Monday, March 24, 2014

Cooper Slowly Eating but Not Enough-Tips on How to Feed a Sick Cat

When feeding a sick cat that won't eat, you can give tuna juice by mouth, cat sip or kitten milk from the pet store (but watch for signs of diarrhea so maybe 3ml at a time) and you can make homemade chicken or beef broth. The cat needs hydration-so water by mouth is fine also. But it needs protein which is why tuna and chicken and beef broth are good alternatives. These can also be added to wet food if the cat is eating wet food. They will enhance the flavor, provide hydration, or entice the cat to eat the wet food if the cat is having trouble eating. Depends on the cat of course. 

BE CAREFUL when buying broth from the store. We were told by the ER to give Cooper low sodium broth by mouth if he wasn't eating on his own. But broth usually has garlic and onion in it (which I had forgotten) and low-sodium broth (that we saw at the store) has even MORE which we could smell once we opened the container. So, I'm making my own with only some salt added. 

Salt/sodium is an electrolyte and serves many valuable functions by regulating blood pressure, fluid retention, muscle and nerve functions. For a cat with HCM, additional fluid is what we want to avoid and get rid of. Too much sodium and fluid retention/blood pressure rises, and can lead to CHF in the HCM cat; too little and the body can experience other difficulties with low blood pressure (weakness, fainting, etc.) So, a little is needed for the HCM cat but not too much. But the cat cannot have at all, garlic and onion.

Always ask the vet/cardiologist if the cat should have an appetite stimulant.  If the cat is on a psychotropic, the cat may have to decrease or avoid that med in order to take the stimulant.  

The stimulant can make the cat too wired which may cause them not to eat.  I would recommend starting with a half dose, waiting a couple of hours, and then giving another half dose if the cat has not begun to eat.  If the eating problem continues, you will need to call the vet for advice on further doses or other solutions.

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