3 Diet Tips to Help Prepare Your Cat for Cancer Surgery

While tumor removal surgery is often a promising treatment for cats with cancer, it's not a magic cure-all. If you want your cat to get through surgery and make a swift recovery, you'll need to make sure their condition doesn't deteriorate before their surgery date. Diet is one of the most important factors in a cat's health -- especially when the cat in question is unwell. Unfortunately, cats with cancer often lose their appetite, which can make nutrition more difficult. After you've booked a surgery date with an animal surgeon in your town, here are 3 diet tips you can follow to keep kitty healthy and ready for treatment.

Make Food More Appealing

One of the biggest nutritional issues in cats with cancer is their lack of appetite. Offering your cat better food will only work if they actually eat it. Luckily, there are a few things you can try to stimulate your cat's hunger. The first thing you can do is alter the food itself. Just like humans often salivate when they can smell something delicious, your cat may be more attracted to their food if it smells stronger. You can heat your cat's food slightly in the microwave (mixing well throughout) to increase its scent. If it's not the food itself that's the problem, it may be the eating environment. Try to make mealtimes comfortable for your cat, and remove any negative influences that may put them off. This may involve separating your cat from other pets or offering them more food bowls near their sleeping areas.

Alter the Nutrient Balance

Like humans, cats need to eat from multiple food groups to be healthy. Cats with cancer should have a slightly altered nutritional balance to healthy cats to help them stay strong and fight off cancerous cells. Protein and fat are two factors that should be increased. Fat is a great source of energy for a cat's healthy cells, and a poor source for tumour cells, helping to prevent the cancer from growing. Protein will help cats regain the muscle they have lost since becoming ill, though remember that cats with poor livers and kidneys may not be able to tolerate high protein foods. Aside from these two groups, your cat's surgery preparation diet should be high in calories (to help compensate for lower appetite), but also low in carbohydrates (a strong energy source for cancer cells).

Supplement Their Diet

While there is no concrete research regarding supplements, a healthy dose of extra nutrients will certainly do more harm than good. Look out for cat-friendly supplements containing omega-3. These fatty acids are thought to slow cancer development among other benefits. Of course, you should always remember that your cat can have too much of a good thing. Check your cat's food for its omega-3 levels and consult a cat nutrition expert before determining supplement dosage.