What’s good, What’s junk, Why it matters

 

Question:

For most of my cat’s 12 years she would only eat canned food. She got cat acne and our vet suggested it was due to the wet food. We have tried many varieties of semimoist and dry food and she seems to hate them all. She seems to always be hungry yet she often won’t eat the food we give her. Recently I noticed her eating our dog’s food quite often.  As the cat has lost weight I am worried about her.

 

Dr. Nichol:

Your cat’s quirky appetite isn’t unusual. Aging cats get so set in their ways that some would prefer a hunger strike to following their doctor’s diet advice. So let’s accept realities. If this girl forgets to clean those sticky bits of canned food off her chin then I say let’s wipe her face for her. I do it for my kids everyday. (Shucks, I wipe food off my own chin too.) A clean, dry chin should prevent the feline acne that prompted the diet change in the first place.

 

So, how about canned food? Like all types of pet food there are excellent canned diets on the shelf right next to the bargain priced junk. Get the good stuff like Science Diet or Iams. But also be sure she isn’t eating poorly and losing weight because of dental infections, organ failure, or cancer. If your feline senior citizen hasn’t had a thorough exam in the past six months she may have serious reasons for failing to eat. Ask your veterinarian for a geriatric lab and x-ray profile. If we catch age related problems early we can extend the excellent quality of life that your loving care has always given her.

 

Cats are special creatures, aren’t they? It’s really true that their behavior is fundamentally different from dogs and humans. My cat Raoul has seen me through good times and bad over our fourteen years together. I love him intensely. He doesn’t spend his life trying to please me but he’s always my friend.