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For Experienced Cat Owners

My cat loves dry food but has reached the point where it is constipating her. I've tried many different wet foods but she has never liked wet food. There is one she will lick the juice and eat a little of the meat but not enough to nourish her, she still wants to only eat the dry food.

I bought some raw goat milk and she has had a little of that the past couple of days. I syringe fed her some of the wet food last night, and this morning after I heard her crying in the litter box I syringe fed her some pumpkin puree. I am concerned if I keep force feeding her she may not want to eat at all. So far she has not fought it too much but she is also running from me which I understand.

Is the best thing I can do to continue to feed her so she has some nourishment? It seems letting her eat the dry food is abusive at this point.

Would appreciate any help, thanks.

by Anonymousreply 49June 22, 2022 7:41 AM

Mix the wet food with the dry food

by Anonymousreply 1June 19, 2022 12:05 AM

OP, I’d start with a visit to the vet. The constipation and lack of appetite may have a medical cause. Crying is concerning too. Once medical issues are ruled out, introduce her in stages (one meal per day) to a high quality wet food (frozen, or refrigerated, human-grade chicken or turkey is what I buy), most cats find them very tasty and hard to resist.

Good luck OP.

by Anonymousreply 2June 19, 2022 12:11 AM

Fiber and water are the key to a well-regulated kitty. See if you can find a dry food that is high in fiber.

Another possible approach is to give her some malt-flavored hairball remedy. Basically, it’s nothing more than flavored petroleum jelly, but it helps “things” to pass through kitty’s system. Just put a dab on the tip of her nose and she’ll lick it up.

by Anonymousreply 3June 19, 2022 12:12 AM

Yes, def consult your vet.

I'm not too fond of many Hill's prescription diet lines, but the gut biome one is pretty good.

Also check Royal Canin for sensitive stomachs.

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by Anonymousreply 4June 19, 2022 12:15 AM

I used to have a siamese cat who would only eat dry food. But when she had some problems with it I tried a wet and dry combo. She didn't like it and screamed in that siamese howl. She loved chicken so I used to soak some chicken bouillon in her water and she started to drink more water. She died at 25 but she was having kidney problems by that time.

by Anonymousreply 5June 19, 2022 12:15 AM

Weird that you went from constipation and a guess about the cause to force feeding her. I'd run, too.

by Anonymousreply 6June 19, 2022 12:16 AM

Just put her down.

by Anonymousreply 7June 19, 2022 12:22 AM

R5 25???

by Anonymousreply 8June 19, 2022 12:26 AM

Crying in the litter box means constipation and is a sign of mega colon which can be very serious. See a vet if possible. Canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling) ban be helpful but your vet will probably give you an inexpensive laxative like lactose. Try some Fancy Feast pate food like turkey or chicken or salmon. My elderly cats suffered from mega colon and we added 1/4 tsp of unflavored Metamucil to their wet food. Make sure the cat has plenty of drinking water. Fill a highball glass and not a shallow dish for water. My eight year old cat started to put on weight and the vet ordered her off dry food completely. She has lost 2.5 lbs. She loved her crunchies but is now doing well on Fancy Feast canned food. I tried all the expensive brands but Fancy Feast is what she likes. My vet assured me it is nutritionly sound and they give it to cats with poor appetites.

by Anonymousreply 9June 19, 2022 12:33 AM

Some cats love water fountains, and some hate them. You could try a fountain as an additional water source.

by Anonymousreply 10June 19, 2022 12:47 AM

Miralax works on constipated cats. My sweet girl nearly died from severe constipation, when that was resolved I dosed her food about every three weeks to keep things flowing. Keeping them hydrated helps too, and cats love moving water so get a fountain, but DON'T get one made out of plastic, there's something in plastic that contributes to their tooth decay. She loved to stand on the edge of the tub and drink out of the faucet, she'd drink for minutes at a time and the vet was fine with that, they never drink too much water, they always stop when they've had enough. As she aged though, she lost the ability or merely forgot she used do that so I got her this fountain. It has very few non-steel components. P.S., R9, I think you're thinking of Lactulose. My girl didn't like the taste of it in her food, fortunately Miralax has no flavor.

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by Anonymousreply 11June 19, 2022 1:06 AM

My cat was somewhat constipated in his older years. He definitely had difficulty getting things to come from time to time.

Vet had me sprinkle some Miralax on the food. That did the trick.

The Miralax didn't change the taste of the food and he still gobbled everything down.

Just sprinkle a little on the food and see how the cat responds. Over time, you an increase the amount your sprinkle in, depending on his response.

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by Anonymousreply 12June 19, 2022 1:46 AM

Too much Miralax and they get the runs.

by Anonymousreply 13June 19, 2022 1:48 AM

Some wet things: my cats like the broth out of a tuna can. Get a cheap brand, because it will have more broth than tuna. Then you can make a tuna sandwich for yourself with the meat.

A couple of my grown cats like kitten replacement 'milk'. The kind you use to nurse newborns. You can cut it with water, like mix 1/4 water with 3/4 milk.

There are some 'lickable' treats products for senior cats.

by Anonymousreply 14June 19, 2022 1:54 AM

My cat does that too with any wet food other than royal canin (but that is expensive and with stupid pipeline issues kind of hard to find). Sometimes I give her left over chicken or other fish I don't finish.

by Anonymousreply 15June 19, 2022 2:15 AM

Get a dog - they are fat whores and will eat anything.

by Anonymousreply 16June 19, 2022 2:26 AM

Try cheap canned food, like "Special Kitty" from Walmart & the store brand from Aldi. Just buy 3 cans of each flavor, and see whether any are a hit.

Seriously. I spent YEARS trying to coax my cats to eat $2-3/can cat food, like Tiki Cat & Weruva. They wanted nothing to do with it (though one cat did kind of like Solid Gold Tuna from Petco). At one point, I said 'fuck it' & decided to try cheaper brands... and one or two flavors of some of them ended up being a hit, to my complete shock.

It's impossible to predict what they'll like, and don't write something off until they're rejected it at least twice. That's the nice thing about cheap brands... if they reject it, it's not the end of the world.

Also, don't assume a flavor of one brand is similar to a flavor of another brand. One of my cats LOVES Special Kitty salmon pate, the other won't touch it. Aldi's Salmon pate is hit or miss for both. My cat who loves Special Kitty salmon pate won't touch Friskies salmon pate, but my other cat likes it.

And it's the same story with other flavors & brands... though I'd say out of all of them, Special Kitty pate seems to be more consistently liked than other brands.

Fancy Feast's quality control is fucking awful. I've seen two cans of the same nominal flavor, with the same UPC, that were UNRECOGNIZABLE side by side as allegedly being the same. When my cats get a good can of FF, they love it... but it's fucking impossible to tell the good and bad batches apart, and I'd say at least 1/4 of their batches are "bad".

At the slightly more premium end, try "Best Feline Friend" (available from Petco).

If your cats lick the gravy & leave the meat, it means the food itself tastes like shit. In general, pate tends to taste better to cats.

I've had bad luck with Nutrish (in plastic cups)... my cats like it, but it makes them vomit afterward. Ditto for most of Petco's store-brand cat food, especially the non-pate pouch & plastic-cup varieties.

One of my cats (a hardcore gravy-licker) LOVES Meow Mix Tender Favorites (plastic cup)... the salmon+crab (pink) and tuna+shrimp (blue) varieties.

Note that most cats aren't terribly fond of beef... partly, because "cat food cows" are almost always slaughtered dairy cows & taste yucky because they're old & way past their prime.

"Poultry" in cat food varies wildly in taste, too... some use macerated male chicks, some use elderly egg-laying chickens, and almost none besides super-premium brands use the same chickens & parts sold for human consumption... and it's almost impossible to tell which is which.

Salmon is probably the most consistent ingredient, because it's so abundant & cheap anyway, there's little reason to cut corners with it.

"Whitefish" REALLY means, "pretty much any random fish they got a good deal on that week". Sometimes, it tastes good. Often, it doesn't. Your cats' willingness to eat it will vary, even among the same brand & flavor.

by Anonymousreply 17June 19, 2022 3:59 AM

Incidentally, 3 years ago, Best Feline Friend USED to have a Tuna+Chicken geleé with the approximate consistency of runny Frito Lays chili-cheese bean dip. My cats LOVED it. Then, they reformulated it without carrageenan, and completely ruined it. Now, it's like meat embedded in clear Jello, and my cats won't touch it.

The old formula might very well have been "unhealthy junk food", but my cats LOVED LOVED LOVED it. I hate when companies give in and let the nutrition nazis ruin things, like the way Burger King ruined their burgers (no more artificial smoke flavor) & fries (now, basically toasted mashed potatoes, vs the fucking delicious grease capsules in 'fry pods' they had 20 years ago).

by Anonymousreply 18June 19, 2022 4:12 AM

R8 Yes siamese are long-lived. Probably the longest-lived. They typically live until at least 15-20 years and some like the cat we had live longer. The oldest living cat is a siamese and lived or is still alive at 30 years old. They are wonderful cats but I always tell people to be ready for at least 15 years. My mother got the cat when I was only about 2 years old and she died when I was about 27. it was heartbreaking. She was a family member.

by Anonymousreply 19June 19, 2022 4:34 AM

I second the fountain for additional water. My cat initially loved it and played in the water with her paw and then drank a lot more. Lately she’s rejected it though, after about 6 months of use, so it’s hard to know how to please her. Yowling in pain sounds terrible so I’d go to the vet first and/or try some kind of laxative that others have mentioned.

Problem is, some cats are so picky that you can’t get anything down that is like medicine or different from what they’re used to. My cat is like that and is hyperthyroid so I’ve had to accept that I can only give her quality of life until the disease progresses too far (she’s on Prescription only Hills Y/D but won’t eat enough without some wet food to supplement. Fancy Feast is all she’ll eat which has way too much iodine but she’s miserable without it).

Who knew that they’ve been putting too much iodine (hidden as potassium iodide, calcium iodate, etc.) in cat food for years and still do despite 10% of cats ending up hyperthyroid! It’s an outrage. Even the super expensive brands sneak it in, like Tiki Cat.

by Anonymousreply 20June 19, 2022 2:39 PM

Does anybody know any currently-available wet cat foods that STAY moist & tasty for at least an hour or two in a bowl, and stay ok in a can with a lid on for 4-6 hours? My big problem is, all of my cats like different foods & generally won't touch each others' flavors, so any given open can has to serve at least 2 meals. The thing is, it's clear the taste deteriorates rapidly after opening... one cat gobbles down his food when the can is opened (but only about 1/3 of a can), but barely nibbles on the second third a few hours later, and instantly tries to swat away the third bowl & bury it when served 6-8 hours after opening the can.

Incidentally, I made a mistake in r18... the tasty flavor with stay-moist chili-cheese bean dip consistency was tuna+salmon, not tuna+chicken.

Since oxidization is the main problem with opened cans of food, does anyone still make food storage containers with valves so you can fill them with nitrogen gas, helium, or argon between opening and subsequent servings? I remember seeing something like that online about 10 years ago, but they seem to no longer exist (I'm guessing they were either deemed an asphyxiation hazard for kids, or helium became way too expensive).

by Anonymousreply 21June 19, 2022 3:31 PM

Bought small mason type jars to keep the extra canned food in, those lids help it stay fresh for a couple of days.

by Anonymousreply 22June 19, 2022 3:42 PM

The Miralax was sprinkled on wet food right? Would it be noticeable on dry food?

by Anonymousreply 23June 19, 2022 3:45 PM

Yes miralax on wet or in water, tho they might not drink enough.

But 1/4 t of miralax should work. Otherwise gobto vet and they might recommend switching to a high fiber or hairball formula. Don't wait if your cat is constipated or not eating. I had that before and it turned out to just be a hairball. Short term appetite meds can increase food intake and they'll barf or poop the hairball. You don't want to get in a cycle where your cat doesn't eat for days.

by Anonymousreply 24June 19, 2022 4:04 PM

Also OP, I'd recommend you pick up something called Churru in the treats sexction. It's paste in a tube and is used to get cats to start eating and I used it when introducing my cats. It's like crack (I'd go with the tuna flavor as that seems the biggest hit.)

Squeeze out Churru in bowl and put Miralax in that. Open another tube and feed it to your cat right out of the tube squeezing as you go. (That's how its fed to semi ferals to gain trust)

by Anonymousreply 25June 19, 2022 4:09 PM

I've treated two cats with Miralax and swear by it. One had it in wet food, the other on dry. I filled up a tiny salt shaker with it and then sprinkled the food with it.

by Anonymousreply 26June 19, 2022 4:13 PM

R4, I second the Hills Biome recommendation. It is great for cats who barf (not hairballs). It also helps pass hairballs through their GI--added bonus. Both wet and dry is made with real bits of food and veggies.

by Anonymousreply 27June 19, 2022 4:17 PM

There is no problem with her appetite, she wants to eat but only wants her dry food.

I have put a little water on the dry food, she won't eat it.

I have put some bone broth on the dry food, she won't eat it. She only wants to eat it dry.

She has seen the vet, the vet saw her this past Tuesday and recommended that I get pumpkin, which I did, she ate a tiny bit of it. My cat has no obstructions, she is just constipated from her dry food.

by Anonymousreply 28June 19, 2022 4:19 PM

Pumpkin never worked for me, nor will my car eat dry food when something is poured on top. Def try the miralax and consider a higher fiber dry food

by Anonymousreply 29June 19, 2022 4:24 PM

Have you gotten her one of those pet fountains? She may not be drinking enough water, and I understand those can help encourage them.

by Anonymousreply 30June 19, 2022 4:47 PM

R28/OP take away the dry food and give her wet food. She will eat when she gets hungry and realizes that’s all there is. Take the advice in this thread and when she starts shitting without crying re-evaluate her diet.

by Anonymousreply 31June 19, 2022 5:03 PM

My cat had the same issue op and I used miralax with mixed results. Took him to the vet and it turns out he has kidney disease. Not unusual for a cat of 16.

I switched him to eating low phosphorus kibble and wet food (prescription “renal” diet) and within about a week he was back to pooping normally. Since the change in diet I’ve also noticed he’s more energetic and engaged, so it is doing something.

by Anonymousreply 32June 19, 2022 5:10 PM

I put a huge lump of Vaseline on my cats nose when she was constipated, it worked immediately.

by Anonymousreply 33June 19, 2022 5:41 PM

I have always had a drinking fountain for my cat and she drinks plenty of water because of it.

Got my vet to respond to my text even though it's the weekend and asked her about Miralax, she gave me the go ahead to try it out and if that doesn't work will get me some other stool softener that I would have to administer. Hoping I can get the cat to eat the dry food with the Miralax.

Thank you all for your help.

by Anonymousreply 34June 19, 2022 7:57 PM

my cat is about 20 pounds he eats dry food only and has constipation too. i mix 1 and 1/4 teaspoons of equate brand clearlax with strained gravy/warm water mixture (about a tablespoon) and mix the clearlax in until dissolved every 2 days and he poops well. sometimes i mix it with a tablespoon of tuna water/salmon water. if your cat is smaller than 20 lbs experiment with smaller doses. i use baking measures leveled off flat for 1 and 1/4 tsp of the clearlax powder.

by every 2 days i mean if i give him his dose on wednesday he gets another on dose on saturday etc at roughly the same time.

by Anonymousreply 35June 19, 2022 8:48 PM

What is it about cats that turns people into obsessive-compulsives? Or are people prone to OCD drawn to cats as animal companions?


by Anonymousreply 36June 19, 2022 8:56 PM

I read on another forum dry kibble is junk food for cats and the junkier it is, the more the cats love it.

Meoxmix? Smells awful, cats love to eat that mess.

by Anonymousreply 37June 19, 2022 8:58 PM

I don't know r36 I just don't want to kill this living thing that is counting on me to take care of it.

Never had a pet before.

by Anonymousreply 38June 19, 2022 9:57 PM

Dry food is shit. She needs wet food, no additives no corn, potatoes or anything a cat doesn’t really need. She can have freeze dried food which resembles dry cat food but it’s not processed. Stella and Chewys or Primal have really good ones. My friends elderly cat was constipated, she was feeding her shit food, switch it up and she’s like a kitten again and shitting properly. Coat is so shiny. But before the transition from dry crap to real food , she had to give the cat OLIVE OIL on her paws and she definitely crapped the shit out (there was grey in it so it was stuck there for a bit)

by Anonymousreply 39June 19, 2022 11:59 PM

[quote]OP take away the dry food and give her wet food. She will eat when she gets hungry and realizes that’s all there is.

"You are not getting up from this table until you have finished that meat."

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by Anonymousreply 40June 20, 2022 1:07 AM

R4 here.

Just came across this item I'd bought for my Maine Coon as he was going through terminal lymphoma and his bowels were virtually blocked by metastasis (he died 3 years today). It helped a good deal more than pumpkin or other remedies.

I think I bought it on Amazon, but I have seen it at Petco and Petsmart.

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by Anonymousreply 41June 21, 2022 8:31 PM

Please be careful with trying to starve your cat into eating wet food, OP. If she refuses it for more than 24 hours, give her the dry food. Cats who don't eat for more than a day can start to have irreversible liver problems.

by Anonymousreply 42June 21, 2022 8:45 PM

Op, you should absolutely take your cat to the Vet! You say you've never had a pet before. Go to a real expert for this. (DL's experts, while immensely caring, can be all over the place with their advice. Shockingly, some are not 'experts' on anything. They just have opinions. I digress, slightly.)

If you can't afford the Vet, search online for solid info. A search for 'cat veterinarian advice' returns a lot of links with the word '"free" in them.

I linked to a 'cat-lovers' site, but I can't vouch for any of it. I just did a quick search to show an example.

Op, since you've never had a pet before, you have to learn how to properly care for it. Time to bone up on your knowledge of pussies, so to speak.

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by Anonymousreply 43June 21, 2022 9:13 PM

Op, here's a link to the ASPCA about "General Cat Care." This looks like a good place to enhance your knowledge. Knowing these things will actually make having a pet easier and less stressful for you. You'll be able to enjoy your relationship more.

Your concern shows that you're a good-hearted person. I hope this helps.

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by Anonymousreply 44June 21, 2022 9:43 PM

Put it down and get another one, it's not like we're running out of them.

by Anonymousreply 45June 22, 2022 2:55 AM

R45 Why don't you put yourself down?

There's plenty of assholes on DL...once you're gone, we're sure to find another.

by Anonymousreply 46June 22, 2022 5:10 AM

Cats don't like lettuce, potatoes, carrots, etc. Try fancy feast pate. Cheap and good for cat. My cat eats several birds a day and comes in for his fancy feast. He even eats bread. Maybe your cat needs to get outside and run around to build up appetite.

by Anonymousreply 47June 22, 2022 6:10 AM

Cats are weird. I had a Trader Joe's prepared salad opened for dinner and the cat jumped up and began munching on the cabbage and cucumbers. He loved to eat watermelon and tried banana and apples too.

by Anonymousreply 48June 22, 2022 7:39 AM

r42 is absolutely right. A cat will LITERALLY starve himself to death in preference to eating unappetizing food. A cat who goes more than 2 days without eating is a high-priority medical emergency!

Side note: if your cat ever needs a feeding tube, don't freak out. It's not a big deal. In fact, if you've gone through days, weeks, or months of trying to coax an elderly cat who's rapidly losing weight to eat, a feeding tube feels like a personal gift from god, because for the first time in (long-time), you can fees them with minimal drama. My first kitty had a feeding tube for 5 weeks... and damn, I missed it after it came out, because my life was enormously less-stressful when he still had it in. ~10 minutes to slowly squirt a syringe of food in, and DONE... vs an hour of pleading, stirring, coaxing, and desperation at every meal.

by Anonymousreply 49June 22, 2022 7:41 AM
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