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Sat Mar 10, 2018, 01:25 PM

Question: advice needed on very old cat

Can't find anywhere this fits, so thought I would post it here.
We have an 18 year old cat, and it is going to devastate my daughter and wife when he goes.
He has had regular vet visits, and we were told some time back that he had an underactive thyroid and failing kidneys. The medicine for his thyroid made him throw up almost daily, where it had been infrequent before, so he came off of that. The vet says all she can do is run a battery of tests which probably won't show us anything new.

We had been giving him 1/3 to 1/2 can of soft food in morning, and 1/3 cup of dried food at night. He has about quit eating the hard food, so we have switched him to all soft. He doesn't seem to throw that up as bad.

Any suggestions for diet that will help? Thanks.

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Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply Question: advice needed on very old cat (Original post)
SCantiGOP Mar 10 OP
eppur_se_muova Mar 10 #1
SCantiGOP Mar 10 #7
eppur_se_muova Mar 10 #9
TDale313 Mar 10 #2
Phoenix61 Mar 10 #3
stopwastingmymoney Mar 10 #4
PSPS Mar 10 #5
procon Mar 10 #6
SCantiGOP Mar 10 #8
Kindnesscostszero Mar 11 #10
Meowmee Mar 19 #11
Laffy Kat Mar 22 #12
SCantiGOP Mar 23 #13
Laffy Kat Mar 23 #14
raccoon Mar 24 #15
crazycatlady Apr 13 #17
Skittles Apr 7 #16

Response to SCantiGOP (Original post)

Sat Mar 10, 2018, 01:31 PM

1. Try posting in the Pets Group --

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=forum&id=1161

lots of people there with experience in this area.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 10, 2018, 02:22 PM

7. Thanks, my mistake

I looked for a Pets forum and overlooked it. I will repost but did get some good answers here.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 10, 2018, 04:11 PM

9. Good luck with your kitty. I know it hurts to lose one.

I just don't have any good advice to offer from experience. Our first two died of disease not really associated with old age, and our current kitties haven't really hit that stage yet.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Original post)

Sat Mar 10, 2018, 01:32 PM

2. Not really a diet suggestion, but

Ive found a tablespoon or so of pumpkin can help settle their stomachs, and most cats seem to really like the taste.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Original post)

Sat Mar 10, 2018, 01:45 PM

3. Go easy on the protein

It's hard on the kidneys. Brown rice, little bit of tuna in oil, maybe a little baby food vegetables. High in calories but low in protein.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Original post)

Sat Mar 10, 2018, 01:49 PM

4. I recently found a new vet

for my middle aged cat with kidney disease. She said eating is most important, so give them what they like. She also feels that all meat foods are best for organ health and weight retention. She gave me a list, if youd like to PM me, I can get it to you.

Water is important too. One good thing Ive found is to add water to the soft food and mix it into a slurry. Maybe hell like that 😊

Best of luck to you

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Response to SCantiGOP (Original post)

Sat Mar 10, 2018, 01:51 PM

5. Old cats

Based on my experience with my old cats over the years, there are some things you can do to make their sunset years as good as they can be for your old friend.

The eschewing of dry food for soft could be due to dental issues. Since you're already seeing a vet about this, they would have mentioned this to you if it were a problem. Also, very old cats, especially those with other problems, aren't good candidates for dental procedures because they require anesthesia. In any case, at this stage of life, the important thing is to keep them eating, so give them whatever they want.

For failing kidneys, the usual methods of treatment can include a special "kidney diet" food (available in both soft and hard,) phosphorus binders (if phosphorous is high which is frequently the case in kidney kitties,) and the periodic administration of subcutaneous fluids (has a kind of "dialysis" effect by helping flush the kidneys.) The last item can be done by the vet from time to time (maybe every week or two) or you can do it yourself (it's pretty easy to do and the vet or a vet tech can show you how.)

Also, there are appetite stimulants that may help, but it sounds that you don't need those.

The vomiting may be reduced or relieved by the daily administration of a quarter of a Pepcid tablet (dosage depends on weight), which reduces nausea and acid in the stomach. Again, the vet will advise you about this.

The hypothyroid condition is treated the same way as it is in every mammal - Synthroid (levothyroxine.) Dosage depends on weight, it's very safe and inexpensive. Your cat's reaction to it may have been due to the dosage or his kidneys. Allergic reactions to it are very rare.

In any case, your vet is the best source of guidance on all of this. You should talk to them about what I've said before proceeding with any of it. They see similar kitties almost every day and are very familiar with what would be appropriate here. Eventually, your old guy's time will just run out. That fate awaits us all. But you can still do things to make your pal comfortable and happy for the time he has left. That's all any of us can hope for.

Good luck to you and your old devoted friend.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Original post)

Sat Mar 10, 2018, 02:14 PM

6. My old kitty was 18 with failing kidneys and the vet suggested

dietary changes. It wasn't a fix, possibly a little reprieve from the inevitable end to his long and well loved life. Maybe it would help, maybe not, but the effects would be marginal at best and the progress of his underlying health conditions would still continue and worse things were ahead.

We opted to send him on over that last bridge, letting him go with the peace and dignity he deserved, cuddled in our arms. It was a heart wrenching decision, but it was my responsibility to do the right thing by my darling companion. All these years later and I miss him still.

You already know what needs to be done. I wish you both peace and grace on the last journey you'll make together.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Original post)

Sat Mar 10, 2018, 02:25 PM

8. Thanks for all the advice

Nice to be around some good people.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2018, 01:08 AM

10. My cat is 14, and hyperthyroid...

I changed the diet to grain free, and use homeopathic remedies. His coat is softer, too. Nux vomica is great for stopping the vomiting. Nat mur helps with appetite. Don't worry about the lack of dry food. It is hard for them to drink enough water to support eating it anyway.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Original post)

Mon Mar 19, 2018, 05:06 AM

11. Our nearly 17 kitty

Is also dealing with a lot, heart, kidney and liver issues. You can give fluids for the kidneys, but be careful because it can be bad for congestive heart disease. She stopped fluids completely and shes much better now. She is still happy and enjoying her life after a lot so Im so grateful to have her with us. A water fountain can help as well as soft food , but we let her eat whatever she wants of the brands. She was on grain free. An appetite stimulant, is a good idea, she is on Cyproheptadine now and it has helped her. Cerenia and or Pepcid for nausea, pumpkin for constipation. A probiotic may help but basically let him eat whatever soft food he wants and get him to drink more plus the appetite stimulant. saccharomyces boulardii is great for diarrhea. If he has liver problems, denamarin and ursodiol are miracles and life saving. Id look into natural treatment for hypothyroid in cats too if possible. Hugs to your kitty and family.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2018, 11:53 PM

12. So sad for your family.

If your kitteh is eighteen years-old he has already lived the life of a pampered cat. They don't live that long unless they are well cared for and loved. When mine got to be nineteen and started going downhill I had them stop trying to diagnose because i the pokes and probes stressed him out and was expensive. I think--and this is just me--I'd push fluids, of course, and just make him as comfortable as possible. Protein is indeed hard on the kidneys which are probably about the size of raisins at that age. Just do what you're doing. It's palliative care time.

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Response to Laffy Kat (Reply #12)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 12:58 AM

13. I dont know you

But I think I would like you if I did.
Thanks for the advice, Im in agreement.
But he seems to be doing better, as in only throwing up every 2-3 days.
He (18) and I (68) are doing well for two old farts.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Reply #13)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 01:02 AM

14. It hits home. Please keep us posted.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Original post)

Sat Mar 24, 2018, 01:27 PM

15. For a while my elderly cat liked meat-flavored baby food

As an occasional treat.

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Response to raccoon (Reply #15)

Fri Apr 13, 2018, 08:04 PM

17. My (late) elderly cat loved that too

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Response to SCantiGOP (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2018, 07:38 PM

16. Delectables cat food

 

google that

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