Sugar not eating out of bowls but will eat off paper towel

les26

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Our old girl Sugar, the one that almost died several years ago when she had a HORRIBLE reaction to anesthesia when she was getting a cancerous tumor removed and some dental work done, is getting thinner and older, she's slower but older but still here and we were lucky that she made it through that ordeal years ago. She will eat treats and Squeeze ups but when we put her by a bowl of wet food she walks away, but I see her moving her mouth and think something is bothering her but NO WAY are we going to put her under again after she almost died, but I had an idea as Deb said "maybe she has a hard time eating out of the bowls?", so I put food and treats and a Squeeze up on a flat paper towel and she ate! So we are thinking that is the problem for some reason, eating out of a bowl?

I called the vet days ago asking if maybe we should try an appetite stimulant but Deb is afraid how she would react to that and I understand why, but of the course the vet wanted us to bring her in for a checkup and do blood work and we aren't going to do that to the old girl, get her all stressed out, she is still drinking and eating hard food and Squeeze ups but now we are aware of this, we'll feed her on paper plates from now on, but if you have any thing to add to this that we might not be seeing please do!

Thank you!!
 

mrsgreenjeens

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In a bowl, food slides around, where on a paper towel, it can't really do that so it's easier for them to lick up. I know when I give my guys treats out of my hand, sometimes they have issues so I will set them down on something rough like a rug or blanket and then they can pick up the treats with no problem.
 

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I have a cat that takes his wet food out of whatever I put it in with his paw and eats it off the floor. 🤷🏻‍♀️ My parents cat takes one piece of dry food out of the bowl at a time with his mouth, drops it on the floor, and then eats it
 
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les26

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In a bowl, food slides around, where on a paper towel, it can't really do that so it's easier for them to lick up. I know when I give my guys treats out of my hand, sometimes they have issues so I will set them down on something rough like a rug or blanket and then they can pick up the treats with no problem.
Yes, thank you! When she was eating off the paper towel I said to Deb "she's licking it up" rather than chewing it, she had half her teeth worked on years ago that awful day so I don't know what she has left now, the vet said years ago "there's no way we're putting her under again" and we agree, that was absolutely horrible, so whatever her mouth is like sadly it has to be, she'd never survive being under again. But she is still here, and just ate some more treats!
 

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Even feeding on a flat plate isn't a guarantee. My Betty sometimes paws wet food off her elevated flat plate. I have also been able to get her to eat when she's being fussy (sniff and walk away) by taking the food off the plate and putting it on the carpet. She has no interest in paper or plastic plates. I don't know what she'd do with a paper towel. She takes two (now three) capsules a day. She takes her own medicine if I coat the pill in the smallest amount of food and place it on the carpet in front of her. She'll bite the capsule once or twice before giving up and swallowing it.
 
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les26

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We think the problem is her teeth and gums because she'll eat a little bit and then jog away just like Snickers was doing awhile ago and he had to get MAJOR teeth/gum work done, but we CAN'T get anything done for her as I said she almost died when they were doing her tumor removal and then some teeth work years ago, the vet said they would never put her under again, she spent a week in Hope Veterinary Hospital in West Chester, PA. and thousands of dollars later she came home, but Deb and I said too we'll never put her under again, she won't survive it this time. So we are giving her Squeeze Ups and treats and mix some wet food in with some vitamins and fish oil, we have to make sure that she eats but we don't think there is anything that the vet can do?! I think she eats some dry food on her own too.

I read they can have baby food but not too much as it can cause diarrhea, any advice on that?

Thank you!
 

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Human baby food is also not a nutritionally adequate diet for cats. In a pinch for a meal or two or to entice a sick cat to eat, it's fine but it's not good to feed long term. There is a TCS thread that discusses adding a pre-mix to baby food to make it a more long term diet for cats: How much premix do you need to add to a jar of baby food for assist feedings, and what's a good source of fiber/bulk to include as needed?

You can try Hills A/D or other veterinary food to get more nutrition into the cat. You can discuss alternative food options and supplements with your vet.
 

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I recommend Hills A/D over baby food. It is specifically formulated for getting and keeping sick and fussy cats eating. It’s highly appealing and it has a very smooth texture like baby food. It’s a prescription food. You’ll have to ask your vet for it. But it will be much better for Sugar than human baby food.
 

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If she doesn't gain weight back after eating on a paper towel for a bit, it might be hyperthyroid. It was a weird first thing Lily started to do, but I don't know if it's related to her age or that.
 
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les26

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If she doesn't gain weight back after eating on a paper towel for a bit, it might be hyperthyroid. It was a weird first thing Lily started to do, but I don't know if it's related to her age or that.
I don't think it is that because she is not overeating, she might eat some dry food on her own but we have to put some Squeeze Ups and wet food on a paper towel mixed with some vitamins and fish oil to her and she will eat if she wants to, but when she is done she trots away.

We are concerned because she is getting so thin and frail, but she still seems okay but we just trimmed her claws and she didn't put up as much of a fight as she used to, and I can feel how thin she is when I hold her. But she is older and almost died years ago as I said, we are very reluctant to take her to the vet after having Sabrina have cardiac arrest weeks ago and die, we would feel horrible if that would happen here, so we are just trying to make her comfortable and feed her and let her be if that's what she wants, but we know what is coming for her, it is what comes for us all one day.....
 

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I understand your reluctance after veterinary trauma. Try to keep in mind that our little friends usually have a longer life expectancy if we catch medical issues early. Bloodwork sooner rather than later is best. Many cats, even geriatric cats can live years with a change of diet or medication with things like hyperthyroid or lowered kidney function, depending on how advanced the disease is.

Many sick cats will still eat on their own. Waiting for them to cease eating altogether can cause its own issues. Under-eating for a week or so can cause the same issues as a cat not eating for a few days.

If you prefer to have her pass peacefully at home, you could call the vet and see about pain management until that time. You might not have to bring her in for that. Do not provide human pain killers.
 
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les26

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I understand your reluctance after veterinary trauma. Try to keep in mind that our little friends usually have a longer life expectancy if we catch medical issues early. Bloodwork sooner rather than later is best. Many cats, even geriatric cats can live years with a change of diet or medication with things like hyperthyroid or lowered kidney function, depending on how advanced the disease is.

Many sick cats will still eat on their own. Waiting for them to cease eating altogether can cause its own issues. Under-eating for a week or so can cause the same issues as a cat not eating for a few days.

If you prefer to have her pass peacefully at home, you could call the vet and see about pain management until that time. You might not have to bring her in for that. Do not provide human pain killers.
Well I have an update and good news! This morning Sugar was more active after eating more last night, so this morning I fed her again on the paper towel and she ate 5 Squeeze Ups and some wet food! I know that the Squeeze Ups aren't the best thing for her but they are something and she eats them, but I also made a vet appointment and just got back from taking her, and when I was sitting on the bench waiting to go in I always open the carrier door and pet them and talk to them to try to calm them down and she was VERY active, even wanting to come out of the carrier! But when she was face to face with me in good lighting I could see that her left eye was mucousy, and she was swollen on the left side of her face, and I hoped that it wasn't the cancer coming back, but when I showed the vet she tried to check her out and it took her and the technician to hold her still enough to look at it, so she is still very fiesty which was good to see! And the vet said "yes, and she's an old lady!" so that was a good sign! She said it was her tooth, maybe an abcess, said she knows we can't do any anesthesia or surgery but said they will give her an antibiotic shot and some pain meds and that should calm it down, and gave us some softer wet food called "Recovery" which she said is pretty good at restoring animals, and also did some bloodwork just to see if it is her thyroid like you had said or why she had lost 4 pounds, but she is on her way now and we don't think it is her time yet, not at all after seeing that, and the fact that there was something physically there makes us all believe that is why she wasn't eating, so we will see how it goes. She ate half a can of the food when she got home so that is very good!

And of course the "talk" was about how they remember what happened to her that day years ago, and I heard the one tech in the back saying to another one "I was the lady who drove her down an hour to the hospital under anesthesia" so they very much remember that horrible day as we all do and will forever...

But she got good news today, and the vet said they usually see them respond quickly to the antibiotic shot with issues like this.
 

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Great update! Here's hoping the antibiotic does its thing.

I'm glad she likes the recovery food. It is meant to be kitty crack. You likely won't find something more appealing than that. My advice is to start mixing it with something else as soon as she'll eat the mix. The reason for this is such that the next time her eating slows or stops, you have the pure stuff as a backup option. If she only ever eats the pure stuff, there's nowhere to go when she turns her nose to that.

My Betty is eating a mix of I/D and A/D (Hills recovery food.) If she goes on hunger strike or I need her to take meds and she's being stubborn about our carpet trick, I'll bust out the pure A/D. Otherwise, she only ever gets to eat a 1:2 mix of I/D to A/D.
 

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Correction: Betty eats a 1:2 A/D to I/D mix, or 1 part A/D (the good stuff) to 2 parts I/D (lower calorie stew chunks food that she also likes.)

We finally go for an endoscopy tomorrow and will hopefully have either a diagnosis or a diagnosis by exclusion and can start constructing a treatment plan already.
 
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les26

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Correction: Betty eats a 1:2 A/D to I/D mix, or 1 part A/D (the good stuff) to 2 parts I/D (lower calorie stew chunks food that she also likes.)

We finally go for an endoscopy tomorrow and will hopefully have either a diagnosis or a diagnosis by exclusion and can start constructing a treatment plan already.
Best of luck with it!!
 

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Well I have an update and good news! This morning Sugar was more active after eating more last night, so this morning I fed her again on the paper towel and she ate 5 Squeeze Ups and some wet food! I know that the Squeeze Ups aren't the best thing for her but they are something and she eats them, but I also made a vet appointment and just got back from taking her, and when I was sitting on the bench waiting to go in I always open the carrier door and pet them and talk to them to try to calm them down and she was VERY active, even wanting to come out of the carrier! But when she was face to face with me in good lighting I could see that her left eye was mucousy, and she was swollen on the left side of her face, and I hoped that it wasn't the cancer coming back, but when I showed the vet she tried to check her out and it took her and the technician to hold her still enough to look at it, so she is still very fiesty which was good to see! And the vet said "yes, and she's an old lady!" so that was a good sign! She said it was her tooth, maybe an abcess, said she knows we can't do any anesthesia or surgery but said they will give her an antibiotic shot and some pain meds and that should calm it down, and gave us some softer wet food called "Recovery" which she said is pretty good at restoring animals, and also did some bloodwork just to see if it is her thyroid like you had said or why she had lost 4 pounds, but she is on her way now and we don't think it is her time yet, not at all after seeing that, and the fact that there was something physically there makes us all believe that is why she wasn't eating, so we will see how it goes. She ate half a can of the food when she got home so that is very good!

And of course the "talk" was about how they remember what happened to her that day years ago, and I heard the one tech in the back saying to another one "I was the lady who drove her down an hour to the hospital under anesthesia" so they very much remember that horrible day as we all do and will forever...

But she got good news today, and the vet said they usually see them respond quickly to the antibiotic shot with issues like this.
Wonderful! Thanks so much for updating us. I hope the antibiotics go smoothly. Nobel has ways done well with the antibiotic shot too.

That recovery food really is great when we need it right?
 
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les26

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She is laying around a bit more today but that is to be expected, she is older and had a very rough day yesterday. We tried to give her a syringe of pain meds tonight but she wouldn't let us so we let her go, she is a fiesty little thing! Deb remarked that she had some pretty "gross" drainage coming out but I said that's because the antibiotic is pushing it out, doing what it is supposed to do, we just need to give her time and take care of her the best that we can!
 
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