Fatty Liver Disease in Cats

5 min read



In case of severe or advanced disease, your cat may need to be hospitalized for intensive care and treatment. Fluid therapy will be conducted to overcome fluid and electrolyte imbalances. Your veterinarian may give your cat vitamin supplementation including B-complex vitamins, cobalamin, and thiamine. Your cat will be released from the clinic when its condition has stabilized.


The main treatment for this condition is dietary. Your cat's protein needs will need to be met immediately to reverse the state of starvation. If your cat is not willing to eat a sufficient amount of food on its own, you will need to force feed the cat, either by placing the food at a place in its mouth where it is forced to swallow, or through a syringe or tube that is placed further down in the esophagus. This may need to be done for several weeks, until your cat is fully able to eat on its own. You will need to be very careful while placing food in your cat's mouth or esophagus, as you will need to prevent a possible situation where your cat can inhale the food – which can in turn lead to aspiration pneumonia.


The food you feed to your cat will need to be of a specific consistency that is both easy to swallow and simple to digest. A highly nutritious and balanced diet is recommended in affected cats, and your veterinarian will prescribe the appropriate cat food formula for your cat based on its nutritional needs, age and breed. Dietary supplementations including L-carnitine, taurine, and Vitamin E will also be added to the diet plan.


Living and management


Early diagnosis and treatment are keys to successful management. If your cat has survived the initial few days, the prognosis for a complete recovery is excellent. You must fully comply with your veterinarian's directions regarding treatment, feeding and care of your cat. Obesity is one of the most important risk factors for hepatic lipidosis, therefore follow the dietary guidelines to minimize this risk factor.


If you are feeding your cat through a feeding tube, or by any other forced feeding method, make sure to follow the directions given by your veterinarian regarding feedings, and diet. Your cat may put up a struggle at feeding time, so you may want to set mealtime up so that you have a second person assisting, and so that you are feeding your cat in an areas that will be easy to clean afterward.


As much as possible, avoid any stressful events, and set aside a space in your home where your cat can rest quietly, away from household traffic, active children, and other pets.


Follow-up visits may be required for evaluation of your cat's status during the therapy and recovery period. You will be asked to monitor and track your cat's weight, hydration, and other general health indicators of health in your cat. Consult with your veterinarian if you see any untoward symptoms in your cat.


Recovery is seen in most patients within 3-6 weeks.


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