Nutritional Considerations for a Seriously Ill Cat

An ill cat has often decreased appetite, but he still needs certain nutrients to stay strong and recover. Regular cat food may not be the best solution and the diet might differ according to the illness your cat suffers from.

Wet Cat Food

Wet food is easier to swallow and easier for the digestion. Cats that suffer from kidney disease will have to rely solely on wet food.

If your cat is fed through tubes, liquid diets will be recommended. These contain all the needed nutrients for the well-being of the cat.

Dry food is rarely recommended for sick cats.

Special Formulas for Sick Cats

When your cat is sick, he will have special dietary needs. Your vet will indicate a special formula of cat food, which is most often only available through prescription. These cat foods do not contain certain ingredients that regular cat foods contain. Regular cat foods contain fat, protein or salt, which are added to increase the flavor of the food. However, these ingredients in excess might harm an ill cat.

Home Cooked Diets

In some cases-especially when your cat has intolerance to certain ingredients-the cat will need home cooked meals. Your vet will indicate the ingredients your cat needs and you can prepare the formula yourself. Make sure to follow all the indications of the vet when preparing the food for your cat, as home cooked diets may be imbalanced and may harm your cat's health in the long run.

Nutrients and Supplements

As a rule, cats need protein and fat, while carbohydrates should be eliminated from their diets. Antioxidants may help in your cat's recovery: choose supplements of vitamin E. You may also add some supplements of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids, which will help your cat stay hydrated.

For any other vitamins or supplements that you might want to add in your cat's diet, make sure to ask your vet-some substances may be harmful for your cat's condition.

Make Your Cat Eat

Nutrition is essential for an ill cat. If your cat has lost his sense of smell, he will refuse to eat. Help him by putting some food on your fingers and feed him gently. Your cat will taste the food and start eating by himself.

If your cat doesn't want to eat, there is the option of enteral feeding or the parenteral feeding. The cat will be administered food though tubes. In severe cases, intravenous feeding will be required.