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Force feeding

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Maaryon, Mar 8, 2010.

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  1. Maaryon

    Maaryon Member

    Mar 1, 2010
    Just to give an update, and thanks again for all your feedbacks. Topaz went to the vet, I told him I had stopped the Metacam which he agreed to considering she was not eating and now he wants me to force feed her. He showed me in the office and after two injections of food into her mouth she actually started licking the food in the can. However, at home, she refuses to eat and trying to force feed a feral is about impossible. She is so angry, hissing and spitting and the food is more over me and the floor than in her mouth. She now runs away and I am at wits end ( if I ever even had any wits).
    She does eat about 20 pieces of evo. Is this enough to not force feed? How long does force feeding last? Carolyn and Latte I need help. Is it the beginning of the end?
  2. Hillary & Maui (GA)

    Hillary & Maui (GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    I am sorry you are having such difficulties. I have force fed (rather spoon fed) Maui and as you can see by the pic, it is a messy issue. But Maui is also not a feral and I knew just how far I could push things with her.

    Has the vet suggested a feeding tube? I know many on here have used them and find it's a very good way to ensure the cat gets food. Is this a possibility?
  3. JJ & Gwyn

    JJ & Gwyn Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    I didn't follow your earlier posts, but for inappetance, I would suggest trying:

    * if you suspect pain is contributing to the problem, I would suggest trying to switch to a different painkiller; perhaps your vet has buprenex or tramadol that s/he would be willing to prescribe.

    * consider adding something like Zantac or Pepcid A/C. Sometimes cats stop eating because they feel nauseous, and either Zantac or A/C can help with that. If pilling is a problem, you should be able to get those in transdermal form.

    * ask for an appetite stimulant. IMO, this is one of the most overlooked steps in dealing with inappetance. Drugs like cyproheptadine or mirtazapine can trigger an appetite in an inappetant cat, and may help you avoid syringe feeding or a feeding tube. You can get cyproheptadine in transdermal form as well; I think mirtazapine is also available transdermally, but am not positive.

    A couple of other thoughts, it you haven't tried them already:

    * you might try adding water to the food you're supplying. Sometimes it seems to be a texture thing, where they won't eat a solid pack of food, but will lap at something that's nicely soupy.

    * baby foods can work quite well; I've had a *lot* of success with Beechnut's Veal+Veal Broth and Beef+Beef Broth flavors.
  4. Gia and Quirk

    Gia and Quirk Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    It may be time to consider a feeding tube. This is something I thought I would never do, but I have seen wonderful recoveries after a tube is inserted. It was information on Dr. Lisa's site that made me begin to accept the feeding tube idea. For a feral I think it could be the easiest solution.
  5. Pam and Layla

    Pam and Layla Senior Member Moderator

    Dec 28, 2009
    You might try counting the EVO pieces. See how many are in a tablespoon and calculate the calories. When Layla had a feeding tube I gave her a minimum of 180 calories per day through the tube on top of what I could use to coerce her to eat. Layla is 10 pounds.

    When mine are not well they tend to go for foods that are not a part of their normal routine so thinking outside of the box is a good idea.

    I would continue the EVO and discuss the appetite stimulents and feeding tube with your vet.

    Pam & Layla
  6. Maaryon

    Maaryon Member

    Mar 1, 2010
    Feeding tube? Something I have to shove down her throat each time? Ha, I'll have no arms, legs or anything left and if it is surgically inserted, this is a feral cat that is outside. I don't think that will work. However, I'll keep trying the evo as she seems to eat that a bit more but only if I stay with her. I almost think she is senile and forgets the food is there until I shake the container and keep contact with her. This was a cat that could not eat enough food and I was always fretting that she was too fat (15lbs)and now in two weeks time she hates to eat. She is not in pain, comes up and down the stairs but with some difficulty but just seems lethargic. The Vet wants to do a full GI but I have to save up for that as to date the bill is close to $1000.
  7. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    A feeding tube is surgically implanted and would not be good for an indoor/outdoor cat. You might want to join Yahoo's feline assisted feeding group for tips on assisted (better word that force) feeding. Sometimes it takes months for a cat to eat by itself. I have to assist feed two cats for 2 1/2 months. Other for a lot less time.

    Link for the Yahoo group:
    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/Feli ... d-Feeding/

    edited to add the link
  8. carolynandlatte

    carolynandlatte Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Hi Maaryon,
    Im sorry I could not stop by sooner, as Latte and I had quite a day and then I had to work this evening.

    You have had some WONDERFUL responses so far. Trying things such as babyfood, gravy, the little bits of kibble - any kind at this point (latte ate purina kitten kibble for a while -ack!), boiled or roasted meats, treats, yogurt, cottage cheese,small bits of egg, catsure, cat sip, things you never thought she would eat, almost anything (but no onions).

    Join the assist feeding group. Larry added the link in his post. It may take a day or two for approval. They are the kindest , most resourceful folks regarding this issue.

    How is water intake? Sub-q's might be something you need to consider, especially with the lack of food. That alone can make a cat not want to eat - if they are dehydrated. Do you know how to check for that with the skin test? Pull up on the scruff and see if it goes right back down. if there is a delay, then hydration may be an issue.

    Consider appetite stimulants at this point FOR SURE! Pepcid may be a good option, as well as ondansetron for any nausea that may be causing the lack of appetite.

    Please try to change your view of 'force feeding' to 'assist feeding'. Assist feeding involves many techniques beyond a syringe and pureed food. It can involve hand,or spoon feeding, feeding tubes, appy stims, syringes, etc. When you take the word 'force' out of it, you can be more creative.

    Did the vet have ANY thoughts of what might be going on? You said the same thing was going on before the metacam?

    You are doing great by reaching out and being proactive.

    I can check back in later afternoon. If you have more questions, dont hesitate to ask. Latte is not a feral, but I can share how I got her to accept the syringe feedings.

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