Update: Pootie Advice?

by: Avilyn

Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 12:39:29 PM EST



Update:Had the appointment this morning; in and out relatively quickly.  They took blood/urine samples and are testing for many of the things listed by Jk2003 & Nurse Kelley.  Should have results tomorrow AM.  The vet agreed with daily wet food & adding in the lysine supplement (that should arrive sometime tomorrow, along with the scale).  So that's where we're at for now; waiting.  Thanks everyone for your advice & encouragement; I'll keep you updated.  

---

Hoping for some pootie advice from the wonderful Meese here.  I have two cats, now almost 11 years old, who I rescued when they were two months old.  This is the female, Fudge:

And this is her brother, Dark Chocolate:

DarkChocolate has always been bigger and heavier (and quieter, he usually doesn't vocalize unless he thinks we're sleeping in too late on the weekend).  Fudge has always been an attention hog - she seems to have a sixth sense to let her know when her brother is getting attention, and she comes running from wherever she was in the house to demand her share of the pettings.  They usually get along, aside from occasional squabbles about a toy or sleeping spot; usual sibling stuff (they're not actually from the same litter, but since we got them from the same shelter at the same time, we call them brother/sister).  

Fudge had feline herpes as a kitten; as a result she does tend to be permanently sniffly/stuffy (she sneezes a lot) and has one eye that's cloudy (although she seems to see fine out of it for now).  Over the years, DarkChocolate become heftier, but lately Fudge is feeling thinner and smaller than before (she looks puffy but most of it is fluffy fur, she's actually fairly light), which has me worried.

Here's where the needed advice comes in - they've always been raised with dry food only (wet food maybe 3x a year as a treat), in one of those auto-feeder things where as the bowl empties, it refills from the reservoir, so they can eat on their own schedule, etc.  I'm planning on switching their food to a different brand, to see if that encourages Fudge to eat more, but I was also thinking maybe I should get rid of the auto-feeder and just put them on a regular feeding schedule, possibly including wet food.  My theory is that part of the issue may be that Fudge, with her respiratory issues, just doesn't smell the food as much and so she's not interested, so wet food might spark her interest (she is definitely interested in food in general; she eats up the treats pretty quickly, but either she doesn't like or can't really smell the regular dry food they're on).  She isn't acting abnormally otherwise, just seems to not be eating as much.  

The two main concerns I have are a) how to transition them from having food available all the time to being fed on a regular basis, and b) whether switching to a combo of wet/dry food will end up increasing DarkChocolate's weight too (if anything, I'd like him to lose some, but Fudge I think needs to gain more).  Also, when you do feeding on a schedule, what sort of gap is OK?  I'm usually up around 8am, but I don't get home until around 8pm or later; is that alright?

Avilyn :: Update: Pootie Advice?
I am planning on getting Fudge in to the vet, but it's going to take a while to get an appointment that fits with my work schedule, and I wanted to try switching her to a different food as soon as possible.  
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I leave dry food out all the time and give our cats wet food in the (2.00 / 9)
morning.  Cats nibble all day when they get hungry.  Be sure the dry food doesn't get stale from sitting too long.  Good luck!

"Pin your money to your girdle and don't talk to strangers."  My Grandmom's advice when I went away to school.  I don't wear a girdle and have never met a stranger.  Sorry Grandmom!

Dry food can get stale? (2.00 / 9)
Hm, I guess that makes sense.  I could do wet food in the morning before I leave & just keep the dry food with the same routine (other than switching it out for new stuff in case it is stale).  Thanks for the tip :-)

[ Parent ]
Yep, I found that out awhile back, didn't know either. Also, I've had it (2.00 / 9)
mildew on the bottom of the bowl if I don't really watch it.  I've found if it sits uneaten, or whatever remnants are in the bowl, I put it out for the birds who love it.

"Pin your money to your girdle and don't talk to strangers."  My Grandmom's advice when I went away to school.  I don't wear a girdle and have never met a stranger.  Sorry Grandmom!

[ Parent ]
Good advice, thanks. (2.00 / 9)
I'm hitting the store on my way home tonight, hopefully the changes will help.  I am a little encouraged by the fact that her behavior otherwise hasn't changed, so I don't think she's harboring an illness of any sort, although I'm still going to have the vet check her out just in case.

[ Parent ]
i do exactly as nannyboyz does. (2.00 / 7)
Dry food is always available and split a small can between them in the morning. I guess the only suggestion i would make is not changing the dry food simultaneously with the introduction of wet food. If something disagrees with a pootie, which happens quite often, at least you'll have it narrowed down.

Good luck A.

time...it seems to move so slowly until that day, when it doesn't.


[ Parent ]
oooh, that makes sense. (2.00 / 7)
good words of wisdom, dear o.  

I'll pick everything up tonight, but only introduce the wet food until I know how that's going.  Good call.  Thanks!


[ Parent ]
our vet advised us (2.00 / 9)
to mix the old and new dry food at first so it wouldn't be a shock to their system or preferences. I give my cat canned food once a day and kibbles three times daily, she's an outside cat so we don't leave food down. She is quite satisfied with the schedule since she devised it, I am but a humble servant only hoping that today she would like get in my lap. Some days she does and some days she's other things on her mind. I offered her the house but she came in and scoped it out and declined. Very independent cat she is, we fixed her a room in the garage for the winter with a heated bed. It's complicated because I do understand that cats are better off inside but it's hard when they appear on your doorstep with their own selves already sure of what they want.  

There's nothing like eavesdropping to show you that the world outside your head is different from the world inside your head.--Thornton Wilder

We're lucky (1.89 / 9)
Our cats were rescued very young (within weeks) and so were never really outdoor critters.  They've been quite content with staying indoors.  If I do end up changing food brands I will keep in mind mixing new & old brands, thanks!

[ Parent ]
Get her in to be checked ASAP (2.00 / 9)
Mixing new and old food is recommended to help the transition.  An older cat that starts to lose weight may have dental issues, thyroid dz, renal insufficiency, diabetes, neoplasia, IBD just to name a few.
IMO cats who get picky later in life don't do it to the point of weight loss without underlying pathology of some sort.  
Is she still grooming well?  Is she drinking more water than normal?  Urinating more often?  Your doc is gonna ask you all this stuff so start paying attention to EVERYTHING so you are prepared when you go.  Questions?  Don't hesitate to ask.

Yep, waiting a call back on an appointment (2.00 / 8)
It's tough with hours because I work kinda far from home (vet is near home).  Any idea how to tell on increased urination when you've got 2 cats sharing the same litter box?  

[ Parent ]
That is tough but really it is just paying attention (2.00 / 8)
If you see her go to the box.  You probably have an idea of how large a clump she normally leaves.  Check when you see her come out - is it bigger than normal?  Smaller?  Stinkier?  Less urine smelling than normal.  I know it is kind of a pain but try to know before you go.  Keep me posted.

[ Parent ]
I was going to say that, but didn't want to freak anyone out (2.00 / 3)
Unexplained weight loss is always a cause for concern. I had a cat once that suddenly developed a very "sensitive" stomach and started losing weight rapidly. The vet (in Germany) kept misdiagnosing the condition until it was too late -- she was already in kidney failure. So please, keep a very good eye on her, at least as far as you are able!

In regard to feeding schedule, I'm feeding my dogs a prescribed amount each day. One of them I've had for only 10 days, and he very definitely needs to lose weight. The other is just holding steady at a perfect 44 lbs. I feed dry kibble in the morning, and mix the kibble with hot water and all their supplements (fish oil capsule, Cosequin, pre- and pro-biotics, tartar enzyme, gelatin, etc.) for dinner. They both look forward to meals and eat their assigned portions. There have been a few times when Charlie just didn't seem interested in dinner (or maybe it was me projecting, being too lazy/busy/tired to fix it for him), so he's waited till the next morning, but if he hadn't had any appetite then, I'd have started to get worried.

Oh, and you never want to abruptly change an animal's food. I'm still weaning Tahoe off the food he came with to Charlie's Taste of the Wild. I rely on an excellent site, DogFoodAdvisor.com, to choose food and treats. I don't think there is a comparable site for cat food, but this one might contain some helpful tips.

Good luck, and keep us posted!

I love my country, but I think we should start seeing other people.


[ Parent ]
Oh hai, worried mama! Have I got advice for you! (2.00 / 10)
The feline herpes is still active, given the continuing nose and eye problems. It's incurable, but you can make it "disappear" by giving her l-lysine once a day. Start with 1/2 teaspoon at first, then drop back to 1/4 teaspoon when her nose and eyes clear up. My Tommy has been on it for life. Here's the one I use, but there are others: http://www.amazon.com/Viralys-...

Cats with the herpes virus do have diminished senses of smell. Your idea about putting out fresh dry food every day is a good one, imo.

Your babies are seniors now. I would buy a baby scale and record their weights every month, more often if you're concerned about weight loss or gain. Weight loss is the first sign of many common illnesses in pooties (hyperthyroidism, diabetes, kidney disease) and knowing their weight history will help you and your vet intervene faster. I found mine on ebay; it looks something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Digital-...

Wet food is better than dry food for older kitties. It contains more protein and has much greater water content. I had to take mine off dry food completely when one of them developed an allergy to something in every brand I tried. It's more expensive, of course, but they are maintaining their weights and seem to have more energy and better coats. YMMV.

About the Viralys: An eye specialist told me about it when Tommy almost lost an eye to herpes virus several years ago. As long as he gets the Viralys, his eyes are fine. My own vet didn't know about it (all his cats now take it, though) so I researched it. Approximately 90% of US cats and 98% of British cats are infected with feline herpes virus. Those with strong immune systems are able to suppress the virus, but kitties like Tommy and Fudge can't. L-lysine is an essential amino acid that aids the immune system in suppressing the herpes virus.

If you feed them wet food together, it's perfectly fine to dose both of them, i.e., mix a double dose of the gel into the food and let them split it.

Has Fudge been to the vet recently? A pootie her age who appears to have lost weight should be checked out.

Good luck! You obviously love your babies very much, so I hope they live another ten years. ♥

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~ Desmond Tutu


Thanks for the links! (2.00 / 9)
Lots of good info in here, thanks!   Didn't realize the older kitties should have wet food over dry, will definitely add that to their mix (especially since I can mix the lysine into it.  Any recommendations on brands that are good for older pooties?  I'm more familiar with dry foods than wet, so I don't know which ones are better quality.  And yeah, waiting to hear back on an appointment for her now.  Thanks!

[ Parent ]
Until Fudge's nose clears up, try something with fish. (2.00 / 8)
The stinkier the better. I would start a war if I recommended a particular brand - folks are damn picky about what they feed their cats - but I'll tell you what mine eat. The two of them eat four cans of Fancy Feast/day. If they want something else, I open a jar of Gerber's beef. Fancy Feast is manufactured in the United States, one of my criteria for purchase.

If you go that route, get the "classic" type until Fudge has seen the vet. It's the easiest to eat.

Sometimes I buy different brands from my local feed store.

You might ask in a pootie diary, or ask Jk2003 what she uses. She's both a vet and a cat owner.

Fancy Feast is called "kittie krack" by some, who think it's dreadful. (This includes people who only feed their pets raw meat they grind themselves.) I do the best I can within the constraints of my budget.

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~ Desmond Tutu


[ Parent ]
I ordered the Lysine & the Scale (2.00 / 8)
Good to know about Fancy Feast being made in the US; I still remember the issues with the food from China a couple of years ago.  Scary stuff.  

[ Parent ]
Melamine, wasn't it? (2.00 / 7)
[shudder]

I look forward to hearing what you find out about Fudge. Good luck, Sweetie!

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~ Desmond Tutu


[ Parent ]
a Fancy Feast fan here also and the pooties are too. (2.00 / 3)
we get the 24 mixed box, it's usually cheaper that way.

oh and prepare yourself for the Underfoot Brigade once they realize it's a daily habit. mine are quite insistant and have memorized every step of the preparation. if they see me near
the cupboard or hear me open the dishwasher to retrieve the stainless feeding bowl...oy.

pootieees, gotta love em.
 photo tumblr_mheuesQ49g1qg39ewo1_500.gif

time...it seems to move so slowly until that day, when it doesn't.


[ Parent ]
Good ideas here and definitely a check up is in order. I keep (2.00 / 7)
Lysine and always give a dose if anyone so much as sneezes more than once.

"Pin your money to your girdle and don't talk to strangers."  My Grandmom's advice when I went away to school.  I don't wear a girdle and have never met a stranger.  Sorry Grandmom!

[ Parent ]
Agree with everything here (2.00 / 8)
Except one little quibble.  We need to know her renal status prior to pumping up protein levels in her diet.  If she's got diabetes we will really want to pour the protein to her and often put them on canned kitten food.  So, blood and ursine are necessary prior to picking a diet long term.   Again, keep me posted.

[ Parent ]
Someone agrees with me? [faints] (2.00 / 9)
LOL! I see below that Fudge is going to the vet tomorrow, surely a good thing.

Bet I can make you laugh. One of my cats, Jim Bob, has short legs and squats low in the litter box, usually getting the longer hair on his bottom covered with urine. The first time I noticed this, eight years ago, I stopped him and cleaned him up before he got up on a new couch. I guess he doesn't like the taste of urine, because from that day to this he comes racing up to me after leaving the litter box, begging to have his ass wiped. I even keep baby wipes handy just for that purpose. :)

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~ Desmond Tutu


[ Parent ]
ROFL (2.00 / 7)
That is pretty funny :-)  

The vet visit will be a good thing, although she won't think so.  I'll definitely be clipping her nails tonight!  


[ Parent ]
Well, he has you trained, huh? (2.00 / 9)
Maybe consider a hygienic barbering of the hair around his rear end.  We often do it for those longhairs and it really isn't noticeable and can help keep him clean.  Less litter scattered around, etc
We use clippers in the clinic.  May not be doable on ones own though ; )

[ Parent ]
He's not a longhair. (2.00 / 8)
Believe it or not, he's a Burmese. The issue, I think, is his sinking onto the litter when he pees. Sometimes he closes his eyes as if it were a fine place to sleep. If he's anxious or in a hurry, he stands taller in the box and doesn't get wet.  

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~ Desmond Tutu

[ Parent ]
My bad, I thought I read longhair (2.00 / 9)
Then he just likes to be extra clean :).

[ Parent ]
We trim Gracie Rose's butt with electric clippers. She's a bit, ahem, (2.00 / 8)
too short for her weight so can't always do a good job.  And Kelley, between trims I wash her butt every day.  I feel ya girl!

"Pin your money to your girdle and don't talk to strangers."  My Grandmom's advice when I went away to school.  I don't wear a girdle and have never met a stranger.  Sorry Grandmom!

[ Parent ]
Thanks for all the suggestions! Have an appointment tomorrow :-) (2.00 / 9)
I will try & keep an eye tonight on the stuff JK has suggested, and will report to you all tomorrow after the appointment.  

{{{{{{Meeses}}}}}}


(((((Avilyn))))). Jk2003 is a great resource as are us others. As she says, (2.00 / 8)
once you know if there is underlying illness or not you can make changes that work for your pooties and you.  
Like Kelley I use Fancy Feast, US manufacture is a must in our house.  Also, cats need Taurine and unless you know how much and how to add to the food it's dicey if making your own.  Just "food" for thought.

"Pin your money to your girdle and don't talk to strangers."  My Grandmom's advice when I went away to school.  I don't wear a girdle and have never met a stranger.  Sorry Grandmom!

[ Parent ]
Thanks for the compliment (2.00 / 9)
But you guys know what you are doing.  You've got some lucky cats.

[ Parent ]
Well, like I said in the update, it's just waiting now (2.00 / 4)
Thankfully the results from the bloodwork should be in by tomorrow morning, so I can call once I get to work.  Picked up a fresh bag of their usual brand of dry food last night (in case the old had gone stale) but she seemed to snub that as well.  She happily ate the wet food though (one of the Fancy Feast fish varieties), so there is still appetite there, which is encouraging.  Lysine & Scale (thank you Nurse Kelley!) will arrive tomorrow.  

Glad it was a quick trip. (2.00 / 5)
How much weight has she lost since they saw her last?
She may be extra tired today after the vet trip so don't worry if she is more lazy than normal.  Crossing my fingers for you.

[ Parent ]
4 lbs since 2009 (2.00 / 4)
She was 13 lbs in 2009, 9 lbs today.  :(

[ Parent ]
Yep, a pound a year (2.00 / 5)
It's tough to tell with fluffy haired cats though.  Until you start feeling the vertebral spines and the ribs.  And at thirteen pounds to start with you were probably pleased when she dropped a pound or two.  Plus, over four years this is very gradual weight loss.  And if behavior is normal it is harder still.  Well, we will know more tomorrow.  Glad she likes canned food, just watch her tummy to make sure she digests it properly.  I am hoping for all good news Avilyn.  Miss Fudge is a cutie pie.  

[ Parent ]
{{{{{{Jk}}}}}}} (2.00 / 5)
Thanks. You make me feel better.  

[ Parent ]
No news is often good news, Avilyn. (2.00 / 3)
What you DON'T want is for your vet to be examining your pet, stop and feel (or listen to) something for a long time, then get that "Oh, shit" look on their face. :)

I'll look for your news tomorrow.

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~ Desmond Tutu


[ Parent ]
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