All Hail Young Master Zah
Happening All At Once

This Old Cat

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This post is sponsored by Fancy Feast® Broths.

This post is also going to talk about cat barf. Like a lot. Sorrynotsorry.


Maximillian Thunderdome will be celebrating his 16th birthday this year.


16 years of being RIGHT HERE, directly underfoot, begging for food.

Food that — in most cases — would not agree with his system, and would promptly get regurgitated all over the throw rug. Or the bathroom floor. Or our bed. My office chair, a pile of laundry, you name it, this cat has barfed on it. 

After a ton of trial-and-error, we eventually figured out a diet and feeding schedule that works — wet food ONLY, fed in small, dainty portions spaced out five to six times a day.  Ceiba now must be fed outside, and outside ONLY, lest Max gain access to her kibble and wreak havoc on his digestion, because he has not a single lick of sense. No treats whatsoever, and definitely nothing special, like licking a mostly-empty tuna fish can.

It's really pretty sad. Food is like, all this poor guy has** and we have to micromanage all the fun out of it. 

And don't even get me started on how skinny he is now. It's mostly a result of being an elderly cat, but of course the barfing doesn't help, especially when the barfing kills his appetite and I only have his boring senior food to tempt him with. But I try to give him food as many times as I can during the day, constantly trying to maximize the input while minimizing the chance of upsetting his tummy. 

(My kids all have stomachs. My cat and dog have "tummies." Is that weird? Discuss.)

So it was actually with a little trepidation that I agreed to try out Fancy Feast® Broths — my old yak-happy cat probably wasn't the best guinea pig, you know? But after reading the ingredients (which passed my neurotic-hippie muster: real actual things, no fillers or by-products) and a bunch of online reviews from fellow elderly cat owners praising them as an excellent supplement/complement to regular food, I decided to give them a try.


(My big box o' CAT SWAG, HOLLA.)

I honestly figured there were two possibilities: One, Max would straight-up refuse to eat it, or two, he'd eat it and then immediately hork it up on my pillow. 


Max's interest was immediately piqued. Scenario one wasn't a problem at ALL. He devoured the entire pouch (tuna, shrimp, whitefish in broth)  and spent another 10 minutes licking the bowl. I can't remember the last time I saw him that excited. (SAD FACE. MY POOR SWEET VOMIT-Y BOY.)

And he did not barf. He did not barf. Not that day, or the next day (when we tried the "creamy" variety, which was also met with much excitement and snarfy devouring), or the day after that. Needless to say, I bought a whole bunch more once our free samples were gone. I just think this guy deserves a little spoiling and extra happiness after almost 16 years of being THE BEST CAT EVER. 

**Other than Puppy. He still has his Puppy. Or at least, the hollowed-headed, dessicated corpse of his Puppy.

Max puppy 2014

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Fancy Feast®. Thanks for reading!



My cat breeder was a big fan of Fancy Feast because of the nutritional value of the food. Which is impressive because the rest of the types of food she insisted I use runs 2-3 times the cost of the fancy feast.


Max is so gorgeous. I would like to smush his face. I'm sure only Ezra is allowed to do that.


Does he know he haz the pretty? So glad to see Max...don't care if post was sponsored :) I think you need one with Ceiba soon.


We have a barfer too. I just might try this!

Suzy Q

My cat is a horker, too. But, she refuses wet food. Still, I'll probably give this a try because she has kidney issues and wet food is better for her.

Pro tip: use small paper plates or bowls to feed wet food to cats and skip the hideous cleanup.


So, as a recently devoted reader, I must say that you have such a pretty fur-baby, but more importantly, HOW AWESOME IS IT that his name is MAXAMILLIAN THUNDERDOME?!?! Mad Max fans much? :) we have a uniquely named Kitty also - Frankenstein. He was a stray who wandered into our yard during a Memorial Day BBQ and one of our drunk guests immediately threw him a hamburger and named him Frankenstein. And it stuck. Although we routinely call him Frankie. Or The Señor. And I have NO CLUE where my husband came up with that one.


This makes me SO EXCITED! I have 2 barfers! And I've switched to expensive food that really cuts it down to mostly hair balls (because I am lazy and don't vacuum enough and they are dumb and eat their own hair) so I am excited to try this!

Sue W.

I am going to RUN to the store and buy some of this. I have two Maine Coons. Maine Coons=long-azz hairz that no matter how much hair-ball treatment I give them, they hork. And never on an empty stomach. Oh hells to the no! Only when they've consumed their meal. They wet food a'tall, so I will be interested to see if they will eat this. But Imma damn sure gonna try!


I am intrigued. My seventeen-year-old skinny barfer has to stick with low carb Fancy Feast. I will have to check out the numbers and see if it would work for him!


first off, SO glad these worked for him b/c yes...he deserves the best!

and secondly...SO glad to see a post on him. i've been wondering how he was faring. sounds like the answer is "wonderfully".

Cheryl S.

Off to try this with my elderly horkmeister cat! Give gorgeous Max a scratch behind the ears for me!


Sold. I also have a 16 year old cat, with diabetes no less. yay twice daily shots for the last 7 years! And he is a sporadic barfer. Sometimes he does sometimes he doesn't, even though he eats pretty much the same damn thing every day. Excited to try this!

Heather P.

I had a cat that did this too for the longest time. We actually found out (much too late unfortunately) that my cat had hyperthyroidism that caused his vomiting amd skinnines. Considering the age of your cat you might want to get him tested. I only say too late because by age 15, he had a thyroid tumor the size of a golf ball and only one functioning kidney due to his disease. Also, cat's put on seafood free diets tend to do much better as cat are actually allergic to most fish like salmon and tuna. I am glad your kitty is doing much better!


This made me cry. Kind of a lot. (Sorry. my barfy buddy crossed the rainbow bridge not quite a year ago.) But I remember so well those multiple small feedings all day, praying they'd stay down. I'm glad you found something that seems to work for your guy. Max is gorgeous.


I have a 19 1/2 year old cat named Samcat the Oldfatcat. He is a BIG cat and for most of his life weighed in the 18-20# range. He too was a chronic and lifelong horker. He started losing weight and I chalked it up to "old age." Last July we took him to the vet (after a 10 year lapse-indoor cat, etc yada yada) and discovered his weight loss was due to a thyroid tumor. We ended up opting for a radioactive iodine treatment for him (I rationalized the expense as amoritzing it over the 10 years of neglecting to vet him) and he's barfed only twice the last year and has gained almost all of his big boy weight back. He LURVS his Fancy Feast (Gravy Lovers) as do our other two cats ("the girls.)
You might want to consider having Mr. Thunderdome's thyroid checked (they feel it manually and then run a simple blood test)--our vet assured us that old age is not an illness and weight loss isn't natural.
Sam's treatment consisted of taking one large pill (by a radiologist) then chillaxin' at the clinic for 2 weeks until his poop stopped glowing. :-)

Plano Mom

Just said goodbye to my cat friend of 19 years. Otherwise I would be singing your praises as a solution to my own horker problem. However my kid just about has me talked into getting another elderly cat who needs a home. So I'll keep this in mind...


Tangent, but: doesn't it seem like they always find something soft to barf on instead of yakking on something easy to clean (like the bathroom floor)??? My cat once jumped up onto the coffee table (gross but glass so easy to clean) and then proceeded to barf on a damn potholder on the table.


Longtime reader and former vet tech weighing in. Hyperthyroidism is likely culprit. Like another poster wrote, age alone doesn't make cats lose weight. My 16yr old was a hyperthyroid cat, I had the radioactive Iodine procedure done (easiest vet procedure you'll ever do, trust me) and he lived until almost 21. If he's in good health otherwise, it's so SO worth it to have a simple blood test done on him now to see how his thyroid is holding up. Don't bother with the meds if vet tries to push them, just go straight to the Iodine procedure. Will save you and Max's sanity in the long run. Thanks for the great post and sharing Max with all of us.


Max is so cute! And 16 yo -- that's great! I work at a vet's and tend to lean towards recommending the prescription diets (healthier food with quality controls), but that 16, whatever Max will eat and, very importantly, enjoy...good for Max! She's a sweetie. And lucky to have a human that takes such good care of her!


I would love to use a treat like that, but I have a feeling they all have fish of one form or another. My guy is highly allergic to salmon (lose all the fur type) and mildly allergic to any other fish. Finding food for him is nightmarishly expensive. Glad you guys found a solution for his horking, though.


...holy crap, PUPPY! Awwww, puppy.


Our cat puked everything too until we realized she has IBS. We put her on steroids 3 months ago and not a barf to be found. Not one. In 3 months.


Yeah our cat loved to barf everything too and then we made the switch to wet food. I saw those broth thingys the other day but didn't want to risk her barfing it up. Sorry I don't spend money to watch them throw it up* I might have to try this fancy stuff; )

*although sometimes that money is not wasted since the dog will get to the barf before I can clean in. WIN.WIN.


Great post highlighting your fur-baby. It don't have my kitty (also a Max) any more and yet it was nice to see that lovely gentleman enjoy something new. Thanks for a glimpse into the animal life at your house :-).


"I" don't. Darn that autocorrect!


Nothing on the post, but re: the comments...cats with kidney disease and diabetes have specific dietary requirements. TALK TO YOUR VET ABOUT APPROPRIATE DIETS FOR THEM. There are some OTC diets that can be used; most are not good choices. Please do use a blog post as a medical recommendation (no offense, Amy). Signed, A Vet


*Uh, do NOT use. I was frenzied.


I have a 17 year old barfer!

Ima try the Fancy Feast broth on his tummy. Fingers crossed!


You do realize now that you have bought more he will completely refuse to eat it right? Or is that a special asshole move my ancient kitty invented in his last years? He turned into skin and bones, so whenever he did show preference for a flavor we would stock up. And he would promptly stop eating that one too.


Our 13 year old diabetic kitty - Marsh - eats only Fancy Feast, and he loved the special broth sample they sent. No horking that day at all. Now that his appetite is back and he's wolfing down his regular Fancy Feast we're back on puke alert though. Poor old kitties...♥

Katie H.

AWWW! Haven't seen Max on here for awhile. Sweet sweet Meezers - they live forever, so I'm sure he appreciates your efforts to make his tummy happy (I say that to when I refer to my kitties!). Give him keeeeses from me!


So, I have a barfer too. What else do you feed your guy? (Who is so handsome, by the way).

Ninja's barf issues are probably inflammatory bowel disease, but we'll never know since I refuse to have him biopsied. Why biopsy a 15 year old cat? NO FANK YOU.


This post made my heart happy. I might possibly be a dork.
Either way, get you some, Max.


This post made my heart happy. I might possibly be a dork.
Either way, get you some, Max.


Fancy Feast sent us a one pack sample too and my cat went bananas. That food is good stuff.


Fancy Feast sent us a one pack sample too and my cat went bananas. That food is good stuff.


Thanks, Amy, my Siamese is the same age, and you made a simple but great point, she deserves something special to eat aside from her dry old lady cat food. Sold.

cavel capalbo

the cats are so handsome, my daughter loves animals and we would love to cuddle Max.

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