Cat Will Not Eat Following Injury/surgery

texasrose

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
69
Reaction score
36
My 2 year old cat injured his hind leg 8 days ago. We tried to save his leg through a variety of means, but ended up having to amputate yesterday. For the week that we tried to save Jet's leg, he got around well on three legs, but we struggled to get him to eat or drink. He lost over a pound during that week and I had to use a syringe to make sure he did not get dehydrated. He had his leg amputated yesterday (36 hours have passed). He seems to feel better overall, and his pain is well controlled, however, he continues to not want to eat or drink. I am syringe feeding him HSD A/D food and water, must to his disgust. I have tried roughly 15 different foods over the past week, tuna, and adding FortiFlora to several foods. No luck. Overall, he is not unhappy, he is doing much of his normal routine, we just have to get him to eat. Any ideas of things I have not tried? Thanks
 

Furballsmom

Cat Fan especially Black Cats
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
26,915
Reaction score
36,392
Location
Colorado USA
Hi!
Maybe there's something in this list, hopefully something here will get him started eating again, or maybe an appetite stimulant would help?

In addition to syringe feeding, try sitting with your cat and scoop some food on your finger or a spoon and hopefully your kitty will lick it. Or gently tuck some food inside the cheek.

(You might want to double-check with your vet just to be sure these things below are ok for your kitty).

Try some raw egg yolk. Egg white must always be cooked, and some people cook the white and make a slurry of sorts by adding in the raw yolk.

Also you could try some Nutri-cal or similar product.

Try making the Pedialyte here;
tent test for dehydration and home-made pedialyte recipe - The Daily Kitten

Also, try making one of these;
Kitten Glop Recipes - Supplementing Cats and Kittens with nutritious formula you make at home: presented by Bengal Cat breeder Foothill Felines. --This website has a number of kitten glop recipes, with ingredients that you may very well have in your house.

These can be used on their own or combined with food. Also, as mentioned if you heat the food a little - stir it so there aren't any hot spots from the microwave.

Or you could heat some water, about a tablespoon, and add that to canned food. A small glass works to stir it all up.
  • Chicken, beef or ham flavored baby food such as Gerber Stage 2 - make sure there is no garlic or onions in the ingredients
  • Tuna and/or the juice, a low mercury/low/no sodium brand is called SafeCatch
  • Salmon, mackerel
  • Sardines (make sure there are no bones)
  • boiled cut up chicken or turkey with no seasonings
  • canned kitten food any brand
  • Try mixing in Kitten Milk Replacer - there are recipes on the internet or store bought
  • Fish, tuna or BBQ flavored canned wet food (I personally have never seen BBQ flavors, but...)
  • Lickable cat treats or pouch treat 'gravy' poured over the food
  • kitten glop (recipes in website link above)
  • Bonito flakes
  • fortiflora
  • fish oil
  • green beans, asparagus mushed up and the liquid from canned vegetables
  • goat milk, or no lactose cow milk
  • whole cooked eggs (the white must always be cooked) or raw egg yolk now and then
  • broth with no salt and no garlic or onion or seasonings of any kind
  • There are also commercial toppers, Applaws is a brand that can work well as a topper
  • Some good treats would be freeze dried Purebites, Orijen, Meowtinis, Meowables, Only Natural Pet, Primal
  • There are also Lickimats that you could spread types of soft food onto, even plain unflavored yogurt, and even freeze it. Licking something can help a cat to feel better emotionally The LickiMat - Food Puzzles for Cats
  • shredded cheddar cheese
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

texasrose

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
69
Reaction score
36
Baby food! I had forgotten about that. I have tried the turkey/chicken, fortiflora, yogurt and KMS. I'll try baby food first, then move onto some of the other things. Thank you.

ETA: I have also purchased a kitty water fountain, hoping that will encourage him to drink.
 
Last edited:

Jem

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
3,533
Reaction score
6,215
I wonder if some of the medications he is on is causing his loss of appetite. Could you talk to the vet about the side effects of his meds? I assume he's on pain killers and antibiotics to prevent infection...both of those can mess with appetite. Maybe something for nausea or an appetite stimulant like mirtazapine, would encourage him to eat on his own.
 

PushPurrCatPaws

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
May 22, 2015
Messages
9,590
Reaction score
9,831
My 2 year old cat injured his hind leg 8 days ago. We tried to save his leg through a variety of means, but ended up having to amputate yesterday. For the week that we tried to save Jet's leg, he got around well on three legs, but we struggled to get him to eat or drink. He lost over a pound during that week and I had to use a syringe to make sure he did not get dehydrated. He had his leg amputated yesterday (36 hours have passed). He seems to feel better overall, and his pain is well controlled, however, he continues to not want to eat or drink. I am syringe feeding him HSD A/D food and water, must to his disgust. I have tried roughly 15 different foods over the past week, tuna, and adding FortiFlora to several foods. No luck. Overall, he is not unhappy, he is doing much of his normal routine, we just have to get him to eat. Any ideas of things I have not tried? Thanks
I'm so sorry to hear Jet has gone through this! I hope he continues to recover and recover well. Can you check with the vet surgeon or nursing staff to see what fluids and foods he may have taken in while there, post-surgery? Or you can often decipher this by looking at the discharge bill, to see what meds or procedures or care been itemized on the bill. Does the vet have any advice about enticing him to eat more on his own?

I agree with Jem, that some meds, and the aftermath of anesthesia too, can cause tummy upset... plus if he's been used to not eating well just prior to the surgery, he may be in what I call a "food funk". It's good he's doing some normal, routine things, and that he also has you to syringe feed him for now.
 

PushPurrCatPaws

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
May 22, 2015
Messages
9,590
Reaction score
9,831
What brand(s) and type(s) of food did he eat well prior to all of this injury/amputation of his leg?


Although it sounds counterintuitive, as most cats seem to enjoy food more when they can smell it, through my experience with my last cat (ill during her last 1-4 years of life and often nauseated even when on meds) and with my current cat (gets a stuffy nose often from allergies/asthma symptoms), I've found that pate foods cut into small pea-sized cubes and also refrigerated so that they are cold have been easier for cats to ingest when they were ill or fussy. My (counterintuitive) point being that taking away the fragrant odor of a warm food (with said fragrance very well just reminding the cat of how it felt the last time it tried eating that food: nauseated) and also making the bites easier for a cat's tongue to lip up quickly into their mouths has worked for me.

Each cat is different, though.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8

texasrose

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
69
Reaction score
36
He ate fancy feast chicken with gravy and taste of the wild dry, he liked both equally. I'll try the refrigerator pate trick, thanks!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9

texasrose

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
69
Reaction score
36
I decided to try taking him outside. Prior to his injury, he was allowed outside time when weather permitted. He loved to roll in the dirt and I have a live catnip plant in the garden for him. I took him out for 15 minutes, he hopped around and ate grass. When I brought him back in, he licked the juice from canned food. I repeated this an hour later and he licked juice again, then age a about a teaspoon of the a/d off of my finger. Progress! I'll do this again 2-3 more times today. I am not sure if I should force feed water if he eating some wet food.
 

stephanietx

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Dec 1, 2005
Messages
13,453
Reaction score
2,016
Location
Texas
You might try warming food with warm water to enhance the aroma. Most likely the pain meds are causing his decreased appetite and it may even be impairing his balance. Try placing his food up on an elevated surface. We use a square plastic bowl turned upside down.
 

Furballsmom

Cat Fan especially Black Cats
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
26,915
Reaction score
36,392
Location
Colorado USA

Stinky15

TCS Member
Super Cat
Joined
Jun 9, 2018
Messages
1,099
Reaction score
939
Location
East TX
Maybe try sprinkling some Parmesan or Romano on food, that worked for me a couple of times when mine wouldn't eat. The Chicken Baby food seemed to work the best, also pan cooked chicken, but not a lot. I usually gave this when he actually had eaten a little cat food just for the extra calories. Did the Vet mention an App. stimulant? You might ask about one.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13

texasrose

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
69
Reaction score
36
He is much, much better today. Cruising around the house, learning to climb on ramps, and most importantly, eating. He gets several supervised visits outside each day and loves rolling in the dirt and swatting at bugs.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #18

texasrose

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
69
Reaction score
36
He continues to get around well and is eating normally. He has mastered the platforms/ramps we put up so he can get on the furniture. We are still keeping him contained to bedroom unless he is supervised to make sure those sutures are safe. The last hurdle for him is poop. :) He hasn't had a bowl movement since the surgery, so 5 days. I started him on miralax last night, so hopefully it will work.
 

Furballsmom

Cat Fan especially Black Cats
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
26,915
Reaction score
36,392
Location
Colorado USA
Hi!
You're talking to the vet about the no-poop issue, right?
 
Top