Cleo's Progress

One Cat's Struggle with Feline Hepatic Lipidosis

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Another update on Cleo and feline hepatic lipidosis

I was worried not too long ago that my cat, Cleo, was going to have another bout with feline hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver. She survived this type of feline liver failure back in November/December 2005, after about 4 weeks of force feeding her canned cat food and gave her intravenous fluids. You can read about our experience with feline hepatic lipidosis by using the November and December archive links for 2005.

Anyway, my mom came over today for the first time since we started worrying about another bout with fatty liver disease, several weeks ago. Immediately after petting Cleo, she commented that she could tell Cleo had lost weight. Cleo was a pretty hefty cat before she started losing weight a month or two ago, so suddenly dropping 3 pounds has made a big difference in the way she feels when you pet her.

Of course, I've had her eating her quota of canned food every day for at least a week now. I gave her some extra over a couple of days, because I'd like her to gain at least a little bit of weight back (although she doesn't need to be 13 pounds again!).

Except for now and when Cleo had hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease) last time, I've never really given my cats wet food. This is for a combination of 3 reasons:

1) My vet told me it rots their teeth more quickly than dry food.
2) It's more expensive than dry food.
3) It's more difficult to feed than dry food.

I suppose there's actually a fourth reason, too:

4) Cleo would eat it all, making her fatter — and Prince (my other cat) even skinnier than he already is.

However, right now we have a system that seems to work pretty well. Prince gets kitten food these days, even though he's now 11 or 12 years old, because he has such a difficult time keeping weight on. His bowl is on the buffet, so that the dogs don't get it, and so that we can keep an eye on it and make sure that Cleo doesn't eat it all, either.

Meanwhile, Cleo's bowl of wet food is on the kitchen table. (This freaks some people out, I know, but having the cats on the table has never bothered me. And anyway, it's the only place left where the dogs can't bother her or eat her food, and where we can keep Prince from eating all of her food.

I'm not sure if or when I'll try to switch the cats back to a more normal feeding routine — I'm worried about a recurrence of feline hepatic lipidosis. But even if I have to adjust to a completely new routine, I'm willing to do it for Cleo's sake!


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