Any time cat health deteriorates, their body reserves are depleted and they have to have specific treatment to assist them to make a recovery. This includes knowing how to feed a sick cat, and making sure that your cat consumes a good diet to keep his strength up, though it might astonish you to know that a cat can in fact survive with no food for quite a long time. Lack of fluids, conversely, can be a quick killer, and it is more essential to get a cat to take liquids rather than encourage it to eat.
Some cats can be awkward eaters at the best of times, and if they are sick it can be very difficult to persuade them to eat. If your cat is refusing to eat, you should speak to your vet for advice.
If your cat is ill, he may not feel like eating. Lack of appetite is, actually, among the earliest and most frequent signs of ill health, for instance whenever a cat is experiencing nausea or gastro-intestinal sickness. A sick cat might decline to take food at all and it can be very difficult to cajole him to eat.
TEMPTING THE APPETITE
It is advisable to offer a poorly cat soft food, that is easier to eat, as he may have a sore mouth, particularly if he’s experiencing an infection like cat ‘flu. It might also be useful if you heat your cat’s food to a temperature of 38°C (100°F). This not only enhances the taste, but it is similar to the warmth of newly killed prey and produces nice aromas which can be essential in persuading a sick cat to eat. But it is critical never to warm cat food above 40°C (106°F) or the cat will lose interest in the food completely.
FORCE-FEEDING A CAT
- You should speak to your veterinarian regarding any dietary alterations for a sick cat.
- If the vet suggests force-feeding your cat to keep up his strength, they provides you with a syringe with which to accomplish this and you’ll have to liquidise the food ahead of time.
- Dribble food or fluids gradually into the cat’s mouth, pausing to permit the cat to swallow.
- Take care not to feed a cat too much or too rapidly, or he will struggle to swallow and food may go the wrong way down the airway.
A cat can in fact survive for quite a long time with no food — possibly as long as 2 or 3 weeks,determined by what amount of reserve it had before it ceased eating. Lack of fluids can kill in a short time,however, and it is more valuable to get fluids into a cat than to encourage it to eat. If it can’t keep down sufficient fluids, or if it can’t be convinced to take any in, the vet may need to give saline water, either by injection or even by way of a drip.
One typical reason behind a cat going off its meals are toothache, possibly because a sliver of bone happens to be caught between the teeth, or due to tartar on the teeth which makes it painful to eat.
Cats tend to be unwilling to eat if they can’t smell, and that is widespread in cats that suffer from a blocked nasal area — as in cat ‘flu, for instance.