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Update: Pootie Advice?

Update:Had the appointment this morning; in and out relatively quickly.  They took blood/urine samples and are testing for many of the things listed by Jk2003 & Nurse Kelley.  Should have results tomorrow AM.  The vet agreed with daily wet food & adding in the lysine supplement (that should arrive sometime tomorrow, along with the scale).  So that’s where we’re at for now; waiting.  Thanks everyone for your advice & encouragement; I’ll keep you updated.  

Hoping for some pootie advice from the wonderful Meese here.  I have two cats, now almost 11 years old, who I rescued when they were two months old.  This is the female, Fudge:

And this is her brother, Dark Chocolate:

DarkChocolate has always been bigger and heavier (and quieter, he usually doesn’t vocalize unless he thinks we’re sleeping in too late on the weekend).  Fudge has always been an attention hog – she seems to have a sixth sense to let her know when her brother is getting attention, and she comes running from wherever she was in the house to demand her share of the pettings.  They usually get along, aside from occasional squabbles about a toy or sleeping spot; usual sibling stuff (they’re not actually from the same litter, but since we got them from the same shelter at the same time, we call them brother/sister).  

Fudge had feline herpes as a kitten; as a result she does tend to be permanently sniffly/stuffy (she sneezes a lot) and has one eye that’s cloudy (although she seems to see fine out of it for now).  Over the years, DarkChocolate become heftier, but lately Fudge is feeling thinner and smaller than before (she looks puffy but most of it is fluffy fur, she’s actually fairly light), which has me worried.

Here’s where the needed advice comes in – they’ve always been raised with dry food only (wet food maybe 3x a year as a treat), in one of those auto-feeder things where as the bowl empties, it refills from the reservoir, so they can eat on their own schedule, etc.  I’m planning on switching their food to a different brand, to see if that encourages Fudge to eat more, but I was also thinking maybe I should get rid of the auto-feeder and just put them on a regular feeding schedule, possibly including wet food.  My theory is that part of the issue may be that Fudge, with her respiratory issues, just doesn’t smell the food as much and so she’s not interested, so wet food might spark her interest (she is definitely interested in food in general; she eats up the treats pretty quickly, but either she doesn’t like or can’t really smell the regular dry food they’re on).  She isn’t acting abnormally otherwise, just seems to not be eating as much.  

The two main concerns I have are a) how to transition them from having food available all the time to being fed on a regular basis, and b) whether switching to a combo of wet/dry food will end up increasing DarkChocolate’s weight too (if anything, I’d like him to lose some, but Fudge I think needs to gain more).  Also, when you do feeding on a schedule, what sort of gap is OK?  I’m usually up around 8am, but I don’t get home until around 8pm or later; is that alright?

I am planning on getting Fudge in to the vet, but it’s going to take a while to get an appointment that fits with my work schedule, and I wanted to try switching her to a different food as soon as possible.  


  1. nannyboz

    morning.  Cats nibble all day when they get hungry.  Be sure the dry food doesn’t get stale from sitting too long.  Good luck!

  2. wordsinthewind

    to mix the old and new dry food at first so it wouldn’t be a shock to their system or preferences. I give my cat canned food once a day and kibbles three times daily, she’s an outside cat so we don’t leave food down. She is quite satisfied with the schedule since she devised it, I am but a humble servant only hoping that today she would like get in my lap. Some days she does and some days she’s other things on her mind. I offered her the house but she came in and scoped it out and declined. Very independent cat she is, we fixed her a room in the garage for the winter with a heated bed. It’s complicated because I do understand that cats are better off inside but it’s hard when they appear on your doorstep with their own selves already sure of what they want.  

  3. Jk2003

    Mixing new and old food is recommended to help the transition.  An older cat that starts to lose weight may have dental issues, thyroid dz, renal insufficiency, diabetes, neoplasia, IBD just to name a few.

    IMO cats who get picky later in life don’t do it to the point of weight loss without underlying pathology of some sort.  

    Is she still grooming well?  Is she drinking more water than normal?  Urinating more often?  Your doc is gonna ask you all this stuff so start paying attention to EVERYTHING so you are prepared when you go.  Questions?  Don’t hesitate to ask.

  4. Nurse Kelley

    The feline herpes is still active, given the continuing nose and eye problems. It’s incurable, but you can make it “disappear” by giving her l-lysine once a day. Start with 1/2 teaspoon at first, then drop back to 1/4 teaspoon when her nose and eyes clear up. My Tommy has been on it for life. Here’s the one I use, but there are others:

    Cats with the herpes virus do have diminished senses of smell. Your idea about putting out fresh dry food every day is a good one, imo.

    Your babies are seniors now. I would buy a baby scale and record their weights every month, more often if you’re concerned about weight loss or gain. Weight loss is the first sign of many common illnesses in pooties (hyperthyroidism, diabetes, kidney disease) and knowing their weight history will help you and your vet intervene faster. I found mine on ebay; it looks something like this:

    Wet food is better than dry food for older kitties. It contains more protein and has much greater water content. I had to take mine off dry food completely when one of them developed an allergy to something in every brand I tried. It’s more expensive, of course, but they are maintaining their weights and seem to have more energy and better coats. YMMV.

    About the Viralys: An eye specialist told me about it when Tommy almost lost an eye to herpes virus several years ago. As long as he gets the Viralys, his eyes are fine. My own vet didn’t know about it (all his cats now take it, though) so I researched it. Approximately 90% of US cats and 98% of British cats are infected with feline herpes virus. Those with strong immune systems are able to suppress the virus, but kitties like Tommy and Fudge can’t. L-lysine is an essential amino acid that aids the immune system in suppressing the herpes virus.

    If you feed them wet food together, it’s perfectly fine to dose both of them, i.e., mix a double dose of the gel into the food and let them split it.

    Has Fudge been to the vet recently? A pootie her age who appears to have lost weight should be checked out.

    Good luck! You obviously love your babies very much, so I hope they live another ten years. ♥

  5. Avilyn

    I will try & keep an eye tonight on the stuff JK has suggested, and will report to you all tomorrow after the appointment.  


  6. Avilyn

    Thankfully the results from the bloodwork should be in by tomorrow morning, so I can call once I get to work.  Picked up a fresh bag of their usual brand of dry food last night (in case the old had gone stale) but she seemed to snub that as well.  She happily ate the wet food though (one of the Fancy Feast fish varieties), so there is still appetite there, which is encouraging.  Lysine & Scale (thank you Nurse Kelley!) will arrive tomorrow.  

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