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.
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 seconds...so 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
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Victoria, I'm so sorry. I'm so afraid that is happening to my Katrina, too.
I'm sorry to hear that, MizB. Let me know what happens with Katrina. It's hard.
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.
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. :-)
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.
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.
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.
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. :-
Perhaps feeding the older cat to a much younger, bigger, and better looking cat?
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.
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...
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!
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