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Feeding the Finicky Feline: new webinar offers expert insight

Free webinar from the Purina Institute with speakers Dr Diane Delmain and Professor Myriam Hesta

A discussion- and case-based webinar on “Feeding the Finicky Feline” will take place on 14 September at 6 pm BST (7 pm CEST), offering practical expert advice on the medical management of cats with hyporexia and anorexia. The Purina Institute has invited Dr Diane Delmain and Professor Myriam Hesta, board-certified specialists in feline medicine and veterinary nutrition respectively, to discuss the challenges involved in feeding picky feline patients – and the potential solutions. Veterinary professionals can sign up for the webinar <here>.

With this latest addition to their webinar series, Creating Collaborative Care Through Nutrition Conversations, the Purina Institute aims to provide veterinary professionals with detailed practical advice to help them improve outcomes for inappetent feline patients. The webinar will cover common medical conditions associated with dysrexia, the potential health consequences and available treatment options.

Nutrition is recognised as the “5th vital sign” by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA),1 with poor nutrition linked to reduced immune function, wound healing, hepatic lipidosis and even increased mortality in hospitalised cats.2,3 Managing the hyporexia and anorexia commonly associated with illness in cats is essential for improved patient outcomes, but is often easier in theory than in practice.

Many treatment options exist for feline dysrexia and determining an optimal multimodal approach in busy practice settings can be challenging. First-line treatments like antiemetics and appetising foods are effective in some cases, but many cats fail to respond. The International Society of Feline Medicine recommends prompt intervention in cases refractory to conservative care, as delayed intervention can result in deterioration.2 The webinar will not only cover multimodal options for conservative management but will also include a discussion of the indications for feeding tube placement in both anorexic and hyporexic cats.

Board-certified feline medicine specialist, Diane Delmain, DVM, DABVP (Feline), and Professor Myriam Hesta, DVM, PhD, DipECVCN, board-certified nutritionist, between them have over 40 years of experience in feline medicine and nutrition. In addition to reviewing the best practice treatments for hospitalised cats with dysrexia, they’re keen to share how veterinary professionals can support owners caring for cats with hyporexia at home.

Owners frequently struggle to feed appropriate diets to elderly cats and those with chronic health conditions, with one report suggesting that only 7% of pets that could benefit from a therapeutic diet are fed one4; the webinar will provide practical tips for nutrition conversations to help improve dietary adherence and long-term patient outcomes.

Hosted by Dr Andew Sparkes, founder and co-editor of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, the webinar will be available with audio and subtitles in more than 30 languages during the live stream. It will also be available to watch on-demand after the live broadcast at 6 pm BST on 14 September. Veterinary professionals can register for the webinar <here>.


1. World Small Animal Veterinary Association. (n.d.) Global nutrition guidelines. Accessed August 24, 2023.

2. Taylor S., Chan D.L., Villaverde C., et al. (2022) 2022 ISFM Consensus Guidelines on Management of the Inappetent Hospitalised Cat. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 24(7), 614-640. doi:10.1177/1098612X221106353

3. Chan, D.L. (2009) The Inappetent Hospitalised Cat: clinical approach to maximising nutritional support. J Feline Med Surg, 11(11), 925-933. doi:10.1016/j.jfms.2009.09.013

4. World Small Animal Veterinary Association. (n.d.) Accessed August 25, 2023.

About the Purina Institute

At the Purina Institute, we believe science is more powerful when it’s shared. That’s why we’re on a mission to unlock the power of nutrition to help pets live better, longer lives. A global professional organization, the Purina Institute shares Purina’s leading-edge research, as well as evidence-based information from the wider scientific community, in an accessible, actionable way so veterinary professionals are empowered to put nutrition at the forefront of pet health discussions to further improve and extend the healthy lives of pets through nutrition.

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