Tips for Feeding Cats with Liver Disease

Feeding cats who are ill is challenging, but when a cat is suffering from liver disease, particularly hepatic lipidosis, making sure the cat is getting plenty of food and the right nutrients is essential for the cat's survival. Making sure cats suffering from hepatic lipidosis get treatment quickly improves the survival rate to 90% as opposed to 10% to 15%. Here are a few ways to get cats to eat if they are suffering from liver disease.

Feeding Tubes

While it is not the easiest way to go, one effective way to ensure that a cat is getting all the proper nutrients it needs to battle back from liver disease and to make sure the cat is getting enough food in general is to have a feeding tube put into the cat. This forced feeding can greatly improve the effectiveness of treatment and the cat's overall health. As lack of appetite is a key problem with cats who are suffering from liver disease. While feeding tubes can be difficult to deal with, it is not a permanent situation and most owners can find ways to make this form of feeding their cats work.

Appetite Stimulants

Getting a cat to eat on its own is the easiest thing an owner could hope for, so to help entice cats to eat when they are suffering from liver disease, cats may need appetite stimulant medication. Appetite stimulants are often prescribed as a course of treatment in conjunction with other forms of treatment. Cats may receive appetite stimulants even if they are on a feeding tube. The goal of course is to get them eating on their own and to make them not need the feeding tube. It can take a few days or a few weeks for the appetite stimulants to take effect depending on the cat and the severity of the liver disease.

Switch to Wet Food

Cats who are suffering from liver disease should not be eating dry food. Most cats who are suffering liver disease will need a special diet. Most likely you can discuss with your vet a good wet food that your cat will be more likely to eat. Wet food is easier for the cat to digest and will be easier to feed to your cat if you have to help them manually swallow the food to get it into their system.


Liquefying your cats diet can be helpful as well. A liquid diet will be easier to feed your cat if they are just simply refusing to eat. You can use a syringe to feed your cat by taking the liquid diet and simply squirting it down your cat's throat to help them get the nutrients they need.

If your cat is suffering from liver disease it is important to make sure that your cat is getting enough food. The amount of food your cat is taking in is essential to the long-term recovery of your cat from liver disease.