Caring for Cats Newsletter
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Vol. 2, No. 20
What's For Supper, Hon?
by Garry White
"Leftovers; they've only been in the Fridge for a week or so."
Unusual week, folks. Here in Feline Nutrition, we'll respond to some excellent feedback from one of our readers; a lady named "Cat" from Phoenix. She's originally from France, and I think Cat is short for Caterina, or hopefully something close to that. Cat and I go back a ways to the time when my Lewie was sick with CRF and throughout his passing, and we have an almost unbelievable story that I'll share with you below in Caring For Cats.
But here, let's address a recent message I got from her, regarding confusion about food spoilage. In the past few newsletters, we discussed how temperature affects the growth-rate of common food-borne bacteria, such as E. Coli and Salmonella. Well, leave it to a reader to capture the only thing I didn't talk about! Her own words: "Here is a question for you. Mishka gets his special can food and he eats very little of it. I am careful not to let it out long and keep it refrigerated. My question is how long can a can food keep in the refrigerator? Since he does not eat much, there is always left over. I do not keep it more than 2 days. What is your insight on this?"
It's a valid question, Cat, and one that I should have covered earlier. We face a couple of dragons with this question: First would be that we've all committed the big sin forgot to pick up the food plate, it sat out overnight in warm weather, Kitty ate it and Kitty didn't die or even get sick, so there's our evidence that it's all bunk! Not really. Unlike humans, cats have a very short digestive tract, which means that everything including bacteria passes through a little quicker. That is to say, it does if everything is working well and all systems are at peak performance. Take an older cat, or one with an ailment you aren't aware of yet, or one who's just having an off-day, and the risk-factors go through the roof the digestive system operates much slower than normal, and those nasty bugs will hang around long enough to do serious damage. Second food is not cheap, and it's hard to toss an almost-untouched plate of food in the trash, even though it has been sitting out for an hour.
Here are the numbers on this issue, and I'll leave you to deal with them as you see fit: The books say that E. Coli and Salmonella bacteria reproduce the entire colonies at a rate of 25% in 24 hours in temperatures of 34-38 degrees F Fridge temp. That means an opened (but sealed from the air) can of food should last for 4 days in the Fridge. At room temperature, things change in a hurry: The bacterial growth rate increases to 20% per hour!
Again, these are numbers that could be challenged by any of us, but they're based on science and I live by them.
To offset this dilemma of throwing out most of a can of food in the trash, I set out smaller portions, and I practice a routine that I've suggested on here several times I set their food-plate in a bowl of ice cubes. And I never, ever serve leftovers that are more than 3 days old. Yes, I mark the can, and so should you. As for Fridg'ing stuff, I went nuts transferring foods into non-plastic containers and trying to find a cover that would seal the cans well and then an idea came to me: Cheap sandwich bags and rubber bands! Slip the whole can in the bag, r/b it, and it's airtight!
The best new. EVER.
by Kathy Fatheree
ATE! BERT ATE!!!
Be sure to check in next week to see if Bert is still eating...
'High-Tech' Kitty Locators
by Dan Malenski
This week, we will give you an update on the latest high-tech products on the market for use in locating out cats that stray from home and cause us untold amounts of worry. We will also introduce an exciting new product on the market that works in an entirely different way and is only limited by the creativity of the user.
Collars are still the easiest method of identifying a lost kitty, but not all cats wear collars for various reasons, which we will not discuss here and tattoos are not foolproof either. Only a few years ago, the microchip was introduced, which is an electronic device no larger than a grain of rice that is injected beneath the skin behind the shoulder blades of the cat (or d*g). At that time, acceptance was not great due to compatibility problems between the scanners and microchips of competing companies and the fact that the imbedded microchip was of no use if the facility trying to identity the animal did not have a scanner. Acceptance of the product had greatly improved over the years due to the advent of universal scanners and the manufacture's practice of providing veterinarians and shelters with the scanners.
At the present time, there are only two companies in the U.S. marketing microchips, and they are Schering-Plough (Home Again) and Avid Identification Systems. They are very similar as they function the same way, although Schering claims that their product contains an anti-migration cap that prevents an imbedded microchip from migrating to a different area of the body. For those not familiar with the microchip product, the scanner merely picks up a programmed number from the implanted microchip that is registered to the veterinarian who implanted the microchip,the owner, or both. The product may be registered or changes made via postal mail, telephone, or the internet. The photo in this paragraph is that of the hand-held scanner.
For those considering the use of this product, be sure to insure that your veterinarian does not use any of the European brands, as the U.S. manufactured scanners will not recognize them. Be aware, however, that European scanners will recognize the Home Again product for those kitties who insist that their companions take them along on their next trip to Paris. We also recommend that you contact your local shelter to insure that they do possess a scanner-and use it!
Unlike the microchip, which must be scanned for its identification code, this product consists of a transmitter affixed to a collar that is very similar to those devices hidden in vehicles, boats, and aircraft that emits a signal that is used to home in on by a receiver. The receiver has an antenna attached to it, which guides the user to the source of the signal. The transmitting device has the same limitations of the collar and although the range in open country is over a mile, it is only a block or two in a populated area due to building interference; however, this range is sure to improve as the technology advances. For those interested in the details of this product, you may visit the manufacture's web site at:
Here for the loCATor!
Of course, this product may be used to track animals other than cats, and its use is limited only by your imagination. Amanda, who has been very quiet lately, suggested the product not be used for animals at all, but suggested that the transmitter be removed from the collar and dropped into the pocket of a spouse that has the tendency to stray from the home front from time to time. >^..^<
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.
Evolve Natural Pet Foods
Caring for Cats
Not Really Gone
by Garry White
Upstairs in Feline Nutrition, I mentioned a lady from Phoenix named appropriately Cat. Cat and I go back to the days when my Lewie was first diagnosed with CRF, and we've maintained a good friendship since then. Anyway, most of you readers know that CRF ultimately won the battle, and I did what most of us do after such a loss; I donated Lewie's supplies to needy folks with sick cats. Cat notified me that she'd be interested in some of Lewie's things, and you should know a few things about this lady before I proceed: She is a superb humanitarian, a wonderful person who works two (sometimes three!) jobs, and in her spare time captures, cares for, and places, feral cats. Moving along with the story: At the time, Cat had a very sick kitty named Katie who desperately needed some of the supplies I'd accumulated for Lewie. It was probably pointless, she said, because the vets had sent Katie home to die nothing else they could do; she had maybe a few days to live, at most. No matter, Cat wasn't willing to give up and neither was I.
So I sent the requested supplies, along with a small, framed picture of Lewie as a memento. The supplies arrived in Phoenix, and I get a call from Cat, with dialogue that went something like this: "Wow, Garry, the craziest thing has happened. I showed Lewie's picture to Katie, and she flipped! She perked up immediately, cuddled up against Lewie's picture, started kissing it, and will not leave it alone!" Naturally, I assumed Cat was just being nice because of the supplies. But that wasn't the case at all: The following morning in my email were several pictures of Katie and Lewie's picture, which made me flip! As the days and weeks went on, I got more and more stories about the mystery relationship between Katie and Lewie. Katie actually improved in spite of her disease and prognosis, and Cat said that Katie would not go anywhere without Lewie's picture! Katie lived on for a time, and with a little coaxing, maybe we can get Cat to tell Katie's story.
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.