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NancyH, Cat Health, Behavior, Care Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  30+ years cat owner, rescue, breeding, study of behavior & health care
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cat: had a heart murmur treated..kidneys..1/2 a prednisolone

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I have a 15 yo cat who has had a heart murmur treated successfully with Atenolol, failing kidneys which have been kept at bay with Hills k/d, and was found to have an abdominal tumour around six months ago. The tumour was explored surgically, but found to have been attached in more places than could be safely removed. Since then he has 1/2 a Prednisolone every other day which seems to be limiting the tumour's growth.

Recently I've had a problem in getting him to eat properly. He isn't keen on very much, although he does have a little enthusiasm for the kind of cat food treats that are probably not so good for his kidneys. I wasn't sure whether his reluctance to eat was to do with his tumour, or that his brother died recently from kidney failure. The vet checked him and gave him 1/4 Periactin x2 daily which has improved his appetite, but has made him miaow a lot and sleep more than usual.

I want to do the best I can, but I know that his Serotonin levels are lowered, any ideas?

He might not be eating due to acidity from the kidney issue.

You might ask your vet about using Pepcid for him to see if that works to help him eat better by controling stomach acidity.

You may find this site

in particular the page on meds in this instance

useful reading.

My feeling is the cat eating is better than not eating. So what we do here is buy a small variety of really premium canned cat foods to offer plus some fresh foods such as chicken sometimes a little hamburger seems to appeal.

This week our 19 1/2 year old who is in kidney failure says the Turducken from Merrick is the best but it varies day to day what he will eat.

Hope this helps you!




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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hello Nancy,
Thank you so much for getting back to me! It sounds like you have more than enough experience in dealing with an older cat - 19 1/2! That's fantastic!
Your Pepcid suggestion sounds very interesting and one I'll follow up straight away. Between the Atenolol which he's been on for quite a few years, and the Prednisolone, maybe it's causing stomach problems without taking into consideration the kidney issue.
I'll look into some more premium cat foods, but the problem there is that he licks off the sauce and leaves the meaty bits in the bottom of the bowl! That's why the baby food idea seemed a good one and has actually worked quite well. I live in the UK so the brands you mention are a little alien to me. However I'm sure I can find something that fits the bill. The ironic thing is that he was always the greediest of the two cats, I never thought I'd have this kind of problem! Quite the opposite in fact!
I just wanted to confirm that in your opinion the Periactin isn't such a good idea, and that I should cut it out and just try to find smarter ways to get his interest. Oh and just one other thing, you suggest a little hamburger, would you cook that or just give him a little raw? May seem a dumb question, but maybe a little raw meat might take him back to his younger hunting days!
Thanks again for all your help, it makes me more comfortable to know that I'm doing the best for the old chap.

Secret with the cat food is mush it up and add some warm water before he gets it. The extra fluids are good for him anyway and this makes it all 'gravy'.

Fancy Feast is the only grocery store food we use and we don't buy the gravy type but the regular one and mush it up to make our own 'gravy'.

Buy one Blue Buffalo, one Weruva, one Merrick, one Innova Evo and see if he likes any of it mushed up with warm water. I try to stick with the less fishy foods but sometimes that is what works best - salmon works with him sometimes.

I usually do cooked meat as I worry about bacteria. We actually offer a little of whatever meat we are having to see if he is interested. (Yes we cater to the cat! Smile)

And do read through the CRF site - full of helpful info for coping with this problem.

Thanks for the above accept and good luck with him! 15 is a good senior age for a cat to get to also!