How To Feed A Cat With Cancer?
Food is a very important factor in preventing, treating and alleviating illnesses. It can be an important aspect that positively affects the quality of life of a cat with cancer or any other serious illness. Next, we’ll talk specifically about how to feed a cat with cancer.
Why is it important to feed a cat with cancer well?
It is very common for animals with cancer to lose weight due to the physiological effects of the disease itself or the treatment carried out to fight it. The animal can lose, in addition to fat, muscle mass.
Not all cancers have the same symptoms: a cat with cancer may or may not have nutritional disorders. If this is a symptom, it can be presented as:
- Anorexia. Anorexia is an abnormal lack of appetite and, in cancer cases, it can be intermittent and associated with treatment.
- Cachexia. Cachexia is a progressive loss of weight, regardless of whether the animal eats an adequate amount of food. It could be due to an alteration in your metabolism caused by the disease or cancer treatment.
Vomiting and anorexia are more common in cats than in dogs treated with chemotherapy. In many cases, the treatment of an animal with cancer, especially in advanced stages, does not seek to cure it, but rather to improve its quality of life and increase its survival time.
How to feed a cat with cancer
We shouldn’t force the animal to eat, because with that, we can have the opposite effect: if we force it, the animal can create aversion to the food, associating the mealtime with a bad experience. To feed a cat with cancer, we can do other things that are more effective:
Stimulate the animal’s appetite
To stimulate your appetite, we can offer tastier foods. Wet foods can be very tasty for cats and, in addition, have a texture and consistency different from the kibble which may be enough for the animal to be interested in the food.
Buy a quality feed
On the market, we can find a wide variety of foods adapted to diseases, ages and special nutritional needs. A cat with cancer needs a rich, balanced diet to maintain its body condition against disease progression; better quality rations are always recommended.
offer new foods
The novelty can get the cat’s attention, make it try and eat the new food, but you must continue to maintain a balanced diet. Food leftovers from our own meals are not an option.
Distribute the food in small portions
Instead of feeding the whole ration once a day and waiting for the cat to eat, you can distribute the food in small doses several times a day. This way, there is a greater chance that the cat will be encouraged to eat more than once.
As long as it is not contraindicated in conjunction with the treatment and the veterinarian approves, we can add nutritional supplements to ensure that the animal receives all the necessary nutrients.
Reduce stressful situations
Stress affects the cat’s health in a very negative way: the symptoms of the disease, taking the medicine and going to the vet’s appointments are already very stressful situations for the animal, so you must ensure that your house is a relaxing environment.
Environmental enrichment reduces stress levels and can be used to encourage the animal to eat using toys, games, prizes, etc. It is important to avoid feeding immediately after taking the medicine, so that the animal does not negatively relate it to the food, unless indicated by the veterinarian.