This week we have been struggling with how to take care of a sick cat. It all started last week when we noticed that Scout who is usually a very good eater wasn't as interested in his food. Then we noticed he was spending more time sleeping than normal and lacked energy. This whole process took two days max to happen so we made a vet appointment.
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How to Take Care of a Sick Cat
Of course, the most important thing to do when you need to take care of a sick cat is to get them to the vet quickly. Only your vet can tell you what needs to be done. When we took Scout to the vet, they did an exam. They noticed his kidneys were tender. After Xray and bloodwork, they told us his kidneys were failing. But, they weren't sure why. His Creatinine levels were 12 and should be around 1.
We live in the country so our local vet doesn't have all the bells and whistles that a large vet has. That meant we needed to take him to the emergency vet two hours away for help. After a very long car trip with him, we arrived at the ER vet. They quickly gave him more fluids and did an ultrasound. We were heartbroken when we needed to leave him there overnight (and then overnight again and again) for them to keep him on 24/7 fluids. Our local vet cannot do that.
How to comfort a sick cat
We were told it was one of three causes: toxicity, injury, or infection. Because he's an indoor cat, we knew that he was not injured. And, he did not eat anything toxic. That meant it was likely a kidney infection or a stone. The ultrasound ruled out the stone. That left a kidney infection which can be common in boy cats.
Finally, after several days of 24/7 fluids, monitoring and antibiotics, we were allowed to bring him home. And, our local vet could monitor him. His Creatinine was down to 5 and still had a ways to go. Now that he is home, we needed to learn how to take care of a sick cat and nurse him back to health. The antibiotics make him lose his appetite and of course, he needs to eat to get better.
Taking care of Scout at home means antibiotics twice a day (liquid), encouraging him to drink water, and getting him to eat. Then, it's a matter of follow-ups with the vet and letting him rest and get better.
What to feed a sick cat that won't eat
We had an awful time getting him to eat anything. He's picky to begin with and is on a prescription wet cat food for cats with UTI issues. He wouldn't touch it. With the vets OK, we realized we needed to tempt him with another type of cat food until he was stronger. But, it needed to be a very high-quality food so he got the nutrition he needed and no fillers that would strain his kidneys more.
We had a few cans of the Solid Gold wet food we got from a grain free goody box last month and we're thrilled that he ate it. Once that was gone, we gave him the Solid Gold Triple Layer Pate, Mousse & Shreds with salmon and pumpkin we got from Chewy.com. It's a holistic, grain free and gluten free. It's made without unneeded fillers like corn, wheat or soy, and free of artificial preservatives or flavorings, carrageenan and BPA. And, best of all, he likes it and is eating it.
What to do for a sick cat
When we took him back to the vet yesterday, his Creatinine levels were normal. So, as long as things continue to improve he will not need more blood tests. He'll go back tomorrow for more fluids just in case. And, we will continue to tempt him with this food from Solid Gold until he is back to his normal self.
Here are a few things that I recommend you keep on hand just in case (along with the food of course).