If you have a moment, I have a big question I need help with. We have been instructed by everyone (new vet, old vet, hospital vet) to try to feed Arthur normally before each tube feeding. This is good, but making the situation very very tricky, because he is eating on his own, but not an equivalent amount of calories to the tube so we're having to do some math to try to figure out how many tube calories to deduct based on what he consumed.
Here's how we're doing it. If you have any ideas, please tell us how we can do it easier and better. About an hour before each tube feeding, we offer Arthur a can of wet food we think he'll like. Before we give him the bowl, we weigh both the empty bowl and the bowl with the food in it (strangely the same empty bowl seems to vary at between 2 1/8 and 2 5/8 ounces). We sit with him in front of the bowl stroking him and encouraging him to eat. Usually, he actually DOES EAT for a good 5 min, but I guess he is not putting a lot in his mouth at once, because when we go back to weigh the bowl, maybe it ends up being .5 ounces or 1 ounce less than it was before.
We leave the food out for a good hour and sometimes he goes back for more. This morning, for example, we had a bowl of solid golid tuna out for him for an hour. When it first went down, he ate like .5 ounces (not enough), but when I came to take it away an hour later, he ran into the kitchen and stuck his head in and ate about another ounce. We don't know if we did the right thing, but we skipped his morning tube feeding, because we know that the 3 oz can of solid gold tuna has 100 calories (we actually had to call solid gold to ask) and so we figure he ate about half or 50 calories in that sitting. That's a bit less than his tube feeding of 64 calories, but we spotted him the 14 calories this time.
Are we doing this right? Even if we are, it's driving us nuts. Leaving food down, sitting on the floor and nudging him toward the bowl, hoping he eats enough and then trying to deduct the calories from his next tube feeding. Also, we're not sure if our digital scale is accurate enough to really get this down to the ounce. For example, at one point, I weighed the bowl after he had eaten a noticeable amount, and the weight came out higher than before I put it down.
We would love to just stick to the convenience of tube-only feeding, but we want Arthur to eat on his own and, somewhat uniquely for a cat with Fatty Liver Disease, he actually has an appetite and leads us into the kitchen to give him food.