Food Advice

IMPORTANT: If your cat is in any distress or discomfort, please consult your own vet as your first priority.
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Food Advice

Post by TillyMonster »

Hi everyone!

I just wondered if someone might be able to give me a little advice about the best food for one of my cats, Rufus. He's a special man and I love him to bits, but I know I could talk about him for hours so sorry for his very long back story! (I highlighted the question when I realised just how much I had written! Feel free to jump down and just read that)

In September 2013 a work friend called me to his mothers house to look at cat they had found which they thought looked sickly. When I arrived I found an extremely matted and emaciated male (although I couldn't tell that at the time due to the matting) long haired tabby. He could barely walk due to the amount of faecal matter which caked to the hair on his back legs. I took him straight to the vets and we soon discovered that he had maggot infested open wounds on and around his bottom and that something was seriously wrong with his liver. Blood tests showed that his liver was shot, in fact the vet said she had no idea how he was still standing. Because he (Rufus) had such a lovely disposition and still wanted to eat we made the decision to proceed with treatment. He wasn't chipped and people where he was found said they had seen him for over six months trying to beg for food in the area but getting sicker an sicker, so we didn't think here were any owners (we were right).

Anyway, Rufus had the worst of his matting cut off, the poo washed off and was put on a drip for a week where his blood tests showed there was a little improvement initially and then nose dived. Te vets suggested that we bring him home and let him live out his last day or two warm and safe in a home. Our very kind vet said to prepare ourselves for the fact that it would probably be two days at the most but that he wouldn't be in pain as they'd dosed him up. Four days later he was happily eating poached white fish and napping on my bed.

We were called back in to the vets where the vet took more bloods from Rufus. That night we got a all from our vet, who was frankly amazed and shocked. His liver was showing improvement and he'd even put on weight.

He had a hickup a few days later and spent the weekend in the vets having three enemas to clear a bout of really bad constipation, the vets think this is a historic and reoccurring illness and his bowel his stretched far beyond where it should be. We always have a supply of Lactulose on hand now!

Anyway...told you I can go on about him forever!

The result was that after that his liver has made miraculous improvements, he is still in lover failure but rather than being near death his is nearly in the early least his latest blood tests match those of a cat in early stage. The wounds on the back of his legs and bottom have healed. I managed to slowly but surely trim all the matted hair from his coat and brush the rest of it. He's every so slightly under his idea weight (He's put on over a kilogram!).

He is however a very happy little man indeed. He gets on brilliantly with the dogs, loves the family (he's a little flighty around new people but who can blame him?), we're working on his integration with our other cat (imaginatively called Big Cat, she's a long haired tabby stray we found in a similar state staggering up our drive six years ago).

But...he will no longer eat the dry food our vet suggests for him (Royal Canin Senior Consult Stage 1). He wont touch it. He knocks the bowl over, looks up with kitten eyes and then only eats his poached fish or poultry. If I take the meat/fish away he sits next to his feeding mat and screams for an hour or so, then will go without food, rather than eat his biscuits. The latest battle of wills lasted nearly two days before I caved and brought him poached haddock.

Has anyone else had a cat with liver disease/failure who knows of a dry food which their cat actually likes? And that is good for them? When he was first home, and very underweight, he would happily eat the dry food the vet suggested. But now he's feeling better he isn't interested. We had to change out other Big Cat's dry food because Rufus would inhale it if he came near it. She doesn't really like wet food (she also eats poached meat/fish but she prefers dry food over even this! Crazy cat!) and detests the Royal Canin dry food which means she's not really eating at all in the day. At night Rufus sleeps in my room with me (door shut) while she shares the dogs bed, out of choice, so we put out the Applaws dry food which she loves out at night for her to have as and when she wants.

Sorry to ramble!!
Rufus today :)
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Re: Food Advice

Post by JulieandBarney »

:D Though I have no advice regarding liver problems, as such, I felt that I had to post a comment.

I just wanted to say a massive 'well done ' to you for taking in this beautiful cat and rescuing him from what must have been a truly miserable existence. Your post warmed my heart to read, what a wonderful thing to do, bless you...x
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Re: Food Advice

Post by greenkitty »

Wow what an amazing job you've done with this beautiful chap, well done for taking him on :)

Have you talked to your vet about other brands that are available that he might find more palatable? Most vets have agreements with pet food manufacturers so they'll always push those brands but there are probably others available that you could try.
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Re: Food Advice

Post by meriad »

Oh my, what a gorgeous beautiful boy

Same as the others I have no clue about liver issues and cannot give any advice, but the one thing I would speak to the vet about is a possible raw food diet for Rufus? You can buy ready made raw food for cats or you can make your own.

But definitely speak to the vet because the one thing you don't want is for Rufus to go off his food completely as that potentially could cause other issues

Fusses to your gorgeous boy and the rest of your furry gang
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Re: Food Advice

Post by Willowgill »

Just wanted to second what everyone else has said about the wonderful chance you have given Rufus - regardless off his eventual outcome (which I hope is a long and happy life) you have given him such an amazing chance and been very brave taking on such a challenge. I just think that you need to give Rufus whatever food he'll eat for the moment and experiment with different foods the vet recommends and also some of the various websites for cats with health problems - I would have a look at Tanya's feline site -it's mostly for kidney disease but also has people with other cats problems and has lots of advice. He sounds like one very lucky boy :-)
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Re: Food Advice

Post by misspaws »

I can only echo what others have said in that you are a very special person with a very special cat. May you have a long and happy time together .
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