on his gums yesterday and that seemed to perk him up quite a bit, so tomorrow I'm going to try that before I feed him and see if it will help any. I'm thinking that another reason that he's not eating as much is because he's so weak it's hard for him, so if he gets that little bit of energy before he's offered his food he might eat it a bit better.
post #11 of 18
How big are your syringes?
Did he get a full blood panel, was his live normal?
You might want to ask the vet about doing subQ fluids at home, it is not as hard as it sounds.

Some things that worked for me and Bear (had for force feed him & give fluids for 5 months, then he got better. My vet thought he had FIP too... until he got better. His liver was failing... no known cause.)

-Temptations (Dairy flavor)
-Ground hamburger (strange since he never liked it before)
-Fish flake cat treats
-freeze dried fish
-the plastic cups of Meow Mix, he likes all of them but the Tuna & shrimp is his fav
-Baked chicken, I had to shred it into tiny pieces. lol. This is all he would eat for a while, I highly suggest you try it!!!

Another thing that helps is to just put a dab of the food in their mouth. Sometimes that works when they wont eat. You put a dab of food in & sometimes it makes them hungry just from tasting it.

One syringe a day isn't enough... if you are using 12cc syringes then I would shoot for at least 6 a day. When Bear first got sick I had to force feed 1/2 syringe per 1-2hrs. It was all he could hold down at first. You could try doing one syringe at a time, and do it 6 times a day. Or maybe 3 at a time but twice a day. Play around with how much & how often, it took me a while to get it right with Bear.

I am so glad that he is somewhat interested in food, and that he is getting better about force feeding. Just make sure he eats something or his liver will go down.

post #12 of 18
There is a probiotic called Fortiflora, you can get it from your vet, or you can get it online - Cats go absolutely NUTS for it - they will gobble food down if you mix it in the food... I never seen a cat pass on food with it... So that might be something you want to try... As a probiotic alone it is not my choice, but to make a cat eat I truly haven't seen anything more enticing then Fortiflora yet...
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the tips. I am force feeding him as often as I can with my schedule at work. He is showing absolutely no interest in anything now, water included. Our roommate texted me this morning and said he can barely stand up and when he does he falls over so we have made the decision to let him go tomorrow morning when we drop Sadie off for her surgery.
post #14 of 18
I agree on the fortiflora! It's almost like a beef broth soup base? Kind of like OXO cubes but wthout all the added crapola....... and my boy GOBBLES that up every time without fail. In fact I have been putting his antibiotics, his lysine and then HALF the packet of that in and mixing it well with a teaspoon of water (in his wet food) he gobbles it up every time! Makes life a lot easier because he fights like a wild man when I syringe him.

I split one packet of the fortiflora - half with breaky and half with dinner so that I can give him his meds. He will eat anything with fortiflora in it. lol

Once the meds are gone, I will keep using the fortiflora because it is good for him and he really loves the taste. I will also be continuing with the lysine

I hope you can get him to eat soon.
If you are doing wet foods try nuking them for 5 seconds also - especially if you take it out of the fridge... this makes it smell way stronger and can often tempt them too.
post #15 of 18
I know you mentioned seeing if your vet will give you some A/D I'd suggest that. I don't know what is in it but if I can't get Attitude to eat she'll scarf this down, so will Nuts but he'll eat just about anything that will sit still long enough so I don't have issues with him not eating. She has a really nasty URI right now(FeLV sucks) and she was only kind of nibbling at her food and then when I out down the A/D her and Nuts wanted it. Nuts attacked it, ate for a long time and then I heard some eating at it not long after that and thought that Nuts was going to gorge himself sick but I heard snuffling and knew it was Attitude, she was scarfing it down.

post #16 of 18
For those who don't know, Stan has crossed the bridge... This thread IMHO really should be closed...
post #17 of 18
Oh no oops... Sorry to the OP I didn't realize. Sorry for your loss.
post #18 of 18
Since has crossed the Rainbow Bridge, I will now close this thread.

Rest in peace Stan
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