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Old August 30th, 2013, 11:20 PM
tiggy2 tiggy2 is offline
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How long should I force/assist feed my cat?

Ok this is a long one so but I'll try and cut it down some.

It is my 12 year old male Tigger who will not eat enough to maintain his weight and I have been assist feeding him since July/19. He used to be a heathy 9.8 to 10 pound cat, he now hovers around 8.2-8.6 pounds, all skin and bones.
First off he always was a fussy eater and always took extra effort to keep his weight up. He also had major surgery for a blockage in hi stomach in 2011 and almost died from that...but he came back)

So this tale started on July 17 when he came into the house and went to his bed and stayed there. I picked him up and he had nothing, like a rag doll..needless to say off to the vet we went. Dr. said your cat is in a dangerous dehydration and needs immediate care, IV Fluids and of course some blood work and X-rays to see what the problem is. To make a long story short everything came back with in normal range.

Found a bump on his back and had it biopsied and it came back negative for any cancer. The last test was an ultra sound, which came back with thickening of the stomach and bowel lining and some abnormalities in that area. Basically did not know what problem was but hinted maybe cancer or IBD. He can't definitely say cancer without a biopsy of that area which would mean major surgery again. I'm already over $3,000 dollars trying to find out what the issue is and there is no guarantee what they will find or if Tigger could tolerate the surgery. So he sent me home with prednisone and I add in Pepid AC incase of upset tummy and in the feeding I add slipery elm also to help with tummy issues.

So my dilemma is should I continue force feeding him? If so for how long? What are the signs that it would be some kind of cancer?

Aside from him not eating and being skin and bones he relatively normal, the only behavior that is cropping up is he's afraid of anything that is not the same as it was yesterday or they last time he went by that area. For instance my rubber boots are usually by the back door, but I brought a small bucket in and have it by my boots, well you'd say it was some evil critter according to his behavior. Maybe eye site is going? Or he has high anxiety? I've requested something to help with his fear/anxiety. He loves being outside casing things and running up trees, he may not run as fast or climb as high, but he still has interest.

I am very frustrated with it all, as it is so very time consuming having to force feed him every day, several times a day and sometimes I can't find him as he's hiding somewhere. He will eat maybe an ounce to two ounces on his own, with me casing him around with food, so I have to force the rest into him and usually most gets done at night.

Anyway a long story, but I don't know the ending, so any advice or suggestions are welcomed. If you need more technical info. I have all the test results.

Thanks again guys..oh and he's spraying up the house, my hubby is going to kill him since spraying his clothes my guess is anxiety and a need to feel secure in familiar territory.
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Old August 31st, 2013, 10:10 AM
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marko marko is offline
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I'm so sorry you are going through this. If this were my cat, I would still continue the force feeding...as the cat will get weaker and more dehydrated and will get worse otherwise. To me the cat still has quality of life.

Here is a general article on cancer in cats and dogs with an additional link at the end. http://www.pets.ca/dogs/tips/cancer-...s-pet-tip-230/

Here is an older thread on cats, cancer and nutrition just in case it's cancer
http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=34372

Hope this might help
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Old August 31st, 2013, 10:33 AM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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When my beloved hearing dog got cancer and stopped eating I never tried to force him to eat as I trusted my dog to know what he was doing. He would vomit his food right back up. Our pets know when they had reach beginning of their trip to the Rainbow bridge . My dog did.
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Old August 31st, 2013, 01:14 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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How long has he been on the pred? In dogs, anyway, pred really seems to stimulate their appetite--and can be used to treat IBD and as 'quality of life' drug for cancer. It might be all you need to get him back on track. So I'd still assist his feeding for at least long enough for the pred to have some effect...
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Old August 31st, 2013, 03:08 PM
tiggy2 tiggy2 is offline
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Hi everyone

Just some added information. Tig has been on 1/2 pred. 2 times a day for about a week, then we will slowly decrease the amount in hopes that a smaller dose will work.

He does attempt to eat, it's the fact that he does not consume enough to even maintain his weight. So I have to shove food into him, making him more adverse to food. The food I do give he keeps down, no throwing up and as far as I know no diarrhea. He's indoor/outdoor so his bathroom habits are harder to gage and of course the 6 other cats make it impossible to tell, unless I see him pooping. He mostly sprays the back yard and unfortunetly has sprayed up the house, and this is the first time my house has smelt like cat pee. I can't keep up with his spraying and now Akira, 3 year old female is also spraying.

Does pred. Make the cats more anxious? Could some of the eating be anxiety related?

I will continue with the assist feeding, as today was a good day, he was outside and managed to get ahold of our strays dry food and had a few nibbles. I've spent the last 2 months getting everyone off kibble, onto grain feed wet food and then onto the raw. A couple prefer the raw, others it will take longer.

What confuses me with Tigger is he does not act like dying cat, just one that does not like to eat. I had another cat a few years ago I had to put down as she was suffering more than living, and our 18 year old let us know she had enough, so that part I understand.

I don't know what to expect with this guy and some days the force feeding is a disaster. And trying to increase his weight is proving to be near impossible. We don't know if the pred is working unless he has another ultra sound and I can't afford another $1,000 + to get that done. Only way to tell is his eating will increase, which is not happening.

Anyway I will keep on feeding, trying to blend down some raw food to syringe feed, but hard to get the food liquidated enough to work in a syringe.

Any suggestions on how to get it more liquified would be appreciated, and I'll look at the sites given.

Anyone else has suggestion, I'm all ears/eyes)

Thanks
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Old August 31st, 2013, 10:30 PM
lindapalm lindapalm is offline
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Have you ever tried an appetite stimulant? Our older cat occasionally stops eating, and our vet gave us Cyproheptadine Hydrochloride for her. We had to cut the pill in fourths because the whole pill worked too well, she ate too much. After a day or two on the pills she seems to start eating on her own again. Good luck.
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Old September 1st, 2013, 02:15 PM
tiggy2 tiggy2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindapalm View Post
Have you ever tried an appetite stimulant? Our older cat occasionally stops eating, and our vet gave us Cyproheptadine Hydrochloride for her. We had to cut the pill in fourths because the whole pill worked too well, she ate too much. After a day or two on the pills she seems to start eating on her own again. Good luck.
Yes we have tried appetite stimulants. Not much of a change and with the steroids, I would not add in the appetite stim., for fear of 2 much anxiety. He's skidish now.
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Old September 1st, 2013, 06:56 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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Our dogs do get a little squirrelly on steroids, tiggy. It could well be the pred making Tig more anxious... with luck, the lower dosage will help
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Old September 1st, 2013, 08:01 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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My dog Marty was climbing the walls when he was on steroids and he was hungry as Hell. I hope I never have to give it to him again.
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Old September 7th, 2013, 12:13 PM
sue3pets sue3pets is offline
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feeding your cat

For about a year I forced fed my cat. Yes, she seemed normal except for eating. I did use a baby force feeder. You fill it with wet food and it had a plunger which I pushed into the mouth. Don't know if they still sell these force feeders or not. Look in the baby section of a store.
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Old September 10th, 2013, 08:47 AM
tiggy2 tiggy2 is offline
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Originally Posted by sue3pets View Post
For about a year I forced fed my cat. Yes, she seemed normal except for eating. I did use a baby force feeder. You fill it with wet food and it had a plunger which I pushed into the mouth. Don't know if they still sell these force feeders or not. Look in the baby section of a store.
Hi Sue3pets

Thanks for the information and at least I know I'm not the only one force feeding my cat for months. Did your cat finally start eating? Was it an illness, that put her off her food? Did you maintain her weight or increase it?

I'm still force feeding Tig, but am having a problem getting weight on. There are only so many hours in a day and he won't take more than an ounce to an ounce and a half per feeding. I give him 1/4 tablet of steroids and 1/4 tablet of Pepcid AC two times a day. He still paces around and is very weary about going out through the doors to get outside. Could he be losing his peripheral vision?

I have until October 15 th to get him eating for himself. I am scheduled for hip replacement and hubby will be working the 3-4 days I'm in hospital, plus I can't see him force feeding Tig.

Any suggestions on how to increase his weight? He's soooo skinny, just skin and bones, the 2 boys will out weight him shortly. Also any one know how to get the raw food slurry enough to syringe feed?

Thanks for any information...off to feed Tig or at least catch him..he runs away from me now <sigh>
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Old September 10th, 2013, 11:04 AM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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.


I fixed the link but it not showing the part about cats losing weight.




http://animal.discovery.com/pets/healthy-pets









The web site is on Animal Planet and the title is

'Top 5 Reasons Your Cat Might Be Losing Weight'



.

Last edited by Barkingdog; September 10th, 2013 at 04:44 PM.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 11:24 AM
tiggy2 tiggy2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barkingdog View Post
.


I fixed the link but it not showing the part about cats losing weight.
http://animal.discovery.com/pets/healthy-pets

The web site is on Animal Planet and the title is

'Top 5 Reasons Your Cat Might Be Losing Weight'

.
Just checked out the site and all are valid explanations. I'm leaning towards anxiety or just too crowded to eat.

But, yesterday he was locked in the garage with 2 plates of food and water, when I came back 4 hours later he had only consumed the one plate about 2 ounces of food. Once he got out he brought back a chipmunk that he caught (thank you for the treat). I also saw him that same night and it looked like he was eating something, did not have time to investigate....thank god, I really get disposing of critter parts)

I know he eats "off the hoof" but assuming he was consuming enough off the hoof is what got him in trouble and hospitalized for dehydration. So I continue to feed him.

Can I over feed? Like last night if he ate a critter and then I feed him cat food, could he be over fed? I'm still at a loss on what to do. I've emailed the vet inquiring about a drug that may help his anxiety, no reply from them. I would probably have to bring him in before they would give any drugs, at a cost of $80.

Is there any way to tell if his belly might be full? If I know he's consuming critters, than at least I can cut back on the assisted feeding.

Any suggestions or ideas are welcome as there is still no answer to why he won't eat and hasn't eaten enough for months.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 04:14 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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I would think force feeding him would only made his anxiety worst . Yes you could over feed him if you're give him too much food. If he is not eating on his own there has to be a very good reason why .
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Old September 13th, 2013, 01:44 PM
tiggy2 tiggy2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barkingdog View Post
I would think force feeding him would only made his anxiety worst . Yes you could over feed him if you're give him too much food. If he is not eating on his own there has to be a very good reason why .
Unfortunately we do not know why he won't eat. After blood work, 2 sets of X-rays and an ultrasound, the only thing that stood out was a thickening of stomache and intestinal walls. If I did not feed him over the past couple of months he would have died and considering he brought me a chipmunk treat the other day, he still wants to be here.

When I do feed him, he does not struggle and when he's had enough(turns his head away and stands up) I stop feeding him. The last 2 days I've tried offering food to him more often and at end of day I weight him,if he's 8.4 - 8.6 pounds I won't force any more food, if he starts to drop in weight, I give him food.

I'm really hoping that we've turned a corner as I think we both are getting tired of force feeding)
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Old September 13th, 2013, 03:08 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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Have you thought about trying liquid food for dogs ? I saw some links , but some reason when I post links lately they have not worked. There are liquid food for dogs that are ill and will not eat.
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Old September 19th, 2013, 09:07 PM
tiggy2 tiggy2 is offline
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Update

Tig is starting to eat on his own... that he will continue. I have only force fed him 3 times over the last 5 days and so far he's maintaining the 8.4 - 8.6 weight, now to increase his weight.

What I've noticed over the past week is he does not want to eat in the morning and only a small amount in afternoon. The bulk of his food is consumed in the evening/night and he likes the raw...thank god for small miracles.

So..is this good to consume most of his food at night? The morning is spent going around the yard and remarking his area. and of course he's still spraying inside as well...if I have to wash the bedroom drapes one more time, I might as well take them down.

Anyone have any thoughts on the spray/marking? Does anyone know of a drug that would help with the spraying? As I've said before the house smells like cat pee and the one thing I was proud of was the lack of cat smells in the house, even with everyone inside.

We also think he is losing his peripheral vision, would explain his hesitancy getting outside. Could also explain why he sprays so much. If sight is going he needs to spray more?

Anyway thought I'd pass on some positive news and of course please keep the fingers crossed that he continues to eat on his own.
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Old September 20th, 2013, 02:57 PM
jasmine1971 jasmine1971 is offline
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wen you added the 2 3 month old kittens is that wen tiger started spraying ??

reason i ask is a friend had 2 older cats & added a kitten & eventually i took the kitten because they wld not stop spraying & sprayed the bed pillows ect

after he was removed & came to live with me it stopped & it was good for her & it was good for me got a great cat shoe already named

sounds like you have a houseful of cats & he is one of your older ones ??

also some x older pets like people have bladder problems & every person / critters weight fluctuates thru out the day i would not force feed him based on what the scale says

id weigh him 1x a week only he does eat some on his own & you said he is eating now thats good but i wld not force feed him plus he is in & out side he may be getting things out side

its kinda like force feeding a person l sm x we dont eat wen feeling sick

if he is gonna get better & make it a while longer he will need to do so on his own as youve stated your having major surgery & hubby wont do it

if he has anxiety it cld of been made worse by force feeding

what about water intake ? do you force water in him or does he drink water ??

i wish you good luck but he may be his time i commend you for taking good care of him & paying expensive vet bills to get him well

so many x people ask ? on internet for pet medical advice instead of taking pet to vet i no its expensive but as a loving pet mom or dad its our

responsibility i am disabled due to multiple sclerosis im a single mom & its hard but my mom has congestive heart failure & she requires daily meds &

monthly vet visits & quarterly blood work my vet no's my situation & has
been very accommodating as possible but no way cld i have a sick animal

& not get vet care they r my k9children i have 3 children 1 gran child & 3 k9

kids i believe in keeping them until their time ps have you asked your vet about force feeding him ??

& weighing him daily & feeding based on scale ??

what type of scale do you use ?? most accurate wld be a baby scale

good luck to you & tiger & to u on your upcoming surgery

the spraying is very annoying im sure no suggestions on that except possibly the kittens ?? is he neutered ??
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Old July 24th, 2014, 12:06 AM
tiggy2 tiggy2 is offline
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Eating but still spraying

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggy2 View Post
Update

Tig is starting to eat on his own... that he will continue. I have only force fed him 3 times over the last 5 days and so far he's maintaining the 8.4 - 8.6 weight, now to increase his weight.

What I've noticed over the past week is he does not want to eat in the morning and only a small amount in afternoon. The bulk of his food is consumed in the evening/night and he likes the raw...thank god for small miracles.

So..is this good to consume most of his food at night? The morning is spent going around the yard and remarking his area. and of course he's still spraying inside as well...if I have to wash the bedroom drapes one more time, I might as well take them down.

Anyone have any thoughts on the spray/marking? Does anyone know of a drug that would help with the spraying? As I've said before the house smells like cat pee and the one thing I was proud of was the lack of cat smells in the house, even with everyone inside.

We also think he is losing his peripheral vision, would explain his hesitancy getting outside. Could also explain why he sprays so much. If sight is going he needs to spray more?

Anyway thought I'd pass on some positive news and of course please keep the fingers crossed that he continues to eat on his own.

It's been close to a year now and Tig is doing so much better. He eats on his own and actually put on a little weight, up to 9 pounds, but lost it over the past few months...blame it on the heat. But no more force feeding, but I do make sure he does eat.

As for the spraying it's gotten worse. The whole house is his spray area. Since last year we lost Nikko, picked up Blue a f6 savanna and Frank is adopting a 3 legged kitten next week. We did not want him put to sleep)

Here is our plan on getting Tig to stop spraying. We are in the process of de cluttering the whole house and while we do that cleaning all pee out using proper chemicals. Once we have that done, I have 6 feliway to put around all the entry points and I will have scratching, posts with catnip on them to go there as well.

Any other suggestions is welcome because the smell of the house, plus the ruining of items is getting unbearable.
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Old July 24th, 2014, 10:16 AM
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marko marko is offline
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So Glad to hear dig is doing better and thx for the update!

Now in terms of the spraying issue.....
How many litter boxes do you have and how often do you change the litter?
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Old July 24th, 2014, 10:19 PM
lindapalm lindapalm is offline
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Does he spray on certain items more than others? One of our cats liked to do it on throw pillows and baskets, so I got rid of them all. He also had to be put on meds, but I wouldn't advise it with your cat since he has been sick. Our cat was fine until we brought more cats home, so possibly this is what is wrong with Tig.
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