CAT with ARF (acute renal failure) having feeding problems need suggestions
I took up fostering a cat for the neighbour on Sunday, 28 October 6 PM, and it has turned into quite a handful. When the cat named Jet was dropped off, they said he wasn't feeling well and put it down to the upheaval of a move that they were going through. It seemed to make sense at the time, but by the morning I knew I had a sick cat on my hands. The neighbour mentioned when they left that he hadn't been eating properly for some time, and he seemed to be losing some weight along with having bad breath. They put some so-called favorite food down for him before they left, but he would have nothing to do with it. He made no attempt to touch it that day or the next. I first thought it might be stress, but with further examination of the cat, I realized that he was having a major problem.
I set up a safe room in the basement for him, to separate him from the rest of the house and the other five cats I have, and some place where I could work on him, and keep him quarantined until I could find out what his problem was. Jet was really in bad shape - he appeared to have 1 foot in the grave and another on a banana peel. His breath was so bad it would almost turn your stomach, his mouth was full of ulcers, and he had a severe case of body order, and his fur felt like a wire brush. He wasn't eating and you couldn't persuade him to eat, but he was doing some drinking. When he used the litterbox he would pass a large amount of urine, and he wasn't having bowel movements, and he was sleeping all the time. I ended up having to make a high-protein food for him which I would administer as a purée through a syringe along with supplementing him with some homeopathics.
When he came into the house he weighed 17 1/4 pounds - at the end of two weeks he had lost 2 pounds. I have since stabilized his weight loss, and had a basic urine test done which had some issues requiring follow-up bloodwork. The diagnosis was early-stage 2 ACUTE RENAL FAILURE.
His health has bounced a long way back since he first came. Jet is now running and playing with the other cats in the house along with bugging us especially for food every four hours, and that is where the problem begins. Jet is 5 1/2 years old and has survived on a very poor grade of food all his life, and with being syringe fed for over a month he is quite happy to carry on with this arrangement. I am not though, and I have tried everything that I can think of to get him eating on his own from his bowl. I have tried several of the top brand canned foods, homemade foods that I use for our own animals, and even his own foods that he grew up with which he will not touch now at all. (Really can't blame him.)
I'm hoping there's someone out there that would have some ideas I could try to resolve this food problem with Jet, or at least shed some light on the problem, because I think his owners will be looking for him around Christmas time when they return to the area. With Jet being force fed, I don't think they would put up with it for long before they would have him put down, and I really do not want to add another cat to the family at this time. I don't want him put down either.