Looking for canned kitten food in a variety of flavors

Margret

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Hello, all.

My Jasmine has been losing weight recently, for no obvious reason. The earliest vet appointment I can get for her is next Monday, and I'll be asking them to check for thyroid problems as well as cancer and anything else they can think of.

In the meantime, I'm trying to get extra calories into Jasmine. She normally gets 1/2 a can of wet food, twice a day, plus all the kibble she wants to eat, and I've changed her kibble to Kitten kibble, which she likes, but I'm having problems with the canned food. I have some Royal Canin Mother & Babycat canned food left over from Bright Eyes's final illness - Jasmine won't touch it. Because she generally prefers shreds or chunks to paté style foods I picked up some Royal Canin Kitten food, thin slices in gravy - Jasmine won't touch that, either. I found some Authority Kitten Turkey Entrée Paté and tried her on that. She gobbled it up, and then proceeded to throw up in her water bowl (and that's making me wonder about a possible turkey allergy). Anything with fish in it, she won't eat (I know - atypical, but it is what it is). The only wet kitten food I've been able to find that she'll eat (and keep down) is Purina Pro Plan Kitten Food Chicken & Liver Entree, which is another paté style food, but apparently it tastes good enough to overcome the form factor. I called Chewy to see whether they could send me an emergency shipment of some other flavor of Purina Pro Plan Kitten Food, and the only other flavors available are all fish.

I have six days to go before she sees the vet, and I already know that she'll get tired of the same flavor before then. Can anyone come up with some other ways for me to get extra calories into her? What do they add to kitten food to increase the calories, fat? I'm wondering about frying some hamburger and draining the fat into her regular cat food. Starting to feel desperate here.

Margret
 
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maggie101

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Can you ask the vet for hills prescription diet a/d? The ingredients are good,and it's like kitty crack. Only given temporary. Also weruva
 
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mrsgreenjeens

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I'm not sure that kitten food actually is more caloric than many adult or all stages foods. I would say just look at different cans at the store and check the calories (and ingredients) and pick up a few that you think she might like. If you get some winners, then pick up a few more to try to get you through until her Vet appointment. If you want to try another turkey pate, FF Classic Turkey and Giblets is about the only FF that doesn't have fish in it, and also doesn't have carrageenan and only has one gum for thickening.
 

maggie101

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I'm not sure that kitten food actually is more caloric than many adult or all stages foods. I would say just look at different cans at the store and check the calories (and ingredients) and pick up a few that you think she might like. If you get some winners, then pick up a few more to try to get you through until her Vet appointment. If you want to try another turkey pate, FF Classic Turkey and Giblets is about the only FF that doesn't have fish in it, and also doesn't have carrageenan and only has one gum for thickening.
My cats love the turkey and giblets!
 
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Margret

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The Hills A/D looks fairly good; I'll call the vet for a prescription in the morning.

There was a recent grocery store strike in Denver, during which I was unable to get Jasmine's usual store brand of food, so I tried a lot of other foods on her. One that she absolutely loved was Fancy Feast Chunky cat food. It's available in both turkey and chicken, and it has chunks of meat in a paté base; I'll check the calorie count on that.

Margret
 
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Margret

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What I'm paying attention to is the calories.

Again, I'll call the vet for a prescription in the morning. But I'll also look for some Chunky Turkey to give Jasmine a bit of variety. Definitely gotta keep her eating (and in all fairness, she hasn't lost her appetite, she's just being her usual picky feline self). Poor baby. I wish I knew what's causing this.

Margret
 
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Margret

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Update: Jasmine's vet appointment was yesterday. The vet drew blood and attempted to get a urine sample, but there wasn't enough in Jasmine's bladder so she asked me to bring Jasmine back in this morning at 9:00 and leave her for the day. They have a special litter they can have her use that doesn't actually absorb the urine, which makes it easy to collect. So this morning at around 8:00 I lured Jasmine into her play pen with her water bowl, kibble bowl, and breakfast, and zipped it closed. Jasmine was not pleased (:doh2:), and in her attempts to escape she managed to spill her water bowl all over her hind end, but it did work - when it was time to leave I was able to easily extract Jasmine and get her into her carrier. Then when I got her to the vet they discovered that she already had enough in her bladder for them to get the sample immediately, so Jasmine came home with me then.

Now we're in hurry-up-and-wait mode. The lab results come back tomorrow.

Regarding food: Jasmine ate about 1/6 of a can of Hill's A/D and decided she doesn't like it. At this point the Purina Pro Plan Kitten Chicken & Liver Entree is pretty much the only canned food she's at all interested in, so the vet said to keep her on it for the time being. But, the vet's current best guess is that this is being caused by kidney problems, which means that it was a major mistake to put her on kitten food for the calories, because it also contains extra protein. Fortunately, when I first got Jasmine around 9 years ago, I asked her vet to get us baseline readings on her kidney function, so they have that data to compare to. It's also fortunate that I made a vet appointment for her as soon as I realized she was losing weight, so we can hope that things haven't progressed too far, no matter what the cause.

Margret
 

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I wouldn't worry too much right now about the protein in kitten food with kidney disease (assuming that IS the issue) because the new way of thinking is that low protein isn't the way to go in the early stages. It's not until the late stages that protein needs to be cut down, as long as it's a highly digestible protein for cats. I've had three kidney cats and with the first one our Vet said to feed low protein kidney foods. By the time the third one was diagnosed our Vet had been to many conferences about kidney disease and said thoughts were changing and I was fine to keep feeding raw as long as I switched from using bone for calcium to another form because of the phosphorus in the bone. (Raw meat is extremely high in protein, but is highly digestible).

I'm curious why the Vet thinks kidney disease with no blood results yet? Did they feel her kidneys and say they felt too small or too large?
Keep us posted as the results come in.
 
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Margret

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Heart rate is normal, which argues against thyroid. Physical examination shows no sign of cancer. Next most likely in an elderly (11) cat is kidney disease, which does sometimes present as either loss of weight or loss of appetite or both.

Blood work came in yesterday. Thyroid numbers are in the normal range, but the test wasn't really specific enough. I didn't totally understand the explanation, but some thyroid can be attached to albumin? Something like that anyway, and it makes a difference what the ratios are, but I'm not sure how. Cell counts are normal, so probably not cancer, though lymphoma can be hard to diagnose.

She also said that it may turn out to be a combination of things, say, kidney disease plus IBD. So today I'm sitting at home, next to the phone, waiting for them to call with news about the urine tests. Next step may be an abdominal ultrasound, but for $450 I'm going to need a darn good reason to approve that one - that is to say, a genuine belief on the vet's part that there's something there to find, not just covering all the bases.

Margret
 

maggie101

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My vet also thought my cat has medical illness but not covering all the bases. She had thyroid tests and ultrasound that showed possible issues but recheck showed she was healthy. He was baffled. Almost looked upset that he was wrong! All an assumption. The only food she will eat is weruva steak frites. Her throwing up has majorly decreased. Most weruva is shredded meat
 

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If bloodwork is already back, what were the kidney values? Kidney disease shows up in bloodwork typically. Yes, loss of weight and loss of appetite are signs of kidney disease, but are also signs of other things. All three of my cats were diagnosed with kidney disease at age 13. I now have two cats at that same age and watch them like hawks for the signs. One of them never has had a good appetite...he is simply not food driven. Never has been and it worries me greatly. I even asked for an ultrasound last year just because. But his bloodwork is always spot on and the ultrasound showed nothing :sigh:. So we continue to literally hand feed him on the days when he doesn't get an appetite stimulant. It's very frustrating, but what else can you do? The only difference that I see is that he's not losing weight. Probably because I DO hand feed him. But this is because I know the hazards of them not eating enough since years ago we had a cat with Hepatic Lipidosis and do not ever want to go through that again. People think I am spoiling him rotten by doing that, but it's really to keep him healthy. I guess it's a fine line.

I truly hope they can find whatever is wrong, if anything. Otherwise I hope you can find some food that she will eat. Is she eating kibble? I notice you said you put her kibble bowl in her play pen, so just wonder if she's eating that? My very picky guy does eat freeze dried raw, but only in the dehydrated state, which is like kibble. Often though I still have to hand feed even that. I hate that it's dry, but it's better than not eating at all, and at least it's not full of carbs.
 

maggie101

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Are there certain times of day he does not like to eat? Some cats cannot be without food for so long so I use a food timer at night. Otherwise she feels nauseous. I feed Maggie on my bed. You can test it buy leavingout can fod frozen or under pouches. Food can last for house
 
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Margret

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Jasmine gets 1/2 of a small (3 oz,) can of cat food twice a day, which she tends to "graze" on. Additionally she gets all the kibble she wants. I've had her on grain free kibble almost from day 1, and she loves it, but it doesn't keep her from eating her canned food. Also, she's perfectly willing to drink water, unlike some cats.

The vet finally called me at around 7 p.m.. The only indication of kidney disease that they found was a small bit of blood in the urine, but they think that was an artifact of the extraction method. Additionally, the only symptom I've seen is the weight loss - when Sweet Thing had kidney disease the first symptom was that she started peeing all over the house, not just in the litter box (I think she was trying to tell me that peeing was painful, but I don't know).

Best theory right now is IBD. A sonogram would probably prove it one way or the other, but with no sign of cancer (including no mass found by palpation, in a very skinny cat) the feeling is that it's unnecessary. The easiest thing is to put her on a hypoallergenic diet and give her B12 shots to improve her appetite, so that's what we're going to try. If that doesn't do it we'll go with the sonogram before we up the stakes by putting her on steroids. They'll give me a call tomorrow to set up an appointment Saturday morning for her first B12 shot, at which time they'll show me how to do that myself. It's a subcutaneous shot, but the needle is a good deal smaller than the one they use for sub-q fluids (thank goodness!) so it's a good deal easier than giving sub-q fluids. Also, you don't have to keep the cat hooked up to the fluid bag for a long time - just get the needle in, inject, and remove the needle. I never was able to get the hang of giving sub-q fluids when Bright Eyes was dying (it didn't help that it was at the height of the pandemic so they couldn't give me much in the way of hands-on training).

There was also mention of putting her on metronidazole (I'm not clear on why), but that also is not a first choice. I'm not sure how metronidazole works in cats, but know exactly what the side effects are when I'm on it - it gives me a nasty taste in my mouth, all the time! Not my first choice for a cat who's been losing weight.

Margret
 
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Margret

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Jasmine now gets a shot of Vitamin B12 every Saturday for the next 5 weeks, to increase her appetite. I can give her the shots, no problem, and I have a sharps container already so I'm able to dispose of the needles properly.

The vet gave me a prescription for Hills Z/D, both canned and dry. That's a hydrolyzed protein food.

Jasmine thinks the kibble is fine stuff (she always does like kibble), but she won't touch the canned. They're the larger 5 ounce cans, so I've been giving her 1/4 can twice a day. She took one bite of the first 1/4 can and that's all the wet food she's had in two days. At least she's always considered water to be good for drinking, so she isn't dehydrated (and I've noticed that she's drinking more than usual in the last couple of days), but the wet food is a no-go.

The vet's office says to try mixing a new food with the old when changing over. Won't work; I've tried this before. Jasmine wants something with some chunks in it, and canned hydrolyzed food doesn't have chunks. If I mix some of her old food with the hydrolyzed she'll just pick out the chunks and ignore the hydrolyzed. So I've been researching novel protein foods online. The best I could find seemed to be a company that has novel proteins in raw food (Novel Protein Cat Food for Cats with Food Allergies), and I really don't want to start her on a raw diet at the same time I'm trying to switch her to a totally new flavor of food. They were saying things on their website like "Keep it frozen until you're ready to use it." Really? Makes sense, but then what? Heat it in the microwave?

I'm going to keep looking; maybe I can find some canned food made from venison or rabbit or lamb or duck at PetSmart or PetCo. I'm also going to call the vet's office today for advice.

Margret
 
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Margret

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I was using a frozen pellet type food for a while, and just let the amount I needed thaw on the counter.
Thanks. I'll check out the raw feeding forum here, as well.

It's becoming quite obvious that no matter what I find it's going to be expensive. Drat!

Margret
 
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Well, the customer service representative at Chewy spent about 45 minutes with me, looking for novel proteins. Eventually we settled on 3: Pork Stew, Duck with Pea, and Duck and Lamb in Gelée. I tried the pork first, and Jasmine informed me that pork isn't food. Next I tried the duck with pea. It comes in 5 oz. cans, and I was disappointed to see that it's patée style (something that isn't mentioned on either the label or in Chewy's database, or they wouldn't have sent it to me). Despite the fact that it's patée style I tried Jasmine on it and she attacked it with gusto. Once. She hasn't eaten any of it since as far as I can tell. I'll try her on the duck and lamb tonight.

Margret
 
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