Friday, 14 January 2011

A fat and old cat

Smitonius:

My straight talking vet has called my cat fat and old! Apart from his singular frankness, though, he is a good vet.
Our tabby is now 14 going on 15 and, given that a number of other felines in our circle have been getting ill recently we thought we would take her along for a check up. She has early signs of kidney failure, but otherwise fine. So, although I doubt she made any new year resolutions featuring diets... she is going on to a special low-protein one. We elected to postpone any medication for now, as it appears she is still in the early stages. I am going to investigate home cooking for cats with renal failure as we like to feed her non-processed food in the evening. Any tips much appreciated! And here is hoping she will hang about for a while longer.

14 comments:

Tattie Weasle said...

What a wonderful cat! My old cat is the same age with kidney problems and quite possibly cancer too. She is lying on the aga now on top of a blanket where she won't get annoyed by the dogs. The best place to be on a wet grey day!

liZZie said...

I think your vet would say the same things about me! I was told years ago that neutering cats too early, in toms I think not queens, can cause urinary tract and kidney problems in later life; so I've always left it as late as possible, but the smelly tom cat 'issue' means you can't leave it very late and then they may mate of course. But it's a tip that perhaps has meant my cats, always toms, over the years have avoided those problems. In your situation I would go for boiled lean chicken, or poached (in water not milk) fish with mashed boiled rice, brown if she'll have it. No dairy products ever, and perhaps she would drink unsalted fish stock too, as the more fluid the better, but I'm no vet. I am also extremely wary of dried cat foods as the only diet ~ some is good for their teeth but I think mine get dehydrated too easily. The only other thing I usually go on about is most commercial pet foods ~ many have animal derivatives that in many other countries, incl. Eire are banned, makes you think that. There are very good organic ones. I can't understand why vets stock some of the most adulterated ones.

rachel said...

I'd agree with Lizzie, mostly, although everyone has some favoured method or theory - but I would warn that reading too much about pet food (even the awfully right-on ones) is likely to make you swoon with horror. Most vets here stock just one particular brand (a huge corporate business) although I've never had a cat yet who was willing to eat the stuff. Must be a good franchised money-spinner for vets?

I never think of 14 as old.... I've had several cats who have lived with kidney and/or thyroid problems for a very long and happy time beyond that age, carefully monitored by a vet who doesn't rush to euthanase.

My four are all on dry food now, and drink a lot, especially from the large basin I leave outside - they love standing water much more than fresh tap water - their teeth are in much better condition than cats whom I fed on wet food. But it's a minefield; good luck with your old girl.

Molly said...

Old age is no crime! She looks like a lovely friend....May she be happy with you for whatever time remains.

mountainear said...

Lots of good dietary advice to follow here - the availablity of fluids seems crucial - can't offer any more.

She looks a happy enough soul and is surely surrounded by love and affection. What more could any of us ask for in our twilight years?

Fran said...

I hope you covered the cat's ears. Elderly ladies can be very sensitive.

Deborah said...

She appears to be more slim-waisted than my hulking tabby, who frightened a woman at the vet clinic. Well, she was French, after all.

My Canadian vet once said of a previous overweight tabby 'better he be happy in his last years of life than to put him on a diet and have him constantly pining for more.' This is, I'm afraid, my attitude with the present one, whose weight resisted all attempts at slimming. Good luck with yours!

Rattling On said...

I had two old cats who lived to 16 and 19. Both had been hunters and fighters and ate pretty much what they wanted. Yes, they had a few problems but all cats seem to get kidney problems in the end. I didn't medicate them and they regulated what they ate and drank (neither was ever overweight). Both died peacefully in their sleep.
A friend had a very old cat, well over 20, who had no teeth and lived on white fish that was done once a day in the microwave (poached I suppose). She lived on that for several years.
The vet wanted to put our old dog down over 2 years ago because of several conditions she developed. I decided against, took her home and fed her on her favourite food and joint pills from the pet shop (the vet's were £90 a month-really!). She seems perfectly fine like this, though I know she's an old lady now and I can only do my best.
I suppose what I'm saying is you know your cat best. If he goes out then he'll just get food from somewhere else if he doesn't like the diet stuff, and that can be dangerous. Good luck!!

Planet Penny said...

Henry is 15 and has urinary problems and sinus problems but still manages to chase Higgins round and round the furniture when he thinks his meal is a bit late! He has special dried food for the bladder problms, I don't know whether there is special mix for kidney problems tho'. Where Henry is concerned the sinus problems mean regular trips to the vet for injections where he tries to tear the vet and assistant limb from limb and I faint from the bill, but what can you do? They are our faithful friends!

love those cupcakes said...

We took our two year old cat to the vet for his annual jab the other day and were told "he's chunky". Sounds better than fat. Or the "O" word.

Carolina said...

Our oldest cat, Bengel, is 20. She'll be 21 this Spring. If she makes it of course. One can never be sure. But she is still going strong.
She's been eating catfood all her life. And for some time now we've allowed her to eat the leftovers from our (vegetarian) dinner if she wants it, because 'it could be her last day on this earth'. It has been her 'last day' for years now. She prefers Italian pasta-dishes. Pesto, tomatoes, spaghetti, cheese... She isn't fat though. Just old.

;-)

Jocelyn said...

I wouldn't say the vet is wonderful despite the frankness but because of it.

Then again, I'd hate a doctor who called me those same things.

All the best with the beloved kitty.

Marcheline said...

Sending best wishes... from one fat old cat to another! meeeeeeeeoooooow!

The Cranky Crone, she lives alone! said...

Ah! the stars of our household, the tabby.............bossy, languid and affectionate how marvellous they are.