Fatty Liver in Cats

Fatty liver in cats is when the liver tissue accumulates and stores fat rather than turning it into energy. This condition may begin because of some other medical problem or it can occur on its own. Currently there is no official known cause for the disease. It occurs when the cat stops eating and therefore stops providing protein to the liver. The liver then tries to use fat for fuel. The following explains the steps that occur to bring on the condition:

  •  Cat stops eating.
  •  The body sends fat to the liver to turn it into fuel.
  •  The cat's body is not able to process much of the fat               and a lot of it is stored in the liver.   
  •  If this is allowed to continue, the liver will eventually fail.

When your cat stops eating, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately. You may notice that your cat is trying to throw-up more than usual. They will become more lethargic because they lack the protein to turn into energy. They may also become jaundice. (skin and whites of the eyes turn yellow)

There are other illnesses that can lead to fatty liver in cats. Two of the common ailments that cause a cat to stop eating and therefore can lead to fatty liver are pancreatitis and diabetes.

How to Reverse Fatty Liver

Fatty liver in cats can be reversed if detected early. If your cat has stopped eating you need to do whatever is necessary to get enough nutrition into them. Nutritional cat food will help their livers get rid of the fat deposits. Don’t let your cat go without eating for more than 24 to 48 hours without intervening. You may have to force feed them for a period of time.

  • Get a syringe (no needle).
  • Fill it with high quality cat food.
  • Fold a towel in two and wrap your cat in it, leaving the head uncovered.
  • Slowly feed the food to your cat by putting the syringe tip into the corner of their mouth.
  • Be sure to hold them upright while feeding them. If you don’t they may aspirate food into their lungs.

More Ways to Get Your Cat to Eat

Feed your cat the smelliest cat food possible. (fishy smells are usually best) Try canned tunaMix it with cat food so that they get all the nutrient they need. (Tuna alone is not enough) Feed your cat a small amount several times a day. I have found that cats eat better when not given everything all at once.

Supplements to Support Liver Function

  • Milk Thistle is one of the most beneficial supplements for liver support. Use a tincture and give your cat about a half dropper full to start and increase it if needed.
  • Dandelion Extract helps bile flow so it help reduce jaundice and strengthen the liver. You can give it in a tincture as well, start with a half dropper full and increase as necessary.

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