I don't know if I can do this

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Texas _BB, Sep 23, 2017.

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  1. Texas _BB

    Texas _BB New Member

    Sep 6, 2017
    I am at my rope's end.

    I started home treatment 9/7, so it's only been just over 2 weeks. The diabetic cat (Dexter), was used to eating mostly wet and his transition has been easier. But he has always been picky. I was used to wasting up to maybe 1/3 of all the wet food I bought anyway, so my monthly bill was around $150 for both of them. Now I'm wasting literally cans and cans sometimes because they just don't want to eat much of anything and heaven forbid either of them actually clean their plate. Since this started my food bill have skyrocketed to $350.

    Gabe who ate some wet but but way preferred dry and also liked to graze all day is even pickier. So as I've transitioned them both to all wet and only being fed twice a day, it's been a challenge. We have our good days - morning are generally better since Dexter was already getting meds in the AM so both were in a routine of getting fresh food in the AM and they would both eat a decent amount then.

    But some morning are still terrible, with Dexter eating less than half anything I give him and Gabe at best eating a fraction of the food, at worst taking one sniff and walking off. But then they still sit in the kitchen or come begging an hour later. Dexter will at least eat something if I put fortiflora on it, but gave doesn't;t like fortiflora. He has refused (even when I know he's hungry): food w. flortiflora, AD, fresh fish, foods I know he likes because he's eaten them in the past, treats, and his old dry food that he used to love so much. And I suspect now he's developing some food aversion.

    I don't know how much more I can handle this. I know they don't mean to be assholes, but I just don't have much patience sometimes. At times I have gotten so angry/frustrated at them - they know it. Ashamed to say I actually threw a shoe at Gabe this morning (intentionally didn't hit him, but he knew I was mad). And where they used to be a comfort to me when I was emotionally unstable (yes, diagnosed depression and anxiety that evidently presents as anger/frustration when my cats are being assholes), but now our relationship has changed, too. They basically only want to cuddle or get attention when they're hungry. I basically don't sleep between 4:30 and 7:30 am when they eat because they're meowing and walking across my face. And even if I lock them out they're still meowing, then if I sleep, it's light. I'm sure that's not helping.

    Here's my log: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12sSpS0sooSsLGi_x3T1M5YHVTZwbd1OIJH4-n7tfyIY/edit?usp=sharing

    There are notes with the time about feeding (I always feed at 7:30, the time is when I do testing), though I'm often still working to get them to finish breakfast at 8:30, but at 8:30 I pick everything up.

    Any suggestions or words of help are appreciated. I love my cats, but they are driving me crazy. And part of me is so mad that I now have to live me live around them. I have tickets to a show next Friday and I have to pay someone to come do their food and meds because of the time (7 pm). And this semester I teach until 7 pm 2x a week ... which I'll do in the spring as well. So I can't really adjust the time I'm doing their stuff because of my work schedule. And to give some context, I have had a really hard past 9 months - work, personal life, etc. I was not in a good place when this all started coming down. Dexter was diagnosed with pancreatitis two years ago and that was really stressful and hard to adjust to but nothing compared to this, and then to get this on top of that ... and to have to deal with Gabe's shitty attitude along with it while I try to keep 20 balls in the air at work ... I'm having a hard time. I'm single and live alone, so this is all on me. I don't have any family close by and my closest friends aren't local either, so I have literally me. And I just don't know that I can do it.

    I hate myself for it, but I kind of hate them right now.

  2. Squalliesmom

    Squalliesmom Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2015
    I'm sorry you're having so much difficulty with your kitties eating their food. It can often take a while for cats to adjust to new foods or schedules. I know it's hard, but try to have patience with them; they have no idea that their eating habits frustrate and anger you. They don't mean to have bad attitudes, they're just being cats.

    Picky eaters are the worst! I know, because I have one, too. I can't even begin to count the number of different foods I tried before finding a couple that she'll eat with any regularity! You don't have to pick their food up after an hour, if they are used to grazing you can leave the canned food ou for them. Sometimes it helps to add a few drops of water so it doesn't dry up too much. You can also get automated, timed feeders, if your schedule makes feeding time a problem. Lastly, although we don't recommend feeding dry foods, there are a couple of dry cat foods that are low in carbs; Young Again Zero Carb (YAZC) and Dr. Elsey Clean Protein. They are both available online and will send you a sample if you ask them. I have never tried the Dr. Elsey's but I have tried the YAZC, and all four of my cats go wild over it. Folks with die-hard kibble addicts have used these dry foods with some success.

    Hope these thoughts help you somewhat. When your kitties start to frustrate you, you can always come here to vent, we have all been there, believe me, lol! :)
    Squeakycats, Texas _BB and Yong like this.
  3. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2017
    What insulin is Dexter on again? What food are you buying?
    When Gabe sniffs the food and walks away, is he licking his lips after sniffing? Just trying to determine if he might have nausea. Does he have any history of pancreatitis? Dexter might be a little pickier too if he's having a flare up of pancreatitis. My boy has had one mild flare and he wanted nothing to do with his wet food. I was unemployed and having to waste cans of food, so I understand that frustration. Like Lucy said, I don't think they are doing it intentionally :bighug: but it may be their way of trying to tell you something is up with them too. I completely understand your emotional struggle too :bighug:.

    For the feeding schedule, the 2x daily feeding is an older school of thought that doesn't work for the majority of our fur babies. I don't think I even attempted it with my boy because I knew I couldn't let him go from a grazer, always having food available, to 2 meal times a day :smuggrin:. If you can't afford a timed feeder right now, you can try catfoodsicles. I freeze portions of wet food with a little water and then put one or two out (depending how much breakfast is left) before I leave for work. They thaw out later for him to eat. He does have a 1 meal timed feeder now, since I got a job, that gives him another dry food snack later in the day. I also use YAZC because is a little bit of a dry food addict. You can only buy it online at youngagainpetfood.com and look at the Zero or Zero Mature formula for diabetic cats. It is expensive but the 8lb bag lasts Maury about the same amount of time his 28lb bag of his old bad food lasted :oops:.

    Hope your boys settle down for you and they check out OK. Again, like Lucy, feel free to vent :bighug:
    Squeakycats and Texas _BB like this.
  4. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2017
    The American Animal Hospital Association guidelines recommend feeding four times a day rather than two. They also say free-feeding is fine for underweight diabetics. Maybe you could try the 4 times a day feedings (using an auto feeder for the mid-day and mid-night feedings), and do not worry about taking up the food in between. The exception to that being that you want to make sure to take up food a couple of hours before the shot so that your pre-shot glucose test result will not be impacted by food. (I have seen people say that they program their auto-feeder to turn to an empty section two hours before shot so that they do not have to worry about being there to take up food.)

    I feel your pain. My girls ate only dry food their entire lives. The transition was not easy, and I went through SO many foods.. expensive foods, too. Then, I decided to start trying the 'grocery store' kinds of foods that were low carb, and I found that they would eat Sheba Perfect Portions Pate and Fancy Feast Classic Chicken Feast, so I used just those. Then, they stopped really eating very much Sheba, so I went to just the FF. Amazingly, they have continued to actually eat that for 4 meals a day for quite some time now. It was not my personal first choice for their food (I would prefer the phos was lower and I am not so crazy about a few of the ingredients), but they will eat it and the carbs are fine for my diabetic. As those guidelines say, you should feed the lowest-carb food they will eat. So, just keep going through the low-carb options until you land on something they will eat. I fed my girls Young Again Zero Mature during the transition, but once I found a wet food they would eat a little more of, I stopped giving them that. Once that was gone, they increased how much of the wet they eat.

    Don't give up. I think almost everyone has felt that they could not take anymore at some point or another. At least you are not alone! :bighug:
    Texas _BB likes this.
  5. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Jun 8, 2016
    I have 6 cats and NONE of them eat a lot in a sitting. They all graze and that's fine. As long as my diabetic is eating some we are good to go. I put down wet food twice a day and leave it until the next feeding (any leftover I give to the outside strays so it's not wasted). I also leave out low carb dry young again zero and Evo for the non diabetics.

    Are you saying you are mad at your cats for not eating on demand and for meowing when they are hungry?

    Why not just get a timed feeders? Most of us feed 3-4 times a day. They can eat any time except two hours before preshot testing.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  6. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2016
    OMG! You threw a shoe at a cat? Listen, if your aim is better than mine we have a cat that makes me feel the same. Okay, listen up. At least you had the guts to say that out loud. We have six in the house and Lewis (shoe cat) will steal wet food right off of Noah's plate. Then I have to read a bed time story to Noah, move his plate, pull his tail and brush him just to get him to eat again. Welcome to KooKoo Town! It's not a conspiracy, that's what cats do.
    Squalliesmom likes this.
  7. Texas _BB

    Texas _BB New Member

    Sep 6, 2017
    Thanks so much for the support y'all! My vet was pretty adamant about 2x/day, but it sounds like I can loosen up up a bit there. They are used to running out of food several hours before a re-fill, so I will start leaving out a snack for them to come back to (luckily they both usually do), and see how it goes.

    (Yes, threw shoe in general direction, not to actually hit him, in fact aimed NOT at him. But still. A low for me for sure.) :-/

    @Yong Gabe will sometimes lick his lips even after he smells it (what does that mean? - NM, nausea ... I'll chat w vet Monday. He does get car sick now - never did until about a year ago). He's so odd about it because I can tell he's hungry but he'll turn away all kinds of food. Based on their past preferences I have a kind of category system - smooth pate or chunky and more fish or more meat. Gabe tends to like some pate but not too much, but both of them mostly lick up the gravy of stuff w morsels, and Gabe tends to like meatier stuff though he also likes fishier sometimes. Gabe just had a bunch of bloodwork done (geriatric), and no anomalies were found, so I don't think it's pancreatitis.

    Stuff they both are liking:
    *Urinary CD has been a good one for breakfast in particular (Gabe has had two urinary incidents and the vet thinks urinary food is good but also just doing all wet is good).
    * We do a fair amount of Weruva - it look me a long time to figure out which ones Dexter tends to like: Grandma's chicken soup, pretty pink (salmon), kawa and mediterranean harvest (both tuna) are the favorites, but he'll sometimes eat a few others - some of the BFF and cats in the kitchen pouches for instance.
    * Gabe has liked Hill's Urinary adult twice now (not S/O, which Dexter thinks is OK and Gabe thinks is MEH).
    * UR has been OK, but again - they lick up all the gravy and leave most of the chunks, even when I cut them up smaller.
    * Wellness they seem to hate the pate but like the minced and morsels pretty good.
    * Grandma mae's is one we've tried recently and had mixed success on - sometimes they love the mackerel and sardine, other times they're meh.
    * Same with Precise - mixed grill was a big hit twice but not since.
    Tiki - there are a few kinds they like, mostly Dexter likes the mackerel and sardine, the rest are pretty hit or miss.
    *Koha - Dexter used to like the brush tail and kangaroo, and Gabe was eating the guinea fowl a bit, but no big hits here.
    *Taste of wild: They've like it OK a few times, not enough to repeat.
    * Another brand with "Wild" in the title (Wild instinct?) was same - hit and miss, no pattern I could discern.
    * They used to like Merrick back in the day but they aren't allowed carrageenan so it's out.
    I've tried some other one-offs that have been unsuccessful or basically one hit wonders - solid gold, some other hills small cans, and whole nature, avoderm, fromm, fussie cat, and I'm sure others I've forgotten (?).

    Thanks again everyone! I'm so glad this from exists and thankful to all of you! If you have suggestions for food/brands I've missed, please LMK. We have a great pet whole food/wellness place here, and I've tried just about everything they have.

    Feeling a bit better today and going to try leaving one extra out to help them get through the day/night more easily and stress me out less about getting them half their daily intake.

    Yong, JanetNJ and Noah & me (GA) like this.
  8. Squalliesmom

    Squalliesmom Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2015
    We recommend keeping carbs below 10% for our sugar kitties. HERE is a list of foods that are readily available at most places, you can go through it and find the ones that have lower carbs. Unfortunately, the gravy foods are all pretty much too high in carbs; we use them when our cats need a boost in there blood glucose level!
  9. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2015
    The list that Squalliesmom just linked for you is great, and more reliable than the numbers you'll see on the cans.

    I wonder how your cats might like one of the freeze dried raw foods from Primal? It's super important to re-hydrate them as they have even less moisture than kibble and can be bad for kidneys if you don't add enough water. You may be able to get samples from the pet store, or by writing to the company before you spend a gazillion dollars buying a whole bag. Or maybe even a frozen raw, but most cats need a slow transition to get to the point where they eat that.

    One of the advantages of either of those is that you can put out just a little at a time instead of opening a whole can and wasting a bunch. Not all of the brands of freeze-dried raw foods are low carbs, but Primal flavors are all okay, and the Turkey is the best - low carb and low Phosphorous so it's gentle on the kidneys, and also good for sensitive tummies.
    Squeakycats likes this.
  10. W.K.

    W.K. Member

    Feb 16, 2017
    The 2x feeding a day is from what I understand the "old school" train of thought. Most of us feed more and leave some out for grazing. I feed 4x and leave low carb dry out. You can also leave out any wet food that they don't eat at meal time. Just make sure Gabe doesn't have anything 2 hrs before shot time so his pre-shot number isn't food influenced.

    Have you tried Nature's Variety Instinct foods? They've been a big hit in our house :) They'll eat any flavor but the venison.
  11. Barneys dad

    Barneys dad Member

    Sep 14, 2017
    Cats are assholes by nature but we all love them anyway. I am moving my 3 cats from Grazing to 2x feeding. The two health cats are the problem children. I just leave the food out for 30 minutes ( Barney is locked in bath room eating his special food). They tend to eat a little than walk away so I just go over tap on the bowls 10 mins before I pick up. They have learned that means eat while the getting is good. If they ignore me than they have a 12 hr wait for the next meal. It has taken 2 weeks of living with "Dawn of the Unfed" twice a day but all three are getting better and the between meal begging has gotten better. If you are unset with your cats than just hug the crap out of them a lot like a visiting Crazy Aunt. If there are not lovers than they get the message to steer clear when you are upset so you can keep your shoes on. :) Hang in there it gets better
  12. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2017
    Have you tried Fancy Feast Chunky Chicken or Chunky Turkey? They're like chunky pieces mixed with pate. If either has kidney issues, then ignore the suggestion as they have too much phosphorus for those kitties. I only give them to my boy occasionally now as preventative. Also, when he has nausea and is hungry, he will just sniff and lick his lips too with wet food. He prefers his YAZ when the mild bouts happen and then he'll *usually* eat his wet food later. He is at 6 feedings a day and it's helped from 4 when he used to still wake me up 2-3 hours before the alarm or sing the song of his people when I was home in the evenings :rolleyes:. Now it's about 30 minutes at most but I should be waking up anyways lol.

    You might want to think about setting up your Signature too, so we'll remember the basic information about Gabe as you continue to post :cat:
  13. Squeakycats

    Squeakycats Member

    Mar 22, 2017
    It definitely might be worth trying an anti-nausea medication (the lip-licking and walking away is a really common sign).

    I used the Young Again dry food and had good luck with that--except that it was so calorie-dense that both of my cats gained too much weight! It might be worth asking the YA people if they'd send a sample--I emailed them once and they responded fairly promptly. Actually, if they won't send one, you can message me your address and I'll mail you some, if you want--I still have a little bit left, and it's not super-old.

    I am currently feeding a lot of the Primal Freeze-Dried Raw, and I confess that I do not always rehydrate it (because once you do that, you can't leave it sitting out). If I leave a crumbled-up brick of it out overnight, my kitty eats that and doesn't drive me nuts begging for food. It really is not optimal to leave it dry--I always add warm water to it when I'll be around to remove any uneaten food--but sometimes we have to do not-optimal things for a while to get through all of this diabetic cat care stuff!!! My picky cat has literally NEVER snubbed this stuff, though he refuses to eat any of the commercial varieties of wet raw food.

    I'm sorry you're having such a stressful time, and I hope it gets better soon!
  14. LuanneP

    LuanneP Member

    Jul 24, 2017
    I would definitely be feeding more than twice per day. Cats really need to eat several small meals per day. A timed feeder can work great for that if you can't figure out another way that works with your schedule. For my cats, including my Diabetic boy, they all eat a big breakfast before I go to work (around 8am). Well, I feed them, whether or not they eat it all up is another story but they always come back later to clean their plates so I don't worry about it. I feed them a snack as soon as I get home from work around 4:30pm. They get another big meal for supper around 8pm & then they get a bedtime snack around 11pm. This works for everyone, they're happy & not bugging me for food. I feed canned food & I don't worry if they haven't eaten it right away because they'll clean it up later on when they want more. I always put more out in the morning & at bedtime than I know they'll eat for that reason because those are the longest times between feedings. I just make sure the food is picked up two hours before I test Merry's blood sugar so I'm getting an accurate reading, otherwise the food is available to them if they haven't cleaned their plates. On my days off I usually feed them an extra snack mid day if I'm home but otherwise that's their schedule & they're happy :)
  15. Tracey&Jones- GA

    Tracey&Jones- GA Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2016
    Jones has always been a grazer. Have a CKD, a Obese Kitty and a young one. So all a little different with different amounts. So I bite the bullet and got the sureflap feeders. Use the Groupon coupon and got a discount. Saved my sanity. They all get to eat together and each gets access to only their food.
  16. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2016
    @Texas _BB
    There's a quick story here. On the right is Lewis. He's a pig, rude, food stealer. I can't remember exactly what but I threw something at him because he tipped Nigel's insulin off the table. It didn't break. BUT..... He is capable of incredible kindness. I don't make a habit of taking pictures of a dying cat but this is Nigel's last night and Lewis would not leave his side. He had done the same with Jacob. I couldn't look at this for a year after Nigel died.
    Squeakycats, PPCW, JanetNJ and 2 others like this.
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