Senior Cats – Picky Eaters

cat eating

Elderly cats, like 15 year old Tony Nichol, named by my young sons for the cereal box tiger, are prone to diminishing appetites and weight loss. Dental disease, common in older kitties, makes eating painful. A reality for all feline seniors is gradual onset kidney failure, often accompanied by nausea; feeling queasy is not consistent with a healthy appetite. Cancer is another consideration with older poor eaters. Diagnosing and treating the cause is essential.

But beyond myriad internal disorders, many older cats get fussier about the temperature of their food. A paper published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior researched cats aged 8-14 years that were tested with food of a gravy-type consistency at temperatures of 43, 70, and 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Guess which was preferred? You guessed it: the warmth of freshly killed prey.

Tony had me worried. He was eating poorly and losing weight. Canned food, microwaved to body temperature and stirred with a little water has him chowing down nicely. We’re all feeling better.


dog breeds

April Fool Special: Dog breeds now recognized by the Kennel Club
Collie + Lhasa Apso = Collapso, a dog that folds up for easy transport
Spitz + Chow Chow = Spitz-Chow, a bulimic dog
Pointer + Setter = Poinsetter, a traditional Christmas pet
Great Pyrenees + Dachshund = Pyradachs, a puzzling breed
Pekingese + Lhasa Apso = Peekasso, an abstract dog
Irish Water Spaniel + English Springer Spaniel = Irish Springer, a dog fresh and clean as a whistle
Labrador Retriever + Curly Coated Retriever = Lab Coat Retriever, the choice of research scientists
Newfoundland + Basset Hound = Newfound Asset Hound, a dog for financial advisors
Terrier + Bulldog = Terribull, a dog that makes awful mistakes
Bloodhound + Labrador = Blabador, a dog that barks incessantly
Malamute + Pointer = Moot Point, owned by….oh, well, it doesn’t matter anyway
Collie + Malamute = Commute, a dog that travels to work
Deerhound + Terrier = Derriere, a dog that’s true to the end
Bull Terrier + Shitzu = Oh, never mind….
For help with behavior problems, you can sign-up for a Zoom Group Conference on my website,

Dr. Jeff Nichol is a residency-trained veterinary behaviorist. He provides consultations in-person and in groups by Zoom (505-792-5131). Each week he shares a blog and a Facebook Live video to help bring out the best in pets and their people. Sign up at no charge at Post pet behavioral or physical questions on or by US Post to 4000 Montgomery Blvd. NE, Albuq, NM 87109.