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Author Topic:   tips on force feeding a cat with FLS/HL
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Posts: 2
From:Fort Worth, TX USA
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 08-18-2003 03:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nursestephy     Edit/Delete Message
I got my kitty a few months ago from the Humane Society, where he'd been for over a month... I took him to the vet for an initial exam and she noticed that he looked like he'd lost a LOT of weight recently (like... in a month? yes)
Seems that at some point in the "put him in the shelter" process, my cat Billy went on a kitty hunger strike and by the time I got him, was one sick kitty.

A week after the first vet visit, I noticed he was looking really.... YELLOW.
Took him back to the vet's office wherethey drew blood and diagnosed him with fatty liver syndrome/hepatic lipidosis...

We put a feeding tube in him, and he was tolerating the feeds REALLY well, but 8 weeks later, he still isnt interested in eating anything on his own.

Last night, I was flushing his tube with a syringe of water and he jumped off the couch and ran into the other room (syringe still attached to his tube)...
When I finally caught up with him, the tube was on the floor and NOT in the cat's neck, where it should have been...

Called the vet, and her advice was to try to force feed him because putting down another tube is going to be expensive.

Problem: he HATES it. I'm taking HATES it. Runs away from me, hides from me, resists the feedings...

If anyone has any advice on a better method of force-feeding cats (or for kitties with HL/FLS in general), I would REALLY appreciate it!

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New Member

Posts: 2
From:Fort Worth, TX USA
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 08-18-2003 03:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nursestephy     Edit/Delete Message
something to also mention: He has NEVER eaten anything on his own in all the time I've had him,soI dont know what he likes to eay... and I've all but broken the bank buying one of EVERY type of canned food/sample packs of dry food to try to entice his appetite...

we ran a LOT of blood tests and the ONLY thing out of range was his liver enxymes and white count (well duh, your liver is messed up, your white count is going to be up)... NOTHING indicated anything was wrong with him other than the "not eating -> hepatic lipidosis" thing... which is why I put the tube down in the furst place... figured I could fix it and it'd be all well and good

the vet has him on a blended diet of Purina C/V, wesson oil and some supplements (with water, of course)...

[This message has been edited by nursestephy (edited 08-18-2003).]

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Posts: 83
From:New Zealand
Registered: May 2003

posted 08-18-2003 08:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greypaw     Edit/Delete Message

I don't know if this will help but the only experiance I've had with force feeding involved lots of towels, some clothes pegs attached to my cat's scruff of his neck (like what mother cats do to their kittens), and LOTS of determination.

I suggest going slow with liquified food in a sryinge (prob same diet as before). Keep the amounts small and often for a few days just to teach your cat about swallowing chewing etc (reteach?). Over this time he should get a little hungeier as he won't be getting a full stomach with the tube.

Then start hand feeding him solids. Try anything smelly and heat it up a little. Try fish, chicken, red meat, heart, human baby food, you name it. The important thing is to get him keen on using his mouth and throat again and used to the idea that eating is good FUN. After you get him eating you can blend catfood back into his diet so you don't end up with a super fussy cat.

I recommend hand feeding because it sounds like he stoped eating due to stress and you need to make eating safe and non stressful for him again. I would also try treats like a little butter smeared on your finger for him to lick off. That would help build a bond between the two of you because he would be grooming you.

Good luck and don't give up, I'm sure he will come round eventually.


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Posts: 996
From:sheridan, wy
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 08-19-2003 10:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fleafly     Edit/Delete Message
When I have had cats that wont eat anything b/c they are sick or whatever they only thing I usually have luck with is canned tuna. It is very stinky and delicious to cats. I use the kind in water. If he does eat that you can slowly start mixing cat food in. I'm sure you have tried this, but I would leave food down all the time just in case. My cats like Purina the best and for canned food nine lives or frisky.

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Posts: 201
From:Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 08-20-2003 09:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lucidity03     Edit/Delete Message
I know nothing about the exact problem your poor kitty has, but I'll tell you what happened to me and I hope it can help.

We had a kitten who became anorexic after taking an antibiotic. (Long story short, we did the whole vet thing and they did what they could at the time.) The vet told us that she forgot how to eat. It didn't matter how smelly/potent the food was, she just didn't want anything to do with it. My husband and I were desperate so we tried an idea we came up with.

We took a syringe (with NO needle)... the type the vet can give you for liquid medicine... we filled the syringe with tuna juice and some canned food... we then squirted the substance down our kitten's throat. She wasn't happy at first. But, after she swallowed it a couple of times and got a taste for food again, she walked over to the bowl of tuna we had out and ate it.

I cannot tell you how wonderful that was to see. I really hope this can help you. We just figured that we would force some food down her to give her a taste and she would take it from there. We had to re-teach her about eating. Luckily it worked for us.

That's the only suggestion I have (and that hasn't yet been stated earlier).

I hope you find a solution.

(By the way, have you tried Nutrical? It's very potent, high in calories, and cats love it. But, in our situation, our kitten didn't want anything to do with that either.)

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