I have 3 cats, two of which are very old. One is on a renal diet and medicine in her food. She seems to need feeding about 5000 times a day and constantly asks for food and then eats a tiny bit. She is very underweight and we are struggling to try and get her to gain some. The other one asks for food at other times and sleeps through meal times so I have to wake her to get her to eat.
Then we have our rapidly expanding middle age cat. We cant leave the old cats food down as she will scoff the lot. So we have to supervise the old cats eating - as soon as the cupboard opens she comes barrelling in and will rugby tackle the older cats . Constant vigilance is needed.
So we tried locking her out of where the two older cats were eating. Renal cat didnt like being locked in even for a few minutes and pooed everywhere . She has two litter trays and doesnt always make it.
Shes been backwards and forwards to the vets. We've run out of ideas. I love my cats but the constant howling for food and the having to guard them umpteen times a day while the renal cat eats so very very slowly is just driving me bonkers. She is sat here asking for more even though she just ate 5 minutes ago. If I put it in front of her she wont eat.
Maybe it is because she doesnt like the food. I did try her on some normal food and it gave her a very runny tummy and terrible wind. Maybe I should transition her slowly over and see if shes ok on it if I do it gently. Id she would eat larger meals less frequently I could cope.
I dont mind shoving fat (bad) cat outside but its the frequency with which I'm having to do it. I was sort of steeled to say goodbye to renal cat and her rallying was rather a surprise. She is so attached to me, has to be right where I am all of the time (except at night when they are all shut down stairs and she has a light on). She is so agile, constantly bouncing onto whatever surface im working on - far more than when she used to be the fat cat!
OP you sound like me! Don't have advice other than empathy. I also have 3 cats, 2 of them elderly, 1 is also on a renal diet. The other cat is only 4 so quite feisty, eats anything and is always first to the bowl, including the renal food. I work so it is difficult trying to move dishes and cats separately, locking cats in separate rooms etc, with only one cat flap for the lucky one in the kitchen!
I read an old forum about renal cats. Yes, they should eat the renal food but many do not like it. My cat doesn't like it. However, it is important that they eat otherwise they die of starvation. You can mix a bit of renal food with normal food and try that or there is a powder (Ipakitine) that you mix into normal food, which seems to work. There is also a liquid called Renalzin which works in the same way.
I think her phosphates were good last time, so I think you are right, just getting her to eat is the important thing. She's asking for food again although she ate an hour again. If I'd known it would be like this I wouldn't have got our third cat even though that's a horrible thing to say. But we have her and we just need to do our best.