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 Post subject: High cal foods for a geriatric cat?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:18 pm 
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Dead by dawn
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Oh wise PPK cat people, can you help my sister keep her sweet kitty from wasting away? Shadow is 16 or 17 and has cancer. Because of her age and because she doesn't seem to be suffering, they have opted to offer only palliative care and she's doing OK. Mostly she sleeps a lot. She is eating normally, but the cancer is taking up most of the calories that she's getting and she's losing weight. The vet wants her getting as many calories as possible and suggested switching to kitten food, which they'll do. But my sister is wondering what else she can try and I thought you guys might have some insight. She'll eat wet food as an occasional treat, but won't eat it regularly. Any suggestions?

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 Post subject: Re: High cal foods for a geriatric cat?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:22 pm 
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My cats try to steal my earth balance. I wouldn't give more than 1 tsp per day though.


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 Post subject: Re: High cal foods for a geriatric cat?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:25 am 
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The only thing I can think of is a wet food that is prescribed by a vet. It is extra smelly to entice kitties, and has lots of calories. I had to get it a few years ago when my kitty was super stressed out, and not eating.


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 Post subject: Re: High cal foods for a geriatric cat?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:01 am 
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My cats get salmon oil in their food mix and they really like it when I put a few drops on the top of their food. Mmm, fishy. You can buy wild salmon oil in pump bottles like this http://www.amazon.com/Grizzly-All-Natur ... B0002ABR6E so it's easy to add a few teaspoons a day if they need extra calories.

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 Post subject: Re: High cal foods for a geriatric cat?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:20 am 
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If your sister cooks meat in the house she can pour chicken fat over kitty's food, just watch out for tummy upsets (fat/oil can cause it in some cats if they have sensitive tummies).


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 Post subject: Re: High cal foods for a geriatric cat?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:09 am 
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Magpie-Grin wrote:
The only thing I can think of is a wet food that is prescribed by a vet. It is extra smelly to entice kitties, and has lots of calories. I had to get it a few years ago when my kitty was super stressed out, and not eating.


I was thinking this too -- Hill's makes a food called a/d, Eukanuba makes "Maximum Calorie," Royal Canin makes "Recovery" food. I'd ask the vet about some Rx options.

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 Post subject: Re: High cal foods for a geriatric cat?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:08 pm 
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When I had a very ill cat several years ago, my vet prescribed some kind of food/nutritional supplement that I mixed with water and fed to my cat five or six times a day with a syringe. It helped keep our Lily both fed and hydrated. Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of it. I found this page on nutritional support for cats with cancer that may be useful though:

http://www.zzcat.com/resources/nutrition.htm


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 Post subject: Re: High cal foods for a geriatric cat?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:13 pm 
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Wellness Core is a high-calorie dry food--she'll take in more calories with each bite, even if she doesn't go to the food bowl very often. Most grain-free dry cat foods are higher in calories than regular cat food. We adopted a skinny cat from a shelter, and he noticeably put on weight within a month or so eating this.

I'm sorry your sister's kitty is so ill. I hope she can spend the rest of her life happy and comfortable.


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 Post subject: Re: High cal foods for a geriatric cat?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 1:36 pm 
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Thanks everyone, I will pass on your suggestions. She's vegetarian and I don't think her husband brings much meat into the house, but she'd probably be willing to try salmon oil, and the Wellness high cal food sounds like a good option too.

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 Post subject: Re: High cal foods for a geriatric cat?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:46 pm 
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Warming up wet food a little makes it easier for them to smell and therefore more enticing.


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 Post subject: Re: High cal foods for a geriatric cat?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:10 am 
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I second the vote for the Wellness "core" line. They also have canned (and Wellness has a senior canned formula as well). I've had to go through the geriatric kitty thing, and it's really tough but it really is all about figuring out what the senior feline citizen likes most and feeding as much as they want to eat. I seem to recall my beloved Devil really liking the stinky grocery store cat food in his twilight days, the stuff I wouldn't feed him when he was younger (Fancy Feast - extra stinky, lots of sugar). I just wanted to make him happy and keep him fed.


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