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

Vol. 2, No. 17

Table of Contents
Feline Nutrition: Spring is in the Air
Assist Feeding: Bedroom Eyes
Kitty Potpourri: Splish! Splash! Kitty's Getting a Bath - Part II
Best Cat Food: Life's Abundance
Caring for Cats: Br-e-a-a-a-k Time!



Feline Nutrition
Spring Is In The Air
by Garry White

Ah, we do love this warm Spring weather, don't we? Our kitties love Spring too, and so do a host of other nasty little warmth-loving organisms that will have Dear Fluffy upside-down in a hurry, if we aren't careful. No, this isn't about what my son.when he was a toddler.used to call Flicks & Teas. Here, we'll set the stage for Summer and discuss the havoc warm weather wreaks on cat food, and we'll begin by looking at the most common types of bacteria that turn otherwise delicious meals into hellish, and sometimes-fatal, poisons.

  • Salmonella (usually found in chicken and eggs) is a pretty straightforward little bug that requires oxygen, moisture, proper temperature (ideal is about 980 F), and nutrition, in order to facilitate rapid growth. Given those conditions, the little monster will divide every 20 minutes and sort of take over the whole digestive system in ZIP time. Increase the temperature a few degrees and things change.now the bacteria divides every 15 minutes, and so on, until we get up to about 184 degrees F, which kills some (not all) of the living cells.
  • E. Coli.This unusually hardy bug, prevalent in beef, is called a 'mesophile' that's not at all fussy about where it lives and breeds; it can live with or without oxygen, and if there's no food handy it simply creates its own (amino acids, purines, and pyramidines, using the donor molecule glutamine), or by synthesizing protein from whatever amino acids happen to be nearby at the time. A very small McGuyver, this one.he'll survive (and multiply) on most anything! From a research website: "E. Coli will happily live and breed on medical equipment, on your hands, in your mouth, up your nose, on any mucous membrane, in your hair, in your bladder, on your towel, on door handles, toilet seats, and in your water filter..." Still not impressed? Unlike most bacteria, E. Coli will hibernate and survive freezing almost indefinitely! Freeze some beef that's borderline-bad, and it's borderline-bad when you take it out of the freezer. Thaw Mr. E. out, place him in the right surroundings (host food.especially carbon-based foods.sugar, etc), the right environment (temperature and humidity about the same as for Salmonella), and E. Coli will also replicate the entire colony every 20 minutes or so. And.E. Coli can even withstand extended boiling occasionally! The very worst thing about E. Coli is this: Where Salmonella can be flushed and purged from organs, or killed by most amino acids, E. Coli cannot. This guy eats amino acids, and then attaches itself to a 'docking port' on various tissue, continues to multiply, and eventually works its way through other organs (blood is an organ), usually to the kidney and bladder.

Hmmm.did you happen to note that these little killers thrive best at our (and Fluffy's) body temperature? Just asking.

We won't get too involved with the mathematical order of things, but understand that the growth process of Salmonella and E. Coli is exponential: If there are 50 million bacteria living in ideal surroundings, there'll be 100 million twenty minutes later, 200 million twenty minutes after that, and so on. Raise the temperature a few degrees, and multiply those numbers by 20% or so.

Egads!

Well, I can see that we'll run out of space before I run out of wind, so we'll finish this up next week, okay? Save or print this article: We'll start next week from this point, and I'll assume you have the assumption to assume that I'd assume you would do.Oh, good grief! See you next week, folks!



Assist Feeding
Bedroom Eyes
by Kathy Fatheree

Last week... we learned from Bert's Mom that Bert has already proven to us that the old adage "he'll eat when he gets hungry" is FALSE! Besides, I think his feedings are his favorite part of his day!!

Weekly Bert Update:
The only other issue we have with Bert is his reluctance to come out into the apartment. It's the oddest thing and although I love Bert with all of my heart, it's getting tiring. He spends literally 99.9% of his time in our bedroom. He sleeps a lot but now that he feels better he gets active too. That's where the problem comes in, he won't go out into the apartment! Our 3 cats have toys all over the house and before Bert got sick he was a lunatic. He would chase Ernie and Martha, play with his toys, sleep on the couch, hang out in the window or out on the patio. Now he has no interest in ANYTHING but our bedroom. He'll come out into the living room if we carry him out there but he'll only stay for about ten to fifteen minutes. And actually, in order for him to stay that long we have to sit on the floor and play with him... keep his attention or it's back into the bedroom he goes. It's almost like a mental block or something. In the middle of the night when he's active (he's been sleeping all day long!) he'll go and sit in our doorway and just look out. It breaks my heart! I think he *wants* to go out but there is something stopping him. We're making an effort to carry him out into the house as often as we think about it but it doesn't seem to be doing anything. His litter box is in a different room and he doesn't have any issues with going out to go potty but as soon as he's done with it he'll jump back up on the bed. We've talked to Dr. Smith about it but he seems to think that in time Bert will literally be 100% back to his old self, I'm sure hoping so! When he gets active at 4 in the morning and decides to do the cha-cha on our heads, well it's getting tiring!

Even though Bert is seemingly back to his old self, he is aware of the tube in his side and I know that he still feels very vulnerable. He feels safe in the bedroom and will venture out in due time. I'm sure of it!



Kitty Potpourri
Splish! Splash! Kitty's Getting a Bath - Part II
by Dan Malenski

This week, I will get specific with the details of bathing a cat and complete the series, so I can get the girls back to help me. I actually miss Melissa standing on the keyboard attempting to catch Felix the Cat prancing across my monitor and finding me computer options I never new existed.

Some may be wondering why bathe a cat in the first place and risk one's life attempting to do so. Good question! Regarding the average shorthaired cat, nearly all do an adequate job themselves and don't need a bath, but what about mishaps? Suppose kitty gets into something on their coat that will stain it, or worse yet, is toxic if they attempt to clean it themselves. Another reason could be that they no longer are able to groom themselves adequately due to a physical condition or have a tendency to soil themselves. Finally, many longhaired cats do need a bath periodically, as they have a tendency to build up skin oils on their coat and will benefit from a thorough grooming.

Your first act should be to give the cat a thorough combing. If you bathe a cat with mats, they will become dramatically worse after becoming wet and will likely require a professional to remove them. Next, choose either the sink or the bathtub, whichever appears to be the least stressful for the cat. Do insure that a rubber mat is positioned at the bottom of the sink (or in the tub) to prevent the cat from slipping and subsequently panicking due to the lack of stability. If you choose the tub, get right into it with the cat and close the shower doors. Doing so will save you a lot of cleaning. Insure that the shampoo you use specifically states that it is for use on cats. Do not use shampoo formulated for humans as they may contain chemical substances harmful to cats.

In most cases, placing a cat in a sink filled with water will frighten it and possibly cause it to remove your first two skin layers. The shower approach works best, using a gentle spray of lukewarm water and will keep the cat somewhat calm and enhance your chances of survival. You may obtain a handheld showerhead that will adapt to your tub faucet if you don't have one. It is best to work the lather only up to the cat's ears and not over their head to keep the soap away from their eyes and nostrils. If their face needs cleaning, a warm, damp washrag works best; otherwise, leave it up to kitty to clean its own face! When the time comes to rinse the cat, you may turn the spray up a bit to be more forceful and be sure to rinse thoroughly.

It is best to dry the cat with a towel the best you can and allow it to dry thoroughly in a small, warm room, perhaps with a cat bed in it with a dry towel on top of it. Most cats dislike the typical hair dryer because of their noise, but if you must use one, do not use the high setting under any circumstances.

If bathing and drying kitty yourself appears too daunting for you or kitty or you don't have a death wish, consider asking a professional groomer to perform the task. You will find that many will not accept cats, but just as many will. They will perform the task far quicker with less stress for you and kitty and there is no need to fret about the cost, as the fee will still be far less than a visit to the ER. Do take the time to perform some common sense screening to insure that your groomer knows how to handle cats and knows how to keep them comfortable. When inspecting the facility, insure that the cats are not caged in the same room as the dogs; if so, consider this a "red flag". Another item to look for is the number of cats groomed there, or is your cat the only one there time after time? You may very easily determine how well the groomer knows (and likes) cats by entering into a conversation with him/her with cats being the subject. Amanda and Melissa are bathed periodically by a couple who have eight cats of their own, and we know that they not only know how to handle them-they love them.



Best Cat Food
Life's Abundance
by Garry White

Each week we are having our own cat food reviews to determine what we, or should I say, our kitties think is the best cat food.

Brand Name: Life's Abundance
Product: 'Premium Health Food For Cats'
Type: Dry

Our Rating:

Kitty Rating:

Kitty Comments:
"Oh, man, Dr. Jane cooked this food?? This is the best cat food! Look, I need to get a date with this woman!"

Our Comments:
"Good idea, Wilbur. No doubt Dr. Bicks is pacing the floor right this minute.anxiously awaiting your call." Forgive me, folks, but picking on Wilbur is so much fun! Nevertheless, he did indeed love the Life's Abundance food, and there's not much question that it loved him in return! A novelty: the sample-packs I got came with a little side-order of nutritional supplement kibbles. You all know, of course, that I'm not a big fan of supplements, but I gave this one a try, because primarily it seemed to be just 'a little extra' of crucial nutrients that were in the food itself.plus a few more that might help an organ or two. Funny thing: Bev Storer from the company forewarned me that my guys might not like the supplements at first."give it a few tries", she said, concerned that I might spew forth a bad evaluation. HA! Guess what, Bev; they both gobbled it up right off the bat! Look, I could go on and on about the quality of this food and the benefits that are so clearly obvious. But the bragging rights are far too extensive to cover in this short article, so I strongly recommend that you spend some time on their website, maybe give Beverly a call, and then do your Peruvian Rain Dance or whatever it takes to get some Life's Abundance into your home and into your kitty!

Distributor Says:
"Hey Wilbur!  Not only did Dr. Jane cook up that great recipe for Life's Abundance Pet Food; she has committed her life to researching the most important elements that cats desire and need for good nutrition!  As for you getting a date with her, we're still working on that.

Dr. Bicks has spent a significant amount of time tweaking the formula so that it's not only healthful for cats, but it's also Yummy-Yummy-Yummy, and cats crave it just like you did! In fact, my own amazing fur ball, Buster, loves it.she purrs while she eats it.  Her motor just doesn't stop.  Buster feels that Dr. Jane is pretty cool too, and even wants to start the first 'Dr. Jane Fan Club' for Cats!  Dr. Jane loves all pets, you know, and she has formulated other kitty products, as well. So stay tuned for the latest, folks; please take a moment to go visit our website and read all about Life's Abundance Cat Food."

Website: http://www.cat-food-zone.com

Phone: 1-503-244-5941



Caring for Cats
Br-e-a-a-a-k Time!
by Garry White

Hey, we're finally done with Proactive Cat Care Plan, huh. Whew.what a 12-week grind that was! But look; Fluffy sure can't come up with a plan, and the very last thing she needs in a time of crisis is to hear you say Duhhh... So trust me; your efforts will probably pay off in spades one day. Actually, I bet some of you didn't didn't follow the plany anyway (naughty-naughty!), but you should.in your spare time, go back through the past articles and build that manual! Or else!

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Speaking of older Newsletters; there's a ton of valuable information archived in them, but how many of you know how to get there? Kathy bless her soul. has placed that little "Back Issues" link in several strategic places that even Wilbur could find, but somehow I always miss it, so I've developed a system that works for me: The Internet address for any newsletter issue is.

http://www.assistfeed.com/Newsletter/Vol1No19.htm

Where Vol1 depicts the Volume and No19 is the issue for that volume. Get it? It's pretty easy; just change those two numbers to view any Newsletter. So if you were planning to scam me with, "Gee, Garry, I'd really love to work on that Proactive Plan, but I just can't seem to find Issue so-and so"...SORRREEE!

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Great News for those of us with strictly indoor kitties. Soon, I'll be doing an article here about "Organic Cat Grass". We all know that kitties need grass for a number of reasons, one of which is to help them purge those miserable hairballs and other toxic glop that accumulates in the upper digestive region (us lower-class folks call it upchucking). Lynn (you remember Lynn from Michigan, who is supposedly not a pet person, but was here for me when Lewie left us.Gave my Angel Lewie a Star of his very own last Christmas, calls me regularly to see how Clark is doing, and has since taken quite a shine to goofy Wilbur.yeah; that Lynn) also gave us a cat-grass-growing kit last Christmas for Clark & Wilbur, which I've not yet diddled with. But I've just recently run across a company that offers the organic stuff, so we're about to become green around here.probably around the gils, but what the heck.

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Summer's almost here: Will you be gone on vacation for an extended period of time? If so, how will you deal with your fur-family in your absence: House sitter? Kennel? Neighbor, friend? Are the kitties going with you? We'd love to hear your story and your plans. Feedback (at) AssistFeed.com

Have a great week, and remember what Steve Martin once said: "I gave my cat a bath last week, but it didn't work out too well; the hair sort of stuck to my tongue."

 

 

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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.