December 20th, 2013

Cats And Heart Disease: Sizzle And I Begin Our Journey

Sizzle orange cat

Our journey began just over a month ago, when my huge, beautiful Sizzle went into congestive heart failure.

They call heart disease in cats the silent killer, and that was nearly true of my beloved Sizzle. In the morning, he was fine. That evening, he could barely walk and was meowing the loudest, saddest most desperate-sounding meow I’ve ever heard.

At the ER, I wasn’t prepared for such awful news. His blood pressure was so low it didn’t even register, and the doctor said his low temperature meant his body was shutting down. But I don’t give up without a fight, and I asked him to please save my boy’s life.

Throughout the night, Sizzle made steady progress, and the next day he was stable enough to be transferred to a specialty hospital about an hour away. He was there for a week!

I lived with a cat with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy several years ago, and I knew my newly diagnosed heart cat was going to come home with a truckload of medicine. My challenge was to get all that medicine into him every day without turning my close friend into an arch enemy.

So this was our plan. First, I swapped out all the pills for chicken-flavored liquid because liquid is more pleasant for the cat, and he can’t spit it out. And I decided to mix the Tumil-K potassium powder into chicken baby food. That worked for about two days, and then he decided he really didn’t like baby food with medicine in it. But Sizzle will do almost anything for treats, and when I put treats on top of the baby food, he ate it happily. Since then, I’ve added some supplements from our holistic vet to the baby food, and Sizzle still licks the dish clean.

Needless to say, we go through a lot of treats at our house now. Many other cats live here, and we have a treat party every time Sizzle gets his medicine. I sit on the floor with him while he eats his baby food and dole out treats to Myles and Boccelli on my left, Ginger on my right and Muffitt behind me. I toss treats over Sizzle’s head to Katie and Honey Cat. The whole thing is sort of involved, and, as I said we go through a lot of treats. But it’s all worth it because my big boy thinks taking all those meds is sort of fun.

Do you and your cat fight over his medicine? There are lots of tips and tricks for giving a cat a pill here.

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