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1 20th April 14:33
External User
Posts: 1
Default diabetic cat won't eat

Help! We have a 14 year old obese male tabby that was recently
diagnosed as diabetic and we're having a heck of a time getting him to
eat. About a week ago he got very sick and was probably leading up to
this slowly for weeks. A week ago he became very lethargic and
basically out of it so badly that within 24 hours we had him into the
emergency vet. He had severe ketoacidosis, dehydration and blood sugar
levels over 700. They told us he was literally hours from death. So
he was given fluids, insulin, etc. and stayed there for 4 days. We
brought him him 48 hours ago. Yesterday I force fed him 2 meals and 2
snacks and that was an awful mess I could tell he absolutely hated.
This morning I tried again to force feed him and he had his jaw clamped
tight and refused. Since he entered the hospital and once home he's
been on a diabetic diet using special Purina canned food. So anyway, I
phoned the vet and she told me it was more important to get him to eat
than to worry about what so I've given him a buffet of his favorite
foods today, including the hard food he's eaten and enjoyed for years.
He nibbled a tiny amount of Fancy Feast and licked the gravy off
another, took about two licks of a bowl of milk, and that's it. He's
clearly not hungry. At first we thought he didn't like the food but
we've offered some of his favorites and nothing.

I know I'm rambling a bit here but I'm quite distressed over this cat.
He's been such a wonderful cat and although he was so, so sick, we made
the decision and went to the huge expense to have him treated. Now we
are wondering if we made the right decision. Does he have something
else going on that's causing his loss of appetite? Was there lasting
and potentially fatal damage from being so sick? In the hospital his
liver and kidney function tested normal although he did have a large
amount of ketones which lessed with treatment.

We're just at a loss as to how to get this cat to eat. I'm willing to
force feed him temporarily but if I can't get his jaw open even that is
somewhat impossible. So any suggestions as to how to get him to eat?
Any theories on his prognosis? It's been an extremely emotional
roller-coaster of a week and we're ready to settle down into a routine.
The insulin injections are no big deal. He handles it well and we
don't have a problem giving them. But without eating we don't have to
do that.

Thanks for reading and for the advice and input,
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2 20th April 14:34
External User
Posts: 1
Default diabetic cat won't eat

Son my son

You need to take the cat on a long ass walk.

If he won't walk on a leash.

Put him in the car, go find a big vacant field, carry him out in the
middle of it, and he will follow you back. Repeat until he is hungry.

You gotta get his heart rate back up, his energy level. His metabolism
back up.

Walk That Cat

Im a fat cats worst nightmare
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3 20th April 14:34
External User
Posts: 1
Default diabetic cat won't eat

Call your vet and ask him/her about cyproheptadine (periactin) which is
used as an appetite stimulant for cats. It's much easier than force
feeding. It has worked great on the 2 cats I have used it on and
several other people on this ng have also used it successfully. It has
few, if any, side effects other than making them a little restless at
first. Usually, I only give one or 2 doses and that jumpstarts their

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4 20th April 14:35
External User
Posts: 1
Default diabetic cat won't eat

I'm sorry about your kitty. I wonder if he's nauseous and that's
why he isn't hungry? Maybe ask your vet about Pepcid AC or Zantac,
and the dosage. Candace's advice is good too, but keep in mind if
there's nausea, he won't eat even with a stimulant. The vet may
have other suggestions for nausea, such as metoclopramide (Reglan).
(they don't list any contraindications for diabetic cats)


"The clever cat eats cheese and breathes down rat holes with baited
- W.C. Fields
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5 20th April 14:35
phil p.
External User
Posts: 1
Default diabetic cat won't eat

Have you been monitoring his blood glucose since he's been home? Its very
important that you do even if he hasen't eaten. Does your vet know you
haven't been giving him insulin? If not, you better tell him right away.
Insulin inhibits the breakdown (lipolysis) of fat and slows down or stops
the production of ketones.

Has he urinated since he's been home? Did your vet give you urine dipsticks
to monitor ketones?

You might get him to eat by puréing canned kitten food in a blender with a
little water and feeding it to him with a syringe. There's a gap between
his teeth just behind his canine teeth where the tip of a feeding syringe
will fit without having to force open his mouth. feed him slowly so he
doesn't choke or aspirate the food into his lungs. He might even eat the
kitten food straight out of the can- kitten food is very palatable. You
could also try warming the food up a bit to a little less than body temp-
warmed food is more aromatic and may stimulate his appetite. Don't worry
about feeding kitten food- many vets now use kitten food to treat diabetic
cats. Just let your vet know.

The "Top Paws" Mothering Kit contains the ideal feeding syringe. The hole
can be made larger for feeding thicker foods by simply cutting off a piece
of nozzle with a razor or sharp scissors. Petsmart sells the kit for $3.99.
Here's what it looks like:

Best of luck,

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6 20th April 14:35
External User
Posts: 1
Default diabetic cat won't eat

in article 1119562332.149317.64430@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.c om, Candace at

Another possibility or in addition to this, get some a/d from the vet and a
force feeder syringe. Even if his mouth is clamped, you squirt in from the
side back behind the canines. Between the two things, you should be able to
get him eating again.
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7 21st April 06:26
External User
Posts: 1
Default diabetic cat won't eat

Hello Garland,

Please go onto the message board at There are
people there who have been through EVERY cat-diabetic situation
imaginable. They are normally on the board almost all the time, and they
probably have a lot of hints for you. They helped me immensely.

I know with our diabetic cat -- we would first try to get him to eat
anything (we had all different stinky wet cat foods, like sardines,
etc.) then we would mix some of that with the food we wanted him to eat.
It could sometimes be a dance. Our cat had pancreatitus too, so during
an attack he would start fasting and then the fun would start...

Good luck with your cat,

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8 21st April 06:27
External User
Posts: 1
Default diabetic cat won't eat

I STRONGLY second this. I knew nothing about feline diabetes when my cat was
diagnosed with diabetes (unfortunately, not soon enough). Someone here sent
me to the Feline Diabetes Message Board (a sub-site of the above site), and
the information and support was amazing. I believe the knowledge these
people have and share is unsurpassed.

Walk don't run to the FDMB. People are there 24/7. Responses are quick.
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