Cleo's Progress

One Cat's Struggle with Feline Hepatic Lipidosis

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cats with fatty liver disease: Evie's story

This post is the first in a series about actual cats with feline hepatic lipidosis, commonly known as fatty liver disease. Fatty liver is a completely curable condition, so all of these stories have happy endings — in fact, I haven't heard from a reader yet whose cat has died of the condition. If your cat has or had feline hepatic lipidosis and you'd like his or her story to be included, please contact me.

Months ago, I exchanged several emails with one of my readers. Her cat, Evie, was sick with feline fatty liver disease, and she was looking for hope.

Evie most likely stopped eating because she didn't like another cat in the house — he had recently returned after a long time missing, and her owner thinks that was what caused her to stop eating and develop fatty liver disease. (Remember, feline hepatic lipidosis occurs when the cat stops eating, or stops eating as much, and the liver gets bogged down from trying to process fat stores as energy.)

Evie's owner commented on my blog shortly after her cat was diagnosed with feline hepatic lipidosis. Like many vets, Evie's vet did not believe she would pull through, and so her owner researched the condition on her own. Thank goodness she did! Otherwise she would not have known that the only way to cure fatty liver disease in cats is to force feed them enough protein-rich foods that their liver starts working again.

After about three weeks of force-feeding, Evie started eating on her own. She started drinking on her own about a week or so after that. The scary thing is, none of this would have been possible if her owner hadn't been proactive about doing her research and providing the care Evie needed.

Evie's owner said to me in an email, "Without your website, I might have given up hope. I followed your links, and read the other kitty's story (and followed their links, also, lol)."

Don't give up on your cat — if Evie and Cleo can both recover from fatty liver disease, so can your cat!



  • At October 26, 2008 at 1:04 PM , Blogger the Duzan family said...

    I just wanted to add - Evie's bilirubin count was WAY higher than I read anywhere on the web - it peaked at around 20! I think the normal range goes up to 0.4 or something... So Evie was VERY sick. She has gained ALL her weight back now. It took time, and lots of persistence, but it paid off!

  • At October 29, 2008 at 12:23 PM , Blogger Katharine Swan said...

    Wow -- that's rough! It should be extra encouraging to anyone with a sick cat, though -- if Evie can recover when she was that bad, then you have to figure, so can most cats with fatty liver disease!

  • At November 5, 2010 at 12:50 AM , Blogger Heather said...

    20!! I have never heard of it that high. Snow's is only .8, which is double what it should be, but not insurmountable.

    I know it was much more in 2006, but I was never given any of the numbers from my other vet - who didn't communicate well.

  • At November 5, 2010 at 10:22 AM , Blogger Katharine Swan said...

    Heather, what happened to you in 2006 is what happened to me too, because I don't remember getting any of Cleo's numbers from the vet. He just never even mentioned it, even though I'm sure they must have checked -- I had her in there once a week or more!


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