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Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:39 pm
by HRHFluffy
Fluffy has had CKD for over 3yrs now. She is approx 15yrs old. She also has hypertension, severe heart murmur (grade 5), leaky heart valve. A few weeks ago at our last vet visit, the vet told me what to look out for as an indication of her deteriorating. As far as her kidney disease is concerned I'm to watch for her going off her food and vomiting. Where her heart problems are concerned he told me that it is very likely she will suffer from sudden death. Probably from a heartattack. I was devastated by this. I've since been told by another vet at the surgery that a blood clot is more likely which is even worse.

Currently she is off her food. This has happened before but she can eventually be tempted with a bit of handfeeding. However this time she won't eat any of her own food no matter how tempting I make it or which brand I try. In the past the vet has suggested I get her some sardines as an emergency measure. This has worked but I'm worried because I know it's not good for her. But I know a ckd cat has to eat. She has also had some chicken. Does anyone have experience in tempting a ckd cat to eat? What did you feed your cat when they reached this stage? She will have a very small handful of dried food overnight. But she often doesn't eat even that tiny amount. I'm starting to get quite desperate now.

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:02 pm
by Shelly and Dora
Oh dearie me Carol.

I know you are struggling with knowing what to do to help dear Fluffy so I'm hoping lots of wise and knowledgeable members will post with words of wisdom as well as tried and tested methods.

I have been researching this over the last few days since we spoke and the one thing that repeats itself time and time again is that in the periods when Fluffy is off her food it's better to tempt her with anything she wants/likes/will eat rather than concern yourself over protein levels etc.

I'm sure there are far more qualified people on the forum that will offer advice.

Shelly xx

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:07 pm
by Lilith ... paste.html" onclick=";return false;

You can get this from petsathome/amazon - probably other pet stores.

It looks like golden syrup and tastes of very little but contains calories and nutrients to tide over an ill and non-eating cat - you put a bit on a fingertip and wipe it round the cat's lips, and of course the cat will lick it off. I've had very good results with non-eating cats/kittens.

All the very best with Fluffy x

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:10 pm
by Walesgang
Dearest Carol

What a worry for you.

I have no knowledge so cannot make any useful suggestions, but what Shelly says about getting Fluff to eat anything would seem to be better than nothing.

I will be thinking of your girl. Fusses to her from me and the gang, and a special headbut from Mr G

Val xxx

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:57 pm
by HRHFluffy
Thank you for your kind words of support and advice. It's such a worrying time. I just want to give her as comfortable a life as she can have for whatever time she has left.

Lilith thanks for your suggestion. I've just ordered some of that paste from Amazon. I've not heard of it before so I'm grateful that you told me about it.

Carol Xx

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:11 pm
by bobbys girl
Hi Carol,

I'm sorry to hear that you are struggling to get Fluffy to eat. I know what that's like.

Since he was diagnosed with CKD Tommy has lost a lot of weight and muscle tone. He gets his medicine every morning and seems to like it (we squirt it onto a little wet food and he licks all the gravy and leaves the meat - but at least he gets his meds. He seems to be eating but when he's finished there is food everywhere, so it is hard to tell just what he is eating.

Sometimes he gets very picky and I do give him sardines in tomato sauce - perhaps not ideal - but he does love them and eats everything.

Tonight we had chicken (thighs) for tea. I kept one back and cooked it plain for Tommy. He has just had a plate full (for him) and it licking his lips.

It is such a worry isn't it? I hope you can persuade her to eat. If I discover anything else I will let you know.

Fusses to the duchess.

Sue x

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:38 pm
by Alice
Hi Carol

So sorry to hear of your problems - when I've had poorly cats who've been off their food I've found that pilchards in tomato, mashed up a bit to a sort of pate, though not ideal, have been well accepted, and in such circumstances it's so nice to see them eat something, whatever it is.

Hope there'll soon be better news of Fluffy's appetite returning.

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:45 pm
by HRHFluffy
Thanks Sue. It was sardines in tomato sauce that the vets suggested for Fluffy last year. They suggested it because it's so stinky!! I bought some more today and she's had a little tonight. Chicken is the only other food that will tempt her at the moment. Poor Tommy. Sorry he's losing weight. I remember you saying ages ago that you wished there was a gravy for cats so that Tommy could have it for his meds. What I started doing recently (before Fluffy decided to quit eating) was to buy the Gourmet Perle Beef flavour and just use the gravy for meds. The chicken is another option as it has quite a lot of gravy. The other flavours don't have quite as much. I've tried many :roll: . Fluffy isn't keen on the meat in either the chicken or beef so I just use the gravy. With it being gravy Fluffy was finishing the lot off with little or no encouragement and therefore her meds were going down well too. I was managing to make one pouch last two days. Maybe Tommy will like it too. Here's hoping!! Xx

Hi Alice. Just seen your post before submitting this one. Thanks for the suggestion. Hadn't thought of pilchards. Will put it on my list. Great idea to mash it up. I know what you mean about it being good to see them eat something. They can go downhill so quickly without food that anything they will eat is worth trying.

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:05 pm
by Lilith
Chicken gravy -

One chicken or carcase - no seasoning of course.

Cover with water, simmer 2-3 hours in covered pan, strain off broth, chill overnight, skim off fat, then boil up again in an open pan to 'reduce' ie let the level of liquid go to about half - you can sometimes tell if it's well reduced because it looks milky but don't worry if it doesn't.

Allow to cool - and the surplus can be frozen in suitable servings. Chicken broth like mamma used to make, and for any cat that loves gravy, additive free and nourishing.

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:16 pm
by Crewella
Oh dear Carol, you must be so worried. (((hugs)))

I've been there, and when Giddy was like this the only way I could get her to eat was to hand-feed her bits of warmed chicken and ham, or turkey slices from the deli counter. She did sometimes go for sardines or pilchards, and I also kept a tin of Hills a/d handy to mix in with it as it's nutrient packed and they need less of it than regular food to keep them going. None of it ideal for cats with kidney problems but, as has been said, anything is better than nothing.

I know that cats with renal problems can feel nauseous, and if I was desperate I used to take her to the vets for a shot to deal with that, and sometimes a day without the nausea would kick-start her eating again. It can become a vicious circle, as the less they eat the worse they feel.

She also used to get vitamin B shots now and again, and those used to help with her appetite too.

I do hope the Duchess of Fluffington manages to eat something and feel better. Give her a gentle fuss from me. xx

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:48 pm
by MarkB
Hi Carol,

As you know, I have been there several times. I know that renal food has restricted protein, but for quite a few years now, the thinking has been to feed high protein - despite the fact that the pet food manufacturers still make renal food with reduced protein.

My previous vet always said that the best food for a cat is one it will eat - however, I am painfully aware that they need balanced nutrients.

Have you tried the Sainsbury's mousse domes? - When Alice was off her food, she went made for those for a while. They actually tell you on the time to warm them in the microwave for a few seconds (15 or so) to make them smell more.

As Lazarus became more picky, the only food he would eat was AGAIL doubly delicious fish selection. They are very smelly - and even more so when warmed (I found that 17 seconds in our 950w microwave was the optimum) He would eat those when all else failed. The great thing is that they are balanced, even of they aren't senior or renal.

I always remember that Clapton survived 5 years from diagnosis and would touch renal food.

Another good smell food is the regular felix in jelly pouches fish selection. Especially one of the flavours, which is shrimp and salmon or something like that.

I remember the first time Clapton went right off his food, he had a steroid jab and it kick-started his appetite, which was good for another few years.

Willow also used to have a vitamin B shot and another injection, every 6 weeks. I know you give Fluffy b-complex anyway.

I hope her appetite perks up. I will try to remember any other foods. I know you already buy Happy Cat dry.

Another thing you could try is Liquivite. It is a clear broth that contains all the nutrients. Clapton lapped some of it, but wasn't overly keen. Maybe your vet could order you one or 2 to try. ... tAodBhkAGQ" onclick=";return false;

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:09 am
by PeanutsFriend
I answered this in a rush. So sorry if I repeating something someone already said.
What I tempted Meuzette with is. Baby food. She liked chicken, beef and turkey.
I don't know if you guys have can salmon, but she use to drink the liquid it is stored in(that was some of her bad days) I also got can chicken(careful on the sodium level)
I did find like that newborn liquid milk stuff too.
All of this isn't the best, salt and all. But what does it matter when you are trying to buy one more day.
I will rake my brain for what else...
Rotisserie chicken was her favorite, but even there were days that turned her stomach. I let her have the wings, bone and all.

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:22 am
by Walesgang
Hi Carol

Hope your little girl is feeling a little better today.

When Luna was poorly, we tried all sorts of things. We used to have a range of things on the go at any time in the hope to tempt her to eat including:

Roast chicken
Chicken gravy (no salt)
Mince and gravy
Felix in gravy - but she would lick the gravy off
Hills a/d but only small quantities at a time because it us rich and would make her sick

We would warm whatever we were tempting her with to make it smell more for her.

steroids might boost her appetite too?

Continued fusses to her

Val xx

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:26 am
by JulieandBarney
Hi Carol,

Just come across this, sorry to have jumped in so late....

When 'CC' couldn't eat, we used to warm up his food and shred some chicken as best we could, the 'lik e lix' sachets in chicken also provide the extra vitamins and always tempted him to at least try to eat.

Thinking of you and Fluffy at this difficult time, my heart goes out to

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:56 am
by MarkB
Another idea is crumbling thrive treats on top of food. Alice liked the chicken one, but they also do fishy flavours.

Someone mentioned baby food. I have never tried it with a cat. I have seen it mentioned before. Apart from salt content, apparently some contain onion, which is dangerous for cats (causes Heinz body anaemia)

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:41 am
by HRHFluffy
Thank you all so much for your replies. I really appreciate your suggestions. I will be making a list of them all so I have plenty of options.

The little girl is definitely more perky this morning. I'm sure that is purely down to the fact that she now has food inside her (sardines). She is more vocal and bossy which is always a good sign with her.

I started her back on vitamin B12 recently in the hope that it would increase her appetite. It has worked in the past but doesn't seem to have had an effect this time. Taking her to the vet is something I would rather limit as the stress of the journey takes it out of her and I always worry about the effect this has on her heart. As I hold her I can feel her little heart pounding when we're there.

I think the only cat food I haven't tried her on is the sainsburys mouse domes. I remember you saying Mark that Alice liked them. I don't have a car but I could ask one of my friends to get me some.

Is it time to accept that she needs food whatever it is or do I keep trying to tempt her back onto cat food? At what point did you all decide to give up on normal cat food? When she goes several hours refusing food I can literally see her getting weak. I know they can deteriorate quickly with kidney disease. Are there any nutrients I could add to her food to make it more balanced? Was thinking of taurine. I don't know too much about that though.

Thanks again for your kind thoughts.

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:10 am
by Walesgang
Hi Carol

If Luna didn't eat cat food within half an hour or so we would work through other things!

Sometimes she would get excited at the food ritual (getting bowls ready etc) but didn't come to more than a few mouthfuls. We would repeat a shortened version of the feeding rituals just for her at stages during the day in the hope that she would eat a bit more.

Glad Fluff has picked up this morning a bit


Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:19 am
by HRHFluffy
Thanks Val. That's interesting about Luna. Fluffy will often go and sit by the place where she knows I will put her bowl down but when I put it down she walks away. I don't think I'll waste precious time in waiting for her to eat normal food if she's not keen.

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:24 am
by SarahT1 [PLLE]
Carol, I've messaged you, but this might be helpful to others too - Nutriment raw highly recommended. Also behaviourally to remove yourself from the eating area and try to clear your mind off the thought to give Fluffy emotional space to eat. Sorry if that sounds whacky! Xx

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:48 am
by HRHFluffy
Thanks Sarah. Not whacky at all. All suggestions are worth trying :)

Here's a picture of the Duchess taken earlier this morning. Think it's safe to say she's completely oblivious to all the fuss she's causing!! All good wishes have been passed on and gratefully received Xx

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:18 am
by Baggypants
Awww, she's gorgeous :)

I don't have any experience of this but the smelliest food I've come across so far is Feringa - it's cereal free, high-meat content, natural etc - available from zooplus. It stinks so much I have to put it in the fridge so it doesn't smell too strongly and even then my fussy lot will only eat a bit but because it's high meat content they only need a small amount for it to be nutritous.

But I'm sure as soon as you've managed to get something into her tummy she'll start to get hungrier.

My Elsie can be a bit funny about where she eats at times - I'll put the bowl in front of her, she sniffs and walks off. I follow her and repeat several times and she'll eventually find a place she wants to eat in.

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:43 am
by HRHFluffy
Thanks Sarah :) I've made a note of Feringa.

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:14 pm
by Crewella
I'm glad she's perkier this morning, I have a real soft spot for Madame Fluffy. She looks gorgeous, as always. :)

More fusses from me, and from Grumpy Nellie. xx

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:04 pm
by HRHFluffy
Awww thanks Helen :)

Fusses passed on. Please thank Grumpy Nellie for us Xx

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:44 pm
by Crewella
Gorgwous! I'm so sorry, she's much lovelier than gorgwous!!!! I've edited it. :oops:

Grumpy Nellie deigned to purr. :) xx

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:24 pm
by hgale
Fusses to her Royal Fluffiness from me and Denver! I'm sorry I haven't got any real advice to give - Denver just loves his food!

Helen and Denver

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:26 pm
by PeanutsFriend
When Willie goes on hunger strikes.. I give him Temption treats. Until he feels better. Usually the next day.
Meuzette made me serve kitten food around here. May not be the same for Fluffy tho.
I serve whatever they like no matter if it is viewed odd or wrong by others. Cat rules here.
I sure do hope Fluffy turns a corner and has few good days.
Meu went up and down for so was almost a blessing she went. Not for me, for her. I loved seeing her boss us around.
Hang in there Carol!

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:37 pm
by nannymcfee
Have you tried warming the pilchards in tomato sauce just warmed up a little, the texture softens/easier to mash and it makes them smell more.My old cat ( when he was well into his 20's ) lived on pilchards and cooked chicken, oh and my mum used to make him real egg custard too, he loved that...and ate it slightly warm.

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:57 pm
by HRHFluffy
Thanks Helen and Jill.

I tried her again on a different brand of cat food earlier. A very strong smelling one that she has liked in the past (I have a cupboard full of almost every variety). I warmed it up and tried to make it as tempting as possible and then attempted to handfeed her. She took a tiny mouthful and then walked away. Later I prepared some chicken. She only eats a small amount at a time so I just cut up some very fine and added some water. She ate the lot and wouldn't budge from her bowl but looked up at me asking for more. So I went and prepared some more and she did the same again. Four times this happened! They were only small amounts but it proved she must have been really hungry. It's scary to think she will deprive herself of food if she doesn't like it. She's drinking much more and therefore weeing far more and in larger amounts. In herself she's been quiet this afternoon. I've ordered some Applaws Chicken and Pumpkin which should be coming tomorrow. It's sort of a last ditch attempt to get her to eat some cat food. It looks like human food so maybe it will fool her.

Thanks Nannymcfee for that advice. I've not tried pilchards yet. I went to my local shop for some this afternoon but they only had sardines in tomato sauce and mackerel in tomato sauce. The sardines were a hit yesterday which is why I've run out of them. I warm all her food up nowadays to tempt her. Pity it no longer works with the cat food. It's great to know your old boy enjoyed pilchards and chicken. What a fabulous age!!

Re: Trying to tempt Fluffy to eat

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:53 pm
by Crewella
That's great, I'm so glad she's eaten. :)

It's just a thought, and I may be completely wrong here, but I got the feeling sometimes that when Giddy felt nauseous (rather than just having no appetite) some of the smellier foods kind of made it worse and that might explain why she nearly always went for plain warmed chicken. If that's what she'll eat, then I'd stick with that in the short term and get as much of it down her as you can. Hopefully it should help to get her back on an even keel and you can worry about complete foods later.

Sending positive vibes and willing her to eat more. xx