Looking for advice - Cat diagnosed with pancreatitis

HFL2011

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jan 4, 2021
Messages
2
Reaction score
2
Hi all,

I just recently joined this site, while doing some research. I’d like to get some feedback from anyone with experience in dealing with a cat diagnosed with pancreatitis.

I have a male cat (almost 12) who suddenly stopped eating on 12/30. He has had a few issues in the past (bladder obstruction, bad teeth) and despite all of that, he’s never stopped eating. He lives to eat. So, when this happened, I was very concerned. I took him to the vet the following day, and labs were all normal. We ruled out a lot of things at that point in time. He went from not eating, to eating only his dry food, to then only wanting wet food.This was strange because he has never been a huge fan of wet food. Anyway, I kept in touch with the vet for the next week, trying to figure out what to do next. Although his appetite improved over the next few days, I could tell something was still wrong. He just wasn’t himself. A week after this started, I brought him back in for an X-ray and additional blood work. They confirmed he had pancreatitis. He received a dose of antibiotics, nausea medicine, subcutaneous fluids and some anti inflammatory pain meds (this was about 5 days ago). Since then, he has been a bit better. He looks more like himself (more alert, affectionate, etc). However, he still won’t really eat his dry food. He has no problem eating wet food (although he wants nothing to do with the prescription food), but at least he’s eating wet food just fine. He’s drinking, eating treats, etc. He only eats dry food if I offer it to him. As in, I pick it up, put it in my hand and offer it to him. He will not even look at it if it’s in his bowl (the food and bowl are the same, nothing has changed). He used to LOVE this dry food. He would beg for it.The minute he heard me filling his bowl, he would come running.

Has anyone experienced anything like this? A cat getting sick and then suddenly deciding they want nothing to do with their food? I know that cats can get sick of their food. I’ve had to change wet food brands several times over the years, when my cats get sick of them. I’d get tired of eating the same thing everyday too. However, I’ve never had that problem with dry food. Like I said, he does have an appetite Sometimes when I offer the dry food, he inhales it, so I know he’s hungry. The vet mentioned that maybe he associates the dry food with feeling sick. Perhaps he started feeling sick after he ate it. I asked if maybe there was a possibility that something was wrong with his teeth/gums as well, but she said no. He did have a comprehensive exam and she didn’t see anything. Since he does eat dry food sometimes, I guess that’s probably not the issue. He was supposed to have a dental clean last week, but that’s obviously on hold now until he feels better.

I’ve never dealt with a problem like this before, so I wanted to reach out to see if anyone had any suggestions! Thanks in advance!
 

Rowen

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Aug 22, 2020
Messages
72
Reaction score
103
Location
Rogers Park Chicago
My cat Gem had pancreatitus after having teeth pulled. She was a rollercoaster with food after the dental, convenia shot(which I blame).
She had been throwing up, and then cried in her litter box -had bloody stool. We took her to emergency vet they said she had pancreatitus. One of the vets said -get her off of dry food!. She gave me an article by Lisa Pierson DVM that talked about how bad it is for them-carbohydrates, no moisture-added corn etc. No other vet had ever talked about nutrician beyond the usual Science Diet which she had been eating and I was trying to switch. She did get wet food but the majority of her diet was dry. So I took her off of SD and went wet.
She never had pancreatitus again so it did help- honestly if she had been totally on wet food she probably wouldnt have had the tarter build up on her teeth in the first place- totally the opposite of what they used to say.
 

di and bob

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
11,957
Reaction score
14,497
Location
Nebraska, USA
I would bet he does associate the dry food with being sick, and what it has in it might have contributed to his nausea. If he is eating wet, that is good, you might continue every once in a while hand-feeding him some favored dry and see if that helps. There are some all meat drys now, so if the carbs are what bothered him, you might research some.
 

Rowen

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Aug 22, 2020
Messages
72
Reaction score
103
Location
Rogers Park Chicago
Also just to add from what I've read and experienced- its inflammation so I gave her a limited ingredient wet food that she hadn't had before -turkey. It should be gentile on their digestive system. They also recommend novel proteins like duck, lamb.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

HFL2011

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jan 4, 2021
Messages
2
Reaction score
2
Also just to add from what I've read and experienced- its inflammation so I gave her a limited ingredient wet food that she hadn't had before -turkey. It should be gentile on their digestive system. They also recommend novel proteins like duck, lamb.
They gave me a prescription for wet food but he of course doesn’t want anything to do with it. He will eat it if I mix it up with his regular food. It’s a big can though, so I have to put the rest in the fridge. As soon as I do that, he won’t touch it again, even if I warm it up. So it’s basically a waste. At this point I just want him to eat, so even if it means eating his normal food.
 

neely

May the purr be with you
Veteran
Joined
Dec 22, 2005
Messages
11,305
Reaction score
21,483
Our cat was diagnosed with Pancreatitis approx. 1 1/2 years ago. One of the first things our vet recommended to stimulate his appetite was Mirtazapine given in a transdermal form: A little weight loss can be a big deal – Mirataz It worked wonders for him.
She also gave me Urgent Care A/D wet food which he gobbled up: Hill's® Prescription Diet® a/d® Canine/Feline He was not a fan of wet food before but I couldn't believe how much he liked this food.

Here is a very helpful thread that discusses Pancreatitis in cats which may have some helpful information for you:
Pancreatitis

Best of luck, and please keep us updated on his progress. :alright:
 

daftcat75

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
6,680
Reaction score
11,706
Dry food and pancreatitis are pretty much incompatible. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas which impairs the digestion of food. Cats don't digest carbs very well to begin with. Now his impaired pancreas has to work extra hard for that. You'll do him a favor, even more than the prescription food, by feeding him all wet for now. If there's a need to feed him dry food (and there really isn't except convenience), wait until you're past the pancreatitis. He might need anti-nausea and appetite stimulant prescriptions from your vet. Cerenia, an anti-nausea medication, also has some anti-inflammatory action specifically for pancreatitis. He may also need a B-12 shot. Ask your vet about this. Basically any cat who has compromised GI function (pancreatitis, IBD, lymphoma, etc.) can benefit from B-12. And I have yet to hear a downside for giving B-12 when it's not needed. It's a water soluble vitamin whose toxicity is far greater than its dose. If he doesn't need the B-12, it's mildly expensive pee at about $50/shot. Fluids is another thing he may benefit from. As long as he is eating enough wet food, he'll get enough moisture in his diet. You may actually see him drink less or almost none at all on a wet food diet. This is by design. Cats are meant to get their moisture from their food. If he starts to look lethargic again or his intake of wet food goes down, take him in again. Pancreatitis is nothing to be stubborn about. It can do real damage and leave him diabetic if it's not promptly and properly managed. Finally, if you've been feeding him twice a day. Consider splitting that over four (or more) meals. Smaller meals, more often will help take some load off the pancreas. And if he does feel pain or nausea after eating (the head-tipped-down cat loaf or rapid lip licking), smaller meals will lessen that too.
 
Last edited:

Rowen

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Aug 22, 2020
Messages
72
Reaction score
103
Location
Rogers Park Chicago
They gave me a prescription for wet food but he of course doesn’t want anything to do with it. He will eat it if I mix it up with his regular food. It’s a big can though, so I have to put the rest in the fridge. As soon as I do that, he won’t touch it again, even if I warm it up. So it’s basically a waste. At this point I just want him to eat, so even if it means eating his normal food.
Yes eating is the most important thing! The vet gave me food as well which Gem wouldnt eat so I just started trying different kinds of wet food until she liked the Wellness turkey mince- which is cubed, so looks most like kibble. Besides the emergency vet I got no guidance. The vets I had didnt really help me in terms of food except what they are taught- which isnt always the best- one of the reasons this website is so valuable.
 
Top