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Cat: problems with eating

tuaqs
March 20th, 2004, 11:27 PM
I puree all my cat's food because he was having trouble eating solid food and keeping it down. He eats very small amounts at a time, going to his dish quite often.

He was managing that okay for a few months, but the last couple of weeks he started getting his muzzle into his liquified food, every time he tries to eat. It's all over his nose, and the front of his face, where it dries and cakes in the fur and on his whiskers.

I try to keep it cleaned off but it seems to upset him when I do that, even though I am as gentle as I can be while cleaning his face. I use water only, no soap, on a facial tissue or a face cloth.

I've tried putting the food on a flat plate and putting it in a little bowl. Container shape doesn't seem to make a difference.

Has anyone else had a cat who did this? What did you do to help it?

Does anyone have suggestions for keeping his face out of the food?

Lucky Rescue
March 21st, 2004, 12:19 AM
What does the vet say is wrong with your cat? Why can't he keep food down?
This is very abnormal.

tuaqs
March 21st, 2004, 12:40 AM
Thank you for replying.

The vet didn't say.

Keeping the food down is not a problem.The cat keeps food down fine, now. He just has to have it pureed.

The problem is that he has been snorkling in his food dish without a mask. Do you have any suggestions to prevent him from getting the food all over his muzzle when he eats, other than feeding him with a syringe every hour?

chico2
March 21st, 2004, 06:17 AM
That is a strange problem,never heard of it before...maybe something wrong with his teeth,jaw??
Normal healthy cats would avoid getting messy and if,would clean themselves...I'd say eating in short spurts is normal for a cat,but not sucking it up!
My 3 cats also do not eat "chunky"food only the pate type and they seem to be licking up the food rather than chomping down on it and keep returning to the dishes,unless my little porker got there first:D

amaruq
March 21st, 2004, 07:27 AM
Hmm good questions but have no answers.....but I will say HI!:D

Spoiled
March 21st, 2004, 09:16 AM
Maybe feed the cat in a VERY shallow dish. The cat isn't rubbing his head in the food, is he?:D

Lucky Rescue
March 21st, 2004, 09:37 AM
How does your cat act when he is not eating? Is he coordinated? Does he have problems with anything else - walking, jumping, etc?

He has to eat liquified food, and is now shoving his face in it. You say this only started a few weeks ago? Something is wrong with him.

You might want to see another vet to find out what it is.

tuaqs
March 21st, 2004, 05:52 PM
Originally posted by LuckyRescue
How does your cat act when he is not eating? Is he coordinated? Does he have problems with anything else - walking, jumping, etc?

He's walking okay, not jumping much anymore, but goes up and down the stairs fine.


He has to eat liquified food, and is now shoving his face in it. You say this only started a few weeks ago? Something is wrong with him.

He's not shoving his face in. He just gets his mouth so close that his nose, lips, chin and whiskers end up dripping with food.


You might want to see another vet to find out what it is.

Unfortunately, there will be only one more trip to a vet. I'm trying to delay that as long as I can.

tuaqs
March 21st, 2004, 05:55 PM
Originally posted by Spoiled
Maybe feed the cat in a VERY shallow dish. The cat isn't rubbing his head in the food, is he?:D

Thank you for the suggestion. I use a saucer now. I'll see if I can find anything flatter that will hold liquid. No, he isn't rubbing, just lapping the food up.

Iggette
March 21st, 2004, 08:15 PM
I must say I find it strange as well that the cat doesn't clean it's face afterwards:confused: Mine go nuts cleaning after a good serving of wet food ( I have to puree mine as well or they just lick the gravy and leave the chunks...lol)

tuaqs
March 21st, 2004, 09:20 PM
Originally posted by Iggette
I must say I find it strange as well that the cat doesn't clean it's face afterwards:confused: Mine go nuts cleaning after a good serving of wet food ( I have to puree mine as well or they just lick the gravy and leave the chunks...lol)

Do they get their noses into the food and get it on their whiskers? Are you saying that is normal, he just isn't cleaning it off as he should?

Thanks

Iggette
March 21st, 2004, 09:40 PM
No Im not saying that, I give mine about 2 tablespoons at the most so not much there to get messy with. One sometimes ends up with some on top of his nose but he cleans it off.

How much food are you putting out ? All over the whiskers has me wondering the amount of food in the bowl?

You put it on a saucerbut you want it to hold liquid are you adding water:confused:

When I say i puree my cats food perhaps I am using the wrong word I simply mash the chunks into teeny tiny bits

tuaqs
March 21st, 2004, 10:17 PM
I put out one or two tablespoon at a time.

Yes, I must add water in order to process the food in the blender and so that I can strain it. Also, it must be semi-liquid so that he can lap it up. He isn't able to pick up solid food.

Luba
March 21st, 2004, 11:04 PM
Does he 'lap' it up properly... I'm wondering if there is some form of neurological problem if he can't get his tongue to lap up the food.

I'm sorry your baby is suffering like this...have u thought of getting another vets opinion on why he throws up after he eats?

Perhaps a homeopathic natural vet would be helpful.

Lucky Rescue
March 22nd, 2004, 12:18 AM
some form of neurological problem

I was thinking the same thing, which is why I asked about jumping, etc.

Whatever it is, there is definitely a problem.

tuaqs
March 22nd, 2004, 05:41 AM
Originally posted by Luba
Does he 'lap' it up properly... I'm wondering if there is some form of neurological problem if he can't get his tongue to lap up the food.


He does seem to lap okay. He just gets too close.



I'm sorry your baby is suffering like this...have u thought of getting another vets opinion on why he throws up after he eats?


Thank you. He doesn't usually throw up if I make sure that the food has been pureed



Yes there is definitely a problem. The why's don't really matter, as it can't be repaired.

Finding out, or figuring out, how to work around it is my quest. I need to get enough food into him every day without him wearing most of it.

tuaqs
March 22nd, 2004, 05:42 AM
Originally posted by Luba
Does he 'lap' it up properly... I'm wondering if there is some form of neurological problem if he can't get his tongue to lap up the food.


He does seem to lap okay. He just gets too close.



I'm sorry your baby is suffering like this...have u thought of getting another vets opinion on why he throws up after he eats?


Thank you. He doesn't usually throw up if I make sure that the food has been pureed



Yes there is definitely a problem. The why's don't really matter, as it can't be repaired.

Finding out, or figuring out, how to work around it is my quest. I need to get enough food into him every day without him wearing most of it.

Iggette
March 22nd, 2004, 05:45 AM
I'm starting to wonder if this kitty has some sort of digestive problem if it vomits up dry food and small bits can't be tolerated.

I'd say a vet visit might put your mind at rest as I don't think your feeding routine should be so difficult as you say

tuaqs
March 22nd, 2004, 05:33 PM
Originally posted by Iggette
I'm starting to wonder if this kitty has some sort of digestive problem if it vomits up dry food and small bits can't be tolerated.

I'd say a vet visit might put your mind at rest as I don't think your feeding routine should be so difficult as you say

Thank you for the vet suggestion. The vet clinic already has over $800 of money which I had to borrow to pay them. The cat cannot be repaired by a vet.

As I wrote earlier, my dear little kitty has only one more trip to the vet left on his punch card. I want to delay making that trip for as long as I possibly can.

Vomitting is not a problem. The cat seldom vomits.

The feeding routine is not difficult.

My concerns and questions are about ways in which I might be able to arrange things to prevent food from accumulating on his face and whiskers, and from there on his forepaws, as well.

As Iggette noted, cats like to keep clean. He's not able to clean himsef and I'm not always available to wash him each time after he browses throughout the day and night.

Thank you all again for your comments. Can anyone recommend another message board site where I may by chance find someone who has experience with this problem?

tuaqs
March 22nd, 2004, 05:51 PM
Himself, May 2003:

Catt31
March 22nd, 2004, 06:24 PM
He's beautiful!!! I don't have any suggestions that haven't already been suggested. What about a margarine lid? Or try feeding him less at more intervals throughout the day? Could you wipe his face as often as you can (when you are up/home) so that he knows what he needs to do?? Hmmmmm!!!!
Good luck with that!! :D

Lucky Rescue
March 22nd, 2004, 06:48 PM
Can anyone recommend another message board site where I may by chance find someone who has experience with this problem?

If you would tell us what is wrong with him - the name of the illness, or what is causing it - we may be able to be of more help, or offer suggestions.

tuaqs
March 22nd, 2004, 11:57 PM
Originally posted by Catt31
He's beautiful!!! I don't have any suggestions that haven't already been suggested. What about a margarine lid? Or try feeding him less at more intervals throughout the day? Could you wipe his face as often as you can (when you are up/home) so that he knows what he needs to do?? Hmmmmm!!!!
Good luck with that!! :D

Catt31,
Thank you very much.

I'm trying the margarine lid now. What a good idea! I never thought of that. Maybe getting away from the ridges in the saucer will help? He's not feeling like eating, for the moment, so I'll have to wait to see if that will work.

I try to keep a supply of fresh food available all day and night for him, with either two or one tablespoon per plate.

I do wipe his face with a tissue every time that I'm nearby after he eats. I wash his face thoroughly, a couple of times a day, with a facecloth and warm water. He's not keen on that, though, and I don't like to stress him any more than I have to. He's been so good about letting me give him his insulin. I don't want him to try to avoid me because of face washing.

On edit:
He had the same problem, even with the margarine lid. :(

tuaqs
March 23rd, 2004, 12:02 AM
Originally posted by LuckyRescue
If you would tell us what is wrong with him - the name of the illness, or what is causing it - we may be able to be of more help, or offer suggestions.

Old age and seizures have taken away some of his abilities. It takes a long time to recover from the losses after a seizure.

tuaqs
March 23rd, 2004, 04:39 AM
March 6/04

chico2
March 23rd, 2004, 07:23 AM
Tuaqs. He is a beautiful cat and to me,with all his healthproblems and age,I would not stress too much on the sloppiness...
Like you said seizures and being diabetic might have contributed to his slackening of his yaw or anything else...
If he is an older cat,like you say,I would try to make the rest of his life as peaceful and without stress as I can,he certainly has enough to deal with,as do you:(
Maybe if you leave him messy,he would eventually,in his own time clean himself,after all between insulin-injections and seizures,he most of all needs love and peace.:(

Catt31
March 23rd, 2004, 07:48 AM
Aww that poor little thing!! I agree with Chico....let him live his last days in peace and without stress!! If his face is messy...oh well!!! You both are under a lot of stress, worrying about messy whiskers is so very minor!!

Just keep doing what you are doing and love him more than ever!! Sorry the margarine lid didn't work out - glad you tried it though!!! Good luck and give your boy a hug from us!!! :D

chico2
March 23rd, 2004, 10:01 AM
What's his name? I think we should always say the name of our animals as a proper introduction:D Not just "my cat"or "my dog",it's so clinical,they do all have names that we lovingly give them...

Lucky Rescue
March 23rd, 2004, 10:28 AM
I guess the seizures may have caused some neurological damage...?

Could you get large paper plates, and spread his food out in a very thin layer for him to lick up? It seems to me it might be less messy that way?

Or, you could get a large syringe, and feed him that way.

Hey, all of us might end up with our faces in our plates one day, and just hope someone cares enough to put up with us.

:D

chico2
March 23rd, 2004, 11:17 AM
Very true,Lucky:D

tuaqs
March 23rd, 2004, 03:22 PM
Originally posted by LuckyRescue

Or, you could get a large syringe, and feed him that way.

I did the syringe feeding, every hour 24/7 for a month or so, after the first big seizure, a year ago. I just don't have the stamina for that anymore.

chico2,
His name is Tuki (aka "J. Wentworth Tukford III", or "Baby Boy").

I have to keep Tuki clean. This is not a cosmetic problem. I'm not worried about how he looks and I don't mind that I have to wash the carpets wherever he has rested.

The food cakes on his face and dries in thick hard layers. Each return to the food dish adds another layer. The chunks of dry food stuck in his facial fur make it difficult for him to feed himself because they get in the way and/or fall off into his food. The dried food pulls on his fur when he opens his mouth. Food drips onto his forepaws and dries on them and between his toes.. as if he'd walked through mud..that must be uncomfortable?

Changing the food is not an option. This is the only food he will/can eat. I'm trying making the food thinner (adding more water). That's helping a bit, it drips off him better. He'll have to eat more often, or more at a time, though, and I'm not sure if he'll do that. If he doesn't eat enough it causes serious problems with the blood glucose levels.

Tuki and I have managed to find ways of coping with all his other problems and get the better of them. I don't want to have to give him up because of some drippy food.

If you know of any big cat or pet sites where I might be able to find someone who has successfully dealt with a cat like this, (I can't believe that Tuki is the only cat who has ever had this problem), please post the URL here, or if that is against the site rules, my email address is tuaqs@hotmail.com.
Thanks.

Thank you all for reading my posts, commenting, or making suggestions.

chico2
March 23rd, 2004, 03:33 PM
Well,Tuki is lucky,he has a mom who will not give up on him,I can fully understand how you feel..
I also did not realize how seriously he would neglect cleaning himself,going through all this I am sure you're not too concerned about the carpet or how pretty he looks.
I hope you can get some answers and solutions for poor Tuki and I am sorry we could not help.I've had many cats and many problems,from cancer to diabetics to kidney-stones but I have never heard of problems like Tuki's.
Good luck to you and Tuki,let us know how he does
:)

tuaqs
April 16th, 2004, 06:00 PM
Chico2, Thank you for the supportive words.

This is an update.

Tuki has started grooming himself to some extent. He seems to be able to control his tongue better and to reach farther out of his mouth with it, so he can lick most of the food off the sides of his mouth and even some off his nose. He's been using his forepaws more effectively too.

Today I saw him scratching behind his ear with a hind foot. That may not seem like a big deal for a "normal" cat, but for a long time now, Tuki has gone through the scratching motions, but not been able to connect his foot to his head, it just waved in the air. (If I saw him doing it, I tried to guess where he was aiming for and scratched his head for him.)

I've been weighing him once a week on a kichen scale, to give me an objective way to assess how Tuki is doing. He'd been slowly losing weight.

The week before last, he gained almost half a pound! He managed to maintain that weight, or add just a tad, last week. I think that's a significant gain for a four and a half pound cat. (He's a shade under 5 pounds now.)

I keep imagining that he will put on more weight, be healthy again, and live forever.

Thank you again, everyone who posted, for the supportive comments.

chico2
April 16th, 2004, 10:31 PM
Tuaqs,I am happy to hear there is some improvement,I am sure he's happy as a clam to be able to clean himself a bit.
I know what you mean by wanting to hold on and wanting them to live forever,because we love them,but we also want them to be comfortable and happy.
Tuki is such a beautiful cat and you'll know when he gives up and is ready to go,they have a way of letting you know:(
But Tuki seems to have a lot of spirit left and I hope he gets a little better every day and that he'll enjoy several more years with his wonderful caring mom. (((Hugs to you and Tuki)))

Catt31
April 17th, 2004, 09:46 AM
WOW!!! YEAHHHHH TUKI!!!! I'm sooo happy to hear about the improvements!!! Every little bit helps!! Just the fact that he's attempting to clean himself is awesome!!! Keep up the love and affection and he will pull through with flying colours!!!! :D

tuaqs
July 25th, 2004, 02:02 AM
Hi,
Thanks very much for the encouragement you gave me.

I thought I should let you know that Tuki held on for another two months after my last post. He needed a lot of extra care, but he seemed comfortable and content.

Then several things all seemed to go wrong at once and I felt it would be cruel to put him through stress and pain in the hope of getting a little more time with him. I took Tuki to the vet on the morning of June 24th. The vet was excellent. Tuki didn't seem to feel any fear or pain. He just went to sleep. He was 17 years and 10 months old.

This is the last picture of Tuki and me together. It was taken at the end of April. Tuki was the best little cat, ever.

http://www3.telus.net/prosper/tuki/Apr04s.jpg

I'm very sad and I miss him a lot. It doesn't seem "real" that he's gone. I do believe that I did the best thing for him, though. I think he got as much from his life as he could. I hope that he's together with his twin sister, Tigi, again.

http://www3.telus.net/prosper/tuki/love2.jpg

Sneaky2006
July 25th, 2004, 02:35 AM
Ohh gosh, I'm sure he's with his sister too!! I'm so sorry for your loss :(

chico2
July 25th, 2004, 05:48 AM
Tuaqs..I know all about how you feel,after so many years together how can you not feel a great loss.They enrich our lives,with their furry,soft,purring little beings,asking very little in return.
Tuki had a wonderful life,with someone who truly cared for and loved him,he was one of the lucky ones,there are thousands of others not so lucky.
No other cat will ever replace the ones we lost,but you could make another little kittys miserable life a very happy one.
Once we've had these little devoted fur-babies in our lives,it's very difficult to live without them.
Thank's for letting us know and show us the picture of beautiful little Tuki.

tuaqs
July 25th, 2004, 06:04 AM
Sneaky2006 and chico2,
Thank you.

Iggette
July 25th, 2004, 06:34 AM
R.I.P.Tuki, :( Awwww tuaqs(((((((HUGS))))))) :( So sorry for your loss.....almost 18 years that is a good life indeed. You did the best thing possible and tiki is now at peace and I'm sure Tigi was there waiting for him only to overjoyed to be with him again, all the best to you and your family

Catt31
July 25th, 2004, 06:24 PM
I'm sooooo sorry to hear about Tuki!! But like you said, you did the right thing! Just think of him romping and playing and chasing butterflies with his sister!!! (((hugs))))

Freyja
July 25th, 2004, 09:24 PM
I wasn't around when you were going through your struggles with Tuki, but I too am sorry for your loss. I lost my 19 year old cat last November and I know how hard it is to have a pet for so long. Gatsby was part of the family. He pre-dated my kids. Dealing with a geriatric cat is a challange. We do the best we can.
Gatsby lost his sister 9 years before and I told him to go to her when he closed his eyes while I held him. The hardest thing I ever did.
ps I had a Siamese when I was growing up that lived to be 18. Your pictures of your beautiful Tuki tugged at my heart.
The pain does fade with time and we are left with the beautiful memories.

glasslass
July 26th, 2004, 12:13 AM
Thank you for updating your original post. I, too, missed it the first time around. I'm glad to know the whole story. He was so lucky to have someone like you to care for him. Thanks for sharing. We all feel your pain. :o

tuaqs
July 28th, 2004, 05:38 AM
Iggette, Catt31, glasslass,
Thank you for taking the time to post and for the words of comfort.


Gatsby lost his sister 9 years before and I told him to go to her when he closed his eyes while I held him. The hardest thing I ever did.

Freyja,
Thank you for writing, too. I'm sorry that you're mourning Gatsby. Your experience sounds much like my own. It is a very difficult decision to make. It was 9 long years for Tuki alone. I also told Tuki he'd be going to see Tigi and held him while his eyes closed. I hope that both your two and my two have been happily reunited.

Tuki was always more of an adventurer than Tigi was. He'd go out into the back garden alone to make his rounds, then come back to the sliding glass door and wait for me to open it. Sometimes he wouldn't come back in, he'd wait for Tigi to go out and join him. Then the two of them would scamper off together on an adventure. That's how I'd like to picture them the day that Tuki left me, Tigi waiting at a door for him and the two of them scampering off, close together, to chase butterflies then curl up against one another and feel the comforting vibrations of each other's purrs.

shihtzulover
July 28th, 2004, 08:22 AM
When my cat Joey (now 4 years old) started to go blind he made a good mess with his food and water too. He never knew how far to bend down until he hit the food. Lucky he only ate dry food so it didn't leave a mess, but when he drank water his whole face would be soaked.
He has now learned the depth of everything and has no problems.
He did hate to clean himself though at first we had to clean him up after eating and using the washroom. Thank god he started cleaning again after while.
Now most people that come to visit can't even tell he is blind. We just make sure not to move furniture or leave anything in his way.

Freyja
July 28th, 2004, 09:08 AM
Tuaqs,
Oh I cried when I read your post!! Sometimes you think you are way past that point and then it all comes flooding back.
Heres to all the cats I have loved in my life. Pi(killed by a dog at age 6), Ming(lived 20years), Misha(only a short time, rescued from the street never really had a chance) Simon(died of complications due to UTI), Sophie(poisoned by antifreeze) and Sophies brother, Gatsby(19years).

shihtzulover
July 28th, 2004, 11:18 AM
Sorry about my last post, I didn't switch pages and had not realize you had lost Tuki.
I am soooo sorry to hear that. May he RIP.