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Tue Jan 31, 2012, 05:19 PM

Kitty in renal failure will not eat.

I can't get her to eat anything except a few bites of dry food and a few licks of wet. Even the nastiest, stinkiest fish flavors aren't working. Anyone know of a way to stimulate appetite? Tried people food no avail...getting really worried because she seems to be getting weaker. She's getting sub-q fluids so I'm not terribly worried about her liquids.

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Reply Kitty in renal failure will not eat. (Original post)
ceile Jan 2012 OP
CurtEastPoint Jan 2012 #1
ginnyinWI Jan 2012 #2
Curmudgeoness Jan 2012 #3
ceile Jan 2012 #5
Curmudgeoness Jan 2012 #7
ceile Jan 2012 #8
Joe Shlabotnik Jan 2012 #4
ceile Jan 2012 #6
Coyote_Bandit Jan 2012 #9
Critters2 Feb 2012 #32
Coyote_Bandit Feb 2012 #33
virgdem Feb 2012 #10
ceile Feb 2012 #17
PotatoChip Feb 2012 #18
virgdem Feb 2012 #19
ceile Feb 2012 #20
Curmudgeoness Feb 2012 #22
ceile Feb 2012 #23
virgdem Feb 2012 #24
ceile Feb 2012 #25
Critters2 Feb 2012 #35
Ruby the Liberal Feb 2012 #36
Critters2 Feb 2012 #38
ceile Feb 2012 #37
Critters2 Feb 2012 #39
PotatoChip Feb 2012 #11
badgerpup Feb 2012 #12
yellerpup Feb 2012 #13
irisblue Feb 2012 #14
CountAllVotes Feb 2012 #15
City Lights Feb 2012 #16
ceile Feb 2012 #21
City Lights Feb 2012 #28
HeiressofBickworth Feb 2012 #26
ceile Feb 2012 #27
City Lights Feb 2012 #29
Irishonly Feb 2012 #30
Curmudgeoness Feb 2012 #31
livetohike Feb 2012 #34

Response to ceile (Original post)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 05:22 PM

1. It may be too painful to eat.

I hope, dear Ceile, you are prepared. She is saying her good-byes. Jus t keep her comfortable. As a fellow kitty-lover, my heart goes out to you.

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Response to ceile (Original post)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 06:05 PM

2. I had a renal failure kitty

He kept eating wet food though. But he did develop a taste for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole wheat, and also half n'half cream. Not sure if it was the fat or what. Might be worth a try. I'd give him his heart pill in a little pbj. But he was gone before long anyway, at age 18.

The vet said that they don't like to eat because of acid stomach that develops. You might be able to get your cat on an anti-acid.

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Response to ceile (Original post)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 06:58 PM

3. My vet gave me a medicine that stimulates appetite

for my renal failure cat. It did work to get her eating, she acted like she was starving with that medicine (I don't remember what it was but your vet would know).

With that said, I am sorry to say that it will not be long now anyways, with or without the medicine. It may just give her a week or so more to get her eating. It really isn't the food that will be the final problem. I don't want to tell you this, but you should know.

The only up side to it is that dying of renal failure is not supposed to be painful. My family doctor was talking to me about renal failure in humans (since we can hear from people going through it), and he said that the toxins building up in the body actually give an intoxicated, euphoric feeling. So your baby is not in any pain.

I am so sorry. I've been there. I know what you are going through.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 07:42 PM

5. She'll be going for follow up tomorrow.

It's the pain I was worried about- glad it will be relatively painless. I just hate to see her waste away so quickly.

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Response to ceile (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 08:05 PM

7. Good luck.

But I don't think you have much more time. I just sat with my Pudding and held her for a week. All the cleaning and laundry could wait. And it did. She went blind a few days before she left me, but it was hardly noticable, she was so smart that she still knew how to get around. I had to put a stool by the bed so she could get up on it because she didn't have the strength to jump. All of this was in the last week of her life. She died in bed with me before I knew she was that far gone. It went from "she seems to be ok" to "she is in bad shape" in one or two days.

Be prepared for the worst, and hope for the best.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 08:11 PM

8. Sorry about your Pudding.

Booty is still jumping and getting around fine, but I know...I won't read too much into it.

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Response to ceile (Original post)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 07:26 PM

4. Sorry to hear,

I've been there too and sadly, at some point she'll just stop eating and there is nothing that you can do, but keep her comfortable and give her as much love as she needs.

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Response to ceile (Original post)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 07:45 PM

6. Thank you everyone.

We'll make her as comfortable as possible. I just didn't think it would happen so quickly. She's had a good life 15+ years....I'll see what the vet says at follow up appt tomorrow.

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Response to ceile (Original post)

Tue Jan 31, 2012, 08:17 PM

9. I have a renal failure dog

He gets sub-q fluids every other day.

He too had all but quit eating and had lost considerable weight. He now takes a prescription anti-nausea med and a couple of non-prescription supplements: Epakitin and Azodyl both of which can be used on cats and both of which are available on Amazon. My vet recommended them and they have done wonders to improve my little guys quality of life. While it is still a struggle to get him to eat sometimes he has regained 3 of the 5 pounds he lost. Also, ask your vet about giving an appetite stimulant. Some supplements are also documented (notably Co-Q10) as aiding and supporting kidney function.

There are both Yahoo groups and Facebook pages for owners of CRF dogs which contain an incredible amount of useful information. You might look and see if there are comparable groups and sources of information for cat owners.

FWIW, my renal failure dog had his first renal crisis in January 2003 when he was less than a year old. He has been a CRF dog for almost his entire life. He has had a pretty normal doggie life and is now a senior dog. He has not required medication or fluids for his kidneys until the last several months. While kidney failure is permanent and progressive it can be managed - sometimes for extended periods of time. The speed in which it progresses is unpredictable.

I wish you and your kitty well. Enjoy the time you have together.



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Response to Coyote_Bandit (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 05:50 PM

32. My crf dog has stopped eating. She was so confused and disoriented last night

that I was sure we were nearing the end. Then, this morning, she begged to go for a walk, and we did. She was diagnosed Thanksgiving weekend.

Honestly, she was so bad last night that, once she fell asleep, I almost hoped she wouldn't wake up. This seems so hard on her. This morning, she saw me crying and became her old, sweet self...taking care of mom, like a good dog.

She's on both Azodyl and Epakitin, but I'm not sure they're making much difference. I'm amazed to hear how long your dog has been in treatment for crf. You've done a great job!

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Response to Critters2 (Reply #32)

Thu Feb 9, 2012, 01:20 PM

33. It was just before Thanksgiving

that we did the diagnostic work that led us to start the fluids and the Epakitin and the Azoydl.

My little guy has always had a poor appetite particulary during the summer. This year he didn't rebound with the cooler weather of fall. I've been feeling bad about not getting him in to the vet a month earlier. Even though he wasn't eating well and had lost a lot of weight he still acted like he felt good. He's never had a good appetite so I dismissed the earliest symptoms that his disease was progressing. Of course, his disease has really been progressing throughout his life. The first time that really hit me was about 4 years ago when he became anemic - a result of his kidney disease.

My little guy is probably early stage 3 at this point. His creatinine hasn't tested above 3 and his BUN is staying below 50. That's about where he tested in November and since then his tests have all been in the same range. Next week we test again to see how he is progressing.

I'm thinking about asking for an appetite stimulant and an ACE inhibitor. His quality of life is still really pretty good. He's not particularly active - never has been. But he's still up to chasing the bunnies that live in the yard. He's not disoriented or in pain. There's definitely stuff he enjoys. For the most part he seems to feel pretty good. But, like you, I sometimes see wide variences in a short period of time.

I've been really diligent about giving him his fluids, watching his diet and dispensing his meds. I've also tried to limit his exposure to stress and to activiites likely to build up toxins in his body. Thankfully, he's a small dog which makes his treatment affordable for me.

I dread the day when his disease progresses to the point where I have to decide whether his quality of life warrants continued treatment. I trust that he will tell me when he is ready to go to the Bridge. All my animals have done so.


Hugs for you and your dog - and warm, healing thoughts for your journey together.


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Response to ceile (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 01:48 AM

10. It sounds like she's in the last stages of renal failure..

one of my cats stopped eating at the end. She developed oral ulcers, which is a side effect of renal disease. We took her to the Vet and her kidney values were through the floor. We let her go the next day. When they stop eating at that point, there is not much you can do but make her comfortable until you decide to let her go. I've lost three cats to renal disease and it's not fun, but you will know when it is time to take that last step. If she is not at the last stage, the pill that stimulates appetite is Mirtazapine. One of my cats is on that medication and it is not expensive at all. Good luck and let us know what the Vet says.

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Response to virgdem (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 2, 2012, 11:03 AM

17. got the mirtazapine and pepcid for her yesterday.

Seems to be working. She's eating a little more and not throwing it up- so some progress.

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Response to ceile (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 2, 2012, 11:34 AM

18. That is good to hear!

I hope it continues to help and that her health improves. Thanks for the update.

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Response to ceile (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 2, 2012, 06:17 PM

19. That's fantastic news...

I know that the Mirtazapine would help to pick up her appetite and the Pepcid will help to settle her stomach. Is she in the final stages or is this just a minor bump in the road? I hope that she improves and is back to her old self very soon.

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Response to virgdem (Reply #19)

Thu Feb 2, 2012, 07:23 PM

20. thanks. vet says early stages.

But she is 15, so I'm not sure if she'll bounce back like we hope. Sigh.

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Response to ceile (Reply #20)

Thu Feb 2, 2012, 07:57 PM

22. Thanks for the update. You never know.

She might pull through this, especially if this is early stage renal disease. If she will continue to eat, she may have a lot of time left. Some times, just getting over a hurdle will help give her strength. If she feels better with the medicines, she may do well.

Let's hope so. Give her a hug from me.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #22)

Thu Feb 2, 2012, 09:45 PM

23. I will.

Vet appt tomorrow at 5pm.
Just don't know. Thank you for the support

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Response to ceile (Reply #20)

Thu Feb 2, 2012, 09:59 PM

24. If you give her the support that she needs...

she can live a few more years. My cat Sammy was in the early stages of renal failure at 15. She had a bout of pancreatitis and we put her on sub-q therapy every night. After she got over that, we just continued to give her fluids. We also give her 1/4 tablet of Amlodopine (Blood pressure pill), as her BP was elevated due to chronic renal failure. We have continued this routine for almost 6 years and Sammy is now 20. Kitties can live high quality lives for a long time with the right treatment.

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Response to virgdem (Reply #24)

Thu Feb 2, 2012, 11:30 PM

25. that's amazing!

Go. Sammy! I'll ask the vet tomorrow. Thank u for the words of encouragement.

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Response to ceile (Reply #17)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 12:57 AM

35. I let her go this morning. She was so confused, hadn't eaten more than a few bites in several days,

was just wasting away. She wasn't going to get better, and this was no life for her any more. I miss her so much. My whole body aches. I hope she's somewhere happy now.

I wish you and your pup all good things.

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Response to Critters2 (Reply #35)


Response to Ruby the Liberal (Reply #36)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 04:55 PM

38. Thank you. nt

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Response to Critters2 (Reply #35)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 09:01 PM

37. so sorry!

You did the right thing...

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Response to ceile (Reply #37)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 04:59 PM

39. Thank you. It was a hard decision. She would be bad, then improve, then get worse again.

But the confusion was causing her to be fearful, and she had completely stopped eating, so was very weak. Her last numbers were BUN 104 and crea 4.85, a few days before. I suspect they would have been worse Thurs or Fri.

She was my best friend. I couldn't let her suffer.

Thank you for your kind words.

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Response to ceile (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 02:35 PM

11. I'm SO sorry ceile.

I wish there was something I could say or do to make everything better. I know how hard this sort of thing is... Just always remember that your kitty knows that you have always loved her dearly and want what is best for her.

Still, I (along w/probably everyone else here) understand how hard this is for you. In my personal experience, this narrowing of choices that always comes near the end is the hardest period. Every moment seems strained as doubts creep in. Let your love for Booty guide you. She will tell you when the time comes.

Hang in there, and please know that we all care...


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Response to ceile (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 04:00 PM

12. Wish there was something cheerful I could tell you...

..we went through this with Esme.
Everybody upthread has said everything better than I could...
Booty knows your love for her and will let you know when it's time to make 'the decision'.

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Response to ceile (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 05:22 PM

13. So sorry, celie.

That's a hard spot to be in. You are doing everything you can do for her. I have a kitty girl who is in the early stages and there really is not much you can do besides what you are already doing. My heart goes out to you both.

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Response to ceile (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 08:35 PM

14. i am so sorry

this is so sad

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Response to ceile (Original post)

Wed Feb 1, 2012, 11:27 PM

15. sorry to hear this

Do what you must to make it as easy as possible for both of you.

Having a cat with early stage problems, I do understand.

It is difficult to face reality at times, I know that much.

for you and your dear kitty ...

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Response to ceile (Original post)

Thu Feb 2, 2012, 10:32 AM

16. Have you tried baby food meats?

Gerber makes them. Whenever one of our sick cats stopped eating their regular food, we could always get them to eat baby food turkey, chicken, lamb, etc.

Sorry to hear about your sick kitty.

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Response to City Lights (Reply #16)

Thu Feb 2, 2012, 07:25 PM

21. vet gave me some gerber chicken and turkey.

So far she seems to like the chicken. Fingers crossed.

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Response to ceile (Reply #21)

Sun Feb 5, 2012, 01:11 PM

28. I'm glad she's eating something.

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Response to ceile (Original post)

Sat Feb 4, 2012, 01:51 AM

26. When my 16 year old girl kitty

seemed to be on the downward side, I gave her Petco's Senior Vitamin Supplement for Cats. It comes in a tube and is gel-like. I put a dab on the tip of her nose a few times a day and it perked her up. She didn't appear to have any other health issues and lived to 18. We now have an old lady cat who is 17 and losing weight. She is down from her normal 9 pounds to 5 pounds. I tried the same thing with her, but she fought me when I tried to dab her nose. I tried putting some in her food but she wouldn't eat it. I then put a slab of it on the back of her front paw and she licked it off. After a while, she figured how to smoosh it off on the carpet. I think she just didn't like the taste. She hasn't gained any weight but she seems to have stopped losing. She sleeps a lot (don't they all) and will play "chase the red dot" for a few minutes. That's the sad thing, we generally out-live our pets.

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Response to ceile (Original post)

Sat Feb 4, 2012, 11:21 AM

27. Update

We went to the vet last night. Her kidney levels are back to normal. Her bloodwork is fine but she still not eating and is still very dehydrated. So sub q twice a day, more pepcid, metrazapine and syringe feeding baby food. She ate a lot last night on her own so hopefully we won't have to syringe feed her too often.

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Response to ceile (Reply #27)

Sun Feb 5, 2012, 01:12 PM

29. Thanks for the update.

Glad she's starting to eat on her own!

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Response to ceile (Reply #27)

Sun Feb 5, 2012, 01:50 PM

30. Thanks for the update

Hope she continues to get better.

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Response to ceile (Reply #27)

Sun Feb 5, 2012, 05:51 PM

31. Good news/bad news. Kidney levels normal is great.

I have had to fight a cat to get it to eat, it seemed that once he stopped, he just would not start again. But with what you are doing, we got over the hump and he did start to eat again. I hope this works for you too. It seems the less they eat, the worse they feel, and that leads to eating less....a vicious cycle. Getting the eating going can help a lot.

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Response to ceile (Reply #27)

Thu Feb 9, 2012, 02:04 PM

34. Thanks for the update

Sounds like she is on the road to better health . Eating on her own is a great sign.

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