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Thread: How to fatten up a cat

  1. #1
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    How to fatten up a cat

    Rush is 14 years old and is diabetic. To make a long story short, the insulin he is on was making him throw up horribly every night, so now he is off of the insulin. We already spent close to $300 on blood tests that got us nowhere, so we are hesitant to take him to the vet again to just be told, $300 dollars later, "we really have no clue, but we can try this...." But that is besides the point.

    With him now not on his insulin he has gotten SKINNY. He used to be a plump-ish cat and now he is skin and bones. I don't know how much food he eats (we free feed him), but apparently it isn't enough.

    I was wondering if there was any type of food I could feed him to get him to gain some weight? He LOVES canned food and I've been feeding him half a can a night just for a treat. Would giving him the daily ration of canned food ment for a cat of his weight help to plump him up or should I buy a different brand of dry food (currently he is on Iams Hairball as it is high in fiber....the vet said he should have a diet hight in fiber).
    ~My Clan: Blackie, Rose, Chloe (dogs), Casey, Dameon (ferts), Pheobe (kitty), Dot, Louie (Cavies), Joey (Teil), Pikachu (Dwarf Hammie), Sadie (Guide Dog), R.I.P. Rush (15yrs), R.I.P. Lucy (4yrs)~

  2. #2
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    Did the vet take him off the insulin?

    I'd try a second opinion, taking the results of the lab tests from the first vet.

    Without some sort of insulin, all the best food in the world will do no good.

    http://www.petdiabetes.org/faq.htm#types

    http://www.petdiabetes.org/faq.htm

    http://sugarcats.blogspot.com/2006/0...at-feline.html

    smokey the elder has lots of experience with diabetic kitties, so hopefully that point of view will be here shortly.
    "Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life that you don't need to escape from." -- Seth Godin

  3. #3
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    Unfortunately, until the sugar levels are controlled, eating alot with weight loss is a symptom of diabetes. What kind of insulin were you giving? Have you thought of trying others? Did you change your kitty to a high protein, low carb diet? Sometimes that will help bring the levels down. My diabetic cat is being controlled by diet without having to take insulin injections anymore. Check out this website for some tips on feeding. How long has your kitty been diabetic?

  4. #4
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    Insulin dosag & forms, Rx diets

    I worked at an animal shelter where our humane officers kept getting calls about a very skinny golden retriever mix. Every time they checked in, she had plenty of good food and water. Finally, the dog was taken to the vet, and voila, she was diabetic. Almost immediately after recieving insulin, the dog gained weight.

    I know it's hard for both people and pets who are diabetic. It took a year before the doctors were able to find the right dosage of insulin for my brother. What I would suggest is call the vet and let him/her know about the vomiting. It may be as simple as giving a lower dosage, or trying another brand or form of insulin. Depending on the vet, they may be able to give you some advice/options right over the phone, no extra cost. Also, ask about what foods the vet suggests putting your cat on. There are numerous types and brands of prescription or condition specific foods (i.e. weight gain, urinary tract, renal health, cardiac health). Remember to still make that switch in diet gradually.

    Anyway, talk to the vet about decreasing the dosage or trying another type of insulin. It's frustrating because it's often a game of too high or too low. Once you've finally stablized your kitty on an ideal diet and insulin dosage, you'll notice. And once stable, diabetic animals can do quiet well, just like people. Unlike people, animals can't always tell you exactly what's not working for them.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonnerrebird
    I worked at an animal shelter where our humane officers kept getting calls about a very skinny golden retriever mix. Every time they checked in, she had plenty of good food and water. Finally, the dog was taken to the vet, and voila, she was diabetic. Almost immediately after recieving insulin, the dog gained weight.

    I know it's hard for both people and pets who are diabetic. It took a year before the doctors were able to find the right dosage of insulin for my brother. What I would suggest is call the vet and let him/her know about the vomiting. It may be as simple as giving a lower dosage, or trying another brand or form of insulin. Depending on the vet, they may be able to give you some advice/options right over the phone, no extra cost. Also, ask about what foods the vet suggests putting your cat on. There are numerous types and brands of prescription or condition specific foods (i.e. weight gain, urinary tract, renal health, cardiac health). Remember to still make that switch in diet gradually.

    Anyway, talk to the vet about decreasing the dosage or trying another type of insulin. It's frustrating because it's often a game of too high or too low. Once you've finally stablized your kitty on an ideal diet and insulin dosage, you'll notice. And once stable, diabetic animals can do quiet well, just like people. Unlike people, animals can't always tell you exactly what's not working for them.

    Good luck!

    I second all that.

    One addition though... Free feeding a diabetic animal seems like a surefire way to have bad results. All of the diabetic pets we see are put on very strictly controled diets. Everytime an animal eats it affects the blood glucose and will play HAVOC with the insulin dosage. The ones that follow the vets instructions to the letter on insulin AND diet seem to have very few problems and live longer.

    RIP Dusty July 2007 RIP Sabrina June 2011 RIP Jack 2013

  6. #6
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    I'll ask about a different kind of insulin - my dad is a pharmacist and he wondered if a different type would work as well.

    We've lowered the dosage for his insulin and he would still vomit. Before the vet wants to "offically" tell us to lower his dosage he wants us to bring Rush in for a blood test again....my mom is loath to pay the money for something that we don't even know will help him in the long run.

    We also think that him eating the dry food caused him to vomit. Now that he is off the insulin and only eat moist food (Nutro Max Cat) he hasn't vomited in large quantities at all - only a little spot here or there. He also also gained a bit of weight.

    We weighed him the other day and he weighed about eight pounds. Considering at a healthy weight he was 12-14 pounds, he is very skinny.

    And once stable, diabetic animals can do quiet well, just like people.
    He has been "officially" diabetic for about a year or so now, maybe more. He had been stable and his diet and insulin were working fine. It has just been recentally that this has started happening.

    When we took him in for his blood test, the only thing wrong with him was an inflamed pancreas. The vet put him on meds to help that as well as meds to help stop his vomiting. The meds to stop the inflammation were an anti-inflammatory drug (imagine that). When he stayed on those meds he didn't vomit either - but he was on them for about a month longer than he should have been to stop the inflamation. It got to the point where he wouldn't take the pill and when we would liquify it and shoot it down his throat he would cough it back up later.

    Once we stopped the pills and the insulin both - no vomiting. Just recentally he has started to vomit whenever he would eat the dry cat food. Now that he only eats moist, no vomiting.

    His stomach also gurgles something awful, so I don't think it has anything really to do with the insulin by itself at all, but his digestive tract. Something that the insulin just sets off and the hard food irritates.

    I really have no idea. I've talked a couple of times with some vet techs and they really have no idea either. We are all just stumped.
    ~My Clan: Blackie, Rose, Chloe (dogs), Casey, Dameon (ferts), Pheobe (kitty), Dot, Louie (Cavies), Joey (Teil), Pikachu (Dwarf Hammie), Sadie (Guide Dog), R.I.P. Rush (15yrs), R.I.P. Lucy (4yrs)~

  7. #7
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    Would your vet work out a payment plan for you? It does sound like Rush should be seen again. If he has some tummy trouble, he may be able to use the insulin he is used to once that part is fixed.

    With the pancreatitis, that could be affecting things. Stay with the vet you have, if possible.

    You might try some plain (no sweetening or flavour) yogurt to restore the flora in his digestive tract. My cat loves it - you may have to put some on Rush's paws to get him to lick it.

    Please work something out with your vet moneywise...it sadly sounds like you will lose Rush if you don't. As you know, with diabetes he can eat and eat - and even without throwing up, he will still lose weight.

    HUGS! Please keep us posted.
    "Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life that you don't need to escape from." -- Seth Godin

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catty1
    Would your vet work out a payment plan for you? It does sound like Rush should be seen again. If he has some tummy trouble, he may be able to use the insulin he is used to once that part is fixed.

    With the pancreatitis, that could be affecting things. Stay with the vet you have, if possible.

    You might try some plain (no sweetening or flavour) yogurt to restore the flora in his digestive tract. My cat loves it - you may have to put some on Rush's paws to get him to lick it.

    Please work something out with your vet moneywise...it sadly sounds like you will lose Rush if you don't. As you know, with diabetes he can eat and eat - and even without throwing up, he will still lose weight.

    HUGS! Please keep us posted.
    I work at the vet we take all of our critters too and the "head" Dr. knows my dad. They probably would be willing to work out a payment plan, but my mom just doesn't want to deal with it. Her viewpoint is he's not in any pain and is living like he would be if he was healthy and since he is an older cat (he'll be fifteen on Good Friday) she doesn't want to put a lot of money into him to just have him pass away a couple of months later.

    His vet care would be something I personally would be willing to pay for as he is the cat I've grown up with (we've had him since I was two), but I'm financially responsible for my ferrets, my bird, my two rodents, and my puppy. On top of that I'm trying to save up for college. I have little to no money that already isn't going to a purpose already.

    This week I'm going to need to take my pup to the grooming side of the clinic to get a potty patch and her pads trimmed up. She's also been very lethargic, isn't eating, and has had very runny poop so if she isn't better in a day or two I'm going to go in and ask for meds for her anways. (This is the THIRD time she's gotten sick like this, and for the life of me I can't figure out why.) However, she isn't vomiting like she did the past two times so I'm hoping everything will clear up soon.

    While I'm in I'll see if Rush's vet is in and I'll talk to her about his condition. Is there anything specific I should mention to her or ask her about?

    I'll try the yougart, but I don't know if he'll eat it. He is a very picky kitty. I might put some in with his canned food and see what he does, but he may just turn his nose up at all of it.
    ~My Clan: Blackie, Rose, Chloe (dogs), Casey, Dameon (ferts), Pheobe (kitty), Dot, Louie (Cavies), Joey (Teil), Pikachu (Dwarf Hammie), Sadie (Guide Dog), R.I.P. Rush (15yrs), R.I.P. Lucy (4yrs)~

  9. #9
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    Just tell Rush's vet what you posted here several posts ago - the one that starts "I'll ask about a different kind of insulin" (post numbers don't appear while typing a new one!). Even print it out. You are best to get some suggestions from her.

    If you family can't put the money into getting Rush checked out - a drastic option is to surrender Rush to a rescue and letting them look after the medical. You would have to pay to adopt Rush back, if you were allowed to at all.

    Good luck.
    "Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life that you don't need to escape from." -- Seth Godin

  10. #10

    Pet Rescue Policies

    I am very sorry to say that, as our son found out the hard way,
    if you give up a pet to a Pet Rescue organization, there is a very great
    likelihood that they will not allow the pet to be re-adopted by the same person after the pet has recovered. He found a Border collie, which he had wanted all his life, advertised in the newspaper as "free to a good home." It turned out that the dog was very listless and, when examined at the vet's, was discovered to have the worst case of heartworms they had ever seen.
    Our son did not have the large amount of money to pay for the treatment,
    which would in all likelihood have killed the dog. His only course was to give the dog up to Border Collie Rescue, since they could arrange for the dog's treatment. He was very disappointed that, after she recovered, he was not allowed to re-adopt her. I can see their point, since they have no way of knowing that he was trying to help her and wasn't the uncaring owner who had allowed her to get in that condition in the first place. This is something that people need to be aware of before taking this step. I know that this discussion was from several years ago, but new readers might benefit from reading this.

  11. #11
    gosh I am not sure of the name, but I think it is called "K/D"(or something/D) it is a specialty canned food with lots of calories, you should be able to find it at your vets office. I am surprised your vet didn't suggest it.

    Years ago I had a kitten that was 10 weeks old when I got her and she only weighed 2 pounds, the vet told me to feed her that and it worked. be careful not to let any other cats eat it, it will pack on the pounds on them!

    ask your vet about it.

    good luck!
    Last edited by funny felines; 02-21-2009 at 06:38 PM.

  12. #12
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    And theres Science Diet Recovery Formula which helped my Dear Old JJJ3 out on weight,
    Its 2 dollars for a six ounce can, but it does a good job.
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  13. #13
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    I could swear I saw a food specifically for diabetic cats. I'll do some digging and see if I can find it. I know Eukanuba used to have a glucose-control dog food.

    Edit: Purina DM is made for diabetic cats. Not sure where you can find it. It comes in canned and dry varieties.

  14. #14
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    Did you see this web site specifically for diabetic felines.
    http://www.yourdiabeticcat.com/index.html
    Sebastian & Miss Minnie

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