Caring for Cats Newsletter
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Vol. 1, No. 6
When a vet realizes that your cat is indeed not eating, he or she may be quick to prescribe a drug called cyproheptadine. This drug is an antihistamine with the side effect of temporarily increasing appetite. This drug works within 15 minutes and the appetite stimulation effects only last about 15 so be prepared with some yummy food. While many people use this drug successfully and have had positive results, other cats aren't as fortunate. A word of caution...
CAUTION 1: Some cats are hypersensitive to the drug and can experience very negative side effects. Older cats and those with CRF, liver disease, etc, may not be able to process the drug properly.
CAUTION 2: Many vets prescribe WAY TOO MUCH. My vet prescribed 1/2 of a 4mg tablet for my 20 year old cat. He began panting, became hyper and his heart was racing. I rushed him to the vet and it took him a week to recover. Even if your vet prescribes 1/4 of a 4mg tablet, this still may be too much for your cat. BE SAFE and start with less than 1/8 of a 4mg tablet and see how your cat responds. You can always try a little more, but you can't take it back.
CAUTION 3: It's best not to use drugs as appetite stimulants.
SIGNS of Sensitivity or Too Much: Pacing, hyper, agitated, howling, vomiting, weakness in the back legs, confusion, and falling.
Feeding canned food can be sometimes frustrating because of the leftovers! Maya isn't always hungry when I feed her and I end up refrigerating her food until later. To my surprise, she will not eat food that is warmed up in the microwave, but she will eat food warmed up by placing a small dish of food in a larger bowl of hot water. How can she tell the difference? She must have a very sensitive pallet!
Microwave ovens can actually destroy certain nutrients and altogether change the chemical composition of others! Yes, microwave ovens are certainly convenient, but once I learned that they destroy nutrients, I decided to go to a little extra trouble to warm her food. After all, getting the best nutrition in this little gal is my number 1 priority!
I warm her food by 1st warming a small bowl of water in the microwave. Then I place a smaller bowl containing her food in the hot water, stirring occasionally. It only takes a few extra minutes of my time and Maya is certainly worth it!
I waggled a finger of warning at Fluffy: "Yes, you can go to Binky's YIN (Yippee-I'm-Neutered) party, but stay away from the booze, you hear? If the alcohol doesn't do you in, you'll come home with a big hangover, pop a Tylenol or two, and... Pffft!... no more Fluffy!"
There were some links in a previous Assist-Feed Newsletter that referred you to things toxic, such as chemicals and plants that are hazardous to our little pals. However, Mandy Young (one of our members) routinely accuses me of the following: "You never read anything all the way through!" Which is true, of course, and I felt that perhaps some of you are afflicted with the same condition... QSD (Quick-Scan Disease). And since this topic is so important, so crucial, I thought it worthy of it's own discussion.
If your cat is having trouble losing weight on veterinary prescription diet food, too much grain may be the culprit. Dry foods are loaded with grain. Grains are high in carbohydrates and what is not used for energy will be turned to fat! Take a look at the ingredients label to see how many grains are listed as the first three ingredients. Since cats are obligated by nature to eat meat (obligate carnivores), meat should be the first ingredient.
Some, but not all, specialty foods include more meat than grain. Don't assume "All Natural" and "Premium" foods are the best. Read the labels!
Typos? Please email me at Kathy (at) AssistFeed.com
Copyright © 2003-2013 by Kathy Fatheree. All rights reserved.
Disclaimer: Kathy Fatheree is not at all a medical expert. Contents of this web site are a collection of Kathy's assist feeding experiences as well as the experiences of other cat owners who have assist fed their cats. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, Kathy Fatheree or anyone associated with this web site cannot be held responsible for anything that may happen as a result of using the information on this site.