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

Vol. 2, No. 31                           

Table of Contents
Feline Nutrition: but the Vet Says...
Assist Feeding: Skip Update
Kitty Potpourri: Cat Hair - Mankind's Challenge!
Best Cat Food: Vegetables?
Caring for Cats: Managing Guilt - Part 1



Feline Nutrition
but The Vet Says...
by Garry White

 

Many times you've seen me squawk about how important it is for us to be in charge every aspect of our kitty's life:  Medical care, basic lifestyle, safety, general wellness.and nutrition.  The logic driving such a philosophy is simple but sound:  There are 525,600 minutes in most years, and unless Kitty is suffering an ailment and requires regular vet-visits, Doc sees Kitty maybe twice a year.  Figuring the standard 15-minute checkup these days, that means Doc sees Kitty for maybe 30-40 minutes a year and you see her the remaining 525,565 minutes.99.3341% for you, 0.006659% for Doc.  Be honest; who really knows more about Kitty than you do, given the exposure?  Sure, he's a qualified technician and we're not, but do we really think it's fair that he/she can possibly know in those few minutes what we observe daily?  Of course not, and that's why it's crucial that we're in charge of what's going on.

That being understood, let's see how this same logic applies to nutritional management, but we'll add an interesting twist or two.   First off, we've acknowledged that Doc sees Kitty very infrequently; whether it's twice a year or four times, it still computes to minutes.  Secondly, let's acknowledge the fact that there's no such thing as an ideal cat food for all cats.ain't gonna happen ever, and we know it.  So we take Kitty in for the July checkup, and during the exam Doc gives you one of those looks.you know the one I mean: Chin down, eyebrows up, no trace of a smile; this is serious.

"What is Kitty's regular diet, Mrs. Blather?"

"Uhh.well, you know.uhh...always the better brand for my."

"Yes, of course.  Well, starting right away I want her diet changed to Gloppiter Supreme."

You can bet your favorite Lamborghini that Doc sells Gloppiter Supreme.  Now, is it necessarily wrong for Doc to recommend a food that he sells?  Absolutely not, but more often than not it isn't a recommendation as in, "You know, we carry a great food that Kitty might enjoy, and it's certainly a very healthy food."  More often than not, the 'power of his/her position' is all the suggestion it takes to have you loading the car up with Gloppiter Supreme.  So it isn't necessarily wrong for Doc to suggest  --or even demand-- that you feed Kitty his food, but it is necessarily wrong for you to fall for it.  Remember, he/she saw Kitty six months ago for 10 minutes, and you can bet that Doc already knows there's no such thing as a universally perfect diet for all cats.  So then, since Doc really has no idea about Kitty's digestive system, her eating habits, her preferences, her basic metabolism, whether or not she'll eat this food or reject it with great passion.why is Doc telling us it's the right thing to do?

In most cases (not all, but most) Doc's recommendation is based on two reasons, neither of which have anything to do with Kitty:  One, he's the professional and you're not, so it's a safe bet that you'll hang on his every word.  Two, he sells the food, and you can be reasonably sure he's not selling is a financial loss just so Kitty will be healthy. 

In sum, Gloppiter Supreme may very well be the perfect food for Kitty, but it isn't because Doc says so.  Truth is, under such sporadic and infrequent conditions, Doc isn't qualified to tell us anything other than the facts.he sells it and it's a quality food.  As we all know, an effective nutritional program is the product of try-try-try until you nail the one that works and is also best for Kitty. 

 



Assist Feeding
Skip Update
by Kathy Fatheree

Last week… we met Skip a precious 9-year-old who was diagnosed with Feline Hepatic Lipidosis secondary to Irritable Bowel Disease and pacreatitis. A PEG tube was placed and he was allowed to go home, however, he had to be readmitted to the hospital.

We were all holding our breath in hopes that Skip would make it through those few critical days and he's done fantastic!

This week, I've asked Skip's Mom to share with us about what they did at the hospital that helped him turn around because it's such a tough call to make to re-admit a kitty to the hospital once we have them home. It is sometimes really hard to see how our loved ones are really doing when we are with them every minute. At times we are TOO close to make that critical decision to have the vets take over.

Skip's Mom Writes….
Hi Kathy. I learned a couple things today...

Firstly, Skip was on the normal fluids given (LRS Fluids). Skip was also given Hetastarch "a type of fluid that increases blood volume, in animals with low serum protein levels" (reference link) HETASTARCH (Hespan® reference link) treats or prevents shock, following serious injury, bleeding, surgery, or burns, by increasing the volume of blood plasma.

Basically what was happening to Skip is he had so many fluids it was making him anemic and critically low on protein. Skippy was peeing out the fluids. The Hetastarch fluids keep fluids in Skip keeping him from losing more protein. That in itself turned Skip around most.

They were also giving Skip Baytril and Pepcid once daily. After a day or so with the new fluids Skip was able to keep food down (45cc each feeding). Skip is still on 45cc every three hours (8am; 11; 2pm; 5; and 8pm).

Originally Skip was on Hill's a/d which is very standard for hepatic lipidosis cats. The AD has tons of calories and therefore the FHL cat is able to gain weight more quickly.

Skip is now on Hill's p/d (protein diet). The vet has him on this (for now) because Skip's protein levels are down. There is more protein in the PD than there is in the AD.

They plan to switch Skip to Hill's w/d once he is more stabilized. The WD is good for cats (& dogs) who have a history of pancreatitis. It is my understanding that WD is as bland as a wet noodle. It is more of a weight maintenance program. Skip has been over weight all of his life. They want him to get a lot of calories now but then taper off. They do not want Skip returning to 22 pounds. They want him at a healthier weight. The WD will help Skip from getting another pancreatic attack while at the same time maintain his weight. Again, this won't be given yet. I think they are waiting for his protein levels to return to normal.

Thanks to Skip's Mom for all this great information!



Kitty Potpourri
Cat Hair - Mankind's Challenge!
by Dan Malenski
and Brigetta Walden

Unless one's feline companion is of the 'Sphinx' variety, which are essentially hairless, removing cat hair from clothing and household articles has been and will always be a challenge. Some of us have simply given up the battle and just resigned ourselves to literally "wearing" one's cat on their clothing. Fortunately, for those who choose not to "wear" their cat on their clothing, or have it displayed on their furniture, are able to choose products on the market making cat hair removal a less daunting task.

With the reluctant help of the girls, I am able to report that several products are available that will make the task of removing cat hair far easier. The girls were understandably not fond of assisting me in my research, simply because they are very proud of being able to coat every household object, (including Mom and myself) with a layer of cat hair. They also think it is their God-given right to do so when they aren't "busy" relaxing, (as in the photograph below):

The products that help with cat hair removal exist in two broad categories, that is:

  • Gathering: Gloves, sponges, and squeegee type devices that gather fur into clumps. The glove type devices are primarily used for removing loose hair directly from the cat, while the sponge and squeegee types are used on clothing and upholstery.

  • Sticky: Products which use a sticky substance to remove the cat hair and are usually discarded when fully coated. These devices are designed to remove hair from clothing and upholstery.

We will now list some of the best products below for dealing with cat hair, and only those types that are readily available in most pet stores.

Pet Hair Gatherer
Type: Gathering
Description: Squeegee type that may be placed at the end of a broom handle.
Comments: This product has been designed primarily for upholstery and carpets, and is very efficient on those materials. Moreover, the picked up hair is easily removed from the utensil. It will not work on clothing, however, and does require some downward pressure to be effective. It is available from Petmarket.com, Amazon.com, and others.

Pet Hair Pic-Up
Type: Sticky
Description: Multiple layers of sticky tape wound around a roller.
Comments: This type is most common, but when not available, a roll of packing tape may be substituted in a pinch, although much less convenient to use. It is excellent for clothing, but not economical for large surface areas, because each layer must be discarded when filled with hair. It is available from most major general retailers and pet stores.

Helmac Magik Brush
Type: Gatherer
Description: Reusable wand coated on both sides with a material that will lift cat hair from household fabric articles.
Comments: This type is best for clothing or upholstery, but not large areas such as carpets or tight "occupied" spaces, as the photograph below shows:

It is not quite as effective as the sticky rollers, but more economical because the hair picked up is easily removed from the wand. It is available from many internet and local sources such as Ace Hardware, Walgreens, and most pet stores.

Kong Cat Zoom Groom
Type: Gatherer
Description: Hand-held soft rubber brush in shape of cat where one side contains many soft rubber spikes.
Comments: This type is primarily used to remove loose fur directly from your cat, in order to reduce the amount of hair deposited elsewhere. Its soft rubber spikes, which penetrate through the fur, are very efficient with gathering loose hair for easy removal, and are well tolerated by most cats because they cause no discomfort. In a pinch, the flat side may be used to remove cat hair from clothing, although not as effectively as the sticky roller type. The Zoom Groom is available in nearly any store that has a pet department.

In sum, these products, and many others not mentioned, are very useful for keeping cat hair from taking over your entire household and serving as a garnishment for your salad!



Best Cat Food
Vegetables?
by Garry White

Another week with no new food to present!  Actually, we did test one that didn't work out, and the whole reason for this column is to report about foods that do work out, so we don't discuss the clunkers. 

But as long as I'm already here, I'll chatter for a bit about some discussion I've heard, of late; that being the yay or nay of vegetables in cat food. I've seen some rather profound arguments against the practice, supported by supposed "facts." I'll list a few of them:

All the cats in our cat clinic got sick from food with vegetables in it.
Really?  How many cats are we talking about?  And if the cats weren't already sick, what were they doing in your cat clinic?     

Vegetables are bad for cats, but Veterinarians don't know that.
I find this revelation a bit disarming, don't you?  One would think veterinarians should know such a thing, wouldn't one?

Vegetables kill all the bacteria in their system.
Who woulda ever thunk it, vegetables that kill!

Obviously, these kind of comments come from people with an axe to grind, and certainly are not based on clinical research.  I won't clutter up the airwaves with a whole bunch of technical hoo-doo here, but I will take the liberty of assuring you it has long been determined that a better, far better cat diet, indeed, includes certain nutrients and amino acids only found in vegetables. 



Caring for Cat
Managing Guilt - Part-1
by Garry White

Well, here we are; about to tackle an issue that is so very hard to accept, harder still to understand, and even harder yet to deal with. I'm speaking of an emotion that eventually strikes us after a special kitty passes to become an Angel: Guilt.  Oh, we go through several stages and a maze of emotions, but guilt is the one that seems never to let go. Before I proceed, it's important for you to understand that neither Kathy (our editor) nor myself stake any claims to special skills in this field; we are merely people who care and are sharing some thoughts with you. Kathy will be sharing her own thoughts and providing input, and I'll be your trusty scribe for the duration. Because of the sensitive nature of this topic, and the potentially far-reaching impact, I tell you now that I will not hurry it. We'll step into it slowly and we'll proceed carefully, and we'll try our very best to help you, and ourselves, to make some sense out of this horrible, all-consuming emotion. Also I'll take this time to recognize those of us who have had to submit to such a dreadful loss. The pain of it is horrifying; it's beyond inhuman. And although I cannot express your pain or emotions over the loss of a long-time furry friend, please understand that we, too, have been on that particular losing team, so you're not alone in your sea of muck and confusion and desperation and guilt. But life as we know it must go on, and we know in our hearts that our Angel kitties would want us to see it that way. Our suffering would only serve to hurt them if they knew of it, and we have to assume they probably do, so that's the whole point of this series of articles; trying to help us all to understand guilt a little better, so that we can deal with it an move on to 'acceptance.' I'll tell you openly that I have not reached that point yet, and I know that many of you also have not.  So we'll do our best to try and put things into a meaningful perspective, and we'll do it together. Next week we'll open discussions at the most basic level. What is guilt? Perhaps identifying the meaning of guilt will help to light the way for further reasoning; we've got a long way to go with this, and a good foundation is the place to start. I said I won't hurry this, and I meant it; I'm concerned only that we come out of it with something positive, and I think we'll all know when that goal has been reached. Until then, think positive thoughts.  I'd tell you to keep your chin up, but that would cause you to stumble over everything in the house.

 

 

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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.