Caring for Cats Newsletter
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Vol. 1, No. 3
from the Editor
When a cat doesn't feel good and has either stopped eating or just barely eats, it's very difficult to entice the little dear to eat. The longer the cat goes without eating... the worse he feels. It's a catch 22. When a cat goes without eating, the delicate chemical balance within the body gets out of wack and it becomes harder and harder to regain that balance. Additionally, a potentially deadly condition called Feline Hepatic Lipidosis can occur in any cat, fat or thin, when a cat stops eating. It's critically important to get your cat to the vet as soon as you realize there is an eating problem.
Here are a few natural ideas to help encourage your cat to eat:
Smelly Foods - Some cats respond to canned foods that are very aromatic, such a fish.
Pet Gold Dried Bonito Flakes - Shavings of all natural dried bonito tuna to sprinkle on food. purchasing info
Warm Food - Place a small dish with canned food in a dish of warm water until it feels just slightly warm to your touch (approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit). Interesting Note: One of my cats will not eat food that has been warmed in the microwave.
Prime the Pump - Feed your cat a few pieces of food by hand, or place a little food in your cat's mouth with either your finger, syringe or medicine dropper. Sometimes this is enough to get a kitty started eating.
You'll Think I'm Crazy - My little cat Maya is a joy to be around. Very high energy and oh so happy. She really slowed down on her eating though and every test in the world showed nothing. She went from 7.2 pounds down to 6.4 in 6 months time. I bought her Royal Canin Outdoor Formula, since it is higher in calories, and she ate a few pieces at first but then would not have anything to do with it. I have a habit of sitting on the couch with my dinner at 5:30pm and I watch the National News. Maya always snoops to see what I have, so I got a paper plate and poured a small about of the Outdoor Formula on the plate and put it in my lap like I do with my dinner... and here came Maya. I took a piece of cat food and NIBBLED the edge while dutifully watching the news! Yes, I actually crunched the food in my teeth! Since Maya was so very interested... I let her smell "my food." She ate one piece. I did this many nights in a row and now she eats the food regularly every evening while we sit on the couch. She is now up to 6.8 pounds in less than one month! Do you think I'm crazy?!
Have you noticed over the last several years that there is a new buzz in the cat food industry? Major companies are spending millions on investigating proper nutrition for our feline friends. Companies have found that cat owners want excellent nutrition and are willing to pay for it. The investigation is only beginning and there are many unknowns, so cat owners still have to be diligent in determining the right food to feed our cats to ensure good health and long life.
Proper nutrition can prevent many diseases. Feeding a proper diet is essentially preventative maintenance. When a complete diet is fed in a form that the body can absorb, the body can operate and function as designed. Feeding a proper diet can sometimes reverse illnesses and even some diseases. Nutrition is a very important topic and worth some in-depth investigation of our own.
I myself am certainly guilty of feeding only dry food because it's convenient. I think it's time for me to re-examine the food. Yes, my cat food is a PREMIUM brand sold by the health food store, but what exactly am I feeding to my loved ones and could I improve their diet? After all, Phoebe is going to be 7 years old this year and some experts considered that to be middle age.
following weeks, we will discuss:
Sound familiar? Sure it does; you heard those very same words last week when you were seeking a qualified, permanent vet for Fluffy. Well, hopefully they didn't try to sell you a car, but you get the idea. Point is: You've put a lot of thoughtful, organized effort into choosing what you believe will be the best vet and facility to manage Fluffy's long-term wellness and medical care. The place is nice but not over-nice, the people were friendly and receptive, the doctor seemed qualified enough and took time to speak with you, their back-room facilities are clean and professional, and their prices don't require you to visit Chase Manhattan prior to each visit. That should do it, right? Hopefully so, but. . .
You've picked from the best available, but all you really know is what they wanted you to know. . . you haven't taken this apparent gem for a test drive yet. That's what we'll do today with Fluffy's First Visit: we'll confirm our beliefs and their promises, and we'll do it with a healthy, positive outlook.
Read Garry's article: Selecting a Veterinarian - The First Visit
"He's not fat, he's just big boned". This was my mantra when folks would meet my 23+ pound kitty, Whiskey, for the first time. Most of the time people would tell me they had never seen a cat so big. Clearly I was delusional. As an all black shorthaired cat, Whiskey definitely resembled a panther rather than an average housecat. It was very frustrating to feed Whiskey "light" food for so long and have him pack on the pounds rather than losing them. Whiskey had put on the weight by eating the expensive food recommended by my vet years before. The only option left, or so I was told, was to attempt portion control, and I just knew this wouldn't work. First of all, as a student my schedule varies so much I would not be able to feed him at the same time every day. Secondly, and most importantly, I was afraid that deprived of regular food in his bowl that Whiskey would devour one of my other cats.
In June I became acquainted with the online cat groups for the first time. Obesity was a hot topic, and of course I was concerned about health issues related to obesity. It was brought to my attention that the food we give our furkids in no way resembles a cat's natural diet. Cats are strict carnivores. In the wild, most of the carbohydrates that a cat consumes comes from the stomach of its prey, and the stalks of grass that a cat may eat when it's stomach is upset. But the food we offer our cats is chock full of corn, rice, and other grains. I began the search for a good quality, high protein, low carb diet that all of my cats would eat. I hit pay dirt with the Royal Canin Slim 38 after going through 4-5 different types of food. The 38 stands for 38% protein, and best of all the cats all love it. I also began supplementing an occasional snack of raw chicken liver or turkey hearts, which 3 out of 4 of my cats give 2 paws up. Since June Whiskey has lost over 3 pounds, and is still going strong! Overall he looks healthier, with a shinier coat and a stomach that doesn't brush the ground as he walks. He is no longer fat (but he really is big boned). He has been playing more and making jumps that 6 months ago he wouldn't have attempted. To say that I am thrilled is putting it mildly.
Of course before you change your cat's food regimen, you should discuss it fully with your veterinarian. For some cats, like those with CRF, a high protein diet is not an option. But for those of you who have been battling obesity unsuccessfully with your cat, I highly recommend that you give the high protein diet a try. If Whiskey can lose the weight, I believe that any cat can!
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.