Cleo's Progress

One Cat's Struggle with Feline Hepatic Lipidosis



Saturday, March 6, 2010

Force-feeding your cat: Keeping breakfast down

In my experience with fatty liver disease and force-feeding sick cats, I've found that the hardest meal to keep down is that first meal of the day, the one that goes into an empty stomach. Vomiting is a fact of life when your cat is being treated for feline hepatic lipidosis, but when a sick cat's stomach has been empty all night long, it seems to be more likely to rebel against the incoming nourishment.

A trick I have found to be highly effective in helping a cat to keep down this first meal is to split it up into two feedings. Depending on how sick your cat is, the first feeding may need to be extremely small — perhaps only 3-6cc. Then wait for 15 or 30 minutes before giving the rest of the meal.

If your cat is on medication, this is also an excellent time to give it. Giving the meds on an empty stomach will probably cause vomiting, which is a waste of the medicine, not to mention frustrating for you. But giving them after a full meal also means a higher likelihood that the cat will throw them up. Instead, give the meds right after the first partial feeding.

While this may not completely eliminate vomiting in the mornings — remember, fatty liver disease causes nausea, and that's why your cat throws up — it will at least make it less likely that your cat's stomach will rebel upon suddenly going from empty to full.

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