Cleo's Progress

One Cat's Struggle with Feline Hepatic Lipidosis

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Force-feeding your cat: The midnight snack

To treat feline hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease, you are supposed to force-feed your cat 6 or more times a day. The reason for this is to minimize vomiting — since the liver failure causes nausea, it's important to do anything you can to make things easier on your cat's stomach.

Unfortunately, people who work full time find it hard to squeeze this many feedings into one day. Spacing feedings 2 hours apart, you can usually fit in 1 or 2 feedings before work, and 2 or 3 feedings after work. Even at the max, that is still one feeding shy. So where do you get the sixth feeding?

I highly recommend setting an alarm and getting up in the middle of the night, if you have to, to feed your cat. I know — it sucks to have to do this. But if it's the only way you can get enough food into your cat, it's worth it, right?

Another advantage of the middle-of-the-night feeding is that your cat's stomach won't be empty all night long, which can cause problems with keeping breakfast down.

Finally, the midnight feeding can be a good way to play catch-up after a difficult day. Despite your best efforts, your cat is most likely going to still vomit, possibly even every day for a while. Getting up in the middle of the night allows you to squeeze another feeding in and make up for whatever your cat threw up during the day.

The key to getting your cat over fatty liver disease is to feed frequent, small meals. The more often you can feed your cat, the less you can give them at one time, and the more likely it is that they'll keep it down!



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