Suggestions on what to feed an old cat who isn't eating very well?

Jump to Last Post 1-14 of 14 discussions (26 posts)
  1. Victoria Lynn profile image88
    Victoria Lynnposted 10 years ago

    Suggestions on what to feed an old cat who isn't eating very well?

    Any high calorie stuff he might like? he is getting pickier and won't eat things he used to eat.

  2. carter06 profile image70
    carter06posted 10 years ago

    Hi Victoria, not sure if it helps but I have a picky cat as well and have often despaired at her appetite with bowls of cat food left untouched...and one day in frustration while making myself a sandwich I gave her some sliced processed chicken meat and to my surprise she downed it within now I don't even bother with cat food and just give her that or sliced turkey meat...she does eat other cooked chicken as well...cheers

    1. Victoria Lynn profile image88
      Victoria Lynnposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks, carter06. I think that's what I need to do. He is old and bony and needs calories. I need to think outside the box and feed him anything he will eat. I'll try some lunchmeat and other meats. Thanks!

    2. DrMark1961 profile image96
      DrMark1961posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      If your cat likes the lunchmeat diet be sure to search for a vitamin supplement, like the type suggested by Msbejeebers. I do not know how old your kitty is but it should help him stay around a lot longer.

  3. thoughtfulgirl2 profile image91
    thoughtfulgirl2posted 10 years ago

    I have an older diabetic cat who is a very finicky eater, she likes "BooBoo burgers"  small little 50 cent piece size hamburgers cooked to medium (not rare), sometimes she likes pumpkin puree (just the puree, no sugar), she likes cream (half and half) which is probably not too good for her and she likes American cheese and sometimes Swiss.  She loves smoked Gouda.  I'm sure none of this is good for her, but she has to eat in order to get her insulin shot.  Try sauteing chicken breast with a little bit of low sodium chicken or vegetable broth.  Good luck.  the older ones are a challenge!

  4. Theophanes profile image83
    Theophanesposted 10 years ago

    Go to your local butcher and ask for chicken or turkey hearts and livers. Eaten raw they are very good for cats. The hearts are high in taurine which they need and the livers are great sources of iron. Another great raw choice is duck neck for calcium and the grease is great for their coats but cats not used to eating raw are sometimes put off by it, others think its candy. Otherwise blackstrap mollases is great for older, weaker, or ill cats. It has a heafty dose of iron and enough sugar to perk them up and hopefully inspire more of an appatite. It's easy to mix in wet food or dry food when its watered down and sprayed on. My cats all love spaghetti sauce. I don't think it fattens them up any but it is funny to watch them fight over an empty plate of pasta. wink

    1. Theophanes profile image83
      Theophanesposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      And oh yeah, don't give kitty mollasses if he's diabetic. Forgot to mentiont hat but it is a common old cat problem...

  5. Greekgeek profile image84
    Greekgeekposted 10 years ago

    My 16 year old cat suddenly went off her feed two weeks ago and scared me. She's only eaten dry food all her life (it's better for their teeth), but my vet's assistant told me to start her on wet food, the smellier the better. Worked like a charm.

    My Mom's 22-year-old cat had the same problem: she couldn't smell anymore. They started heating her food in the microwave (covered!) so as to warm it up just enough the scent was stronger. I've tried it when I'm dishing out from a half-finished can that's been in the fridge, and it seems to help: 5 seconds is usually enough, or maybe ten, but test it yourself to make sure it's not too hot for kitty's tongue.

    There's also Grizzly Salmon Oil. My vet had me using it before to squirt on her dry food to help her coat (just a tiny bit, as it's made for dogs), but it also seems to help get her to eat because she can smell it.

    I'm now discovering which wet foods are the most attractive. So far, Newman's organic cat food is clearly winning out over Fancy Feast. Like me, my cat has expensive tastes!

    P.S. Be careful with raw liver (or meat in general). Mom's cat lost one of her nine lives to raw chicken liver that was just a little off and nearly died of food poisoning.  I don't trust our modern meatpacking/meat distribution system; it's prone to get juuuust a little bacteria into the meat somewhere along the way. Cooking kills most bacteria.

    1. Babie Mama profile image60
      Babie Mamaposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      High protien greek style yogurt, not non fat, the cat needs the fat. It is easy to swallow, my old girl loves the honey flavored. Good luck ! Blessings your way

  6. bridalletter profile image74
    bridalletterposted 10 years ago

    My cat, Biscuit barely survived her kitten stages. She wouldn't eat food after it was time to stop nursing. The baby food (for children) section is a great option, those little sausages may work very well. The good thing is they contain very little seasoning and high in protein. I hand fed my cat the sausages and hand fed her plain chicken breasts cooked in the skillet.

    Another item I would use is called "Small Animal Bene-Bac" it is beneficial bacteria it supports a healthy digestive system. They are normally in ver small 4g tubes, but PetCo where I live has stopped carring it and it is in powder form when you can't find the tubes. you can Sprinkle the powder on food.

    It also helps cats that hack up hairballs. My 4 cats (one young, biscuit and 3 older 10-12 year range) get the bene-bac every spring and fall when they start to hack up or throw up. It settles there tummies and no more throwing up!

    If you haven't already, check with a Vet. They should have some professional advise that may work better.

  7. MizBejabbers profile image85
    MizBejabbersposted 10 years ago

    I see some wonderful suggestions, but I'll add my two cents worth anyway. My little female, Katrina, just turned 19 and is skin and bones. One reason is that we have to buy prescription dry food for our diabetic male cat, Tas, and it doesn't contain enough fat to sustain her. It was recommended to put her on kitten chow, so I bought some and it worked for awhile. Tas left it alone and ate his diabetic food, but then she got tired of it and I switched brands. Tas liked it and won't leave hers alone. Now I have to sneak her kitten chow to her, and she doesn't get enough to gain any weight. Both cats get a small amount of a good quality wet food twice a day, and I try to give her a bedtime snack of another serving. She loves ham and chicken, so I feed her small bites from my plate or sandwich. (She thinks she has to test my food for poison.)

    I also buy a vitamin for senior cats, Kittyvite for seniors, that contains glucosamine and msn and it really helps her arthritis.  She has started playing again, as much as a cat that age can play. I can't buy it locally anymore so I order it from Amazon.

    1. MizBejabbers profile image85
      MizBejabbersposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Well, after making this comment, Katrina has gone off her feed and doesn't seem to care for anything. I hope it is just a temporary phase. About all she likes is the juice off wet food.

    2. Victoria Lynn profile image88
      Victoria Lynnposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Hey, MizB. I haven't had the heart to come back and tell everyone that my old cat, Prince Albert, died. It was more than lack of appetite. He was shutting down, I guess. At least it was a quick decline. I appreciate your input and everyone's.

    3. MizBejabbers profile image85
      MizBejabbersposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Victoria, I'm so sorry. I'm so afraid that is happening to my Katrina, too.

    4. Victoria Lynn profile image88
      Victoria Lynnposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I'm sorry to hear that, MizB. Let me know what happens with Katrina. It's hard.

    5. MizBejabbers profile image85
      MizBejabbersposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I didn't have the heart to come back and say anything either, but little Katrina was shutting down, too. She had a series of strokes and died three days before my birthday last September. It was heartbreaking for us.

    6. Victoria Lynn profile image88
      Victoria Lynnposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I'm so sorry to hear that MizBejabbers, about your Katrina. I know how hard it is. It will be a year in June for my Prince Albert. I wish he was still here. Thanks for letting me know about Katrina. I know she's still with you. :-)

  8. profile image0
    Sarra Garrettposted 9 years ago

    I've boiled chicken livers and mixed it with minute rice.  Cats love it.  I've even fed this mixture to sick dogs.  The liver is full of iron and is good for them.  Put more rice than liver (mashing up the liver) as the liver may cause constipation.  This is great for male cats who get urinary tract infections too.

  9. profile image0
    Deb Welchposted 9 years ago

    These were all great answers.  My cat is a senior and has not had any eating problems.  I always buy baby food vegetables and put it along side her wet food.  They sell senior menu cat food in wet and dry.  I buy Pet Vitamins and a Brewer's Yeast with Garlic tab.  I crush them up and add it to her wet food every other day or less than that.  I treat my cat every so often with a piece of cold cut or my people dinner or when I bring home a doggie container - extra special stuff.   I buy the treats for dental tarter and hairballs and they are necessary.  Exercise is important and fresh air even it is in the carrier on the porch or a ride to the park.

  10. profile image0
    Earl Noah Bernsbyposted 9 years ago

    I've had success using "Nutrical."  It's a nutritional supplement for pets in a tube (similar in appearance to hairball remedies you see for cats in the 'Pets' isle at the grocery).  You can squeeze a strip about an inch long onto your finger, and then let your fuzzy friend lick it off.
    Nutrical may be found on Amazon- just be sure you don't accidentally purchase the one for dogs!

    Incidentally, I've also found that a good glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM supplement is helpful for older cats, as it reduces their arthritis (naturally).  A good one is: 'Pet Naturals Hip & Joint for Cats,' also found on Amazon.  These must be given daily in order to build up maximum effective dosage in the cat's joints.  Be sure to read the directions if you decide to use the product.

    Good luck, and I hope your little pal starts feeling better!!!

    EDIT: Oh no! I just visited your blog, and saw that you had lost your buddy Prince Albert!  Was he who you were inquiring about? I'm sorry for your loss.  I just lost one of mine, too.  Her name was Sasha, and she was 12.  I had bottle-fed her as a kitten, and we'd been a team ever since.

    1. Victoria Lynn profile image88
      Victoria Lynnposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, Earl, he died shortly after I posted the question. I guess there was nothing to do. He was 20 yrs old or so. I tried everything. I think I had Nutrical from the vet. Sorry about your Sasha. It's hard to lose them when you're so close to them. :-

  11. krillco profile image87
    krillcoposted 8 years ago

    Perhaps feeding the older cat to a much younger, bigger, and better looking cat? wink

  12. profile image49
    LynnLittonposted 8 years ago

    My sister had a a senior cat who lost most of his teeth and could not chew. He also didn't have much interest in food in general.  She fed him a tablespoon of very mushed wet cat food and a tablespoon of mayonnaise about 6 times a day.  He seemed to like it.  Although you do have to be worried if they quit drinking water.  If that happens they need to see a vet because they are, for whatever reason, shutting down.  Hope this helps.

    Oh I am so sorry!  I just saw that he had passed.  I am sad for your loss.

  13. pstraubie48 profile image83
    pstraubie48posted 8 years ago

    Try maybe some moist food...even moist people food is good.
    When we had a sick elderly kitty we made rice and let it get very soft and we added some soft kitty food to it. She would eat that. Not much but some. We gave it o her warm...

    1. profile image50
      nblasposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Actually cats should be eating primarily wet food, they need the moisture otherwise can cause kidney problems. Vets have reversed their favoring dry food because of this. I still always leave a little bowl of dry in case she runs out of food.

  14. profile image50
    nblasposted 6 years ago

    You probably won't see this considering the post date but try probiotics, they made a world of difference for my 19 yr old Trix, filled out (still slim but no longer bony) and improved coat. I use Aventi from Amazon. Good luck!


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)