Still can’t find food cat will eat!

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Felis-Felidae
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by Felis-Felidae »

Goodness, vent away! I can only imagine how exhausted you are.

Will she absolutely refuse all food for an entire day or (and pardon me if this is a stupid question) will she deign to touch food she's refused before once she gets hungry enough and your eyes aren't on her?

Because I have one cat who pretends she doesn't like anything I serve if I'm watching her eat it. I've since learned to leave out her food at night or when I'm in my study.

That way she can continue to stand on her high horse and pretend she wasn't willing to lower herself enough to eat whatever sorry offering the idiot hooman gave her. lol
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Mollycat
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by Mollycat »

"At this rate you'll even try Felix" - why not? Good as it looks is flakes which some cats who won't eat chunks will happily eat, you can add a little water and mush it up if needed. It's not a bad food, and has a higher protein content than most cheap and cheerful brands.
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by Mollycat »

Raych, I've been there, many of us have, agonising over the best nutrition and reading too much about the evils of dry and the terrible quality of supermarket brands, that all carbs are the work of the devil and how anything but raw amounts to slow murder.

A cat's natural lifespan is not much more than 12 years, in our care many of them now stay healthy well into their teens. 50 years ago they got scraps and nobody had ever heard of taurine and they got bones, raw or cooked. None of it was nutritionally balanced and yet somehow cats survived, as do the restaurant beggars all over Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Mediterranean. What's more in the 9000 years cats have been our friends their gut has adapted to cooked food and more carbs than they would ever have seen in the wild. Prepared foods at least provide the minimum basic needs.

Beyond that, there are some differences in quality but the most important thing is something our companions will eat and that provides the basics they need and that doesn't make them ill or turn mealtimes into daily stressy battles.

It may be (or may not, nothing has been proved yet) that fish flavoured foods may be a factor in the very steep rise in hyperthyroidism; exclusively dry diets have been linked to obesity and diabetes as well as UTIs; and some cats don't tolerate dairy or grains. Raw feeding won't prevent kidney disease, dry food doesn't stop dental decay, and expensive food doesn't always mean better nutrition or health. Stress can trigger UTIs and lack of exercise (as in indoor cats) is a big factor in heart disease and diabetes.

I don't believe Felix is that bad, there are certainly a lot worse out there that cats can be healthy on their whole lives.

When it comes to cats with health issues, many do benefit from special diets, but not if they hate their food and everything about food becomes the subject of stress for us - cats pick up our emotional states and our stress is bad for them too. Feed them something decent and they may only lick off the jelly or gravy and probably not get balanced nutrition anyway. Focus on finding a food he will eat and that you can find readily and is affordable. It might not be helpful to him to keep changing his food, and as inflammation tends to be chronic he will likely experience flare-ups and periods of normality. Triaditis can even be a one-off, as nobody knows what really causes it or even which of the three organs sets it all off. Many of these chronic conditions, in cats as they are with us, are stress-related.

Don't turn food into a war zone or your full-time obsession. A happy home, cuddles and calm are the best place to start.
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by booktigger »

Honestly, if you look at the ingredients, Felix and Gourmet arent that different, we just think Gourmet is due to the name and their marketing. If she likes Pate type, Felix do one called Meaty Loaf, which is pate type with chunks in pouches. Have you tried Mon Petit which seems different to Gourmet pouches?
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by fjm »

When Poppy was really ill with acute liver failure in January she stopped eating - everything made her nauseous and she refused food she had been eating with gusto up to then. Once she began to feel better it got easier, but she still refused the prescribed hepatic diet which she associated with feeling queasy. My vet suggested feeding her some of the home-prepared oat and chicken diet she did enjoy, and offering the hepatic food next to it. A week later she was happily eating both, and has been eating canned-plus-chicken ever since. At this stage with your cat I agree with the others - if it is not outright toxic feed her whatever she will eat, and worry about improving the quality later. Once she gets the eating habit back it is easy to add a little high-quality protein, and she may even decide the vet-recommended food is edible after all.
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by Mollycat »

Microchip feeders are a godsend, I know it's a big outlay for two but we never looked back and would still always use it even if my now one cat was the only animal in the household (also have a dog). It helps keep the food fresh so it can be put down and left down all day even in the heat. Just be sure to write their names in indelible marker or attach a tag though, so you know which is which even when the removable coloured mats are removed, and always put them in the same position so the cats don't get confused. Lesson learned the hard way. I put them down the wrong way around. Inquisitive Molly eventually got into hers but poor Boo who was at the back of the queue when the brains were handed out just didn't eat until I realised what I'd done.
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by Mollycat »

Very easy to teach. they have staged settings so the cats can get used to the noise it makes gradually. Clever but nervous Molly got it in hours and cool but thick Boo took a little longer to understand what he needed to do but I'm pretty sure it was all done in a day, maybe two but I think one. First you leave it open and give treats so they get used to putting their head inside the hoop and to programme the chip. Then the next stage it makes a short sound but doesn't move. Then it closes a tiny bit, then halfway, then all the way. You can set how long it stays open after they take their head out.
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by fjm »

I had a similar experience many, many years ago when I was in my teens and took my siamese to our very supercilious vet. I have told the story before on here, I know. The vet prescribed antibiotics, and I asked him to show me the best way to administer them as we found it so very difficult to get pills into her. Certainly, he said with odious condescension, you simply hold the cat like this, and the pill so, and... There was a sort of explosion, the pill was in one corner of the surgery, the cat in another, and the vet was sucking a long gash on one thumb. He suggested we went back to swathing her in a towel!
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by Mollycat »

Thank goodness, isn't it great when they finally understand your struggles!! They seem to forget that some cats are much easier to treat in a strange place that isn't home, some of course the opposite, but they seem to think unless the cat is spitting hissing growling and lashing out then everything must be fine. And they don't take into account the damage to a trusting relationship either.

Fjm ... I hadn't read your story before, brilliant!
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by booktigger »

I temember taking one cat for a checkup on the last day of a course of abs, I turned up with a bandaged finger as she'd bitten me the day before, I asked the vet to do the final tablet, she looked at my hand, checked the cat and decided she could cope without it! She was a fantastic vet and appreciated awkward cats.
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by booktigger »

Lucy has to have a tablet once a week that requires 5ml of water stringing after it, she is very good at spitting the tablet out after 3ml! I have to hug her for 5 mins between tablet and water to prevent her bringing it back!
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by Kay »

your stories remind me of when I took Tiffany for a blood test, and insisted she would have to be sedated, if not anaethetized - the vet was very dubious but agreed to my request

when I collected Tiffany later that day she admitted as soon as she opened the carrier she was totally convinced!!
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by Mollycat »

Hiding things - my Misha used to love peas, one day she devoured a bowl of rice peas and sweetcorn. For days after we kept finding little heaps of rice in every corner of the house! Only the rice.

Tablets - my Sarah thought wormers were treats and would eat them as offered then look at us hoping there might be more.
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by fjm »

Tilly now has "minimal restraint" on her vet record.,, Vet who did not know her took her off for blood teats, agreeably surprised at how easy she was to handle, and came back looking slightly startled. Seems she was fine till they tried to restrain her, when all hell let loose, but accepted the needle with no problem when asked nicely! I could have told them that the trick is to have chicken on offer.

Raych - I got some strange soups for cats as a freebie with Tilly's renal food recently. They are made by Cosma, and are a complementary food. Pippin tried one and licked the bowl clean. They are fairly limited ingredients, so may be safe to try as a topper on a more complete food - Zooplus stocks them: https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/can ... gLOhfD_BwE
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by Mollycat »

That's interesting about Tilly. Molly is similar though she doesn't struggle or fight she is just slippery as a mackerel. As far as I'm concerned she is non-handling, as in I won't do anything to her that she won't let me do willingly, but at the vets she appears calm and lets them do anything out of sheer terror. But open the carrier and let her sit in the bottom of it and she will take an injection without being held at all. So it's being held that makes her panic, which actually makes sense for her as I believe the issues in her past come from being forcibly cuddled. It was 4 years before I was able to put both hands on her at once but we achieved it gently.

Same with the dog, incidentally. For 7 years he had to be dragged from under the table to have a bath or a tick or thorn removed. Now I call him and he comes to the bathroom on his own 4 feet for a bath and anything in his feet when we're out on a walk he limps over to me and sits quietly asking me to remove it.
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by fjm »

The soup ingredients look OK, but ridiculously tiny amount for the price - they do seem to smell and taste good to cats though, so may help to encourage them to eat other food. I can remember how chemotherapy made roast chicken smell to me like rotten meat, while pine toilet cleaner impregnated the whole house with a nauseating stench, so much so that I still can't use it a dozen years later - I often wonder if illness affects our animals' senses in the same way.
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by Mollycat »

fjm wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:41 pm I often wonder if illness affects our animals' senses in the same way.
Whenever Boo got a bit dehydrated I would give them both tuna water. After Boo died, Molly wouldn't touch it. Now it's been nearly a year and she takes a few laps and walks away. She loved it so much but I'm sure she associates it with illness now.
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by JulieJulie »

Hello

I so feel your pain with getting a reluctant cat to eat.

I have a 19 year old. She survived a dental at 18 but still wasn't great for a few months, so was having ongoing antibiotic injections and there was a lot of vomiting. i was really at my wits end. I think we tried nearly every cat food in every shop. You mentioned you won't try raw, but I've had success with that (minced beef and turkey/chicken) over the years with some of my cats. I know there are risks, and it's important to worm the cats regularly.

I don't know anything about your cats condition but I suspect my cat has stomach issues. She was on ranitidine for a while to help stop the suspected nausea and vomiting but that gave her diareah. I even syringe fed her for a while. We suspect some sort of underlying issue but she's too old to be subjected to any more tests so we treat the symptoms now. She's been on prokolin long term aswell now for her tummy.

The turning point for us - after MANY months of agony trying to get her to eat - came when she started on Fortekor - she just started eating then. I think she must have just felt better somehow and it is a stimulant. She is also taking frusol. Both are for her heart. She now favours pate foods such as highlife chicken or fish, gourmet melting hearts (sometimes) and FELIX AGAIL. But the one thing she really will eat properly is a foil of supermarket own brand pate. I guess its full of rubbish and very strong but at this point, she can have whatever she needs. She will also eat raw (human) foods when she's in the mood. She is skinny as anything and I have to feed her every 4-6 hours (including during the night - try doing that for 9 months!) but having just lost my youngest cat, I would do anything for any of my cats.

I have another cat who is supposed to be on a renal diet - no way was she eating that so I've had to resign myself to her eating the KD bix (which she tolerates and are ok for the others aswell) and then she has Felix. Just don't go near Whiskas - that really is rubbish. Butchers classic is oddly the one we get the least issues with, followed by Felix AGAIL.

Regarding giving my elderly girl tablets - forget it. No way I am putting her through that stress so I got a pill crusher. She has it hidden in her Prokolin (this is a real labour of love which I gladly do.) Her frusol is liquid (they put her on tablets but I found out i could get a liquid so get this on pet px from Boots.)

I put the prokolin into a 5ml syringe (cut the end down a bit so the powder doesn't clog it up) with the crushed Fortekor and squirt into her mouth, upwards towards the roof of her mouth so as to ensure it doesn't go down the wrong way. Sometimes the paw comes up so I get a bit of kitchen roll and hold under her chin. I have never needed to further restrain her but she's not a strong cat now - except in spirit.

Sounds like your cat make not like being held so this may not work, but it's been a godsend for us to have liquid and crushed meds instead of trying to give pills.

The other thing I do is to weigh her - baby scales off Amazon - that way I know if she's sneaking a snack overnight and it's not the others. However, she now has me well trained. She likes me to sit with her when she eats (even at 4am). I still regularly open 3 foods before she decides what to eat.

Good luck. It's so hard when they won't eat, but keep at it, you obviously adore your cats.
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by Mollycat »

Raych, can you remind me what her symptoms were please?

Did you ever give her Dreamies?
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by Mollycat »

Yes I remember she has triaditis, I was wondering on the particular symptoms. Does she have very foul smelling orangey-yellowy loose stools?

Molly had some kind of crash that involved yellow diarrhoea and vomiting plus seriously dramatic sudden weight loss, lethargy, etc. Tests revealed hyperthyroidism but ALT was more elevated than it should have been for that plus high bilirubin. Vet said it was unconnected, I beg to differ. Yellow squits and upchucks are liver issues and unprocessed bilirubin causes yellow stuff. She was treated for the hyperthyroid in April 19 but the yellowy orangey superstinky semi-formed poops persisted until early this year, when finally we had more hard dark ones than these awful ones.

She got clear but reason for asking is, she has recently started to approach my partner for treats and due to her timid nature and past traumas it's a case of anything goes that she wants to use to make friends. So she's been getting a lot more than usual this week and guess what, the very distinctive stink is back, the smell even lingers on her and in the room.
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by Mollycat »

Google is revealing quite a few cases of severe diarrhoea linked to Dreamies!

And worse https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R1OSYSTP1MGSNQ
https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/the_litter ... g-him-sick
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by fjm »

Poppy-dog has liver failure, and I am struggling with soft and liquid yellowish poos. But she is also a gannet, and scavenges anything she can, and has been on steroids for six months now, so exactly what is causing what is difficult to establish. I am giving her a dab of diarrhoea paste with every meal, which seems to be helping - probably not much use to you as your cat does not want to eat, but Poppy accepts it as a treat. Her constant search for scraps of anything edible (up to and including raw pea pods and pickled gherkins) is wearing, but easier to manage than anorexia.

Tilly-cat, meanwhile, is turning up her nose at the renal food and bringing home voles to eat instead. Then complaining vociferously if the bowl is not sitting there with fresh renal food exactly at the moment she feels like sampling it... Long term health conditions play merry hell with fixed regular mealtimes...
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by fjm »

In my experience 2-24 hours, but allergic symptoms could build up over time.

Does she like Lik-e-lix? I got Tilly to start eating again by smearing a little over wet food.
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Re: Still can’t find food cat will eat!

Post by Mollycat »

Is she picking up on your anxiety around her food, maybe?
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