affection eating tips

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louisstools

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A bit of an update since it's been awhile.

Since working with the behaviorist things have improved a bit with my cat. We've managed to cut back on the number of meals a day to around ten. She's eating a bit more at each feeding now and eating a bit more overnight. She's been less picky about the freshness of the food and she'll eat w/o me standing there petting her. She still won't initiate eating on her own and I have to get her started but she'll eat at least a few bites after I walk away. She's still on the mirataz until we can get her eating on her own. So improvements but still not where we need them to be. But the main thing is she is making progress.
 
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louisstools

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Small update. She's been a lot better about refusing food that isn't "fresh" and we went a whole bag w/o wasting any. She still doesn't imitate a meal on her own while I'm here but if she is hungry she will eat if I start her and walk away. She's been very cooperative about eating at least and it isn't a fight. That is probably the mirataz. So still making tiny progress.
 
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louisstools

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Just another update for those who have been following along all this time.

She is still doing very well with refusing non "fresh" food. Though on days when my allergies are acting up I do sometimes notice a wet sneeze or two from her so perhaps she has allergies as well and that was part of the problem earlier in the spring.

She's still cooperating with eating though it's when she feels like it and she still needs some petting and bowl shaking while she eats to eat her fill. She is still on the mirataz and until very recently she was on "unlimited" portions -- though she usually stopped eating around 2.4oz before bedtime. We've been working on cutting back the number of meals and have her down to right around 8 per day. That's still a lot but it's better than the ~15 we were at.

Her weight is hovering just under 14lbs. Before things went to shit she was in the 11-12lb range. She's gained about a pound on mirataz. I know, I know. But until July he eating was very erratic in its times and intensity. Some mornings she'd hardly want to eat (0.3oz) and other mornings she'd be starving (1.2oz) and the rest of the day was just as unpredictable.

We (still working with the behaviorist) were about to start working on a change where I just dump food in the bowl and no longer be around for her meals to force her to eat on her own however we have some litterbox issues to address. She has two litterboxes upstairs and one has 11 inch walls and the other has 6 inch walls and both are rectangular. A couple of times she's failed to turn around in the litter box and so when she went to squat she thought she hit the ground but she hit the edge...and peed all outside the litter box. So we're removing that litterbox for a square one that has higher sides. It's this one which seems to be a unique design - huge, high sided, low entry, and square. Once we get this transition figured out we'll get back to the food. While waiting on the order I did do some re-arranging of the litter box area and she's still adjusting to it so this might take a week or so.

Onward and upward!

Again, any measurements are DRY weight by scale.
 
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louisstools

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15 meals down to 8 must be such a relief for you!

I bet by this point it's about retraining her stomach to take the larger amounts too.
yes, it is a big quality of life improvement. The other thing that we’re working on is simply retraining me to let her be. that has been extremely difficult because even though she’s doing well, it doesn’t seem that long ago to me that she just would not eat and i had to troubleshoot what was wrong and how can I get calories in her. but we’re doing well so hopefully before long will have this whole saga in the past.
 

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yes, it is a big quality of life improvement. The other thing that we’re working on is simply retraining me to let her be. that has been extremely difficult because even though she’s doing well, it doesn’t seem that long ago to me that she just would not eat and i had to troubleshoot what was wrong and how can I get calories in her. but we’re doing well so hopefully before long will have this whole saga in the past.
That's a huge part of it. I remember with Magnus I had to stop chasing him around because it was making him not want to eat even more. Which is fair....if I'm not hungry and am being bothered to eat it doesn't make me want to.
 

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Though on days when my allergies are acting up I do sometimes notice a wet sneeze or two from her so perhaps she has allergies as well and that was part of the problem earlier in the spring.
You and her have made such wonderful progress! Congratulations!:heartshape:

I've had a few cats with seasonal allergies. My vet had me use plain saline eyedrops from the drugstore a few times a day. They just rinse and clear the sinuses. A cats appetite is very dependant on their sense of smell so you're absolutely right that it affected her eating.
 
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louisstools

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since my last post, we had some issues with one of the litter boxes that required a change in that department. That greatly triggered my girls anxiety and now we’ve been having mild constipation issues since then. Went to the vet today and she had a digital rectal exam while she was awake. She certainly did not like that. it’s been four hours since the exam and she still hasn’t quite settled down. Poor girl. she has been eating and drinking since then, so that’s good... but I can tell her anxiety is through the roof.

vet and I had another conversation about things to consider regarding the periodic constipation but with the cat's reluctance to change and pickyness with the food we are really hesitant to introduce any change to the food situation. so no food additives or anything medicine can go near the food. this makes it nearly impossible for me to give her medicine because I can’t dose her. That basically rules out any sort of treatment for constipation. it’s probably no coincidence that when I started introducing lactulose a year or so ago into her wet food that was when she started to just absolutely refuse it... and she didn’t really care for it on a good day to begin with.

we then talked about potentially some pain medicine because she does have arthritis and maybe that will give her a little bit of relief. But all of the preferred medicine for that is pill or liquid form and that’s really a no go. There’s some newer medicine that’s a once a month shot that I’m going to research and that might be something we try. It's Solensia. we’re pretty much limited to transdermal medicine or injection form at this point. I forgot to mention that the vet said that she would look at getting some of that other pain medicine compounded with a flavor.
 
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louisstools

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Last time I had an update my cat was having some litter box issues. The issues seemed to resolve on their own after a few weeks and she has been back on her normal schedule of 1 poop and 3 pees a day. We think it was just a behavioral issue and when it comes to my cat and behavior issues she is always the extreme so if it takes the average cat a week to adjust to a new litter box it will take her at least four.

She had her yearly bloodwork drawn the other day. Physical exam was ok though she does have some tarter on her remaining teeth. Couldn't do a urinalysis b/c (of course) a few minutes before we left for the exam she went pee but she's had one done recently so not super concerned.

Her weight is up a bit and she needs to lose weight but we're still fighting the eating issues. She's only eating 0.2oz more than she was off mirataz on average so it's ok she stays on that b/c it gives me some stress relief. I need to find a way to give her less food but it's so hit or miss with her. Some days she'll eat 2.0oz before lunch and then a few kibble pieces the rest of the day. Other days she barely eats 1.0oz before lunch and then is starving at night. No rhyme or reason to it.

She also got her rabies and leukemia shots. Of course, her appetite has decreased and remained low since (we're on day 3 after) and she's been extremely thirsty.

If there's anything remarkable about the blood work I'll post an "early" update :) The plan is once she has recovered from the shots to continue stepping back from meals. Thanks for sticking with us this long :)
 

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She also got her rabies and leukemia shots. Of course, her appetite has decreased and remained low since (we're on day 3 after) and she's been extremely thirsty.
This seems quite a dramatic reaction, compared to the reaction to the same shots my Captain just received, ... I'm confused.
 
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louisstools

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This seems quite a dramatic reaction, compared to the reaction to the same shots my Captain just received, ... I'm confused.
I hear ya. The vet said lethargy and decreased appetite could be a side-effect for a day or two after the vaccines. She seems to be perking up this afternoon. It's also allergy season here and the pollen and mold counts have been varying quite a lot so there's that too.
 
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