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What do you feed your old cat??

(83 Posts)
archfiend Sun 13-Oct-13 14:18:41

Am posting in the hope of inspiration! We have a 14(ish) year old cat who is becoming increasingly picky about what he eats.

He will eat food in gravy, but only eats the gravy and ignores the meat so when he is hungry again later the food has dried out and he won't touch it. Everything else is ignored and accompanied by scratching, whinging and generally making a nuisance of himself because he is hungry.

His teeth are ok and he will eat dried food if he has to (usually left down for him during the day) but he only eats small amounts as it isn't really what he wants.

We have tried all of the usual brands and variants but he just doesn't seem to like any of them because he's a bastard picky. He doesn't eat 'real' food like fish or chicken and he doesn't drink a lot of water.

He is currently ok health wise but obviously as he gets older I am worried that he will just stop eating anything.

Does anyone have any suggestions for what else we can try before he drives us totally round the bend?!

cozietoesie Wed 16-Oct-13 13:27:28

Seniorboy sleeps quite a lot - but then I sometimes wonder whether that's because I check on him a lot so I see it. (Cats being given to sleeping plenty at whatever age.) The Lodger just used to take himself off to some private place and conk out and I completely forgot about him. He probably slept a fair bit even though he was a young cat.

archfiend Wed 16-Oct-13 16:24:51

Rang the vets about an hour ago, the results are in but the vet wasn't available to speak to me so am just waiting for a call back. He has been eating little bits of dried food on and off today - am trying not to give him too much otherwise he will be sick.

So, hopefully he will continue to eat and the tests won't show anything nasty! Will update when I know more.

cozietoesie Wed 16-Oct-13 16:28:03

Let us know when you get the news.

archfiend Wed 16-Oct-13 18:35:34

Sorry been running around so have only just got round to updating. The vet rang, basically there is nothing wrong with kidneys, liver etc, no sign of any infection. Hurrah!

She has said if he continues to perk up with little and often food then no need to bring him back in, otherwise take him in at the end of the week and they will sedate him and give his mouth, throat etc another really good going over to make sure there is nothing going on further down.

So, good news although still no real idea what is wrong with him!!

cozietoesie Wed 16-Oct-13 18:39:17

Well that's good news about his system. Is he still having nibbles?

archfiend Wed 16-Oct-13 19:38:35

He is still nibbling at dried food - not so keen on anything wet at the moment. Will continue to top him up with small amounts tonight and see if he will eat anything different tomorrow.

flowers to all of you, glad to know I am not the only one with a picky old cat and his weird mystery ailments


cozietoesie Wed 16-Oct-13 19:42:58

You're certainly not the only one. smile

Good that he's nibbling dry but I'd keep putting wet down in case - and obviously leaving lots of water around.

By the way - wet food freezes a treat if you have room in the freezer and some small containers. (Without freezing some partial pouches or tins it can get real expensive having a finicky cat.)

eddiemairswife Wed 16-Oct-13 23:31:29

That's a good idea cozie. I've never thought of freezing catfood.

Squirrelface Thu 17-Oct-13 00:10:16

Would he drink Whiskas cat milK? It might be a way to get a bit of nourishment into him, as well as some fluid. Also, if you haven't already tried them, Sheba Desire chicken fillet in gravy pouches contain a lot of gravy and the meat is in quite small pieces, so he might be tempted by them? My old mog considers these quite a treat.

I hope he's feeling better soon.

archfiend Thu 17-Oct-13 12:24:16

Well, he is currently munching away on his normal food in the other room, so I think for now he is back to normal or as normal as he gets.

Very good tip re freezing the spare food, will definitely remember that for the future!

We still have no idea what was wrong with him, but at least I know that his organs are still working as they should grin!

cozietoesie Thu 17-Oct-13 12:36:10

That's good news, archfiend. And yes - having had a recent full blood workup is useful when they're getting on a bit.

Good luck to him.

RightsaidFreud Thu 17-Oct-13 12:40:38

Glad he's back to normal! We feed our old lady cat (19, nearly 20!) felix, the ones in the jelly, she can't really do the dry food, as she's lost a lot of her teeth. But she absolutely loves cat milk, will meow for it every morning. and of course any chicken/tuna we have going when we're doing our own dinners, she meows so loudly about it, she alerts our other two to it!

archfiend Sat 19-Oct-13 07:55:29

Thanks all. He is still eating, although continues to be a bit picky but I suspect that is down to being old and awkward rather than ill!

He is currently enjoying the Sheba little tins, but not the pouches, is tolerating Felix (can't remember which one but a slightly 'nicer' variety with meat and jelly rather than just lumps) and will still eat Whiskas dried food. I think there is going to be some trial and error for a while...
I may try the cat milk too while he is getting back up to speed.

Other than that, he is cheerful and seems quite relaxed. Phew!

cozietoesie Sat 19-Oct-13 08:51:18


If I may make a recommendation from one picky cat to another. If you have a Coop nearby-ish, try the Gourmet chicken in gravy pouches. (They come in a black pouch with an orange label.) They're a staple at CozieTowers: Seniorboy has been eating them for supper (a two thirds pouch) for a year and hasn't tired of them yet. If I didn't have them, I'd be in a bit of a pickle.

Gourmet Solitaire chicken in white sauce little tins have also proved very acceptable but are on restricted issue due to cost.

How is the application for the second mortgage going? grin

QueenStromba Sat 19-Oct-13 10:10:54

Glad to hear he's on the mend. Do you mash his food at all? We do that for our old girl and find it stops her just licking the jelly off. It also keeps the food moist for longer. We feed her Butcher's Classic which is highly recommended on here as it is cereal free.

TamzinGrey Mon 21-Oct-13 21:30:34

My picky old madam adores Gourmet Solitaire Slow Cooked Beef with Tomato. I was amazed that she woofed this down when I first gave it to her, as she normally turns her dainty little nose up at anything in the slightest bit unusual. I've since looked at reviews, and it seems that loads of picky cats love this. Tomatoes are good for them too, so that's an added bonus. Available from most supermarkets.

She also loves Schesir Tuna with Shrimps. This is a high quality cat food with natural ingredients and no additives. I get it from Zooplus.

The only dry food she'll eat is James Wellbeloved Senior Fish, which is great, as again, it's got no artificial additives, and is full of quality ingredients.

Her current treat of choice is Vet's Kitchen Little Hearts Chicken and Duck. Another healthy product which I also get from Zooplus.

She is a hopeless prawn addict.

TamzinGrey Mon 21-Oct-13 22:52:51

Forgot to say - Sheba Prime Cuts Tuna with Prawns is irrisistable to most cats (including mine), but it's not a complete food.

cozietoesie Mon 21-Oct-13 22:58:40

Seniorboy despises prawns. Woe is me.

(Doesn't much like tuna either.)

QueenStromba Tue 22-Oct-13 02:39:21

Tuna is the one thing guaranteed to get Rice to come running from wherever she's hiding. I once didn't even make it out of the kitchen before she was miaowing at me for some (it's a split level flat with only the bathroom and kitchen on the lower level so she normally only comes downstairs to use the loo - we feed her in the living room).

archfiend Wed 23-Oct-13 20:47:35

Oops - fell off my threads list!

Well, he is still eating, although a bit less than usual but isn't unhappy. He is being a bit pickier than usual, but I suspect that is just going to become the norm as he gets older. smile

Thank you all for the food suggestions. He has had a different flavour of the gourmet food which he seemed to like so I will add that to the list. We have a co-op nearby so will try their food too.

He is slowly getting through the mountain small pile of varieties that we have bought recently, I will be stocking up soon. And yes, second mortgage application coming on well!!

Thanks again all, it's really appreciated. thanks

cozietoesie Wed 23-Oct-13 20:55:10

He probably won't eat quite as much if he is becoming less active. Does he sleep a lot/doze by radiators etc?

archfiend Wed 23-Oct-13 21:18:50

He is currently asleep next to my head on top of the sofa and has already started his annual migration to the top of the radiator in the sitting room, so yes.

Although to be fair, he's always been a bit more cushion than cat, unlike our previous cat who existed purely on nervous energy!

cozietoesie Wed 23-Oct-13 21:56:53

Winter, radiators, dozing. What a life, eh? smile

I would maybe be expecting him to eat a little less with a degree of inactivity so it's really providing toothsome morsels and keeping an eye on his general weight and behaviour - which I'm sure you'd be doing anyway.

Good luck with him.

archfiend Sat 02-Nov-13 17:40:27

Quick update. Well, after he appeared to perk up and start eating again, he subsequently went off everything but dried food again. He would eat some but would then bring it back up again. So, another trip to the vets today.

Vet has said that she can't feel any blockages or lumps, but that there is a possibility he either has inflammatory bowel disease or small diffuse tumours in his small intestine. The problem is that both conditions almost impossible to diagnose/differentiate even with a biopsy which she isn't keen to do due to his age, recovery time etc. he has lost just over half a kilo in the last week which isn't good.

So, she has dosed him up with steroids, vitamins and anti nausea drugs and put him onto royal canin. If he doesn't start to eat again then we will try more steroids and if that doesn't work then we have a very sad decision to make in the next few days sad.

He has just eaten a small amount of the canin food, so now we just have to see if he keeps it down and continues to eat.

cozietoesie Sat 02-Nov-13 17:41:59


Ah well. Best of luck to him.

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