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How to get my cat to eat and drink?
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How to get my cat to eat and drink?

Several days ago on a Friday my 15 yr. old cat showed signs of being unwell and we took her straight to the vet.  He said she had a stomach infection and gave her injections of antibiotics and some brown "energy" goop for her to eat.  After she ate it she seemed to be more energetic.  That night we went out to dinner and when we came home she was laying in her cat box (it was clean) and was listless.  I'm in Germany and here you can get a vet come to your house at all hours of the night so we had one come and she noticed that Charlotte's pupils were very dilated and unresponsive.  So she injected her with fluid and we took her to a clinic that is open all night.  There they took blood tests but it was the weekend so we had to wait (3 nights and four days) to get the results which don't show any problems with her organs.  However, she hasn't eaten or drank water once at the clinic so they have her on an IV drip.  This must be because she is stressed out -- she is not used to other animals and is an older, indoor cat.  We are planning to take her home tonight but I'm very worried she won't eat or drink here for a while either.  Is there anything I can do once she is home that might help get her to eat or drink?
Tags: cat, eat, drink
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203342_tn?1328740807
I think you're going to have to ask your vet about that one. It's really hard to get an animal to eat or drink if they don't want to. I don't know what to tell you. She may just be reaching her end stages. 15 is a pretty good age for a cat. I know you don't want to hear that. But when an animal is dying, they will stop eating and drinking. I hope that's not the case with you. I hope she will bounce back. You can try a syringe with water in it and give her little squirts in her mouth, if you want. Ask your vet about the food, though. Maybe they can give you that "goop" that you said worked the first time. I hope she gets better. Best wishes.
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228686_tn?1211558307
Pick up KMR milk Replacer 2nd stage or whatever is the equivalent product you can get in the pet store, as well as an oral feeding syringe. Follow the instructions on the box. As far as oral feeding, press gently but firmly at the back of the jaw in the hollow socket to force the teeth apart and place the syringe at the base of the tongue (qalternately, sometimes squirting a few drops on the teeth will start the reflexive chewing motion to give you access).

This should keep kitty going and be quite healthy nutrient wise until she starts hopefully eating again.
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Avatar_n_tn
Sounds like it might be renal failure - pretty common in older cats.  Five years ago my cat (who was then 13) was given 4 weeks to 4 years for renal failure - he is now 18 and doing well.

You can have your vet show you how to give subcutaneous fluids; it is really quite easy and my cat accepts it quite well.  It keeps him hydrated.  Also, if they stop eating, you can give an appetite stimulant and/or feed with a syringe by putting small amounts in their mouth and then letting them swallow.  (Don't force it down their throats).  After a few days, they will start eating on their own again.  Also, feed often.

These procedures have worked well for my cat - but as I said, he has renal failure.  If your cat has another diagnosis, these things may not work.

But, don't just give up without knowing exactly what you are dealing with - your vet can tell by blood tests if it is renal failure.  

I know that every day I treat my cat as if it might be his last, and I must say, it has worked well for him and for me.

Wishing you all the best.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I found some ideas on another sight that are supposed to entice cats to eat. I haven't tried them yet, but I plan to tonight.
-Try water flavored with sodium free chicken broth
-warm up a small amount of canned food
-warm up canned food then mix a bit of warm water into it, until it forms a sort of gruel
-human baby food (plain meat flavors)
-tuna (not the best but if it is all that works it is okay)
-Smelly cat food such as Fancy feast seafood flavors
-add tuna juice from the albacore tuna to their normal food
-kitty kaviar (it supposed to unresistable to even sick cats)
-the last option is to force feed the cat with a dropper. But you have to be careful because it can cause the cat to choke and soffocate.

The other sight said that sick and old cats have trouble smelling so sometimes they cant tell that what you're offering them is actually food. In these cases the more smelly the food the more likely they are to recognize it as food. Also, if your cat isn't drinking water a good option is to drain the water from a can of tuna and let your cat drink that. The cat may be more likely to drink if the water is flavored.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am dealing with the same issue right now. Our 10yr old cat was at the hospital for 5 days on IV. Now that he is home he still is not eating or drinking. I has been only 24hrs but they already have him on a few meds to help his appitite and keep it down. I do not know what else to do. The vet was not very helpfull as far as home care. I have tried heating up canned food and watering it down. I'm also supposed to give him 2 pills twice a day. This is really hard on both of us since he won't event eat let alone take a pill. : (  I don't know what else to do
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874521_tn?1375890587
hi Duckie......you added onto a very OLD post, it gets seen better when you start a new post by clicking on the green button that says 'post a question'...but at least you found us, welcome and I hope we can help.

first of all, did the Vet's just put him on IV and keep him for 5 days and not tell you what was wrong with kitty?
WHY is he refusing to eat?
HOW long has this been going on?
DID they do a u/a (urinalysis)?
WHAT is he on for medications?

I'm afraid dear, the clinic will need to give you alot more info and help, to keep this kitty alive he will need to be given food and water by a dropper and real SOON....cats cannot last long without, they go into organ failure quickly.
You need to contact your Vet quickly and tell him what is going on and ask alot of questions my dear.....good luck and keep us posted please...♥
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874521_tn?1375890587
hi Duckie,  I will include this link FYI to start with ok...♥

http://www.medhelp.org/health_pages/Pets/Syringe--Force-feeding-for-cats--Part-one/show/491?cid=2
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Avatar_f_tn
My cat went through the same thing & she's 16 with hyperthyroidism & renal failure.  I was able to get her to drink & eat again by trying many different methods.  What worked best for her was giving her raw organic goat's milk (lactose free) & that really helped to rehydrate her naturally.  I also boiled low sodium chicken with a bit of catnip & added some FortiFlora(available from vets) & syringe fed her one teaspoon every 1-2 hrs.  When she realized it was safe to eat, I presented her with a small plate of Wellness Turkey & Duck (the pouches are better for cats who are dehydrated & picky eaters, lots more moisture than regular canned.  

After doing a lot of my own digging - I don't buy into the low protein diet - no concrete research has been shown it helps CRF cats.  In fact, there's been studies done, by scientists NOT CONNECTED to vet food industry & who have zero stake in profits (vets will push the dry low protein kibble on unaware pet owners - they make money from each food product sold from offices), which has shown that feeding a CRF cat a low protein diet may do more harm than good.  It can cause your cat to develop additional health problems & increase vet visits.  Commercial kibble benefits the large corporate food making companies & vets who are more interested in profits than actual animal health & welfare.  All pet owners need to be aware that those who make good profits from retailing unhealthy foods - are not going to be 100% upfront about the negative effects the food they try to push pet owners.  

A healthy pet fed the right healthy foods (which is more the smaller, lesser known companies) is sick less often & requires less vet visits.  Put your logic cap on.  Less vet visits mean less profits.  It is in some vets(not ALL, some vets are VERY HONEST & VERY CARING) best interests to keep your pet somewhat unhealthy.  It pays for you to do your own research & not just take the word of any vet just because they have a professional title.
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874521_tn?1375890587
hi and welcome to our community, so sorry to read about your kitties struggles with CRF....I am so glad to hear you've done your research, I agree with you 100% abt there being no substantial evidence to show a low protein diet is of any help..and can in fact exacerbate muscle wasting. the trick is to keep phosphorous levels in check to slow down the progression of kidney failure, and you are doing this by feeding meat that is lower in phosphorous such as chicken and turkey....

all kitties especially ones with diseases such as CRF need a high quality can food, with no grains and no meat by-products and you are so right abt the dry kibble...
but in defense of Vets, I will say most i've been associated with do care about the health of our pets...they unfortunately just believe what they are told from the high paid sales teams these large corporations have out there selling this stuff......its taken along time to win over some of the Vets who also finally dug into nutrition better and opinions are changing slowly...♥
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