Caring for Cats Newsletter
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Vol. 2, No. 5
by Garry White
We hear so much about the things we should and shouldn't allow in kitty foods; no this, no that, make sure there's plenty of so-and-so. But nobody seems to go the extra mile to tell us why something is good or bad, and I've often felt that's a missing link. I, for one, do not like being led around blindly, and it bothers me that sometimes I'm guilty of that very sin. Quite often I'll recommend something without telling you why I did so. Sometimes it's out of necessity; perhaps to economize on article space, and sometimes there just isn't a need --nor is it practical-- to define everything in sub-level detail. But sometimes the how and the why should go hand in glove; in certain instances, it might be helpful to know the reason behind the act.
This comes to mind due to some research I did recently on one of the foods for the new "Food Of The Week" article. The manufacturer explained some of the reasons for their ingredients, and it got me to thinking."Why aren't I doing this with our readers?" There really are clinical reasons for every nutritional guideline, which stem from scientific research done over long periods of time.
Here's the sort of thing I'm talking about, and if you folks feel it's worthwhile, let me know and I'll do more of it periodically.
Okay, you can call it a carrot. Carrots? Carrots should be in cat food? Oh yes indeed. This quiet, little orange gem has an ancestry leading back to Afghanistan, and is a highly refined version of a common weed: Queen Ann's lace. However, the carrot offers much more than simple weed value, and should be considered a necessary element in Kitty's diet. Why? Well, for openers, there is strong evidence that damaged DNA leads to cancer, and veterinary studies show that regular consumption of carrots in a normal diet help to reduce damage to the DNA. Carrots also have an abundance of phytochemicals.
Relax; phyto is Greek for "plant", so phytochemicals are merely chemicals produced by plants.to protect the plant cells. Interestingly, when we (or animals) consume phytochemicals, they also protect our living cells, too! Phytochemicals are an excellent natural antioxidant. When oxygen metabolizes in a body, it can convert to a highly charged form called a "free radical". Free radicals react with neighboring molecules to cause tissue damage, and antioxidants gobble free radicals at a voracious rate! So kitties need antioxidants, and carrots offer them. Carrots also offer a healthy dose of beta-carotene; an essential nutrient required to help stabilize the immune system, improve vision, aid normal growth patterns, and help to maintain the reproductive system. So when you're out there selecting that "ideal food" for Kitty, be sure that carrots are on the ingredient list and now you know why!
Bert's Fashionable Tube Top
by Kathy Fatheree
Last week... Bert had surgery to place a PEG tube. Bert came through the surgery just fine and now he is ready to fight his Feline Hepatic Lipidosis. Go Bert GO!
Here's this week's Update from
NOTE: Having a tube coming out of your body causes a strange sensation to the skin, not to mention the itching that is inherent to wound healing. The baby t-shirt is to keep Bert from licking the incision and pulling at the tube.
So... last night I decided to try my hand at making a 'sock' for Bert. We bought some super soft stretchy material and I hand stitched it since I don't have a sewing machine. It turned out pretty good if I do say so myself! I made it tubular with elastic on either end and used Ernie as my model.
Of course Ernie is bigger than Bert now so the sock I made was tighter on him. Plus Ernie is long haired and Bert isn't but I think it's going to fit Bert perfectly.
She also gave us syringes in progressively larger sizes for when we increase each feeding, eventually he'll work his way up to 106cc's per feeding! We're on 20cc's right now though. We bought about a months worth (28 cans = $210 dollars!!) of the CliniCare as well.
We put his body sock on while we were at the vet's office and it fit perfectly! I was so pleased! The tech said that if it's too tight he wouldn't walk in it, so we put him on the floor to test it out and he was walking all over the place! He was a little wobbly at first but got used to it almost immediately! She said it was perfect and a great material for him (it's an extremely soft stretchy material, very breathable). I've made two so far and plan to make a few more. I can't really imagine them getting too soiled but he loves fresh laundry so we're going to make sure to put a nice fresh clean one on him every few days.
When we left the vets office Bert immediately fell asleep! We couldn't believe it, he usually meows at us the entire way home. My poor baby was so exhausted and so happy to be going home! He even walked into his kennel when we were at the office instead of us having to put him in. We just opened the door and in he went! It's about a 20-minute drive home and he slept the entire way.
When we got home we put him on the bed and let him just smell around for a bit. Ernie came in and gave him the once over and walked away without hissing! I swear he could tell that Bert really didn't need any grief from him right then because he just walked into the other room! We gave him some snuggles for about a half-hour and then left him to sleep on the bed. About five minutes later he came tearing into the den here and jumped into the litter box. I don't think I've ever heard him go for so long! The best I can figure is he didn't like using the litter box at the vet's office and so he held it until he got home. I can't imagine how full his little bladder was since he's been on a liquid diet!
After using the potty he went back into the bedroom and slept for about an hour and a half and then it was time for our first at home feeding...
...Be sure to check in next week to follow Bert's journey!
What We Think About Our Cats!
by Dan Malenski
This week, we present a list of quotes by those folks, famous and otherwise, who obviously shared their lives with a feline companion. We attempted to harvest most that you likely had not heard before, and for those that you had, we're sure you will agree that they deserve to be repeated. Many people from all walks of life had studied these fascinating creatures and attempted to characterize their behavior, but eventually came to realize that the creature that we call a cat will mystify us from now until the end of time.
The quotes are based upon how we perceive this marvelous creature, how it likely sees itself, and its many behavioral characteristics. They are not arranged in any particular order and due to the complexity of the cat, we are sure that you could add several quotes of your own!
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: Blue
Caring for Cats
Proactive Plan: Our Goals
by Garry White
As promised from last week, we'll start our proactive plan with a structured list of goals, and we'll follow that agenda as closely as practical.
Step-1: Is a proactive plan really necessary?
Step-2: Setting up the binder for Kitty's records
Step-3: Establishing routine observation habits
Step-4: Dealing with veterinarians
Step-5: Basic nutrition summary
Step-6: The importance of early detection
Step-7: Common ailments and symptoms
Step-8: How to read blood-test reports
Step-9: How to avoid toxic poisoning
Step-10: General home safety
Before we get started, I'll emphasize once again that a good proactive plan cannot be accomplished in one felled swoop, so don't expect it to happen that way. We'll take our time, and we'll revisit (or expand on) certain issues, as necessary. The most important thing is that we walk away from it with a solid understanding of what we're doing, and why. Are ya' ready?
Step-1: Is a proactive plan really necessary?
In my opinion, the answer to that question is a forgone conclusion; it is absolutely necessary. It all boils down to a single philosophy: Information is knowledge. Life doesn't tell us when things are going to happen, and with information.knowledge.we're better prepared to deal with whatever comes next. Most of us don't just climb into the Lamborghini and go "somewhere"; we don't go to work and do "something". We don't just buzz through life without a clue as to where we're going or what we'll do when we get there; our lives have meaning, direction, and goals. We don't just "exist", and we shouldn't expect less for Kitty. She needs the same planning, thoughts, and considerations that we give to ourselves. Failure to do that leaves us in a purely reactive state.waiting for a crisis and hoping we can deal with it.and only luck will get us through those kind of situations. Do you feel that lucky?
Is it easy to establish and maintain a proactive plan? No, but neither is it extremely difficult. Is it an ongoing process, once established? Forever. Will a good plan assure me that all bases are covered; that I'm prepared to deal with any situation? No, but what a well-structured and well-maintained proactive plan will do is put you ahead of the ball and keep you there. Murphy's Law, of course, says that you'll need the one thing you're not prepared for, but remember that this plan.any plan.is merely playing the percentages; the odds. The more information we have, the better the chance that we're probably somewhat equipped for most situations that might arise. And while it's not a perfect solution, it's a lot better than running around in the dark, isn't it? Another benefit of a good plan is that it will help us to avert potential disasters by avoiding known pitfalls.
Think of a proactive plan as you'd think of any other transaction: You're going to put something in, and in return you're going to get something back. How much are you going to put into it? How much will you get back? Are the benefits worth the cost? Yes; many times over.
See you next week, and if you don't already have a 3-ring binder, get one! Our next step is to set that up.
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.