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Help with Senior Kittys Eating

BruceTheBossBruceTheBoss Winslow, BuckinghamshireMember Posts: 37,079 ✭✭✭
edited 6 February, 2007 in Food & Nutrition
Hi all, Mum and Grandma are worried about me. I will turning 18 years old this year. I have become very very picky with my food and will not eat anything, but am constantly demanding food. They have tried with me everything they can think of, canned food, pouch food, dried food, tuna, chicken etc etc, i take one sniff and walk away demanding something else!!! Apart from this little eating problem I appear very well and lively and still enjoy a bit of a bundle on the floor with my brother Felix. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated as Mum is getting worried that if i dont start eating soon i will slowly go down hill. Oh just to let you know also I am on daily medication (Epiphen) for seizures, i have been taking this for the past 2 years so Mum doesnt think that has anything to do with it. Is this just old age?

Bruce The Boss

Comments

  • Sue KaufmannSue Kaufmann CranfordMember Posts: 1,465
    edited 28 January, 2007
    Henry, this might sound a little weird, but your people might want to try a little baby food! They can put it on your food as topping -- it may be that the smell will make it a little more appetizing to you. If you go this route, you should avoid the foods with sugar and salt, of course.
  • BruceTheBossBruceTheBoss Winslow, BuckinghamshireMember Posts: 37,079 ✭✭✭
    edited 28 January, 2007
    Oh thanks Hattie, Mum will certainly give this a try. She will try anything to get me to eat. We think we have heard this before. We will keep you posted!!! Thanks again dear friend.

    Bruce The Boss

  • AshPoGusAshPoGus AlbuquerqueMember Posts: 7,041 ✭✭✭
    edited 28 January, 2007
    Henry, I\'m 18 and picky, with a sensitive tummy, and have been eating only canned chicken (for people) and chicken baby food for a while now. My mom won\'t let me recommend you eat only those things, because it\'s not a complete diet. But like Hattie suggests, try the baby food as a little treat to get you eating, then use it as a topping on some real cat food. When I refused to eat at all -- even the chicken baby food that I love -- Mom had to put the baby food on her finger and touch my mouth to make me lick it. Then I would lick more from her finger, and eventually would eat some from the dish. Or, if they put a little dab of food (baby food or cat food) on your front leg, you\'ll likely lick it to get it off, and that may stimulate your taste buds. They should have a damp cloth close at hand, though, in case you don\'t try to clean it off. Our noses don\'t always work as well when we get older, either. It may look like you\'re smelling the food and rejecting it, but you may not be smelling it well enough for it to tempt you into eating it. Mom warms my canned chicken for just a few seconds in the microwave -- I\'ve heard of others doing that with cat food, too. Does it ever enhance the aroma!! Make sure a human tests it very thoroughly, stirring all through it with their fingers, to make sure there are no hot spots from the microwave. Even as yummy as it smells, Mom still may have to stick the dish right up to my nose to make me realize I want to eat some of it. I\'ve heard some cats like a little catnip sprinkled on their food to tempt them to eat, but that doesn\'t work for me. I want to roll on it! Your tummy, or something else, may be hurting and that may be why you\'re not eating, too.
  • Desiree BrookeDesiree Brooke MechanicsvilleMember Posts: 63
    edited 28 January, 2007
    DO NOT PUT BABY FOOD INTO YOUR CATS FOOD!!!!!!!! Baby food contains garlic and onion powders which can cause oxidation of red blood cells and subsquent anemia. In a senior kitty, this can be a serious problem. It may make the food taste better but I definitely dont think the pros outweight the cons in this situation.
  • Angela ClarkAngela Clark Fort SmithMember Posts: 15,094
    edited 28 January, 2007
    Jackson makes a good point, but you can get baby food without garlic or onion powders. Read the ingredients carefully.
  • Launawe ChristieLaunawe Christie AlbuquerqueMember Posts: 1,893
    edited 28 January, 2007
    Have you been to your vet recently? I have early stage renal failure, and it causes my stomach to be acidic. I take 1/4 Pepcid each day, and that helps me keep down my food. I agree that the baby food is a good idea (just watch the garlic/onion like they said). Also, you could add tuna water to your food to make it tastier. You could also have chicken broth, but again you should watch for onions/garlic. If your humans warm up your food, that might make it tastier, too. Have you tried something yummy like Fancy Feast? It\'s not the healthiest, but it\'s good if it gets you to eat. That\'s what I\'ve been eating lately.
  • Desiree BrookeDesiree Brooke MechanicsvilleMember Posts: 63
    edited 28 January, 2007
    Any baby food that contains a meat in it is going to have either onion or garlic powder as a seasoning. No competent veterinarian would ever recommend putting baby food onto your cats food as a supplement. I can safely say that I have been told in class over 100 times that putting baby food on your pets food is a horrible idea, by several different board certified clinicians and internists. I recommend trying Hill's a/d, very few animals refuse to eat it.
  • Angela ClarkAngela Clark Fort SmithMember Posts: 15,094
    edited 28 January, 2007
    Jackson, I'm sure you are right about that. But what about veggies? We have some squash and ....something else that doesn't have garlic and onion that we just love. Wouldn't that be ok to use to kick start the eating, temporarily of course?
  • Desiree BrookeDesiree Brooke MechanicsvilleMember Posts: 63
    edited 28 January, 2007
    Vegetables are ok, but in reality cats are obligate carnivores they dont need any carbohydrates in their diet, just as a wild cat would never have access to any vegetables really. There has actually been some recent interesting research linking increased carbohydrate intake in cats with increasing incidence of diabetes mellitus in cats, but thats just research, one study proves very little. At this point, if your kitty likes it, then its probably no big deal!
  • AshPoGusAshPoGus AlbuquerqueMember Posts: 7,041 ✭✭✭
    edited 28 January, 2007
    This statement: \"Any baby food that contains a meat in it is going to have either onion or garlic powder as a seasoning\" is flat-out wrong, unless the manufacturers are lying when they list the ingredients on the jars. Pick up some jars of all-meat baby food and read them. Gerber\'s chicken baby food ingredients: Ground Chicken, Water, and Corn Starch Beech Nut chicken baby food ingredients: Chicken, finely ground chicken, and chicken broth. Those are the only two brands we have on hand. None of the all-meat baby foods that my mom has ever seen on the grocery store shelves have garlic or onion powder in them, though there could be brands she has not seen. Onion and seasonings are not added until other ingredients, such as vegetables or noodles, start being mixed with the meat (for older babies). I don\'t know what baby foods are available in the UK where Henry lives, though. Since it has been stated in various Forums on Catster about a gazillion times not to feed onion or garlic to cats, I thought Henry\'s Mum, having been around Catster for a while, probably already knew that. But you were right, Jackson, to inform about the onion and garlic, though I still feel you\'re wrong about the all-meat baby food. For the record, I am one cat who refuses to eat Hill\'s a/d.
  • Heather BellamyHeather Bellamy Perry / StatesboroMember Posts: 5,506
    edited 28 January, 2007
    A while back when I was feeling really, really sick, my vet recommended baby food. The kind Scooter's talking about does not contain garlic or onion powder. It was what my vet recommended. I didn't like it, but it is definitely worth a try. If you're worried about the issue, you may want to call your vet just to be sure, but I have a very good vet, and I know she would never recommend feeding me anything that would potentially harm me, much less recommend something containing ingredients known to be toxic to cats. I ended up eating canned tuna in water (also recommended by my for short-term care because I wasn't eating anything at all), but that's not healthy to do for a long time. I had to eat it a few days though because I couldn't smell hardly anything (awful URI) so I wasn't eating. And tuna has a very strong odor. After my antibiotics kicked in my nose wasn't stuffy anymore, I started eating regular cat food again. Now I'm back to eating my canned and dry food and Mommy has her fingers crossed that I'll keep my appetite going strong for a good while because she just doesn't know what to do if I start snubbing my food!
  • AshPoGusAshPoGus AlbuquerqueMember Posts: 7,041 ✭✭✭
    edited 28 January, 2007
    Lucky Boo, I have also had two vets okay the baby food -- one of them was a feline-only vet. I'm not saying they recommended that I eat only baby food, but they said it's okay to eat some (sans onion and garlic).
  • Melissa FordMelissa Ford Santa CruzMember Posts: 3,914
    edited 28 January, 2007
    Moms practice which has 12 doctors on staff (3 of which are internal medicine specialists) feeds meat baby food when an animal will not eat. We also will recommend this to people at home if there animals are not eating there. We use the Gerber specifically because there is no garlic or onion powder in them. Along with chicken, cats like the ham and turkey flavors the best. It is definitely important to be sure there is no onion or garlic (powders or salts) in the food. It is also important to note this is not a balanced diet and should be fed short term. Another short term solution is tuna (packed in water, not oil). You could even try puring some of the juices from the tuna over some cat food to see if that entices kitty to eat.
  • Lauri PolunskyLauri Polunsky AustinMember Posts: 7
    edited 29 January, 2007
    I agree with the baby food suggestion. My mom had an old man living with us -- he died when he was 19 and had been eating Gerber's chicken and turkey every day for as long as I knew him, which was a couple of years. He loved the stuff.
  • Valerie HeitmanValerie Heitman Denham SpringsMember Posts: 43
    edited 29 January, 2007
    Have you been to the vet for the inappetance? I see you have seizures (so do I). Have you had blood work lately? What do your teeth look like? Are any broken or are your gums swollen? Are you constipated? Do you vomit after you do eat? When is the last time you ate? Do your eyes, inside of your ears or nose look yellow at all? When all things have been tried, and if you still can't eat on your own, my Mom syringe feeds. Hills a/d, Eukenuba Maximum Calorie or Iams Kitten Food. All of them are pretty syringeable, but may need to add a little water. The Max Cal has the most calories, then the Iams, then the a/d. Kitties that go too long without food can develop Hepatic Lipidosis. Very dangerous. Baby food is fine short term if it will get you 'jump started', but long term you are missing important things like taurine. I hope you get well real real soon.
  • Desiree BrookeDesiree Brooke MechanicsvilleMember Posts: 63
    edited 29 January, 2007
    Oliver is absolutely right, a more in depth work up needs to be done by your veterinarian. Seizures are a serious situation that I wouldn't ignore. He also reminded me of eukanuba's max cal formula-also an excellent food and balanced for a cat's diet. I'm still sticking to my guns on the baby food, it should be noted that chicken broth contains both garlic and onions, or one or the other, not all cats are as senstive as others, but I refuse to take the chance of ever giving it to one of my cats especially if they are already having medical problems. It is not formulated for a cat and its not balanced appropriately. Inappetance is usually a sign of some underlying medical issue, using a band aid like baby food to encourage eating doesn't solve the problem. I recommend using a supplement that a cat would normally eat, like tuna, salmon, ground beef, etc... Sometime just blenderizing these foods is enough to encourage a cat to eat. In a blenderized form you can also put some on their feet or nose to encourage them to lick it off, cats can't stand it, and then they realize what they ate actually tastes good, since their since of smell may not be as keen as it once was!
  • Shelley LimegroverShelley Limegrover LaramieMember Posts: 26
    edited 29 January, 2007
    I suppose baby food, if used only as a jump start, isn't so bad. You might also consider cat gravy. It comes in all sorts of flavors with all sorts of nutritional benefits for cats. Another dry food to try, if you havn't already, is Eagle Pack. Its a bit more expensive than some, but I have yet to have trouble with any of my cats or my family's cats rejecting it (one of them is a senior too). Also, once you do get kitty to eat, it's best to have him adjusted to one of the more nutritional food brands to prolong his life. Anyway, you can find out about the gravy I mentioned at http://www.healthpronutrition.com/vita-gravy.html
  • Beccie FavorsBeccie Favors David City, Lincoln SewardMember Posts: 6
    edited 29 January, 2007
    But as someone else said have you been to your vet? A sudden change in your eating ,may mean your teet hurt and dont want to eat or something else. Its better to be safe than sorry esp at our age.:D
  • BruceTheBossBruceTheBoss Winslow, BuckinghamshireMember Posts: 37,079 ✭✭✭
    edited 31 January, 2007
    Wow, thanks for all your responses, you have all been a great help. For those that asked about my seizures, i havent had one in over two years now, i had a bad bout of them two years ago, all in the space of a week, never happened before and hasnt happened since but the lovely vet lady wanted me to stay on the meds because she was worried if I had another then i may not come out of it. I had a my senior check up about 2 months ago, and they were delighted with me. My last bloods showed everything working excellently for a boy of my age. I am still being very fussy with my food, but Mum has been out today and got me a small selection of different foods and will also try the baby good (carefully checking the labels of course). (I live with my Grandma but it is my Mum that types for me and takes me to the vets etc). Scooter, thanks for your input, you could be right about the sense of smell thing. Grandma has told Mum that i am more than happy to eat something from her dinner plate, which probably smells a lot better as well as tastes a lot better, so the past couple of nights Grandma has been doing me a little side plate of beef or whatever she has been cooking (she has made sure she has cooked something for dinner that I can share :))) She said for some strange reason i seem to enjoy it more if I think i am stealing it???? could there be any reason for this. I am fine in myself and although now quite frail and thin (all down to old age), i still enjoy causing mischief, patting the doggies and chasing Felix. Mum doesnt want to rush me to the vest as I find this VERY distressing and get myself quite worked up, but she is going to go in to the vets later today and speak with my favourite lady for some advice, if she wants me to go in, then thats what it will have to be *sighs*. Oh another strange thing I have started doing is making a very strange howling sort of sound ...hehehe...i dont meow anymore, but I howl instead, when I hear Mums voice come through the door i still go running and greet her with the strangest noise ever...hehehe. Thanks again for all your help, I will keep you posted.

    Bruce The Boss

  • Valerie HeitmanValerie Heitman Denham SpringsMember Posts: 43
    edited 31 January, 2007
    Do you howl alot for what appears to be no reason? Do you pace alot, going nowhere in particular? Did your bloodwork also include checking your thyroid?
  • BruceTheBossBruceTheBoss Winslow, BuckinghamshireMember Posts: 37,079 ✭✭✭
    edited 31 January, 2007
    Hiya Oliver, thanks for posting. Yes i do howl for no reason at all, Mum and Grandma havent really noticed me pacing, but i do sometimes struggle to settle down. They checked my thyroid a while back but now you have said this, Mum thinks it is probably worth checking again now. What can they do if it is my thyroid? is there meds to take? Mum wouldnt put me through any kind of surgery now at my age, she doesnt think i would be up to it. I looking forward to your comments.

    Bruce The Boss

  • Valerie HeitmanValerie Heitman Denham SpringsMember Posts: 43
    edited 1 February, 2007
    Look over on the Cat Health forum where hyperthyroidism is currently being discussed. There are oral meds (Tapizole), surgery (probably not a good option for a senior gentlecat such as yourself), and radiation treatment. I'm not sure what the health requirements are for the radiation treatment, altho it is the most effective and permanent cure. My good friend Amber (not on Catster, her Mom's too busy), was just diagnosed with hyperthyroid (she's 'only' 16) about 6 months ago and is doing great on Tapizole. But, you should get the bloodwork done soon to confirm or at least eliminate hyperthyroidism. It is not uncommon in older cats but pretty rare in our buddies under 7 yrs. Keep us posted please. Purrs and nosebumps to you!
  • AshPoGusAshPoGus AlbuquerqueMember Posts: 7,041 ✭✭✭
    edited 6 February, 2007
    It has taken a few days to get a reply from Beech-Nut, but I received a reply today to this question: Can you tell me if the "broth" that is used in your all-meat Stage 1 foods (chicken, beef, turkey, veal) and listed as an ingredient on your label, contains any garlic or onion in any form? In other words, is onion or garlic an ingredient in your all-meat baby foods? Their reply ( I left out some parts that sounded like an ad): ***************** "You will be happy to learn that all Beech-Nut Stage 1 Meats & Poultry varieties are simply that variety of meat, or poultry, and a portion of the water it was cooked in (broth) necessary for the pureeing of the meat. The water listed in our ingredients is called broth because it has absorbed the natural juices of the meat during the cooking process.  ...Beech-Nut meats include no additional additives like cornstarch, salt, spices or onion powder. We always recommend reading the label list of ingredients before using any product. Beech-Nut foods are made without added sugar, salt, cornstarch, onion powder, garlic, Soy, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. All ingredients of Beech-Nut foods are listed on each label." Sincerely, Mary Anne Howe Beech-Nut Nutrition Consumer Services ***************** I didn't contact Gerber since their list of ingredients clearly include nothing with onion or garlic. Gerber happens to be my favorite.
  • Liz SLiz S Bay Area/Santa Cruz/AptosMember Posts: 1,700
    edited 6 February, 2007
    It really doesn't sound like hyperthyroidism. There aren't enough of the symptoms your cat seems to have. I think you just have a picky cat. Have you tried chicken and rice? It would be easy on his stomach, and is pretty tasty. What about adding Salmon Oil to his food? That's pretty alluring also. Your cat is pretty elderly, so it could be a lot of tinhgs. I would suggest getting a urinalysis and a FULL blood panel just to be safe. Good Luck!
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