Why Do Sick Cats Eat Less Food?
Pain or pain causes cats to be less willing to eat. Among the most common causes of pain or difficulty in eating are tooth and gum diseases, nasal congestion, respiratory system diseases, eye disorders; There are various specific pains such as neck and spine pain, sore throat, ulcers in the mouth.
Cats who have undergone any operation may have loss of appetite. The duration of loss of appetite may differ in each cat, and certain medications or medical interventions can cause nausea.
Cats, like humans, tend to eat less when they have a fever.
- Stress or depression may reduce cats’ use of litter boxes and water bowls, but also reduce actions such as eating.
- Cats use their sense of smell before tasting their food. If there is a situation such as a stuffy nose, your cat will have to be more selective and thus will show signs of loss of appetite again.
- Anorexia symptoms are definitely a sign that your cat is sick or stressed. If your cat has not eaten for more than 24 hours, you should go to the veterinary clinic immediately.
What Should You Do If Your Cat Is Sick or Has Diarrhea?
Dehydration in cats can be a risky situation depending on its degree. If your cat has severe diarrhea and is vomiting, your cat may be dehydrated. If you encounter such a situation, you should consult your veterinarian as soon as possible. If your cat is vomiting and unable to eat, you can skip a meal. But do not prevent him from accessing the water! On the other hand, you can give your cat a small amount of products such as boiled chicken breast or turkey at such times.
If your cat consumes these products, you can try feeding them again after a few hours. After continuing in this way, slowly return to the old routine and start mixing normal foods. If your cat has diarrhea, do not skip meals and feed your cat according to a certain diet program as we said. If diarrhea lasts for more than two days, your cat looks dull or weak, and does not want to eat, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Should I Feed My Cat Her Normal Diet?
Sick cats need both food and water to heal. Since sick cats generally stop drinking and eating, you should monitor your cat at such times. It is very important to know who is eating the food or drinking the water, especially if there is more than one pet in the house.
It should be noted that the fresh water needs of cats should always be met, and cats that eat canned food consume less water -because canned food contains a high percentage of water. If your cat stops eating, she needs additional fluids. Therefore, you can administer the liquids orally with the help of a syringe. Your veterinarian will tell you how much and how often you should apply this procedure. At the same time, if oral hydration is impossible for your cat, your cat may need hospitalization so that they can receive supportive care.
On the other hand, you should feed your cat with foods that are delicious, high-energy and highly digestible. However, you should give it to your cat as a small and frequent meal. It is more attractive to warm food to body temperature, while for some sick cats it is more attractive to hand-feed them. If there is any food that your cat should not consume, your veterinarian will help you with this. Also, if your cat is in no way convinced to eat, you can try feeding it with a syringe. Another alternative is to hospitalize your cat and feed it with a feeding tube.
How and What Should You Feed a Sick Cat?
Make Food Attractive!
If your cat is sick and especially with a stuffy nose, he may experience a loss of appetite because he cannot smell properly. That’s why it’s up to you to make your cat’s food as tasty as possible. If you are feeding your cat wet food, you can heat the food to bring out its aromas. If you also want to make the food appetizing, you can add a tablespoon of fish oil, chopped fresh fish pieces or chicken stock.
Add to Diet Meals!
If your cat is eating but only in very small quantities, you can supplement her diet with cat vitamins. Since these vitamins consist of appetizing flavors such as fish or chicken, your cat can be fed directly with them. Whether your cat takes these supplements by licking your finger or mix them with your cat’s food… The choice is up to you!
Try the Liquid Diet!
Liquid diets are more recommended for cats with certain medical conditions. For example, liquid diets are used for cats with kidney disease. Liquid diets are easier to digest. It also meets all the nutritional needs of cats in a very small amount. Cats that need supplemental nutrition are usually given liquid diets.
You can feed your cat a liquid diet by placing it in a bowl, letting it lick your finger, or using a syringe. For cats who are very sick and are hospitalized, the veterinarian may insert a feeding tube and feed them a liquid diet through this tube. You can also use a liquid diet if bland diets of low fiber and pureed foods are making your cat nauseous and feeling sick.
Practice Prescription Diets!
Cats suffering from certain long-term illnesses such as diabetes and chronic kidney failure are given a prescribed diet by their veterinarian. The same is true for cats with obesity or urinary tract obstruction. These diets are prescribed by veterinarians and cats must be fed according to this prescription. You should never give your cat any additional food or treats while on a prescription diet program!
Give Homemade Broths and Purees!
You can use the broths obtained from natural and unseasoned meats for your cat. Packaged sauces contain ingredients and flavorings that are toxic to cats. For this reason, it will be more beneficial to give your own products to your cat. However, we recommend that you consult your veterinarian when cooking for your cat yourself.
In times of illness, you may need to keep up with the changing appetites of cats, and you may need to give them different foods. You may need to rotate meals from week to week for your recovering cat, but most of the time you may not be able to make a different meal. In addition, cats may not want to eat the food they eat that day the next day. For this reason, when your cat is sick, you can make different meals or give different foods as much as you can.
Feed Little and Often!
We mentioned that sick or stressed cats have trouble eating. With this in mind, you should begin to actively encourage them at times like these. You should regularly introduce small amounts of fresh food to meet your cat’s nutritional needs. Some cats may be uncomfortable with the appearance of large portions of food. That’s why you should give less formula the first time and then a little more if needed.
Stand Next To The Cat While Eating
Sometimes cats like to see their owners while they are eating. They even want to be caressed and loved, and to be spoken to reassuringly and lovingly. If your cat seems bored with eating alone, you should support and accompany him before he becomes anorexia.
Sometimes cats can wait to be persuaded to eat. Let’s say you can use your finger to help your cat eat. For example, if he does not eat the food in the bowl or is hesitant about a meal he will eat for the first time, you can taste the food with your finger first. If he does not take it from your finger voluntarily, you can taste some of it by applying it to his mouth, lips and nose. Then you can continue to feed him with small portions. Many cat owners worry about hand feeding their cats. Because he thinks that he will get used to this way of feeding and that he will always want to eat this way. However, this is not true.
Feed with Feeding Tubes
We mentioned that you can feed cats liquid food via syringe. However, the feeling of forcing food can sometimes be unpleasant for both cats and owners. Therefore, in temporary situations or more serious illnesses, your veterinarian may recommend feeding your cat with a feeding tube.
Tips for Encouraging Your Cat to Eat
- Make sure your cat feels safe and comfortable.
- Feed your cat out of sight of other pets and avoid competition for food.
- Be patient, show sensitivity, and give your full attention.
- When necessary, feel free to encourage your cat to smell and taste food with your finger or a teaspoon.
- For cats that have trouble smelling, heat their food. Clear your nose.
- Ask your veterinarian what type of food is safe to feed your cat and how you should feed your cat tasty and nutritious food.
- Do not give large portions of food to sick cats. Try to offer small and frequent meals and make it a habit.
- If your cat doesn’t want to eat, try giving it again later. Do not force him to eat at the moment.
Food Recommendations for Sick Cats
Chicken and Rice
Chicken and rice are known as a savior for sick cats. Therefore, if you want to balance your cat’s stomach, these two options can be a good choice. The biggest advantages of chicken and rice are that they are soft and contain enough nutrients and calories for your cat to regain his strength. At the same time, cats who do not like blandness may seek a taste in food. However, if you want your cat’s stomach to return to its original state, you need to cut out all kinds of spices.
Pasta and Minced Meat
If the chicken and rice didn’t work as flavor, you could try something a little different. When your cat’s stomach is close to recovery, it perceives chicken and rice as a standard meal and may therefore become bored with these products. In this sense, you can choose pasta and ground meat, which are different flavors for your cat. Although the two products seem very different from each other, they share the same similarities with chicken and rice.
Try boiling ground beef to your cat instead of frying it. Also, cook the two dishes before mixing them together and serve when cool.
If any of the above doesn’t work, you can switch to a liquid-based diet. Especially with chicken soup, you can soothe your cat’s stomach and fill her stomach with many important nutrients. Moreover, there are many chicken soup recipes for cats.
Offer chicken soup to your cat in small portions. Also, be sure to serve the soup after it has cooled. Finally, you should know that chicken soup is a short-term solution and although chicken is good for your cat, it does not contain all the essential nutrients needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I help my sick cat?
If your cat doesn’t want to eat, try feeding it periodically, but make sure it drinks water. After a while, try introducing low-fat and lightly cooked foods such as chicken or turkey. If you wish, you can give their food in a teaspoon. If they consume it, even in small amounts, offer to give it again in small amounts within 24 hours. Afterwards, if there are no major problems, your cat will return to its normal routine.
What to give a cat after vomiting?
Your veterinarian may ask you to follow an easily digestible soft diet. Don’t forget that you should give meals small and often! Your veterinarian may also recommend a specially formulated prescription diet that is easy to digest. If you wish, you can also follow the homemade diet. Of course, before you decide on this, you should definitely take your cat to a veterinary examination.