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Elisa's 1st stop motion animation movie.
Click image to watch.
An Unexpected Friend Silent Movie

Vol. 1, No. 26

Table of Contents
Assist Feeding - Digestive Enzymes
Feline Nutrition - H2O
Pro-Active Cat Care - 10 Steps To Raising A Cat
Feline Obesity - Phoebe's New Food
Kitty Potpourri - So Kitty Can't Hear. Part II



Assist Feeding -
Digestive Enzymes
by Kathy Fatheree

I met a new member of the AssistFeed.com website this week. Her name is Janet and her 10-year-old kitty is named Rumbles. Poor Rumbles has just been diagnosed with GI lymphoma, hasn't been eating for quite some time and is down to 4.9 pounds. Janet writes, "The vet said that the lymphoma had thickened his stomach tissues and he wasn't absorbing his food and it was causing the diarrhea."

It's bad enough for a cat not to be able to eat, but when it is combined with not being able to absorb the nutrition in the food that he does eat . well that's just unfair in my book.

What can you do in a situation like this? The first two things that come to my mind are to:

  1. Feed a really good, high quality food and
  2. Supplement the food with digestive enzymes.

Digestive enzymes actually break down the food and increase the bioavailability of nutrients. This way your pet gets as much nutrition as possible from the food. When a kitty cannot break down the food, the nutrients pass right on through and kitty loses weight no matter how much he eats.

Note: The enzymes will not heal the thickened intestinal walls that Rumbles has, but the enzymes will allow Rumbles to absorb as much as he possibly can; with the increased nutrition he will build up his immune system and with the help of the vet, possibly he can recover soon.

I found a really good article about digestive enzymes and I have provided some of the highlights for you here:

  • Digestive enzymes are produced in the pancreas and salivary glands and help to break down the protein, carbohydrate, and fat components of food for use by the body. As animals age, the production of these enzymes often slows down.

  • Dogs and cats, of course, evolved on raw food, including raw meat, and not on the highly-processed, highly-cooked commercial food that is doled out to the domesticated pets of today. Raw foods contain their own built-in supply of enzymes, which facilitates the process of digestion. When food is cooked, the naturally-occurring enzymes are destroyed, causing the body to activate its own enzyme production to break down the food. According to Dr. Edward Howell, a pioneering biochemist and researcher in enzyme nutrition, this situation robs enzymes for use in other important metabolic functions, such as helping the healing and immune systems of the body.

  • Added enzymes enable animals to extract more nutrition from their food and thus better nourish bodily systems. With supplementation, many become more resistant to disease and infections.

  • Protease is the enzyme that breaks down protein. Amylase works on carbohydrate and lipase is the fat-breaking enzyme. Veterinarians advise that it is important to use supplements with a balanced formula of enzymes.

There are several different sources of enzymes such as fungus-based, animal-based and chemically derived.

NOTE: If you premix your cat's food for several servings throughout the day, do NOT mix in the digestive enzymes! You will end up with a watery mess. Mix the enzymes with the food just prior to feeding.

This is a fabulous article and sites several authors that I have read much about. The article goes on to promote a fungus-based digestive enzyme called "Aspergillis enzymes" and it sold by the web site. I do not have any experience with this product so I cannot endorse it. Please do your research as to whether this particular product is right for you.

If you have used this product or a similar product PLEASE tell me everything you know on the FORUM!

On the Net:
DIGESTIVE ENZYMES:
Supplements For Better Health, Not Just Deficiencies
© 1995 by Martin Zucker



Feline Nutrition - H2O
by Garry White

"Say what? Hey, water isn't a nutrient!" Okay, you caught me.it isn't. But it is something our kitties consume quite regularly, and it's something we often overlook. True, there's not a lot to be said about water.or is there?

First of all, there's the water itself. One might think that natural stream water would be the purest, but one would be wrong: Parasites such as Giardia Lamblia and Cryptosporidium come from mammalian (animal) feces, and are found in nearly all streams and rivers. Stagnant water, such as is found in puddles and swamps, harbor bacteria too numerous to mention. And remember the danger here: Cats will eat or drink what smells good them, so if your kitty is of the indoor/outdoor variety, do be aware of this.

TAP WATER: Ah, how easy it is! A simple flick of the wrist, and watch Fluffy lap it up.along with chlorine she doesn't need (and cannot properly digest), probably a few toxic contaminants, and.ummm.a few other undesirable elements, or at least these somewhat authoritative voices seem to think so:

"U.S. drinking water contains more than 2100 toxic chemicals that can cause cancer."
Ralph Nader Research Group

"Drinking water in the U.S. is among the top four public health risks posed by environmental problems."
Former EPA Administrator, William K. Reilly

"The risk of disease associated with public drinking water has passed from the theoretical to the real."
Dr. David Ozonoff, Boston University of Public Health

BOTTLED WATER: Be careful. Sadly enough, the label doesn't always tell us the whole truth and nothing but. (Can you believe such a thing?) In one investigative article I read, the label showed a beautiful, snow-capped mountain, some very green Evergreens, and sweet little babbling-brook to die for in the foreground. And the water in that gorgeous bottle came from a surface spring just outside the front door of a welding shop situated in an industrial park in Massachusetts. (sigh) However, short of installing a water purification system with activated charcoal, bottled water is our most practical option, but again I encourage you to be wary. Find a number and call the company, and make them confirm where the water actually comes from.

Maintenance: Remember.plastic is out, glass is in. Which, by the way, needs to be washed with soapy water daily, not just rinsed and refilled.



ProActive Cat Care -
10 Steps To Raising A Cat
by Garry White

  1. Keep fears and frustrations to yourself: cats will follow your emotional lead.
  2. Always display patience. They'll not return that little favor, but hey... who said life is fair?
  3. Cats can jump 6 times their own height from a standing position, distinguish sounds that are several feet away (but are only inches apart), see things in almost total darkness, find home without a map. Can you? Understand and respect the fact that you're dealing with a superior being!
  4. Before you bathe a cat.confirm that your health insurance premiums are up to date.
  5. That broken picture frame wasn't a playful mishap; you're being scolded.
  6. Missing a sock? Check the litter box, and understand that it's a sign of affection. They bury their own "stuff" not just to be neat, but so that predators cannot track their scent. In burying your sock, they're saying: "I want to protect you, too."
  7. Cats do need us.but they'll never admit it.
  8. Be polite to non-cat folks who tell you everything you're doing wrong in raising your kitty; they didn't think Bill Gates would amount to much, either.
  9. If you know of a human who loves as totally and unconditionally as a cat, be sure to keep their litter box clean, too, and never, ever let them out of your sight again!
  10. Understand your position: The cat isn't being raised; you are.


Feline Obesity - Phoebe's New Food

by Kathy Fatheree

My precious cat Phoebe is fat. not pleasantly plump. not one of those who "could stand to lose a few pounds" . she if fat. clinically obese. She weighs almost 20 pounds and she should probably weigh about 11 or 12 pounds for her frame. That amount of weight is like if I weighed twice as much as I do now. I "could stand to lose a few pounds" and I know that if I weighed twice as much as I do now. ohmygosh. I would feel absolutely terrible!

I've had Phoebe on a popular diet food made by a reputable food manufacturer for about 3 months now and the product had L-carnitine as one of the ingredients. As my vet says, L-carnitine was supposed to be the silver bullet that made all fat cats skinny. Well. it has worked for some cats. but it didn't work for my Phoebe. Bless her heart. she is so patient. She eats like a bird and I know she must get hungry, but she never complains except for the occasional look she gives me that says "Is it time yet?" Even since we started this diet, she has been eating of what the diet food's weight chart said she should be eating. something is not right!

So. I've switched her to a holistic food that Garry recently introduced me to. We are both giving this food a try to check it out. This food is NOT a diet food, however, it seems to me that when all of the nutrition is the RIGHT nutrition, fed in a form that the body can absorb, and NOT OVERFED, surely weight loss will follow. We will see. Garry was able to call and talk to the owner of this company and she faxed him all sorts of literature, numbers and facts. and the stuff looks pretty good. It must taste pretty good because my cats didn't hesitate a minute when the new food was introduced. I called the owner myself and asked how much to feed Phoebe and this is what she said:

Feed the same amount as you were feeding of the diet food. Phoebe's stomach is accustomed to that volume. so start there.

So that is what I have done. and surprisingly enough, Phoebe is no less hungry and even leaves a little bit of food behind. Perhaps she will self-regulate herself instead of gorging herself like she did in the past!

I'm excited about this new venture. it makes sense to me. I'll keep you posted.

On the Net:
Solid Gold Cat Food



Kitty Potpourri -
So Kitty Can't Hear. Part II
by Dan Malenski

This week we will talk about living with a kitty that is deaf or severely hearing impaired, and what you need to be aware of and do for kitty to be safe and comfortable. Life with a deaf cat can be rewarding for both you and the cat, so don't be hesitant about adopting a deaf cat; moreover, there are no expenses involved, only small modifications to how you will interact with the cat.

I strongly advise that a deaf cat be an indoor cat only with the only exception of a securely fenced in garden or enclosure constructed particularly for cats. The reason is to protect the cat from dangers such as predators, motor vehicles, bicycles, running children, lawnmowers, and others too numerous to mention. I consider this the most important thing that you can do for a deaf cat. If you decide to allow your deaf cat outdoors, at least make sure it wears a "breakaway" collar with a bell on it to help you to keep track of its whereabouts.

The next most important thing is to avoid startling a deaf cat, not only for its own wellbeing, but for your own, too! A startled cat may give you an "ankle ambush" you will never forget... your friendly medical technician at your local ER just might have some unscheduled practice in treating puncture wounds! A cat that feels threatened, even for an instant, may react violently in order to defend itself, so it is your responsibility to insure that you approach it without triggering such a reaction. There are several methods that you could use to avoid surprising a deaf cat, and I suggest that you choose the one that you deem appropriate and modify it, if need be, to suit your cat.

Some suggestions are:

  • When approaching it, walk somewhat heavy footed so that kitty could feel the vibrations in the floor. This method will work best with floors, which easily transmit vibrations, such as wood.
  • At closer ranges, you may be able to get kitty's attention by creating enough vibration in the air by means of a sharp handclap, or by use of anything that will get the air in motion.
  • In dim lighting conditions, using a small flashlight is useful in getting kitty's attention, and not one that is larger than necessary.
  • A very light object tossed in kitty's vicinity can be very effective in getting its attention. The object could be nearly anything that is very light and not cause any harm to kitty or household items such as a toy mouse or fuzz ball.

Being that all cats possess their own unique personalities, the suggestions listed above are just models and you can modify them as appropriate. If you find another method that works with your deaf kitty, then, by all means, use it, but do remember that your goal is getting kitty's attention, not to frighten it out of its wits, which may lead to that unscheduled visit to your local ER.

Some cats may respond to particular motions by the hand, but a small flashlight may also be useful when you wish to communicate with kitty after getting his attention, but do keep in mind to choose a flashlight that will not hurt kitty's eyes. I do NOT suggest using one of the laser devices being marketed for cats, as prolonged use may lead to eye damage. These devices were designed primarily for play and not for getting a cat's attention.

In summary, whatever method you use to get kitty's attention and/or communicate, it is important to remember that you merely need to alert kitty to your presence or desire to communicate, and not to frighten. Of all the special needs kitties, coping with a deaf cat is one of the easiest... if not the easiest.

Some of the information contained in this article was gleaned from a CatWatch® newsletter and an article written by Sarah Hartwell on the Internet.

 

 

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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.