Cat Care Newsletter
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Vol. 1, No. 26
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:
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:
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!
"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:
drinking water contains more than 2100 toxic chemicals that can cause
water in the U.S. is among the top four public health risks posed by environmental
risk of disease associated with public drinking water has passed from
the theoretical to the real."
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.
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 ½ 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:
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.
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:
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.
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.