Caring for Cats Newsletter
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Vol. 1, No. 19
This past weekend my neighbors invited me over for dinner. The wife knows that I just adore cats so not 5 minutes after I arrived, she told me that something was wrong with her cat's nose and she was going to have to take kitty into the vet and wondered if I would take a look at her first. "Of course!" I said. "Kitty has black marks on her pretty pink nose that have been there for weeks" my neighbor said. I asked for a warm wash cloth, gave several butterfly passes, and pretty pink nose was clean!
If a cat eats out of a bowl, it's quite common for their nose to get dirty with food. When cats don't feel well and quite often as they age, they don't groom themselves as much as they did when they were young so it's important that we take time for the extra touches that help our loved ones feel their best.
If you suspect that you kitty has a dirty nose, try a gentle washing.
I can hear the groaning: "Oh No! Math! He's gonna take all them little doohickey ingredient thingies and break 'em down into itsy-bitsy nutriments, I bet." You're right; he is. But you don't have to, how's that? No math for you.
Nope, I get to do all the work and you get all the benefits (Which is very unfair - Kathy, I think a big, fat raise is in order, here). Kidding aside, folks, all we're going to do is take a very close look at two different, off-the-shelf foods; one of which (Brand-A) I consider to be a good-quality food, and it's what I feed my guys now. The other (Brand-Z) is a brand that I discovered to be lower in quality, and unacceptable for long-term diet management. Interesting thing, though: Both of these foods meet the minimum nutritional guidelines as set forth by AAFCO, and both can legally claim to be "Complete Foods"; a cat can survive solely on either of these foods indefinitely. But since both of these producers make the same claim, and I was reasonably sure that one of them was pushing the envelope, I called each manufacturer to see what they had to say. Now mind you, I didn't come right out and lie, but I do admit to being a bit reckless with the truth. I told each of them that my cats liked their food (which they do, actually), and that I was considering limiting their diet to just "this" food (which I'm not, actually), and I asked: Can my kitties live long, happy, healthy lives on just this food alone? Ohyesmostdefinitely. Uh-huh.
So you see, I have every reason in the world to believe that either of these foods would be just dandy for my two monsters. The controlling guidelines assure me of "adequate" nutrition, both are from well-known pet-food manufacturers, and both manufacturers gave me their personal assurance. Using the aforementioned criteria, there's no reason I shouldn't just stock the cupboards with whichever of these foods the cats prefer. But I'm not going to CLICK HERE and let's go see why.
Multi-cat households offer a variety of challenges. To name a few:
I could go on and on with anomalies that multiple cats present.little nuances like who gets to sleep on the pillow, are there enough window platforms for those who enjoy them, favorite toys, and so on. But perhaps the most significant issue we face with multiple cats is to be certain that our affections and our love get parsed out evenly and appropriately. Failure to recognize a cat that wants your love is a sure path to alienation, which leads to aggression, depression, retaliatory behavior, and probably ailments. This is a toughie, but remember: The cat who's emotionally out-of-tune is sending you a strong message; he needs your love and attention far more than the lovey furball who can't wait for you to lie down so they can lie down with you.
Postscript - You may be a person of the world: been everywhere, done everything. But if you haven't yet observed a kitten chasing his own tail inside a small box for, say, 5 straight minutes.then you've missed something in life. Our new little Wilbur does that often. He comes out after a while, blinks at me a few times, and topples over on his side. The town drunk has a similar act, minus the small box.
Has your vet instructed you to cut back on the portions? Your cat's food portions you silly! If so, your cat may not be too happy about this. I was talking with our friend Garry and he tells me that he actually studied the phenomenon of hunger when he was in the military! He told me that stomachs actually do stretch and shrink and all this time I thought it was a myth!
The stomach has nerve ending that signal when the stomach is full and when it is starting to shrink from being empty. The stomach does not like to shrink, so when shrinking begins, so do the hunger pains and the grumbly tummy. If your cat has been free-feeding or grazing, your cat's stomach is accustomed to being a certain size. In order to lose weight, the number of calories need to be cut, which generally means less food.
I'm not a big fan of high fiber foods with minimal fat (cardboard!) so here are 2 wonderful tips to help your cat eat less, but still feel full and satisfied.
This is Amanda Kitty speaking. Meow! I want to tell you about some very important characteristics that a scratching post should have, and then my Dad will go on to tell you how you can make one that your kitty is likely to love just as much as I love mine!
Kitties need to scratch for many reasons, and the main reasons are to mark our scents on what we are scratching and to help shed the outer sheaths of our claws to keep them razor sharp! For this, we need a suitable scratching post. Too often, you humans buy us scratching posts that look good to you, but wind up being unused, and many times we get blamed for scratching elsewhere and it usually is because you don't provide us with a post that we like.
The scratching post described in this article is suitable for those cats who prefer to scratch on vertical surfaces, which constitutes most cats. I will describe posts suitable for cats who prefer horizontal (or inclined) surfaces and different materials in a future article.
A good scratching post should have all of the following characteristics:
Ok, so you think that you will have to sell your car in order to buy us a scratching post like the one that I described above--not at all! The best scratching post can be made very easily using many materials that you may already have lying around the house or garage. For those who live in apartments, maybe you have a friend who has a house or garage that needs to have some "stuff" cleaned out of it! In many cases, the only item that you need to buy is the sisal rope, which should cost less than $10.00.
Before I turn this over to my Dad who will go on to describe exactly how to make this scratching post, I want you to look very carefully at the photograph and note that it fulfills all of the above characteristics.
You will also note in the photograph that an added touch that I think was real nice is that the post is also near a radiator that keeps us warm and cozy during the winter months.
Now, we are ready to get started, so please click on the following link and my Dad will tell you how you can make a post just like this!
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.