It is a weird thing about cats but if they lose their sense of smell, they won’t eat anything. They can be starving to death and they will sit in front of the dish and cry. I have encountered this phenomenon many times in the course of my life-long- cat-affair and I’ve come up with several ways to this circumvent this problem.
If the cats are not too sick, then you can force some water down them with a syringe and rub them all over with cod liver oil or tuna juice, and/or sardine paste. They won’t eat that because of smell, at least at first, but if they’re not too sick, they will lick themselves clean and at least get some calories. As they get better, they will lick it because of the smell too but if you sleep with them remember you smell also and are not very socially acceptable in the non-cat world. I spent one weekend reading in bed with sick Puck doing just this. He lived but my budding relationship with a new “falla” didn’t. sigh
If they are very sick, then you need to force water down them, medicine (probably antibiotics) down them and finally baby food down them or they will die. Of course you can have your vet keep them and force feed them and put them on fluids but that is pricey to say the least and they will miss you when they are not hating you.
One year in the Fall right before T.Day my little Bette Noir got a very virulent cat flu. The vet (my cousin) kept her for a couple of days but she doesn’t have an emergency practice and needed to send my sick snot nosed baby home for the “Holiday” so I took Bette and locked her in the bathroom with the heater going and forced the aforementioned trio; water, meds, and baby food, down her throat about every four hours. She HATED IT and tried to scratch my face and everything else for the first couple of days.
I persevered but I got sick too, with a sinus infection, not cat flu and it got harder and harder to care for her. “HE” did help some but only to hold her in a wrapped towel to keep her from clawing the bejesus out of me and HE didn’t hold her well. Usually about ½ way through a force she’d come shooting out of the towel, like toothpaste squeezed too hard, and go right for the jugular.
She and I finally started to get better and she DISCOVERED that she REALLY LIKED BABY FOOD. Then several other cats got that flu too, not as bad as Bette Noir but still bad and they all got the force feeding baby-food regime and they also all found out that they REALLY LIKED BABY FOOD too.
It was a nightmare as they got well, baby food costs even more than cat food (which ain’t cheap) but they would have nothing else.
I finally starting buying skinless chicken breasts, baking them with the tinniest of oil and nothing else and whizzing them up into paste. The cats liked that but I got REAL tired of doing it. I gave them tuna mixed ½ & ½ with cat food….OK…thin sliced turkey from the deli….OK…even more expensive cat food…OK but what they really wanted was BABY FOOD and NOW MEOW NOW!!!!
Eventually we got everyone back to “normal” and the Great Cat Flu Epidemic was finally over and they were back eating the cheaper, albeit not CHEAP, cans of cat food but to this day if I open anything that is vacuum sealed, that sounds like the top of a baby food jar as it is being opened; instant pronto magic! Eight or more cats all lined up under my feet for:
The TREAT mom, The TREAT!
No PleaseZ, no Thank YouZ, No NicetieZ or
PolitetieZ….JUST FEED ME!
So I wrote a little song regarding this whole experience and here it is.
SONG FOR THE GREAT CAT FLU EPIDEMIC OF 2004
Mom please wipes the booghars from my eyes. My eyes stuck shut and that is why I crys. No don’t come at me with a cloth, no I don’t want a wash, just use your hand and wipes the booghars from my eyes.
Mom just move on over in the bed, I want to use your pillow for my head, then I’ll climb on top of you, when I’m cold that’s what I do, so mom just move on over in the bed.
Mom I won’t eat cat food any more. I want that baby food straight from the jar. Smoked turkey or tuna will do, if you don’t feed me than I’ll eat you but mom I won’t eat cat food any more. dru