Cat Care Newsletter
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Vol. 1, No. 36
Hello Readers! Guess what!? Me and my kitties moved to a new house over the weekend! I had been packing non-stop for over a week . day and night. and Friday was the big moving day. The movers showed up at noon and we weren't packed up until 4:30pm. I had left the kitties in a vacant room all day with food, water, toys, blankets and their crates. They were somewhat nervous and staying close to the open closet to hide if necessary. I checked on them throughout the day and they seemed to be doing fine except they weren't eating that I could tell.
I certainly didn't want to put them through the big, slow move, which was 2 hours away, then subject them to all the noise of the movers AND expose them to a new house, so I decided to leave them at our old house until the next day when I would return for them.
So. the next day, my parent's and I went back to my old house and we packed up what I didn't have time to pack for the movers. I also dug up plants that I wanted to take with me. The house was abuzz with activity and Miss Picasso was lying on top of the kitchen cabinets all day just staying out of the way and watching what was going on. I was so busy running back and forth that I just said a few loving words to her each time I passed by and I was off to another task.
That evening about 6:30pm, I packed up the cats and headed to our new house. It was a slow journey and we had to stop a couple of time to reposition stuff on my Dad's truck. We finally arrived to our new home and I let the kitties out and all of their reactions were so very different. Nicholas was totally excited and ran all over the house to explore. Maya shuddered in her carrier and refused to come out. Phoebe quickly found a closet to hide in and Miss Picasso hid under the bed. Only Nicholas ate that evening.
The next day, Sunday, I was concerned about Miss Picasso because she was refusing to come out from under the bed. I put food and water out next to the bed and everyone else ate, but Miss P would not come out. I checked on her a few times and noticed that she was smacking her lips a little. Fearing that she was dehydrated, I drug her out from under the bed and used a dropper to give her water. She really fought me, but I managed to get some water in her. Then, she went out to the litter box and tried to poop, but it wouldn't come out. Yes, indeed, she was very dehydrated. If she was up on the counter all day that meant that she didn't have any water. She strained at the litter box. poop half way out. then she started running all over the house because the poop was stuck half in. half out. I finally caught her to calm her down. I didn't know why the poop wouldn't come off, so I took the scissors and cut it near her rectum. but not too close in case she moved at the last minute. I took the poop apart and found what looked like grass (from playing outside 2 days before) and what looked like burlap string. I was so scared that she had swallowed part of a burlap string that I had carelessly left out during the packing. About 30 minutes later, I used the dropper to get even more water down her. 10. 15 dropper fulls. and again she started to poop. The stomach is a funny thing isn't it? Again. the poop came out a little, got stuck and she panicked again. She ran around the house and was panting with her little pink tongue hanging out. she was so scared. Again, I took the scissors and cut the poop. This time when I dissected the poop, I found that it was a solid pack of hair. She was passing a hairball.
Now I'm sure that being a long hair cat, she uneventfully passes hairballs all the time. This time, however, she was dehydrated and her gut was not sufficiently lubricated to allow the hairball poop to pass.
The other cats did fine. it was just the combination of passing a hairball while dehydrated that caused Miss Picasso to not enjoy her 1st day in her new home.
Moral of the Story: If your cats are hiding because of noise in the house or some other event, be sure to give them water throughout the day using a syringe or dropper. Cats that are nervous and hiding will usually not eat or drink on their own and we must take extra care that they do not become dehydrated.
Important Tip: Never, ever pull on a poop that is stuck half in and half out. A string, thread, or long piece of grass could be attached and when pulled, could cut the intestines and cause terrible damage. Take your cat to the vet immediately if you see a sting or thread and the poop is not passing. The string may be very long. causing intestinal damage as the body tries to excrete it.
First of all, let me offer sincere thanks to those who responded to our nutrition survey last week, and I'd like to keep that momentum going for a bit (I'll re-post the survey this week; you can link to it from the bottom of this article). The replies were fantastic, and I've changed my mind: My intentions were to compile the facts from your replies, and show them in summary form. But instead of doing that, I'm going to re-print them here (or on an attached page) verbatim! Your replies were so sincere, and so thorough, that I decided not to tinker with your wording. We'll gather some more of those delightful things from you, and then I'll start posting them. C'mon, gang... give us some more feedback!
Well, dear Wilbur stays on the other side of the room when I run the clothes dryer now. Which is okay with me.
You know I take notes on the habits and routines of my guys, right? Well, those notes have pointed out something that may be of import to you. My cats have been eating mostly the holistic foods for the past several months, this we're aware of. Well, I've determined (because of those notes!) that if I feed Clarkie too much of the commercial stuff now, he vomits it back up. This signifies to me that a digestive system does adapt to a particular nutritional routine, and when you change that basic routine drastically, the system revolts. Don't misunderstand me: I'm still an advocate of variation, but I'm talking about amounts now. When I honor my own advice and give them small, irregular quantities as treats, there's no problem. But when I weaken and set out more than I know is proper, then I have some cleaning up to do. I'd wonder if maybe Clark has a "problem", but he's prone to an occasional stomach-dump anyway.always has been. And besides, he's back at his bowl of holistic food a few minutes later; he was hungry in the first place, and still is. It's just that that other food was probably too (rich?) and didn't settle well.
I observed something else of importance recently, on one of the group-lists: Before you get your furry family all settled into loving a particular food, be sure the company will be in business for a while! The lady-in-mention is dealing with just such a mess: She started feeding her gang a particular food (not one I've ever heard of), the cats LOVED it, and the company suddenly stopped producing pet foods. Now she has a house full of cats that won't eat, and she's pulling her hair out, afraid (and rightly so) of possible bouts with Hepatic Lipidosis. Had I not seen her posting, I never would have given this a thought, but it's enough to make us blink, eh?
This silly thing has been bouncing around in my head for a month, so I decided to take a break and put it into readable text; hope you enjoy it.
Every so often we run into a colorful character along the way. Cut from a different cloth, maybe a bit radical, but always they add a new dimension to our lives. I'm a cat, you see, and so is Putney. Putney is one of the aforementioned: slightly left of mainstream. Unusual name, that, but I suggest you don't tell him so. I'm Daisy, and I openly admit that my existence is quite pleasant: comfortable home, nice parents, plenty of good food, a whole basketful of toys, clean litter box.things could be worse.
Anyway, this crazy relationship began under somewhat startling conditions. Mom is the most considerate human; sometimes she opens the back door, leaving the screen door closed, and feeds me right there so that I can watch the birds and squirrels flitter around the yard while I dine. So one day not long ago, just up from my mid-morning nap, I'm halfheartedly dividing my attention between Friskies and Robins: A bite food, a peek at the birds, bite of food, take a peek, bite of food.and there, inches from my face, are two huge, penetrating green eyes embedded in a furry, orange skull!
"Open the door!" Said the skull. I was frozen in time and space. Where did this.thing.come from? My inclinations were to run back through the house like fire, race upstairs and under the bed where it's completely safe. But I couldn't move.
"I said open that door," demanded the skull more loudly this time, "I'm hungry, and unless you want me to chew the framework away and come inside anyway, you'd better do as I tell you!" Now, being a girl-kitty, I'm not prone to violence and fighting, but believe me, I can fight if I need to. Startled I surely was, but this rude fellow was steering his ship up the wrong channel, and gradually my wits began to gather around me.
"Just you hold on a minute, Buster!" I said with authority. This was, after all, my home. "Who are you, anyway," I asked, "and what are you doing here?"
"I'm an escapee."
"YOU'RE A WHAT?" I screamed, shocked at his reply.
"I ran away from home a while back, don't you know." He said this with an air of dignity that puzzled me.
"Really! Why on earth did you do such a thing?" Personally, I wouldn't dream of running away, and I couldn't understand why this.
"Aw, I didn't have it so well, that's why. Not as well as you, from the looks of things." He stared at my nice, clean plate piled with fresh food, then leaned sideways to gaze past me and into the house. He went on: "My parents weren't the nicest folks, that's why I left! Lots of times I had to eat old, ratty food that had dried up, and drink water that was dirty. I never got petted, and my litter box was.well, that's a story I ain't gonna share with a girl like you."
My heart shattered into a zillion pieces. Here was this proud, handsome fellow, who had been mistreated and left with few choices.put up with all of that, or escape and take his chances for a better life. We talked some, and I learned that his name was Putney, and that he'd had a pretty rough time since venturing out on his own. And all the while, I noted, he eyed my plate of food with longing.
"Putney," I said, "that is a terrible story! It's a rotten shame when humans treat some of us like that. But what will you do now?" I asked, truly curious.
"Oh, I dunno. Prob'ly starve to death, sooner or later. Or maybe I'll get ate up by a big dog, who's to say."
That did it!
"Not so, Putney!" I said with determination. I couldn't guess about tomorrow or the future, but right now Putney needed me. I told him about that old outside dryer vent (which no longer had a dryer attached to it), and how to work the little flapper so he could crawl inside to the basement.
Things have been going quite well with Phoebe's weight loss. I took her into the vet last week and she got a clean bill of health! Yippee! The vet said to keep doing what I was doing (meal feeding) and she told me that she was proud of me! I'm proud of Pheobe for all HER hard work it's not easy being on diet. My vet and I talked for a while about the diseases and problems that obese cats may develop, but before I get into those topics
Tell me your Fat Cat Challenges and we will discuss them in future AssistFeed.com Newsletter issues!
As always, it's easier to stick with a diet when you know that others are going through the same challenges!
Does your cat secretly dine with the neighbors for an extra meal or two?
Does your cat undermine your food rationing and supplement his or her regular meals with the catch of the day?
Does your cat drive you crazy snitching food when you're not looking?
Does your cat get grumpy when he or she can't eat when she wants?
Tell me what's going on with your fat cat by emailing me at: FeedBack (at) AssistFeed.com
We all know that cats are smart and resourceful, and can be very brave, especially when protecting their young. Moreover, over the years, cats have saved the lives of their human companions a countless number of times from fire, floods, and a host of other natural disasters. This week, we will talk about two cats, the first one being an example of courage in protecting their young, and the second, one of protecting their human companions. The first incident occurred in London during World War II and the second occurred right in our own backyard of Laceyville, PA.
Perhaps the most famous cat that survived the London air raids during World War II was a female tabby cat by the name of Faith. She had strolled in St Augustine's Church in London as a stray and refused to leave and was eventually adopted and given shelter in the top floor of the Rectory House next to the church. Shortly thereafter, Faith had a kitten, but a few weeks later became uncomfortable with her living quarters and repeatedly removed the kitten from her basket and relocated it downstairs on the other side of the house.
The Rector took them back upstairs, but after several attempts, Faith just took the kitten back downstairs, and the Rector resigned himself to allowing Faith to remain downstairs. A few nights later during a blitz, a bomb hit the Rectory House that left it destroyed. The building was a blazing mass of rubble; nevertheless, the Rector searched for the cat regardless. After hearing a faint cry, he peered through the rubble and saw Faith straddling her kitten and protecting it from the surrounding rubble. Fortunately, the Rector was able to open up a small passage and was able to coax them out where they were found to be unhurt and taken to the church just before the Rectory House totally collapsed. Faith was the first cat awarded decorations for her courage in that time in history in the United Kingdom.
The next cat we will talk about is a heroic feline who was featured in several television and magazine articles, and had a book written about her. Her road to fame was paved because of her actions in saving her human family from a burglar who had broken into their house while they were sleeping.
"Aggie" was taken in as a sick kitten who wormed her way into the hearts of Lynn and John Seely who decided to adopt the little calico in Laceyville, PA. Aggie had all her claws, and she was such a good-natured cat that she never scratched anyone, at least until the winter of 1992.
Aggie, asleep at the foot of the bed was awakened by a noise, yet John and Lynn remained sleeping . Without a sound, she crept downstairs and climbed up her cat tree, which served as a perch. A prowler had broken into the house, and when he was close enough to the cat tree, Aggie let him have it with her sharp claws, causing him to scream, which was loud enough to wake up John and Lynn right away. When John came downstairs, all he could see was an open window and a man's shoe. The prowler was nowhere in sight, and probably did not stop running until he reached the Pacific coast! If the prowler ever is apprehended, the most brutal punishment may be to inform him that his attacker was a cat who was completely blind! This person is positively in the wrong business!
Next week, while heroic cats are still in focus, we will talk about which cat could be the "Cat of the Century" because of her actions in a disastrous fire, so be sure to join us next week!
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.