Caring for Cats Newsletter
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Vol. 1, No. 16
A terribly disheartening event that can occur when you assist feed is for your cat to vomit the food back up as soon as you are done feeding. Rest assured your cat is not happy about this either.
Several things can cause this, so if this is happening, step back and minute to try to determine the cause. Here are a few possible causes:
Be calm and be very observant to your cat's body language and hopefully each feeding will be a success.
CAUTION: Call your veterinarian if your cat throws up every feeding. Your cat may have an intestinal blockage that needs to be taken care of immediately!
Okay, it's your turn to talk! We'd like to hear from you about nutritional issues. I was going to set up a web-page form for this, but decided I do not want to limit your comments, so email your thought to: Kathy (at) AssistFeed.com
We sincerely appreciate your input and know that we'll carefully read every single reply. Feel free to phrase things however you like, don't worry about any special format. Specifically, we're looking for the following feedback:
You folks take it from there. That's the gist of what we're looking for, but please feel free to add whatever you want, or cover any bases I haven't outlined. It's your show, be as brief or as detailed as you want.
What's happening here: As you all know from last week's newsletter, I'm trying to get Clarkie into a diet of partial canned-foods (have been for about 3-weeks, actually); he's been on quality dry food his entire life, hates canned food, but I feel there are nutritional benefits in canned that don't exist in dry, so I'm trying. And it isn't working, so far. I've tried the best-of-the-best; I've taken small amounts and mixed it gradually with his dry, and always it ends up on the floor a short time later. Once I tried the "let-him-get-hungry" routine, and then fed him canned-food only for two days. Clark is a healthy cat with a great appetite, so he did eat some of it (not much), and it caused diarrhea; his digestive system is rebelling, says my Doc friend. Oh, I'll keep trying; I'll go the extra mile to seek out the best possible dry food, and try to supplement it with fresh-cooked meats (beef, lamb, chicken, fish) for the extra meat-protein, but the facts are: He's 14 years old, healthy as a bear, he plays, he's bright & active, and he has no conditions that I'm aware of. I won't jeopardize a perfectly healthy cat to accommodate what seems to be the newest rage: canned-food diets. Please understand that this is strictly my own opinion as to what I think is best for my cat; if you feel that canned-only is best, and if your kitty will accommodate the switch, then you should, by all means, pursue it.
We spend a great deal of time and effort recommending things to help assure that your cat has a long, happy, and healthy life. But what about us? Do we actually follow our own advice? Yes, we do. For those of you not familiar with my furry household, I have a 14-year old black Siamese named Clark, and 3-month old kitten named Wilbur. Clark, with a few years under his belt, needs a little extra watching because of his age, and Wilbur needs to start off right, so I've got some work ahead of me. At present, we seem to have no problems that I'm aware of, and I'll do my best to keep it that way. With the very same proactive stuff we talk about in these newsletters. Let's review some of the nits and nats of what I'm actually doing.
First of all, I'm cognizant of the fact that I have an old-timer and a baby on my hands, and I'm watching for different things from each. With Clark, I pay attention to potential problems associated with age: Weight loss, constipation, excessive drinking, odd behavior that might be signs of the onset of something. Wilbur is already weird, so I don't worry too much about odd behavior; I just take pictures and share them with you. But I am watching for weight gain and coordinated growth (I say 'growth', because that's the only thing coordinated about that little fellow!).
If your typical indoor exercises just aren't working, it might be time to try something else!
I lived in one apartment where the gal upstairs had a very old cat. I don't know how old he was, but he had to have been around 18 years old. He was so cute... a skinny, little old man! Every evening she would come home from work and they would walk to the mailboxes to pick up her mail and then they would slowly walk back. It was a very slow, intentional walk...and one of love.
My cats were young when I lived in that apartment, so if they went outside, I was scared that they might take off after another cat, or worse yet, be chased by a dog. I've heard that some cats can be trained to walk on a leash. Have you ever tried it? I tried with Bubba and he thought he was trapped! He laid down like sack of potatoes and wouldn't get up until I look the leash off. Not exactly a metabolism boosting event!
If you want to try a leash, buy a good one at the pet store and then fit your cat with the harness section only - leaving the leash off - and see if your cat can become accustomed to it while indoors. You may want to hold your cat the first few times the harness is on... some cats may panic and try to run away from it so be prepared!
Once your cat is accustomed to the harness, while still indoors, attach the leash. Have some special treats ready and drop one on the floor for your cat to pick up. Next, drop the treat a few steps away. Hopefully your cat will walk to the treat with you in tow! When your cat is ok with being tethered to you and you following along, it's time to venture outdoors!
Typos? Please email me at Kathy (at) AssistFeed.com
Copyright © 2003-2013 by Kathy Fatheree. All rights reserved.
Disclaimer: Kathy Fatheree is not at all a medical expert. Contents of this web site are a collection of Kathy's assist feeding experiences as well as the experiences of other cat owners who have assist fed their cats. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, Kathy Fatheree or anyone associated with this web site cannot be held responsible for anything that may happen as a result of using the information on this site.