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I Don't Know What To Do - 15+yo Cat

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FeebysOwner

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Back home from BIL's funeral. Been out of sorts, as everyone up there (including me) caught some kind of flu bug, so I am just trying to get back to feeling a bit better.

I am re-looking at Feeby's eating situation and figure the most she can be eating in one day of cat food is about 263 calories, and that might be me being a bit generous. She is barely grazing at all on her dry food and I have to really work hard to get her to eat one can of food a day. (She has never figured out how to eat soft food.) If I calculate 20 calories per lb, that would just be enough to sustain a 13 lb cat.

On 8/13 she weighed 15.9 lbs. I haven't gotten her a scale yet, so I tried weighing her today on my scale and for as accurate as I can be it would seem she is somewhere between 15 & 16 lbs. I will try to get my husband to do the same when he comes home from work tonight, to see if we get a similar reading. We do give her human turkey and a bite of whatever else we are eating, and she generally is interested in most of those foods, so that may be what is keeping her weight from dropping so much, but I am concerned.

She is drinking and using the litter box just fine, but is not terribly active (she hasn't been for years, tbh), and still spends at least half her time on that coffee table. I think the fleas are pretty much gone, but maybe the table is a new habit I won't be able to completely break.

What would be better to supplement her food with - human chicken in a can (with water) or baby meat foods? This could be a life long supplement from the looks of it. The chicken is 70 calories in 3 oz. The Gerber 2 baby chicken/gravy is 100 calories is 2.5 oz. I know she likes the canned chicken but it takes days to get her to eat the one can, as I have to mix it with her canned cat food. I haven't tried the baby meat, so I have no idea if I could get her to eat more of it or not.

Thanks. If need be I will start a new thread about this, but figured I would add onto this current thread for anyone who's been following.
 

stacydc83

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Sorry to hear about your BIL! And I hope your feeling better, those late summer flus are the worst!
What does she like? I'd say for now give her the chicken as a treat, and save the baby food for if she feels bad and that is easier to lap up. I'm actually thinking about giving baby food a try, I'm thinking I'm going to get egg lecithin and when/if I try it, the baby food will be a way to get it down her, the way I give her pumpkin. I haven't decided yet if that's the next step or not.
 

daftcat75

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Have you considered an appetite stimulant? Krista has been on mirtazapine for most of the summer. It's our every other morning wrestling match (until we switch to transdermal.) But I'm not letting fleas be the thing that takes her out. We're doing better on that front too. We have a room for the weekend in a hotel so I can re-treat the premises in one swoop without endangering her. It's also a test run to see how well she might travel these days.
 
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FeebysOwner

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I'd say for now give her the chicken as a treat, and save the baby food for if she feels bad and that is easier to lap up.
Because her intake is so low, the chicken or the baby food is going to have to be added to her current canned food on a daily basis. It can't be just a treat at this point, since she needs more calories. Maybe I will try the baby food and see if that helps make it easier to get her to eat more in one sitting. Right now, I have to nudge her to eat 1/6 of a can in one sitting, so I need to feed her 6 feedings in the course of 24 hours just to get a can down her.

Have you considered an appetite stimulant? Krista has been on mirtazapine for most of the summer. It's our every other morning wrestling match (until we switch to transdermal.)
She is already quite a bit of a squawker - I can't even begin to imagine what that would do to her!! I am guessing the transdermal has no less of an impact on that aspect? I am afraid that this eating issue is going to be permanent, so I hope to find another solution besides drugs. Given her history with the e Coli bacteria, it is already beginning to look like she may be routinely on antibiotics as it is.
 

daftcat75

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I keep Krista on the low dose of 1.88 mg every other day. She's kind of a love bug anyway so I don't really notice a difference except that she does meow a little more where she would normally just trill. As near as I can tell, she gets a serotonin rush and she just wants to be held for 10 minutes or so until it passes. She'll meow at me only as much as it takes her to get comfortable in my lap (or on my belly if I'm laying down.) Then she purrs her head off until the rush has passed before jumping down to hit the food plates.

Routine antibiotic use could be affecting Feeby's appetite. Routine antibiotic use also encourages resistance. Have you tried giving Feeby saccharomyces boulardii? It is a yeast probiotic so it can actually be given in conjunction with antibiotics (it's a yeast so it won't be killed.) But there's a lot of studies that show it effective against clostridium (what's been giving Krista the squirts for weeks) and e. coli. It might be what Feeby needs to get off the antibiotics.

Krista is a weirdo and actually loves the taste of the brand that I'm told most cats don't like.
Jarrow Formulas, Saccharomyces Boulardii + MOS, 5 Billion, 180 Veggie Caps

If Feeby doesn't like that brand, there are others that don't contain the MOS. But the MOS is supposed to be syngertistically effective in conjunction with the s. boulardii.

We have seven more days of metronidazole for Krista's CPA (clostridium perfringens with enterotoxin A) infection. I have found that I can get her to willingly lick up the metro dose if I mix it with the s. boulardii. How about that?! A two-fer! :yess:

When we're done with the metro, I'll keep giving her daily s. boulardii because it's good for her gut.

www.rawfeedingforibdcats.org/s-boulardii---review-of-the-science.html

Prebiotics & Probiotics for Cats
 
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FeebysOwner

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Routine antibiotic use could be affecting Feeby's appetite. Routine antibiotic use also encourages resistance. Have you tried giving Feeby saccharomyces boulardii? It is a yeast probiotic so it can actually be given in conjunction with antibiotics (it's a yeast so it won't be killed.) But there's a lot of studies that show it effective against clostridium (what's been giving Krista the squirts for weeks) and e. coli. It might be what Feeby needs to get off the antibiotics.
I probably should have reclarified that the e Coli is in her urine/bladder. We think it originally started from her not cleaning her backend area properly and has never actually been fully eradicated, as apparently can be the case in older cats. I don't know if that makes a difference when considering using saccharomyces boulardii or not, but I am guessing it does?
 

daftcat75

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The abstract of that linked study (emphasis mine):

Enteric flora constitutes 95% of the cells in the human body. It has been shown that the bacterial content of this flora is affected by diet and changes in nutrition. Considering that urinary tract infections (UTI) are mostly due to ascending infections from the gut flora, the importance of the elements of this flora and their characteristics becomes more evident. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of oral Saccharomyces boulardii (S. boulardii) intake on the number of Escherichia coli (E. coli) colonies in the colon. This study was carried out with 14 boys and 10 girls (total of 24 children) aged between 36 and 192 months (mean: 104.3+/-45.1 months). A commercial capsule or powder containing 5 billion colony-forming units (cfu) of S. boulardii was administered once a day for 5 days. The number of E. coli and yeast colonies was measured in the stool samples of the study group before and after the use of this drug. Before treatment, the mean number of E. coli colonies in g/ml stool was 384,625+/-445,744. This number decreased significantly to 6,283+/-20,283 after treatment (p=0.00). S. boulardii was not detected in stool before treatment and the number of colonies increased to 11,047+/-26,754 in g/ml stool. S. boulardii may be effective in reducing the number of E. coli colonies in stool. The influence of this finding on clinical practice such as prevention of UTI needs to be clarified by further studies.
 

daftcat75

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In other words, it's all connected and there may indeed be a link between reduction in e. coli in the gut and a corresponding reduction in UTI's.
 
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FeebysOwner

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So, without reading anything further (yet), a fecal PCR could determine if Feeby has an abnormally high count of e Coli in her intestine - and if she did, then perhaps S. boulardii could help. That is my take on this so far.
 

daftcat75

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So, without reading anything further (yet), a fecal PCR could determine if Feeby has an abnormally high count of e Coli in her intestine - and if she did, then perhaps S. boulardii could help. That is my take on this so far.
That study was with humans. I don't see e. coli in the pathogen panel for the feline fecal PCR test. :(

I would try s. boulardii with Feeby in the spirit of, "could help, likely won't hurt." If she likes it like Krista does, it wouldn't hurt to have another enticement. I don't know that I could get Krista through the rest of this metro if she didn't like the s. boulardii even more than she dislikes the metro.
 
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FeebysOwner

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I guess I am left with the lingering notion of a warning about using S. boulardii for "people" with weakened immune systems having an increased risk of developing a yeast infection that spreads to the bloodstream. So, if there is some possibility that a weakened immune system is behind some of Feeby's issues...
 

daftcat75

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I guess I am left with the lingering notion of a warning about using S. boulardii for "people" with weakened immune systems having an increased risk of developing a yeast infection that spreads to the bloodstream. So, if there is some possibility that a weakened immune system is behind some of Feeby's issues...
And wouldn't that show in the white blood counts and other bloodwork?

Also, the gut is a huge part of the immune system. I think that improving gut health would improve the immune system. I certainly think it's something to look into, do some reading, and maybe ask your vet about.
 
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FeebysOwner

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She did have some of the WBC counts high with the last blood work. I am also considering D-mannose. Found articles specifically about it helping to prevent e Coli related bladder infections in cats. And, yes, by all means will ask my vet about them - after all he is now very USED to me sending him email inquiries!! :p
 
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FeebysOwner

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While Feeby's eating is pretty crummy (in terms of quantity), and her overall health is still of concern to me - today is the first day that she has spent less than a couple of hours on the coffee table. A good milestone! Edit: For someone who I think is eating crummy quantity wise, she just had a pretty good sized poop! Wonder if she is ordering take out behind my back?!?!

This past 3 months have been awful for her and she's now likely turned a corner in many ways in her life, some probably not so good. Her interest in things are good, so that is a plus. She is moving about fairly well, just a little more gingerly, which could be anything - from being restricted to a small area (coffee table) for so many days/weeks, to her arthritis getting to her, to something worse - or just because she has aged a bit through this ordeal.

I will continue to work on her eating (she is still fairly interested in human food), to hopefully help keep her weight stable. I started another thread about D-mannose to try to help limit her UTI E Coli infections, which should help her overall stability - or at least I hope.

The vet is pretty up to date with everything, so we'll see what could be our next steps when she goes in for her 6-month geriatric check up sometime in the coming weeks. New bloodwork should help decipher if something has changed for the worse, considering her last two sets of blood results (April & July) were actually pretty good. I may just be facing that she is getting old. :( But, I ain't giving up on her; that's for sure!
 
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FeebysOwner

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Feeby just can't catch a break. After moving around quite a bit yesterday, it would appear that has somehow caused some discomfort in her back end/legs. I don't know whether she could have injured herself (it's not like she's doing any 'real' jumping), or is suffering from stiffness due to her long term lack of much movement. She seems to be restricting her movements as the day progresses, and is much more hesitant to even use her makeshift stairs to get up on the coffee table. She was outside on the patio today, and was moving around a bit, but seems to have slowed down in her activity some since then.

I am just hoping that she is stiff. Although I already watch her like a hawk, I will be watching even more closely to see how her mobility (or lack of) progresses. It's Saturday, and the vet's office is open for a couple of more hours, but there will be no senior vets on duty, and I cannot see dragging her in there just yet, given this just started. I just feel so bad for her - getting rid of the fleas and being able to relax a bit and now this.:sniffle:
 
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FeebysOwner

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A fluke? Or something else? After yesterday's depressing/concerning behavior by Feeby, she is doing much better today! I don't know if she is working out some of the stiffness, is in some sort of rebound-relapse cycle from an as yet determined illness, or just had a 'senior' day. :headscratch:

She is still stiff in the back end/leg area when getting up after sitting/laying down but is moving about much more and has already hung out on the patio for quite a while this morning.

I also don't know if she was starved due to her poor eating yesterday, but first thing this morning she ate 1/2 can of food in around 1/2 hour - that is a record for her - both in terms of quantity and time!

And, this (see pic below, on her patio with her favorite water dish) looks like 'old times'! So, hoping yesterday was a fluke. :crossfingers:
20190922_101628.jpg
 
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FeebysOwner

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Feeby is moving about much better, so right now I am going to consider last Saturday a fluke. That means I can go back to concentrating on what I can do to get her to eat more.

Because she had all but given up on her dry C/D food, I went to the store yesterday and bought some Gerber Baby Meat and some more canned chicken in water, as well as some canned tuna in water - to mix with her canned food and help boost her calories. It is just so hard to get her to eat even a whole can of food in a day - and that is certainly no where near the amount of calories she needs to sustain herself.

However, for the heck of it, I bought a bag of Purina One Urinary Care dry food. All I did was put about 6 or so pieces in her existing bowl of C/D dry, and guess what? She ate every last morsel in the bowl, and then more after I gave her another serving in the evening.

This AM, my husband fed her the 'normal' 1/4 cup of dry, divided between her kitchen and living area bowls. (As has been the case recently, this food would have been left uneaten, and thrown out the following day to be replaced with new food.) However, less than 4 hours later, the living area bowl was 'wiped out'. I suspect she might have the entire 1/4 cup gone by her PM feeding. If so, this will be more calories (along with her canned food) than she has had in quite a while!

Will see if she continues to eat the dry, and then recalculate her calories between the canned and dry accordingly. Eating some dry along with the pathetic amount of canned she eats will certainly help get her to a more acceptable level of calories per day!
 
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FeebysOwner

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Seems like Feeby is on 'fluke' roll - the stiffness last Saturday, and the 'eat dry food when new food is added to it' yesterday. Today, she is not eating nearly as much of the dry food. So, having a little bit of new food to entice her to eat more calories was apparently a one day 'fluke'. :argh:
 

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