Sunday, January 11, 2015

My Can't Won't Eat! Reasons Why Your Kitty May Not Be Eating Well


We were recently contacted by a client that wanted to know what to feed her 10 year old cat, who had started to  be "finicky" about food recently.  She went on to explain that, a few weeks ago, her furry baby had stopped eating her regular dry food.  She then tried a few different canned foods, only to have her lose interest every few days, and finally resorted to pieces of cooked chicken and tuna.  She did not notice any other changes in her cat's behavior.

It is important to know that a change in your cat's eating habits usually indicates a problem! It is not common for a cat to get "tired of the food". You need to get to the bottom of the issue sooner than later.  Even if your cat is drinking it can become dehydrated, which can have devastating results.There could be many reason a cat will stop eating, here are the most common:

Dental Problems-Your cat's mouth may be sore...it could be from an injury, broken tooth, an infection or from a common condition known as stomatitis, which causes it to be painful to chew.  You will need to have an assessment of your pet’s mouth, treatment of cause and possibly a dental cleaning to resolve the issue.

Gastrointestinal Issues- If your cat has nausea due to gastrointestinal (GI) problems, he or she will not want to eat. Often cats with GI problems will have weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation.  Power Probiotic and Soothing Digestive Relief provide relief for the discomfort associated with GI symptoms. There are many reasons your cat could have GI issues, some include
  • Parasites (Colostrum + Power Probiotic can help ward off parasites, especially if your cat is vulnerable and has had these previously)
  • Colitis (acute or chronic inflammation of the membrane lining the colon)
  • Gastroenteritis (inflammation or infection of the GI tract)
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation or infection of the pancreas)
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)  inflammation of the intestinal lining which is often due to food allergies
  • Cancer (e.g. intestinal lymphoma)
Kidney Disease-Very common, particularly in older cats, not wanting to eat is kidney disease. Kidney disease causes acid to build up in the GI tract which causes nausea. Only your veterinarian can diagnose kidney disease so it is again important to have your feline examined as soon as possible.  Using Gastro ULC + Power Probiotic can greatly help.  Kidney disease is very common in senior cats.  It can be treated using the appropriate kidney friendly diet, IV fluids, subcutaneous fluids done at home along with a few supplements.

Other Possible Causes-If you rule out major diseases or conditions, your veterinarian may ask you about any changes in the cat's routine or living conditions.  Cats can be sensitive to changes to their environment and may stop eating if feeling anxious or depressed.  Or perhaps they recently received a vaccination and is not feeling quite itself.  

Refusal of food can have significant consequences, and determining the underlying reason quickly is important.  Unlike dogs, cats can get very sick quickly from not eating and early intervention is key. Seek help from a veterinarian professional immediately if your cat stops being interested in eating. 

 Diet changes can help bring about relief very quickly.  Many cats that not feeling well are eating nothing but poultry and fish.  These protein sources, along with the grains and starches found in dry foods are hard to digest for many cats and can be a big allergen too.  Many times pet owners have tried various foods already so getting help from a professional can make a difference.  Ask Ariel Your Pet Nutritionist will provide a free diet suggestion custom tailored for you cat with your order. Be sure to include what you are currently feeding on the order form at checkout.

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