Feeding geriatric cats ...

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13 years 4 days ago #18711 by Prim
Elderly cat who resides here is about 20 years old.

She's not quite ready to go yet. But, keeping weight on her is a bit of a mission.

She has free-range access to crunchies (biscuits) but she kinda leaves half of every one she eats behind (bites it into half, I guess) but then won't eat the other half. So, I get left with a bowl full of half biscuits she then won't eat.

I also feed her a canned meat (one of the small cans; it's called Fancy Feast) as it seems to be a preferred flavour for her (ie, I've tried lots and she won't eat lots!). So, I give her one of those each morning and each evening. I read the back of one of them the other day and you're 'supposed' to feed one can per 30lb weight (yikes!) so according to that I'm underfeeding her. But, she won't finish one of them! She licks the gravy off, eats some of the meat, and leaves the rest to never be eaten.

So, perhaps she has sore teeth? Ok, but previously the vet has checked them and they've been fine. Also, seriously, would she survive surgery for teeth removal if she needed it?! And, even just getting her into the car and to the vets is stressful, especially for her. I'm not sure that her teeth are the issue, but perhaps they are.

I do have Nutrigel which I have given in the past. I am sure it helps keep her alive. She is not a large cat.

What say the professional cat owners here, please?

Is there a gravy-type food which would suffice (with the biscuits helping keep her teeth 'clean')? I have to confess to not spending a lot of money on her feed, as she is very likely to refuse to eat the most expensive thing I buy for her. But, is there a recommended feed some think I ought to try?

TIA :) (from her and me)

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13 years 4 days ago #277161 by Xartep
Replied by Xartep on topic Feeding geriatric cats ...
Its hard to get old cats to eat enough, and she is an old cat. Has the vet checked her thyroid ? Talk to the vet about an elderly cat food. They should be able to recommend something with enough energy in it.

3 Cocker Spaniels, 1 Huntaway, 3 Cats, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Cows, Ducks, Chickens, Bunnies - small petting zoo?:rolleyes::cool:

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13 years 3 days ago #277201 by Dream Weaver
I am giving my old and now blind cat Chelsea that Fancy feast a few times a week. She has only 1 big tooth left and has for some time but she will still nibble the purina cat biscuits. I think how much they eat depends on the day when they are old. Some days Chelsea will eat all her dinner and others half. I have found she is really hungry in the mornings so she is now getting the purina bickies in the morning. she is quite frail and being blind and not getting the excercise she used to, I find she has lost alot of weight. she is drinking a fair bit though. She is living on borrowed time but the vet said she is not suffering so I will just try and pamper her and hope we have her for awhile yet.
I do find it hard with her in the way of not being able to have a door open to outside incase she escapes. For a blundie ha ha she is dam cunning and she can hear when the door gets opend. A couple of times I have found her outside after a mad panic when I realise she is not in. I am one who likes to have a door open and fresh air in. Poor dog and other cats arent too impressed, but hey shes an old lady.

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13 years 3 days ago #277359 by The Kats Place
things with a strong smell to tempt them to eat and also variety. Sardines? maybe some fresh heart or chicken

kats
Live your life in such a way that it will be easy for people to say nice things at your funeral [;)]

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13 years 3 days ago #277365 by BillyTheTractor
I've got a 24 year old diabetic cat, so she really needs to eat! She has great difficulty with dry food as her teeth are bad ( shes also had a lot taken out) but cos of age and health neither us or the vet want to put her under to get them cleaned.

Her food of choice just now are the chef or pams pouches. Also fresh fish.



Wee Farm

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13 years 2 days ago #277414 by DiDi
Replied by DiDi on topic Feeding geriatric cats ...
I had a great run with Nellie (RIP 19 yrs old) feeding her on Purina Mature Cat formula biscuits (7+ age) and Chef Mature cat tinned food. Unfortunately not many Supermarkets stock the latter but I have seen it at New World. I swear it was what kept her alive! With the thyroid problem, you will need to feed her often rather than one feed. Only way to get an quantity into her over a day from my experience. All he best.

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13 years 2 days ago #277426 by kate
Replied by kate on topic Feeding geriatric cats ...
Hi Prim

When Max had hepatic lipidosis and was very underweight I joined a yahoo group that knew all about getting calories into cats. They recommended warming food up to make it smell more strongly, getting high calorie food from the vets and looking at the water content of tinned food as water has no calories so should be as low as possible.

Good luck
Kate

Web Goddess

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12 years 11 months ago #278246 by Country Girl
Prim I don't know if you have a "Pet Essentials" shop down there but I have fed elderly cats with a mix of Tukkathyme (like a porridge with herbs etc) which is mixed with warm water and minced heart & tongue that can be got in frozen blocks - Cats love it. But they become finicky when they are this old and putting on weight can be a struggle. Good Luck :)

A pessimist is never disappointed

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12 years 11 months ago #278375 by Prim
Replied by Prim on topic Feeding geriatric cats ...
I've always looked at Tukkathyme and wondered what it was, etc. Hmmmm. I'll also investigate minced heart & tongue (ew); not sure if we have a PE shop but there is a pet store in town which sells all sorts of meats so will ring.

And thanks Kate for the idea of warming the food; I've been running some hot water over the tins prior to serving and whilst she is still not eating the lot I think she's eating more than she was. Kate, do you mind giving the name of the yahoo group please? I'll do a search and see if I can find it, but it might make some interesting readying. TIA.

Now of course she's back to piddling all over the laundry floor. Argh!!! I am OVER cat pee!!! I love her dearly but ohmygosh it's hard not to call the vet some days :(

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12 years 11 months ago #278381 by kate
Replied by kate on topic Feeding geriatric cats ...

Prim;259364 wrote: Kate, do you mind giving the name of the yahoo group please? I'll do a search and see if I can find it, but it might make some interesting readying. TIA.


No problem pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/Feline-Assisted-Feeding/

They were very helpful and supportive [8D][8D][8D]

Sorry to hear about the peeing :(

Have you tried very fishy food? That's stronger smelling although from memory tuna is not good for them in large doses... I would stay away from gravy as I doubt she'll be getting many nutrients from it but check out that group as they are the experts.

Good luck
Kate

Web Goddess

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12 years 11 months ago #278433 by Dream Weaver
You could try adding a tiny bit of grated tasty cheese. I do that sometimes for my old blind cat, she loves cheese.

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12 years 11 months ago #278441 by jen
Replied by jen on topic Feeding geriatric cats ...
I have cats that are fussy with tinned foods. They do a similar thing with 'gravy type' chunks and only lick the sauce off. The only one that disappears completely is the Dine 'with tasty beef' I think it is. There are 2 beef ones in the dine range but the tasy beef one in a can is the one that doesn't have chunks with gravy. I don't bother with anything else in tinned food anymore.

One of my cats was almost always underweight, he did have a small thyroid problem and had that fixed but he was still very thin and throwing up alot (he's about 14)

He got to a point where he started losing muscle mass and was getting unwell, he'd always had a very finicky digestive system. We happened to have another cat that needed Hill 'prescription diet SD' to dissolve crystals from a urinary problem and we noticed that the very thin cat was suddenly doing much better as he got into the other lad's biscuits.

The vet said if it agreed with him there was no problem having him on it long term (its expensive though!!!). I think its quite high fat so is probably loaded with calories. His mate who actually needed the SD biscuits has very few teeth left and he doesn't have a problem eating them.

jen (returned to townie life)
community.webshots.com/user/j_nepton

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12 years 11 months ago #278459 by The Kats Place
Max loves cheese and cooked chicken, I wonder about chopped up egg?

kats
Live your life in such a way that it will be easy for people to say nice things at your funeral [;)]

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12 years 11 months ago #278464 by kate
Replied by kate on topic Feeding geriatric cats ...
I've never tried to feed him egg...but he does love his cheese & chicken :D :D He loves KFC chicken too..the Zinger spicy stuff [:I]

Web Goddess

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12 years 11 months ago #278467 by ronnie
Replied by ronnie on topic Feeding geriatric cats ...

The Kats Place;259457 wrote: Max loves cheese and cooked chicken, I wonder about chopped up egg?


We had (until recently) a cat who loved cooked egg - as long as it came off Dad's plate :rolleyes: In fact, he would eat absolutely anything as long as it came off Dad's plate.[}:)]

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