Super picky eater with liver failure. What can I do to get her to eat and make sure she's getting the right nutrition?

EveAndHerThieves

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Sep 28, 2018
Messages
197
Purraise
347
So bare with me - I'm in a horribly cranky mood. My ADHD/anxiety meds have a national shortage going on and I haven't had them for a week. So if this post sounds negative, I apologize in advance.

Ive got three food related issues for kitty.

1) what to feed her? I've been feeding her "mature" wet cat food. Science Diet, Blue, and one that I always think of as Wilderness. She's always begging for food anyway. I want to be sure her food begging isn't related to being fed wrong food. She has two slow growing masses on her liver, jaundice so bad my vet isn't sure why she's not on an IV, and is literally going bald. She's also prone to nausea. So whatever I give her has to be able to get her nutrition through her failing liver. (before you judge, she had a vet trip two weeks ago and the vet is absolutely stunned and says she still looks amazingly good and has great quality of life. Her conditions are mostly managed with meds)

2) even if she's on the right food... How the heck do I get her to eat it?! She used to take her canned food out of a dish. Now she only licks her food (probably due to a tooth issue) and creates a GIANT mess all around the food dish. She will only actually eat maybe a teaspoon out of half a can, but the rest is garbage because it's now been on the floor so she won't touch it. I've tried deeper dishes, cups, pots and pans.... She's now taken up insisting on being able to eat with her paw. She will claw a tiny bit out and lick her paw. She also only wants gravy. If I give her some food without gravy she has no interest. So I have to give her a new can EVERY TIME. it's expensive!

3) If she IS getting the right nutrition and is just being fussy, what can I do to get her NOT thinking about food?? It's all she does. She follows me around meowing for food and rubbing her head on things in insecurity. If I wake up at night, she wants food. If I get up from the couch to pee, she wants food. Doorbell? She wants food. It's honestly starting to stress me out to the point where I've left the house to avoid her. She's always been incredibly insecure and clingy, now it seems she's doing it with her food. If she is truly hungry she will eat the solid food I have for the other cats, so I know she's not starving to death. She's just obsessed with food. I had to send her to mom's today because I can't get anything done without her underfoot asking for food. The last vet trip she actually put on an ounce so I know she's not just starving to death. I don't know if she's just not getting enough food with her weird eating habits or what. I tried a set schedule for food, but she's always begging in-between and her brain doesn't seem to understand that she can't waste six cans of food a day.
 

Furballsmom

Cat Devotee
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
34,139
Purraise
45,541
Location
Colorado US
Hi
I'm so sorry!

Maybe there's something in this thread I'm linking for you below, plus you might take a look at Weruva.com .

Weruva foods aren't prescription, they're reasonably priced and they utilize recipes that are at the minimum aafco requirements which is to say they're safer than most brands to feed a cat who has a compromised system :vibes::heartshape::alright:

Additionally, along with her commercial foods you could try unseasoned cooked chicken. The Honest Kitchen and some other brands have bone broth unseasoned for cats you could try as well, and blend the commercial food and/or the chicken with some broth so it possibly replicates the gravy she wants. There's a Purina product called hydracare which is a thick soup-ish type of product that could also be added to food to mimic the gravy she wants, and can be refrigerated to make it last longer and cut the cost a little.

Try a mat or a flat paper plate, feed her with your finger or a tongue depressor (I did this a couple times a day for three years for my angel boy :hugs:) and there are some other ideas in this;

Any Good Tips To Get Your Cats To Eat? Share Them Here!
 
Last edited:
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

EveAndHerThieves

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Sep 28, 2018
Messages
197
Purraise
347
Thank you! At this point I'm willing to try anything. I dropped a can on the floor for her - she had been out for two hours, the horror -and this was what happened. She spent twenty minutes carefully pawing it out. If you look you can see the massive mess she's creating. She seems to really enjoy using her paw for some reason. *Scratches head* I'm hoping if I find something that fills her up that she will leave me alone.
IMG_20221118_141510456.jpg



I should add that she does this with whatever I feed her with. The plate I use to feed her is a worse mess. The can is to keep her busy for a bit. Next she will probably use her paw to dip into the water dish.
 

Furballsmom

Cat Devotee
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
34,139
Purraise
45,541
Location
Colorado US
:vibes::heartshape:

The only other thing I can think of, you mentioned a possible bad tooth which might explain her using her paw (can you put the can, and other dishes when you're feeding her, on a washable mat?), but it doesn't get at why she's feeling that she needs to be consuming something all the time.

Along with providing her with a can to work on, would one of those toys where a person puts kibble inside it that when the cat plays with it the kibble falls out of little holes, help keep her involved ?
 
Last edited:

mrsgreenjeens

Every Life Should Have Nine Cats
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
15,486
Purraise
5,504
Location
Arizona
If your Vet hasn't suggested a specific food for her health issues, then I would think ANY food that is 00% nutritionally complete (in other words, it doesn't say it's a "complimentary food" should be ok for her to eat.

I feed both my guys on their own individual placemats just for the issues you show above. that way I can wipe them clean for the next meal if there is any spillage. Since she has enjoyed eating your other cats food, why not try feeding her whatever you are feeding them?

I'm a little confused as to why your Vet wonders why she isn't on an IV considering her jaundice. Wouldn't your Vet be the one to do that? Or at least to initiate it and prescribe it if he wants you to do sub-q fluids (vs IV fluids) at home?
 
Top