In a message dated 12/26/08 7:28:50 PM, lauren.cellphone@...
> she won't eat on her own.
This is a problem with many cats, esp those on meds that can cause dig.
> It is
> Nutri-cal (lovely high calorie gel) and chicken baby food in a syringe
> for the last few days.
Assist feeding is fine...and even necessary, since cats cannot go long
without food b/c of the way their metabolism works (and I'll leave it at that). I'm
not a big fan of NutriCal, which is basically sugars and oils, which are not
species-appropriate...but you do what you gotta do. Pure meat baby food (eg
BeechNut turkey or chicken and broth) is fine. Some other options are Eukanuba
Maximum Calorie (Rx from vets), which is meant for short-term supplementary
feeding...and has the advantage of containing about 56 calories per oz, which is
considerably more than most baby food meat and also Hill's a/d (the other
common vet Rx supplemental feeding product) at 32 cal/oz. The guideline for calorie
intake is about 20-30 calories per lb ideal body weight per day (adjusted for
the individual)...and I think a reasonable goal is to get at least half that
into the cat daily.
Some other options for tempting the appetite incl heating the (meat-based)
food to help release the aroma and using toppings such as a hard stinky cheese
(eg Parmesan), crushed dehydrated meat treats (eg Halo Liv-A-Littles), Wysong
PDG (which some caregivers have found useful to stimulate appetite), and
Rosie's Rosedust (another dehydrated meat powder product). Since you mention a
problem with fish, I'll leave out the juice from water-packed tuna and dehydrated
fish treats such as bonita flakes.
If nausea is a problem, something like slippery elm bark can be helpful to
soothe the dig. tract (there's lots in the archives on this...or ask). The only
caveat is to allow 30-60 min before/after other remedies and meds in case it
interferes with absorption.
> She can't eat fish, potatoes, flax seed--- these
> things seem to be in "normal" kitty food.
They shouldn't really be in any cat food. There are a number of
higher-quality canned products without fish and starches such as potatoes and grains
(starches are used mainly in dry cat food, which is not species-appropriate either,
to hold the dough together for manufacture...they're used in canned cat food
as cheap filler). Flax is a bit harder to avoid, but in some higher-quality
canned products the amt is none to minimal. Eg, By Nature Organics, NaturaPet EVO
95% meat products, and Evanger's Organic Turkey have no flax listed. Wellness
grainfree (meat flavors) has it at about ingredient #15, By Nature 95% meat
at about ingredient #11. Whether that's enough to set off a reaction for your
cat, I don't know...but "allergy"-type reactions are complicated by all kinds
of factors, such as amt/frequency of exposure, combination with other
ingredients, source of ingredient, etc. So some cats can tolerate "allergenic"
ingredients depending on product. // Rosemary
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