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Old 07-23-2012, 05:57 AM
 
915 posts, read 3,027,682 times
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My cat has been on the Purina KD diet for a little over a year. His levels were checked 8 weeks ago and he was fine then and he's not showing signs of illness.

The vet says he's probably just getting bored with the bland diet and recommended mixing in some chicken and gravy baby food. Well he LOVES the baby food, and licks it off of the cat food and then is done. I've had some success feeding just a few pieces at a time (withholding), but I can't be here to feed him 10 times a day every day. I've tried blending the food with the baby food, adding water, etc... nothing is working.

Anyone else go through this? How did you get your cat to eat again?

If he doesn't start eating a normal amount in the next 3 days, I'll take him in for more blood work, but I really think its simply disinterest.
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts for the time being
312 posts, read 647,800 times
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I went through this with a couple of my cats through the years. With the last one, what worked was buying chicken livers (I know... yuk) and cooking and chopping them, then mixing them in so that, to get the livers, he had to eat the food. Tiny drops of tuna juice worked too.

I hope his levels stay good! Its a hard thing to watch them go through, but they can do pretty well for quite a while.

HTH.
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:57 PM
 
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Feed him what he wants to eat. The kd won't do him any good if he won't eat it. Fancy Feast classics is often a good go to food for special needs kitties who have little appetite. Try other canned foods too.

Warm the food up, and put only a very small amount at a time in the dish. No more than a tablespoon, or less. Small appetites get discouraged by too much food.

Often CKD cats get a build up of acid in their tummies which just kills their appetites. Ask your vet about giving your boy some pepcid every day. (famotidine) The usual does is 1/4 of a 10 mg tablet once or twice a day, depending on the size of the cat.

B-12 shots can help with appetite too. You can give these at home, one shot every 10-14 days is usual. You get the prefilled syringes at the vet. They are given under the skin.

You do need to feed him smaller meals more often, when ever you can. My little CKD girl couldn't go more than a few hours without eating, because she just couldnt eat very much at one time. I arranged my life aorund caring for her, including coming home for lunch, and getting up twice in the night, to feed her. They are with us such a fleeting time, I didn't mind doing it at all.

Consider hiring a pet sitter to come in the middle of the day to give a small meal if you can't come home for lunch.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:01 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
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i agree, even the best food is useless if he wont eat it...given his illness id let him at whatevr he want at this point.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:20 PM
 
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Catsmom is right...ask about Pepcid. Most CRF cats eventually trail off on their eating for one reason or another. In the end, getting them to eat is more important than what they eat, so don't be afraid to experiment with different foods.

That said, in eight weeks things can change with his kidney values. Is he having any other symptoms? Does his fur feel dry or stay up if you scruff him? Is he as active as normal? Throwing up at all? Have you noticed him licking his lips or swallowing a lot? Drinking more water?

If he's otherwise perfectly normal for him except for the food, I would start with Pepcid and give that a try for a few days before making more changes.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:40 PM
 
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Thanks everyone for the replies.

I have to say, I think it is not wise--actually it is very unwise--to recommend removing a pet from a prescription diet unless you yourself are a vet. I was a bit shocked to see it and will not be following it. I meet and consult with my vet regularly and I trust his advice more than anyone here. What I was asking for were creative ways to kick start his eating.

The problem with the kidney failure is that protein exasperates the condition, bringing the end of life along that much faster. It is probably more harmful than a lack of food up until a certain point. I am sure that when the time becomes right for the vet to discontinue the diet, he will advise me of that. In the meantime, I'm trying various low protein solutions such as a bit of chicken and gravy baby food and a couple of the other prescription varieties of canned food. My cat is going to have one hell of a last meal, that's for sure--which will be a bowl of sugar and butter.

If this is just food boredom, its very likely he will come around again and will do okay in a few weeks. If I switch him to a high protein diet in the interim--while he is still eating 70% of his diet, could do irreparable harm. I will make the hard decisions when the time is right. In the meantime, there is medication to be tried yet along with other therapies.

I have a follow up at the vets tomorrow, and will ask about the pepcid and the B-12.

PJJ - he seems healthy in all other respects. He's not lethargic or ill at this time.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,505 posts, read 46,821,041 times
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I'm confused. You came on here asking for suggestions and then you poo poo them cause you only listen to your vet?

Some of these responders have had a lot of vet tech experience and I think they had some valid points. If you don't trust what they have to say then fine don't do it but don't come on here and insult them and put them down for making suggestions. geez................... hope your kitty is better soon. why don't you try another vet instead of getting uppity at the folks here who are only trying to help.
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:15 PM
 
2,873 posts, read 5,087,409 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWayISeeThings View Post
Thanks everyone for the replies.

I have to say, I think it is not wise--actually it is very unwise--to recommend removing a pet from a prescription diet unless you yourself are a vet. I was a bit shocked to see it and will not be following it. I meet and consult with my vet regularly and I trust his advice more than anyone here. What I was asking for were creative ways to kick start his eating.

The problem with the kidney failure is that protein exasperates the condition, bringing the end of life along that much faster. It is probably more harmful than a lack of food up until a certain point. I am sure that when the time becomes right for the vet to discontinue the diet, he will advise me of that. In the meantime, I'm trying various low protein solutions such as a bit of chicken and gravy baby food and a couple of the other prescription varieties of canned food. My cat is going to have one hell of a last meal, that's for sure--which will be a bowl of sugar and butter.

If this is just food boredom, its very likely he will come around again and will do okay in a few weeks. If I switch him to a high protein diet in the interim--while he is still eating 70% of his diet, could do irreparable harm. I will make the hard decisions when the time is right. In the meantime, there is medication to be tried yet along with other therapies.

I have a follow up at the vets tomorrow, and will ask about the pepcid and the B-12.

PJJ - he seems healthy in all other respects. He's not lethargic or ill at this time.
I'm a vet tech, but yes, you should always consult your vet before making any changes. I don't think anyone here meant to suggest otherwise.

However, the advice you were given is not at all out of line with current thinking about the management of CRF. Feeding CRF cats a restricted protein diet, especially in the early stages of the diseases (which it sounds like your guy is) is heavily debated. In fact the protein needs of a CRF cat may be higher than the average. What matters more is that the protein is high quality. Studies have shown that cats fed higher protein diets had higher BUN levels (which is bad) but lower creatine levels (which is good.) They also tended to maintain their weight better and were more active than the group eating restricted protein.

Most of the studies done that suggest low protein helps with kidney failure were actually done in human and rats. The feline body works very differently, which is why this subject is still heavily debated.

Far more important than the protein content is the amount of phosphorus. Most prescription kidney diets are also low in phosphorus. Some Fancy Feast cans are just as low in phosphorus, which is why they are commonly suggested for finicky CRF kitties.

Unlike dogs or humans, cats cannot go more than a few days without eating with the potential of serious, life-threatening complications. I dealt with CRF in my cat Nic for seven years (he was diagnosed at 7 and died at 14.) He was a frequent visitor to the University of Pennsylvania...we were at one point giving serious consideration to a kidney transplant. I was told by many of his vets there that the most important thing ALWAYS was making sure that he ate. Everything else was secondary. Most CRF cats actually die from symptoms of malnutrition.

I'm not at all saying your vet is wrong, but I am saying that situation is more complicated than low protein = good. The thinking on dietry management of CRF cats has changed over the past few decades and frankly there was never good data on it to begin with. At this point is is common not to start feeding restricted protein until the BUN levels are over 60, putting the patient in Stage 3 or 4. The possible complications of protein restriction are not generally considered worth the risk in the lower stages. Then again, it can be easier to get the cat to eat the food if you start earlier...see, complicated.

But the idea that getting him to eat is more important than what he eats is very much in line with current thinking on CRF. Doesn't mean you shouldn't talk to your vet...hopefully he is just going through a finicky stage. Just remember that a few days of missed meals IS actually more dangerous than CRF for cats.

Here's a page that goes over the debate and has links to the various studies that have been done on dietary management of CRF. I also suggest joining the mailing list ...they are incredibility helpful people who can help support you through the CRF journey.

Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease - Nutritional Requirements of CKD Cats
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:32 PM
 
915 posts, read 3,027,682 times
Reputation: 981
Okay, this is getting ridiculous. There are major assumptions being made here which were in no way implied by my post or my reply. I never indicated my cat has had a "few days of missed meals."

I do not ask for or receive medical advice, either for myself or for my pets from random strangers on the internet with no formal training and only limited personal experience. I'm sorry if that offends some on this site; but there is nothing in my post that indicated I was looking for this sort of advice, and frankly, I think it can be dangerous.

I will review the links and other information given.
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:40 PM
 
18,847 posts, read 33,414,006 times
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Closed per OP request.
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