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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 Sun 13-Oct-13 14:24:37

I've got just a small suspicion that you're being played here. How often do you feed him? Little and often (if your living pattern permits) is the way to go. (My Seniorboy (a fussy blighter) has four meal sessions a day minimum because otherwise the food dries out as you said.)

Oh -and are you sure his teeth are OK? Has he had a recent MOT at the vet?

archfiend Sun 13-Oct-13 14:34:34

I think you're probably right about being played, but he is just so unpleasant when he's hungry!

He gets fed first thing and then around 3ish with dried food being left down for him as well. He spends most of the day face down on the sofa and usually wakes up just before 3 and starts the whinging. I will try little and often when I can but am not always at home due to work etc.

His teeth were checked not that long ago but it is probably worth getting them checked again - he is due his vaccination booster soon so I will ask the vet to take another look.

cozietoesie Sun 13-Oct-13 14:49:14

It would be good to get them checked - dental problems can flare up quite quickly and he's of an age to have some.

The real issue is you hanging tough though, I think. I'd see what you can do to give him his meals at breakfast, when you get back from work, teatime and then a late supper. (On wet food - spread out that which you normally give him over the four meals.)

Also see if you can play with him/groom him as much as possible. Although he's an older boy, being needy for attention may contribute to all this. (His moaning may be for love as much as food.)

archfiend Sun 13-Oct-13 14:54:59

Thank you for your advice thanks. I will give the spaced out meals a try and book him in for boosters and a check up.

He gets lots of fuss and attention from us and has a special toy that is religiously played with every morning (think my dd gets as much fun out of it as he does!). When he isn't whinging he is one of the nicest cats I've ever known, so it's hard when he is clearly pissed off about something!

cozietoesie Sun 13-Oct-13 15:11:09

Good luck - and don't give in!

Let us know how you get on.


archfiend Sun 13-Oct-13 17:26:06

Will stay strong and let you know! grin

archfiend Mon 14-Oct-13 13:05:00

Took him to the vet this morning. Vet can't see anything wrong with his teeth, can't feel anything going on and he doesn't have a temp. Gave him steroids, vitamin and anti sickness jabs and said to bring him back for fluids if no change. Have tried little and often food but all he has done is sniff the food, sniff the water and then go back to bed. sad. He has gone beyond stroppy and into ill now so will just have to see whether he perks up.

Vet has said she will give fluids and do a blood test for kidney function tomorrow if no change.

cozietoesie Mon 14-Oct-13 17:36:50

Oh Dear.

Are you trying lots of different flavours and foods? I never give my boy the same food twice running so lots of different half pouches on the go in the fridge being rotated. (Flavours as well as brands.)

How is his weight and general condition ?

My own old boy is 18 nearly 19 so I wouldn't really regard 14 as getting past it at all but such a disinclination does sound worrying. Did the vet say why she was giving him steroids? They're a powerful med and would not, I would have thought, normally be given as a general pick me up - although they should have the effect of improving things temporarily. I'm surprised she gave them before doing bloods or urine.

(I'm assuming he's still using his tray fine?)

archfiend Mon 14-Oct-13 17:50:46

We have tried 5 different flavours and 3 different brands in the last couple of days! He is now activily recoiling from food - he will sniff it a bit but then backs away from it.

At the moment his weight and condition are both ok. His coat is a bit rough but not exceptionally so.

Vet said she wanted to rule out nausea and stomach upset first and said steroids will help to stimulate his appetite. He had a kidney function test last year as he went through a rough few months then and his levels were ok. The vet will do a blood test but has said no point until he has had fluids or we could get a false reading.

He seems to be going out to wee/poo ok (doesn't use a tray), but I may have to try a tray to check. Think the next step is take him back to vet and let them do the bloods etc.

cozietoesie Mon 14-Oct-13 17:55:45

I'd get a tray set up directly. If he's a bit off colour, he may prefer an inside tray to going outside in any case. It's useful to have around - and it does give you the ability to check what's going on.

Have you seen any improvement since the steroids at all?

archfiend Mon 14-Oct-13 19:25:57

I will try and remember to buy litter tomorrow!

He is more active since the steroids but still hasn't (won't) eat anything. Am planning a trip to the vet tomorrow...

cozietoesie Mon 14-Oct-13 19:35:42

Good idea. Let us know how you get on. I'd be thinking of getting bloods done fairly quickly just in case.

archfiend Tue 15-Oct-13 17:05:11

Haven't managed to buy litter yet but I took him to the vet again this morning. She has done blood tests which should be back tomorrow, but suspects pancreatitis which from my limited knowledge is not good.

He still won't eat... sad

cozietoesie Tue 15-Oct-13 17:24:52

Let us know when you get some results. Here's hoping for him.

TamzinGrey Tue 15-Oct-13 23:55:13

Aw I feel so sorry for you archfiend - it's heartbreaking when they won't eat. Have you tried hand feeding him prawns? I'm not suggesting prawns as a permanent diet, but most cats can't resist prawns, even when they're feeling poorly. The cooked pink ones, not raw - thoroughly defrosted and rinsed to get rid of any salt.

If he does turn out to be merely picky I've got a ton of fabulous food suggestions as we've got the most pickiest cat in the world here.

Fingers crossed for you.

eddiemairswife Wed 16-Oct-13 00:14:12

My old cats (alas no longer with us) were just like this, but nearly ate my hand off when roasted chicken was around.

archfiend Wed 16-Oct-13 07:39:14

Thanks all. Haven't tried prawns yet, will add to the list!
We tried roast chicken on Sunday and he didn't want any of it. I am currently trying very small amounts of food changed regularly but he isn't taking any of it. He sniffs te food but then backs away from it - vet said that can be a sign of pancreatitis in some cats, ie they want to eat but can't.

He seems quite cheerful though, which is strange in itself as normally he is tearing the place apart if his food is late! Still very affectionate and purring a lot (although I know this can be a sign of pain, he doesn't seem to be uncomfortable).

He is starting to look a bit rough around the edges so is clearly not well, but until we get the blood results back we are a bit stuck. Currently sitting next to me on the chair rattling away to himself...

cozietoesie Wed 16-Oct-13 08:11:42

Maybe give him a wee assist with his grooming? It won't actually help much with his physical issue but the concentrated attention will make him feel good.


archfiend Wed 16-Oct-13 10:50:51

Will dig out his brush and give him a fuss when he wakes up! We had small progress this morning as he managed about a teaspoon of food. Now of course I'm going to worry he'll be sick after eating!

Will try him again with the same mix of food and see if he will take any more, he is currently zonked out on the sofa so seems quite comfortable. Fingers crossed!

cozietoesie Wed 16-Oct-13 11:45:49

Starting to eat is often the biggest hurdle. Fingers crossed.

dontsqueezetheteabag Wed 16-Oct-13 11:53:36

My old boy loves Scince Plan Pate.

I give him normal food as he is not fussy but on a Friday he gets a tin of that which is a wee treat for him. He just LOVES it

Felix as good as it looks has been a real hit in the past. As has Whiskas Oh so fishy.

I wouldn't pander to him too much though. Also. Put his food down and if he doesn't eat it lift it and don't give him anything else til his next feed. We did this with another cat we had and it worked. It was a whole world of pain to begin with but worked in the long run.

Good luck!

cozietoesie Wed 16-Oct-13 12:32:02

Did the vet say when the blood results would be back?

Megbeth Wed 16-Oct-13 13:10:10

My old cat was on Hills Science diet all her life. She wouldn't eat anything else except for tuna.
My 5 year old has been on the same too though she eats anything.

GemmaTeller Wed 16-Oct-13 13:18:17

Hope your cat is OK.

Our old cat is 18 and sleeps an awful lot now and rarely goes out into the back garden (we leave the back door open for kittencat).

She has half a pouch of Felix in the morning and half a pouch at teatime, sometimes she asks for treats (dry food) during the day and she quite likes cheese, cream, ham and chicken.
We tend to give her small portions at a time as she seems to sick it all back up if she eats too much.

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