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Proper diet for overweight cat with dental problems

August 21st, 2005, 12:02 PM
We adopted Lucy 11 days ago from the SPCA. She had been there for year with probably minimal health care, although she was altered and received all her vax and testing for feline leukemia, etc. She was seized in a neglect case underweight at 6-something pounds; a year later when we adopted her, she weighs 11lbs9oz. Too much time in a very small cage! Our vet says she would ideally weigh ~10lbs--so she's not a total piggy, but she's pleasantly plump.

I noticed when we brought her home that she 'gums' her (dry) food, rolling it around with her tongue before swallowing it whole and unchewed. Upon inspection, she's missing a few teeth and the gums around the back teeth are red and, I'm sure, sore. The doc said definitely get her on soft food and if the antibiotic isn't effective, she'll probably need extraction of the back teeth. (She's just finishing up a prescribed round of clindamycin 25mg BID and has a f/u appt with the vet on 8/24)

Well, the attempts at canned food didn't go so well. I mixed the canned with the dry to soften up the dry without doing a total 180 from her usual diet, and she ate some of it, but now she is seeking out the other cat's dry food and eating that instead. I want to make sure this little kitty gets the best nutrition she can--does anyone have food suggestions for her? Something easy to swallow, palatable, nutritious...apparently Iams soft food doesn't cut it for this kitty.

Lucky Rescue
August 21st, 2005, 02:19 PM
Awww, what a sweet kitty! Thank you so much for bringing her home and giving her the love she needs!

Canned food is best in many ways, including keeping weight to a healthy level. I suggest you get her teeth taken care of first. Bad teeth can cause other illnesses.

Once that's done, try and make the main portion of her diet canned. It's possible she doesn't like the IAMS, (my cats would never touch it) so start her on something irresistable, like Fancy Feast or Sheba, then gradually mix in whatever you want, even Friskies. Almost any canned food is better than dry for cats.

You can still give her a snack of dry during the day.:)

August 21st, 2005, 09:28 PM
Ditto on what Lucky said.

August 22nd, 2005, 01:27 AM
Thank you both for the input. I'm a nurse, so I know a lot more about humans than felines, but some things I can generalize--such as the risk associated with serious dental infections. However, I guess I always thought of canned food as junk food for cats. To think about it though, I guess commercial pet food is all pretty much junk food--not what our furry friends have evolved to eat.

I just want to be cautious about making multiple dietary changes, especially at a time when her normal flora are already at risk from the clindamycin. Don't want to end up with a kitty with a sick belly, too. :eek:

August 22nd, 2005, 07:38 AM
Shannon,Lucy is a beautiful girl!!
I have tried"good"canned food for my three cats,but Fancy Feast is all they will eat,I honestly do not believe IAMS canned is any better.My cats would not touch it.
Having been in a shelter for a year,she probably was fed only dry.
I would start her on a little of really smelly fishy stuff,although not supposed to be the best for them,just a little at a time.
My cats have Nutro Natural dry food for snack 24/7..
I had problems with cats with bad teeth years ago,with very serious consequences and try to do everything to prevent it with my three boys.
Good Luck with Lucy!
I also do not think she looks fat,11lbs is not much,but maybe she's a little cat,mine all weigh over 14lb's,but they are male and not fat.

August 22nd, 2005, 12:35 PM
She's not fat, really...just over ideal weight by about 1lb9oz. Ordinarily I would not worry about a little pudge, such as she has, but she also has knee problems (patellar) which are aggravated by the extra weight. She would have an easier time walking if she were a bit lighter. I don't have any pics that show it well, but she kind of tucks her pelvis under, crouches, and looks cow hocked from behind.

August 22nd, 2005, 12:50 PM
She looks perpetually P'd off because of the crouching (maybe why our 1st cat hasn't accepted her yet???). I don't have many photos of her on her feet because she just doesn't move around that much, poor thing. Her patellar ligaments are "loosey goosey" which is how she got named Lucy. The vet had me start her on Arthramaxx--a glucosamine & chondroitin supplement--and 1/2 baby aspirin every day. Hopefully we can manage things well enough in this manner--regenerate some connective tissue, manage her pain a little, and lose some weight--to avoid surgery.

Lucky Rescue
August 22nd, 2005, 12:50 PM
Actually, dry food could more be classified as "junk food". Canned food is the closest to what cats eat in the wild, since they are total carnivores and would never eat most the ingredients in dry food.

Here is an article concerning this topic that you might find interesting.:)

August 22nd, 2005, 01:09 PM
I'm realizing that now, Lucky...I guess I've always left dry food out for my kitties because it doesn't get yucky when it just sits there, like canned stuff does. My cats have always been indoor/outdoor cats who catch all sorts of rodents and create their own barf diet, supplemented by commercial cat food provided by us. I never felt I had to worry much about what we feed them and my kitties have never had health or weight problems. Lucy won't be going outside if her mobility isn't good enough to get out of harm's way, so I need to find something commercial other than dry kibble that she will eat!

Regarding the link you posted, I had totally bought into the myth that dry food is better for cat's teeth.