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Posts Tagged ‘cats’

Is your tabby too tubby? Is your cat extra-fluffy and not in a good way?

Omaha in 2002 - over 20 pounds

Omaha in 2002 - over 20 pounds

Well, if you haven’t already, start by eliminating ALL DRY FOOD. ALL OF IT. Attempting to get a cat to lose weight on dry food is a losing battle. I know, I tried it for over a year with my cat Omaha. We tried cutting portions again and again until he got only 1/8 cup dry food daily and lay by the bowl crying – and still not losing weight. “Lite” (lower calorie) dry foods DO NOT WORK, they are too high in carbohydrates. Low-carb grain-free high-protein dry foods DO NOT WORK, they are too high in calories. Your cat needs to eat only WET food – not only to achieve an ideal weight, but to avoid a lot of other serious health issues (like diabetes, urinary tract disease, etc.)

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Louie drama

Louie went to the vet January 24, just for a routine check-up and anal gland expression.  The vet noted he could use a dental.  I asked if it would be okay to get it done in March or April, and he said that was fine.  I scheduled it for March 10.

Louie the goof

Louie the goof

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Studley’s furcut

Well, apparently when I reassured Studley about his punk “furcut” after his recent pancreatitis episode, I was TOO reassuring.  I thought he looked embarrassed (not to mention COLD), coming home from the hospitals with a shaved belly, shaved sides, and three shaved legs.  So,  I told him patchwork furcuts like his were ALL the rage now.  All the trendy kitties were wearing them.

Sexy furkini

Sexy furkini

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I have an aversion to the word “resolutions”, for whatever reason, so instead I try to come up with goals for the year ahead – preferably with steps toward achieving them.

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This post has actually been a work-in-progress for some time, but a phone call today pushed me to try and finish it. That phone call took place with the internal medicine specialist treating Studley. The specialist has diagnosed Studley with pancreatitis and IBD, based on an ultrasound performed Tuesday. Today he got back the results of Studley’s GI lab, and expressed some confusion that while he KNOWS Studley has IBD (based on the ultrasound results), his GI lab results (cobalamin and folate) were normal.

I do NOT generally openly disagree with most vets (to their face). I’ll express my opinions to my regular vet, who acts very open to my ideas and thoughts – but I’ve learned not to waste my time and breath on many vets who really don’t care what I think about anything. They just want me to do what I’m told. However, today for whatever reason I felt the need to tell this specialist my suspicions on why Studley’s results were normal. I told him I had worked with many cats with IBD, adopted and fostered, and I fed all my cats an “IBD friendly” diet. This diet had eliminated symptoms and normalized GI lab results for the other cats I’d worked with – and my thinking was, if Studley was fed this “IBD diet”, and it’s treated these other cats with IBD, it made sense to me that it’d also treated Studley, without my knowing he even had IBD.

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Another of the “frequently asked questions” I get is *which* canned food to feed. Well, in general the answer is simple – look for one with little-to-no grains, fruits, or vegetables. You want something as close to “mouse in a can” as possible. Poultry and/or rabbit is best – as these are closest to a cat’s natural prey. (Cats don’t naturally hunt, kill, and eat cows, sheep, fish, or swine – they do consume birds and rodents.)

Generally, there are compromises to be made.  Canned foods that contain higher-quality ingredients generally also contain higher amounts of vegetables and fruit, and are also generally higher in fat than the canned foods that use more byproducts and “meat” of undefined origin.  Personally, I don’t object too strongly to byproducts and lower-grade meat.  Cats would consume the entire carcass of their prey – they wouldn’t spit out the kidney, for example.  However, I do want SOME muscle meat in their food, and for some cats (particularly some with severe IBD), “meat” of undefined origin isn’t an option.  “Meat”, when the source isn’t identified, is most often beef or pork – and some cats don’t tolerate beef or pork.

Some people want a more specific list of brands and flavors. I’m always reluctant to do that, as brands and flavors change in ingredients and availability and I’d rather people learn to look at labels and exercise judgement. However, here’s a list of my current “favorites”. These are the canned foods I almost always have at my house, for my own adopted cats and fosters:

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People often ask me how I’ve managed to accumulate so much information on feline health and nutrition.  The answer is relatively simple – I READ, a LOT.  I read a lot of information on the internet, studies in journals, books, etc.  So, after sifting through countless websites and books and magazines, I’ve definitely got a few favorites.

My absolute favorite informational websites are listed among the “widgets” in the column to the right on the home page… particularly, FelineOutreach.org, CatInfo.org, CatNutrition.org, YourDiabeticCat.com, and FelineDiabetes.com.  (A majority of the resources/references in the Feline Outreach educational section has been collected by me, over time.)

But, if you are interested in real hard copy books made out of paper – I recommend:

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