Cats and Their Food

Sherry McGuinn

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Our sweet Dooley. Photo by author.

One day they love it and the next, well...you know. But hopefully, for you people who share your lives with cats, the following article will help.

We’re currently enduring a very stressful time at the McGuinn household. My husband’s dealing with his chronic insomnia and I’m gearing up for my yearly. mammogram this coming Monday.

Six years cancer-free, thankfully, but it always messes with my head.

On top of this, our senior boy, Dooley, who is going on fourteen, has stopped eating the food that he gobbled up voraciously.

Our three kitties, Dooley, Conor, who is seven, and Lorna, who is five have always been fed canned food as I personally believe it’s a healthier choice. I know many cat people disagree as they feel dry kibble keeps their cats’ teeth clean.

Not necessarily true, but I’ll cover that in another story.

That said, most cats love kibble as it’s like crack to them. And, to their credit, pet food companies have elevated their standards quite a bit. I recall when we first became cat parents, we fed our babies grocery-store kibble, which they gobbled up.

Through the years, I educated myself on the benefits of a wet, high-protein, grain-free diet and have been feeding a variety of canned foods from Wellness, Blue Buffalo, Nutro, and other established manufacturers. And, I’ve never had any problems as our kitties enjoy the variety and in turn, receive a medley of healthy nutrients.

I’ve created a monster, though, as a couple of years back I got into the habit of “gifting” our cats with some dry kibble midday, as a treat. I keep it in the laundry room and they run down like clockwork so I can scatter some on the floor, where they gobble it up like a flock of pigeons.

But of course, cats, being the inscrutable creatures they are, will often turn the tables on us, literally, overnight.

About two weeks ago, we noticed that Dooley lost a bit of weight. He’d also stopped eating every bit of his food as he’d done previously. In fact, we joked that he was a member of the “clean plate club.”

Conor has always been a bit pickier, but not to a point where we’ve been concerned. In fact, he’s spoiled within an inch of his life. He doesn’t like something, mommy gives it a toss and tries something else. That’s a lot of food, and money in the can.

As if he’s picking up on what Dooley’s doing, Conor has now become a problem-eater.

Over the past few days, I’ve spent a fortune on cat food, buying everything from the most expensive brands like Instinct to Fancy Feast, which, like everything else, has spiked in price.

It’s been hit or miss. But, lest I forget to mention this, we immediately made an appointment with our vet to have Dooley checked out as you don’t take chances with older kitties, or any kitties, for that matter.

And that leads me to stress the following: For anyone thinking of taking a new pet into your life, realize that this is a long-term commitment and their care is in your hands. If for any reason, you sense a shift in your cat’s behavior, or they start vomiting excessively or walk away from their food bowl, please, do not fool around. Make an appointment with your veterinarian posthaste. Yes, tests can be expensive but again, that’s the commitment you made and you must honor it.

So, accordingly, we had Dooley’s bloodwork done, along with a urine test. Our vet also gave us an appetite booster, a gel that I must rub into the hairless part of Dooley’s ear, every twenty-four hours

I just found out that both tests are normal. But, that’s not solving the problem of Dooley’s not eating.

There is something in the back of my mind that’s scaring me. Dooley has a penchant for chewing on plastic. For example, if I leave a pack of paper towels on the table, he’ll try to rip through the plastic wrapper. I do my best to keep this stuff hidden but everyone slips up now and again. He’s not the first of our cats to dig the taste of plastic, and I don’t get it, for the life of me. But hey, he’s a cat!

Last week, I found a couple of pieces of chewed-up plastic that looked as if they’d been vomited up.

So, now I have to wonder if perhaps there’s something going on in Dooley’s stomach. Our vet told me that the next steps would be x-rays, followed by an ultrasound if the x-rays show nothing.

Yes, this will be very expensive, but he’ll get whatever he needs. With our vet’s approval, we decided to see if the gel has a positive effect on Dooley’s appetite, and meanwhile, I’ll attempt to feed him what I believe he’ll like.

Right now, everything’s a guessing game. And Conor, who is the sweetest ginger boy, isn’t making this situation any easier.

If I can’t get Dooley to eat a sufficient amount of food tonight, I’ll make the call tomorrow to schedule an ultrasound and skip the x-rays as this manner of imaging will show more of what’s going on.

Have you been in a similar situation, where your cat says “no thanks” to whatever food you serve up? If so, what have you done to rectify this?

Part of me thinks, “Well, the heck with it. If this is all about food, I’ll just give the boys kibble and let it go at that.”

But, again, in my opinion, that’s not the healthiest option, so I’ll explore every other avenue, first. Maybe I’m being too anal. But, their health is paramount.

I’ll keep you updated as to what we find out. Whatever it is, we’ll take care of it to the best of our ability. Because Dooley, and all of our cats, are worth it. And that’s love.

Thanks for reading.

© Sherry McGuinn, 2022. All Rights Reserved.

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My goal is to educate, entertain, make you laugh, and above all, make you think. I will be running the gamut as far as my articles go because I have a restless mind and I allow it to ramble where and when it wants. I hope you enjoy what I'm looking forward to sharing with you. If so, I'd love for you to follow me. Thanks for reading.

Chicago, IL
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