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Old 01-21-2016, 07:21 AM
 
2,937 posts, read 1,954,803 times
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My older indoor cat (15) got out of the house 2 months ago and last Saturday she came home. She's almost emaciated, I gave her a bath, checked her coat for ticks and such and have been slowly increasing her food each day (was worried about refeeding syndrome). While gone she lost over 3 lbs of weight.

Is feeding her regular wet food but more often enough or is there something I can do to help accelerate her weight gain?

I can take her to the vet if necessary but I'm trying to avoid that since it's a horribly traumatic for her and she usually needs to be sedated so they can do anything with her. Last time she came back she hid in a closet for almost a week.
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Old 01-21-2016, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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I'm sorry your cat got out but am very glad she's bad! We had a similar situation with our late Tucker. He slipped out of the house, was missing for 11 days, and lost about two pounds. Interesting that he too was 15 at the time.

We fed his regular food as often as he would eat it. It will take time for her to gain that much weight and IME senior aged animals don't maintain weight as well as younger ones do. If she'll eat it, you can try cooked chicken breast for extra protein.

I understand that a vet trip is traumatizing, but given she was gone for so long you should get her in for blood work, at the very least. Also bring in a stool sample in case she picked up a parasite.

I'm very happy she found her way home. Let the spoiling begin!
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Old 01-21-2016, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Black Hammock Island
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Wow! Yahoo she came back!

A loss of 3 pounds in two months is huge, and you're so right to be thinking about how to help her gain it back in a healthy way.

Definitely wet food only. I think small meals multiple times a day would be less taxing on her organs.

However, as traumatic as a vet visit is for her, it's the best choice I think. You don't know where she's been nor what she's been eating, and good chance she's picked up worms (so common for outdoor cats). Blood work will show how her kidneys and liver are working to make sure they haven't been compromised. In her condition and under the circumstances she may be more docile and not need sedation. I would want some data before I started any regime to bring my cat back to a healthy weight.

You must be so happy and relieved she's back!
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Old 01-21-2016, 09:26 AM
 
1,023 posts, read 960,044 times
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I would take your cat to the vet for a checkup and fecal done. She may have obtained worms which needs to be dealt with to bring her back to a healthy state. Most importantly, at her age, she needs her kidneys, blood pressure and thyroid checked out. Hyperthyroidism and renal failure are common in older cats, symptoms including losing weight or difficulty gaining weight no matter how much she eats.

If everything checks out, see below.

Afterward, start the portion small, then increase over time. Feed 3 times a day. If you are too quick to overfeed her, she will throw up and get a tummy ache. Go slow, be patient. To gain the weight back, I would suggest feed dry. I normally prefer wet only but dry kibble has a lot of carbs than wet. Feed her the high quality dry food, I like the Halo, Core Wellness and Merrick chicken dry food. In addition to the dry, give her a small dish of wet food, preferably with the gravy kind. Kitten food is higher in protein and fat if you can get some. Once she starts to gain weight, slowly change the diet and feed times back to the usual routine.
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Old 01-21-2016, 10:39 AM
 
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Thanks for the helpl and yes I'm so thankful. I saw her out my second floor window in my backyard and was able to catch up with her in time to see her sneak into a hole under my neighbors house. Sat outside the hole talking to her (and totally freaking out my neighbors) and left a trail of treats that she eventually followed out. I totally cried.
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Old 01-21-2016, 11:40 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
836 posts, read 3,125,596 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeHa View Post
My older indoor cat (15) got out of the house 2 months ago and last Saturday she came home. She's almost emaciated, I gave her a bath, checked her coat for ticks and such and have been slowly increasing her food each day (was worried about refeeding syndrome). While gone she lost over 3 lbs of weight.

Is feeding her regular wet food but more often enough or is there something I can do to help accelerate her weight gain?

I can take her to the vet if necessary but I'm trying to avoid that since it's a horribly traumatic for her and she usually needs to be sedated so they can do anything with her. Last time she came back she hid in a closet for almost a week.
Have you taken her in to the vet for a routine checkup? She may need fluids due to kidney/liver dehydration. I had a cat do this before it took her weeks to regain her weight. She got out and we figured she was gone since she never came back but, we was cleaning out the garage one day and she flies over some boxes she must have gotten trapped behind, unfortunately she wasn't one to meow a lot so we had no idea she was in there. The fluids helped a lot, because her being so skinny her kidneys/liver was bad and made her jaundice.. being jaundice can do more harm if she doesn't get the fluids she needs. She was fine after a month or so of getting the fluids. SO please take your cat in for a checkup.
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