How To Fatten Up My Senior

Meowria

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 13, 2018
Messages
8
Purraise
3
Hi, I have a 16 year old female cat who needs to gain weight. She was diagnosed with hyperthyroid a few months ago and is doing well on methimazole. Also has history of pancreatitis, last bloodwork showed slight elevation and mild kidney disease. She doesn’t throw up as long as she gets zero poultry. So she has stopped losing weight but hasn’t gained any since starting her pills. The problem is she doesn’t eat more than a tablespoon of food at a time. Just grazes all day and night. I’m torn between giving her all wet food which is better in most respects, or dry orijen which is much more caloric. She gets about half and half right now, but it takes her so long to eat enough that she’s not gaining. Her body condition score is 2 per the vet. Should I try nutrical? It says it helps increase appetite, anyone have experience with that? It’s full of corn syrup which sounds awful but if it’ll help... I’d like to giver her kitten wet food but it’s been nearly impossible to find one without chicken. Help please!
 

Furballsmom

Forum Helper and Cat Devotee
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
30,426
Purraise
41,278
Location
Colorado USA
Hi! Can you give her both wet and dry? Nutrical would help, yes. You're not at the point of syringe feeding her?
Here are some enticement type foods;
  • beef 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 brand is called SafeCatch
  • Salmon
  • Sardines (make sure there are no bones)
  • Mackerel
  • canned kitten food any brand - it's usually smelly. See if it's eaten on its own, then maybe mix it in or put on top
  • Try mixing in Kitten Milk Replacer - there are recipes on the internet
  • 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 are on the internet, look for some with goat milk)
  • Bonito flakes
  • fortiflora
  • 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
    you could crumble treats onto the wet food, Purebites, Orijen, Meowtinis, Meowables
 

Daisy6

A cat's best friend
Super Cat
Joined
Jun 2, 2018
Messages
1,549
Purraise
838
Location
Floriida
Welcome to TCS. Thank you for posting. What is your kitty's name?

I understand the calorie aspect of feeding kibbles. However, they are mostly what people call "empty calories" if she is eating food that is high in carbohydrates that will just go in the litterbox. Cats already are not good at digesting plant materials, so feeding her something that has more plants than animals in the recipe is really the opposite of what she needs with reduced kidney function. What she needs is a low-phosphorus diet with only high-quality animal proteins (not "meals" and meat byproducts). She also can't get too much water, which is the biggest benefit of an all-wet diet.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4

Meowria

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 13, 2018
Messages
8
Purraise
3
Thanks for your replies. My cats name is Janet :) she’s on a store brand beef pate similar to fancy feast. Some nights she eats the whole 3 oz can over the course of the night, other nights it’s mostly left over in the am. She did eat most of a small can of weruva truluxe honor roll last night as I think she’s getting bored. Maybe she’d accept goat milk mixed in, or scrambled eggs. Do you think she’ll have the same vomiting reaction to eggs as she does to chicken or are they different enough?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

Meowria

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 13, 2018
Messages
8
Purraise
3
To add to above, I know the store brand she’s on isn’t the greatest but it’s poultry free (hard to find!) and low carb. She also has a fountain that she drinks a decent amount from
 

Furballsmom

Forum Helper and Cat Devotee
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
30,426
Purraise
41,278
Location
Colorado USA
There's also virbac rebound. It isn't high calorie, but is "advertised" as palatable, so that could be something to look into as well...
:vibes::crossfingers: :redheartpump:
 

Daisy6

A cat's best friend
Super Cat
Joined
Jun 2, 2018
Messages
1,549
Purraise
838
Location
Floriida
Actually many big name brands have poultry-free recipes. You can look for limited ingredient diet (LID) wet foods with rabbit. (Karen knows a lot about this because one of her cats has IBD.) One of them is Nature's Variety Instinct LID Rabbit.
 

aimeedanielle

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
10
Purraise
7
BLUE Wilderness® Denali Dinner® Adult Wet Cat Food - Natural, Grain Free,
Wellness® CORE® 95 Cat Food - Natural, Grain Free, and
Nature's Variety® Instinct® Ultimate Protein Cat Food - Natural, Grain Free, Rabbit are some chicken-free wet food options. If you go on PetSmart's website and filter the flavours to everything but chicken a lot of chick-free options come up. However, some will still contain chicken so be sure to double check the
 

aimeedanielle

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
10
Purraise
7
BLUE Wilderness® Denali Dinner® Adult Wet Cat Food - Natural, Grain Free,
Wellness® CORE® 95 Cat Food - Natural, Grain Free, and
Nature's Variety® Instinct® Ultimate Protein Cat Food - Natural, Grain Free, Rabbit are some chicken-free wet food options. If you go on PetSmart's website and filter the flavours to everything but chicken a lot of chick-free options come up. However, some will still contain chicken so be sure to double check the
Sorry I accidentally posted this before finishing... as I was saying be sure to double check the ingredient list! It's a bit pricier but Instinct foods tend to be higher protein I find which is good for every cat and would possibly help Janet gain weight.
 

ArchyCat

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
Messages
1,202
Purraise
1,801
Location
Texas
You might consider buying the powdered form of Kitten Milk Replacement and giving her a saucer of that several times a day. I suggest the powdered form you mix yourself since several other TCS posters have said that the liquid form you can buy has problems with irritability. I also have a very elderly Snowshoe (16+), dreadfully under weight, but otherwise in good health. I feed her a 5 1/2 tin of either kitten food or young adult (varies on availability), plus a container of Nutrish (Sp?) and then dry kibble for grazing. The diet keeps her active, but no noticeable weight gain.
 

betsygee

Just what part of meow don't you understand.
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 17, 2013
Messages
25,622
Purraise
12,982
Location
CA, USA
I have a senior kitty who's small to begin with, and is a picky eater. When she had a bladder infection and was losing even more weight from diarrhea and vomiting caused by the antibiotics, I started giving her a supplement gel similar to Nutrical.

It really helped her keep her weight up and fortunately she loved the taste. I squeeze some onto a little plate and she licks it up. Now that she's better, I'm still giving it to her as a treat. At 15, with bladder issues, she can use the extra calories and nutrients.
 

misterwhiskers

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 7, 2014
Messages
2,013
Purraise
710
By all means try the Nutrical, but I’m pretty sure the kitten version is the only one with taurine, so you might take that into consideration. I had a cat who basically lived on it for about 6 years. It helps if your cat likes it, so I hope she does. Why can’t the vet prescribe something to increase her appetite, though?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13

Meowria

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 13, 2018
Messages
8
Purraise
3
Thanks everyone for your replies. I don't think she needs an appetite stimulant, this is how she has eaten ever since I got her when she was 12. She's just a grazer. I think I'll try adding KMR to her wet food. I got her some new brands of wet food to try, she loved the petkind beef tripe, it was gone by am. It looks like they are now saying its a complete diet, but I still see for supplemental feeding only in other places so I emailed them to find out. Might help to just mix it with other food anyway.
 

Daisy6

A cat's best friend
Super Cat
Joined
Jun 2, 2018
Messages
1,549
Purraise
838
Location
Floriida
Use it as a topper to attract her to complete diets.
 

sivyaleah

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
5,774
Purraise
4,332
Location
New Jersey
We're dealing with a 17 year old with kidney disease, so I empathize with the need to keep weight on your cat. Ours is 6 pounds under the weight we adopted him in - down to 10 pounds.

He also wasn't doing well with poultry in his diet which was his favorite. His appetite is always hit or miss; we mostly feed him wet food; currently Lotus Juicy Pork, Tiki Cat Wild Salmon and Fancy Feast Classic Beef. It's the only 3 he'll consistently eat but we have taken to supplementing him with the Orijen Regional variety kibble which is poultry free - mostly to get more calories in him. It's quite nutrient dense so a little goes a long way.

Since he never turns down baby food we have taken to incorporating 1/2 jar of the Gerber Stage 2 Ham flavor as a night treat. Someone above mentioned the beef flavor however, that actually contains lemon in it and our two really did NOT like it at all. The ham works like a charm.

I also will sprinkle nutritional yeast as a topper to wet food to entice him when needed. Although safe for cats there is some concern if those with various medical issues should eat it - Off hand forgetting why but because of it, we're cautious of the amounts given. Luckily, just a small sprinkle is needed.
 

sivyaleah

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
5,774
Purraise
4,332
Location
New Jersey
Thanks for your replies. My cats name is Janet :) she’s on a store brand beef pate similar to fancy feast. Some nights she eats the whole 3 oz can over the course of the night, other nights it’s mostly left over in the am. She did eat most of a small can of weruva truluxe honor roll last night as I think she’s getting bored. Maybe she’d accept goat milk mixed in, or scrambled eggs. Do you think she’ll have the same vomiting reaction to eggs as she does to chicken or are they different enough?
Interestingly, our poultry adverse cat has no problem with eggs. He loves when we have leftover soft boiled eggs lol.
 
Top