Cat doesn't like healthy food

by Marsha
(California)

My cat has a thyroid condition and is on medication for it. Prior to the meds, he would eat and vomit at least 5 times a week. Once he went on the meds, I changed his food to a high end brand and the vomiting stopped.


However, I don't think he likes the food as he nibbles then walks away from the bowl. I have other cats who eat food I buy at the supermarket. I tried to give the cat on the medication the supermarket food so that he would eat more, but then he just vomits it back up.

My question is whether its better to give him a better food he may not like, but keeps in his stomach, or other food he eats but vomits back up? Thanks.

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Sep 02, 2011
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Boil Boneless Chicken Breasts!
by: Anonymous

My cat is also on thyroid liquid medication. She throws up all the time from fur balls and her thyroid condition. When she won't eat I boil her boneless chicken breasts... boil the chicken till it's done, then put the chicken in a food processor and add about one tablespoon of water from the water you boiled the chicken in and stir it up.

My cat will eat this when she won't eat cat food. Keep the chicken in a container in the fridge. If you need fur-ball help (Pet Naturals of Vermont) has hairball chews for cats. Please do not give your cat tuna... cats are more sensitive to mercury than people.

My kitty cat has been on thyroid meds for about one month... she seems to be a little better, but I worry because the thyroid meds that help her also will hurt her. The side effects of most medications are so awful... for all of us.

I hope this will help you and your cat is feeling better!

May 07, 2011
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Thyroid Medication
by: Marsha

Hi David. Thank you for your comments. My guy is on pills and takes them quite well. In fact, when he had a one month checkup, his thyroid levels were near normal. Due to his age, I wouldn't try the radiation, so he will stay on the pills.

I've been mixing up his food to get him to eat and he's doing much better.

Like you, I have a little feral girl I rescued from my backyard. She has become the sweetest kitty around and plays wonderfully with my other cats. I'm glad to hear you took a chance and ended up with a wonderful kitty.

May 05, 2011
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Opposite Situation
by: David

Our first cat - my lover girl and a feral cat - had the opposite response with the same diagnosis. The medication made her violently ill. What is the manner of dosing your cat? With ours, it was a cream administered daily to her ears. Is yours differently given?

Many vets supplement their incomes by selling (and recommending) a specific brand of food they sell. Ours did not, so no "special" food was even suggested. Her condition was diagnosed after a routine check-up and blood tests, not because of anything that had concerned us. So, we chose her "quality of life" over the treatment, stopping the medicine and she was with us another eight years. In her case, the "thyroid condition" was just code for thyroid cancer. Later in her life, the other options were radiation treatment and surgery, but neither was recommended.

If your baby is tolerating the medication but not the food, I would take Kurt's last bit of advice and try to offer smaller, more frequent feedings to see if he tolerates his favorite food better. Whatever you decide to do, my best wishes to you both, and please keep us posted on what is happening.
David

May 03, 2011
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Feeding Suggestions
by: Marsha

Kurt- thank you for your feeding suggestions. I will give them a try and hope he gets his eating back on track. My kitty is now 16 yrs. old but has always had a good appetite. I just want him healthy and happy again.

May 03, 2011
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Healthy food may be bland
by: Kurt (Admin)

I'm sorry to hear your kitty is having problems, Marsha. I think that vomiting regularly is a bad thing for his system long term. I also think that if he vomits back up most of what he eats, then he may be getting the same amount of nutrition as if he didn't eat much at all.

I would call the vet and explain the situation and see what's recommended. The usual answer I've gotten is that if a cat is hungry, he'll eat. So even if he doesn't like the healthy food that much, he'll get what his body needs at some point.

I'll take a stab at this and say that it's very possible that he finds the healthy food bland and boring compared to the supermarket bought stuff.

You don't say whether or not this is wet food vs. dry, or dry vs. dry, etc., but I will say that many cats can get dry food addicted and will snub their noses at wet food. It takes some time and work to get them to switch.

Other cats will prefer wet over dry, and still others will go with either one, so it just depends upon the cat. Some experts say that to some extent a cat's meal preferences will depend upon previous experiences with different foods, especially early in life.

Is there a treat that he likes? Does he like tuna? Sardines? Perhaps try a little tuna juice mixed in with the healthy food or some chopped up sardines. Just make sure whatever you buy is in water and not in spices/sauces/oils, etc.

Or, what happens if you mix the two foods? An abrupt change in diet can induce vomiting in some cats just by itself, so a gradual change with some of old and new is often best anyway.

Perhaps another solution is try to a different brand altogether? You may have to rotate brands for a while to get one that works for him.

One last thought is that perhaps his vomiting is, in part, strictly a mechanical response to gulping down his food too fast? Sometimes when a cat really seems to like his food he'll just eat too fast for his stomach to handle. Some cat owners have wondered if their cats have bulimia.

Have you tried giving him small portions of the supermarket food to see if he keeps it down?

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