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

Vol. 2, No. 11

Table of Contents
Feline Nutrition: Nutritional Quiz Answers
Assist Feeding: Drug Sensitivities
Kitty Potpourri: Felix the Cat, Virtually Yours - Part II
Best Cat Food: Healthy Pet Foods, Inc.
Caring for Cats: Proactive Plan: Step-7



Feline Nutrition
Nutritional Quiz Answers
by Garry White

Here are the answers to last week's nutrition quiz. Let me apologize for my flub in Question #1: It was supposed to ask which ingredients we would want to be lower in a good diet food. Hopefully you guys were clever enough to catch it and assume what I meant.

  1. We want to help a kitty lose some weight, so we search for a food with what ingredient(s) to be at a level lower than most foods? Be careful; the answer isn't as obvious as it seems.
    Answer:
    Did you say fats? (Loud buzzing noise.WRONG!) The correct answer is carbohydrates and calories.
  2. In regards to Question #1, what ingredient(s) might we wish to be at a higher level than most foods?
    Answer: Protein, certain fats, Argenine, Biotin (Vitamin-H), Choline Chloride, L-Carnitine.
  3. The diagnosis is bladder infection. What am I probably giving Fluffy too much of in her diet?
    Answer: Ash, Magnesium, fiber
  4. The average domestic cat needs about ______ calories per-pound-of-cat-weight, per day.
    Answer: 27.5
  5. True/False: The perfect cat food diet is a mouse.
    Answer: False. Evolution of a cat's digestive system requires elements not found in mice. Research estimates the lifespan for domestic cats on a rodents-only diet to be about 3 years.
  6. True/False: Cats do not digest corn easily.
    Answer: True. Cats, unlike dogs and humans, have a very low level of the enzyme Amylase, which is required to break down larger carbohydrate molecules (such as we find in corn) into soluble sub-molecules called "macromolecules."
  7. Which excess ingredient in a food might aid in the development of Cystitis, especially in male cats?
    Answer: Ash
  8. Name the perfect diet for all cats.
    Answer: Since every cat's digestive system and metabolism are unique, there's no such thing as an ideal diet for all cats. But to generalize, the best feline diet is high in meat-protein, certain fats, and low in carbohydrates.
  9. True/False: If a cat gets hungry enough, it will eat whatever is available.
    Answer: False. A cat's appetite is whetted by smell first, appearance second; if the food doesn't appear normal and smell good to a cat, it will starve to death rather than eat what nature says is harmful.
  10. Commercial canned food should be left out at room temperature for no more than___hours.
    Answer: 2 Hours
  11. True/False: Dry food does not spoil, as does canned food.
    Answer: False
  12. Tricky question, so watch yourself: We love to give Fluffy table foods, and she loves them in return. What crucial ingredient is missing from our human foods that must be in Fluffy's diet? There are several.pick the one you think most important.
    Answer: Taurine
  13. The diagnosis is CRF. Doc says Fluffy needs a low-phosphorous diet, and he sends us on our way. What did he forget to tell us about her diet that's also crucial to managing Fluffy's kidney problem?
    Answer: Calcium, protein, and sodium
  14. True/False: Grains and carbohydrates should be eliminated from a cat's diet completely.
    Answer: False. Although excess carbs (especially the wrong kind), are bad for a cat's digestive system, they do need a small percentage of carbs for energy, B-vitamins, and fiber.
  15. Can or package labels list the ingredients: What is the significance of the first ingredient on the list?
    Answer: It's the highest in weight and quantity of all ingredients in the can.
  16. Name two (cat food) ingredients (or nutrients), which, at lower-than-average levels, represent a poor quality food.
    Answer: Taurine, Pantothenic Acid, Protein, Calories.
  17. True/False: Certain parasites should exist in a cat's digestive system.
    Answer: False. But had I said bacteria, the answer would have been True. The gastrointestinal tract is home to a vast number and type of resident bacteria called probiotics.also known as "friendly" bacteria, beneficial-bowel-bacteria, and intestinal Flora. These probiotics help to fight parasites in the lower intestinal tract.
  18. What food ingredient is most commonly associated with helping to maintain healthy skin and fur?
    Answer: Flax Seed
  19. True/False: Never vary a cat's diet.
    Answer: False.
  20. True/False: Fish should not be the mainstay of a cat's diet.
    Answer: True


Assist Feeding
Drug Sensitivities
by Kathy Fatheree

Last Week...Bert's nausea came back in full force and he was looking and feeling very "green and droopy." Poor Fella! His doc prescribed an even stronger anti-nausea medicine... let's check in and see how Mr. Bert is doing...

 

The metoclopramide was not working for Bert's nausea. after having been on it for a while, it was doing the opposite of what it was supposed to. We talked to the vets office before we took him off and LaLania said that in a very few cases that it *does* cause nausea. So, Dr. S then prescribed Meclezine, which is actually a pretty heavy duty anti nausea med, in fact *I* take it for my vertigo. We gave him two doses and watched him like a hawk for two nights. LaLania said that there could be some VERY adverse effects from it so we were so cautious. In the end it turns out it didn't do much of anything, good or bad, from what we could see.

So we've taken him off of both meds and guess what? He's doing fantastic! He hasn't vomited in about four days (well once, but that was my fault. I put some water in his mouth to see if it would help rinse his mouth out, BAD IDEA). I think it's fair to say that we've established Bert's sensitivity to meds and so I definitely think it was the right decision.

TIP: Many, many cats ARE indeed sensitive to medicines... especially older kitties and kitties with compromised anything... kidneys, liver, immune system, etc. Vets, these days in my opinion, are just way too quick to prescribe drugs. This is also true for humans... my Dad has had more adverse drug reactions than I care to remember... just because he believes in everything his doc says and GIVES to him. Listen carefully to what your vet has to say... but listen closely to your inner voice and watch your kitty very closely when a new drug is prescribed. YOU know your cat the best and if any behavior is not normal... question the drug and get on the phone immediately with your vet.

Good News on the Bert Front!
Everything has pretty much settled down and we have a pretty good routine established and both Mitch and I feel like Bert is improving. Bert is beginning to lose the green look and his ears are pinking up so nicely! Almost all the traces of jaundice are gone. I also had to make a new 'sock' for him because his old one was too small!! Yay! He's gaining weight!! His site looks fantastic, no sign of infection at all. It looks almost healed now and there is almost no seepage at all.

We have also finally moved him up to the 106 cc's a meal. We did it partly for selfish reasons and partly for Bert. I was getting NO sleep because of the midnight feedings. I have a very weird sleep schedule as it is and when I got up at midnight I was usually up for the rest of the night. Also we both feel the less feedings for Bert the better. He was getting to the point where he was stressing and hyper salivating whenever he saw us again. NOTE: This also could have contributed to the nausea... stress is hard on the body. We backed off, left him alone (not fretted so much) and took the feedings to every 8 hours.

All in all, excellent news on the Bert front. Now that he's starting to feel better from the FLH we're looking forward to him eating on his own. I know it could still take weeks or even months but I feel like we've jumped a huge hurdle by getting him past the hepatic lipidosis. We go in on Friday to have his first blood work done but I'm confident we'll get good news from that!

...Be sure to check in next week to follow Bert's journey!



Kitty Potpourri
Felix the Cat, Virtually Yours - Part II
by Dan Malenski

Last week, we talked about the first virtual Felix, that is, "Felix I" and a "copycat" named Friskie. This week, we will complete the series by talking about the present day successor to the original version of the virtual Felix the Cat, "Felix II". Felix II made his debut not too long ago for pitching the Felix brand of cat food marketed by the Purina Corporation in Europe.

Felix II is much like Felix I, and this new version gives him a toy box, which you may open and give him toys. You also have the option of downloading additional toys for him from the site, and if you wish, extinguish the toy box if it serves as a distraction. When Felix II starts, a menu is displayed that invites you to visit his website and it will extinguish itself on its own if you do not respond with an "OK" in fifteen seconds. You may easily customize how Felix II behaves on your computer by right clicking on him and choosing the new behavior. Try doing that on your cat! Once in action, he behaves much like Felix I and leaves no distracting icons on your screen. Felix II appears to have nearly all of Felix I's capabilities, and it adds even more!

Felix II adds an encounter with a milk bottle in which he spills it, takes a few sips, and can be seen at times trying to open his toy box if you do not have it hidden. When you see Felix II just taking a break by sitting on a window or your taskbar, moving the cursor near him will catch his attention, and he will play with you-yes, try it! He will try to snatch the cursor off the screen, as you can see in the sequence below:

One of our favorites is his encounter with the milk bottle, which is reflected in a sequence of photographs at the end of this paragraph. You also will be able to carry him from one place to another on your desktop by merely placing your cursor on him and left clicking and releasing your mouse button. You will then be able to carry him wherever you want and when he is at his destination, merely left click again! Make sure that you do not hold the mouse button down after clicking it.

The present day Felix has his own website, and you may learn much more about him and even download him onto your computer! You may enter his website by clicking on the following:
The Cats Like Felix Web Site

If you choose to download the virtual Felix, you will be downloading just one small file named "felix2.exe". After the download is complete, just double-click the downloaded file and with seconds, Felix will be released onto your desktop to delight you. At any time, right clicking on Felix or his toy box will allow you access their options and control their behavior. Finally, don't forget to open his toy box and periodically give him a toy to play with! Unfortunately, a version of Felix for the MAC computer is not available.

For those purists who wish having Felix with no toy boxes or start-up menus, etc., you may contact me to obtain a copy of Felix I and the installation instructions. If you wish to experiment with Friskie, I can supply you with him also. For either "Felix I" or Friskie, you will have to know how to use the basics of Windows Explorer for creating folders and moving files in order to install them, however.

We recommend that you choose the latest version of Felix from the above website, being that it installs automatically, but whatever version you choose, we are sure that you will be delighted to have him as your desktop companion. Finally, do remember that, like the original Felix the Cat, he never gets tired and works cheap!



Best Cat Food
Healthy Pet Foods, Inc.
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: Healthy Pet Foods, Inc.
Product: Beef & Brown Rice Dinner
Type: Canned

Our Rating:   

Kitty Rating:

Kitty Comments:
"Hey Dad.watch this: S-L-u-u-u-r-p!"

Our Comments:
"Wilbur, you are just so totally un-cool sometimes! I know the name of this stuff is 'Lick Your Chops', but do you really suppose they meant from ear to ear?"

Well, the boy is clearly enjoying himself, so what the heck. And I'm enjoying myself too, because I know what's going down his ornery gullet.a great tasting, well balanced cat food, that's what! I'm pleased to present this one, and very comfortable in recommending it for your kitties. The ingredients are natural, and from all indications come only from quality sources (by now, we all know the importance of source, right?). Anyway, both of my guys loved the Beef Dinner, and they really did do a number on it; licked the plate clean! Something noteworthy with this product is the Life Stage Concept they use to fabricate specialized diets for certain age groups. Yes, I know we hear that brag often, but sometimes the actual differences between a so-called specialized diet, and off-the-shelf, are so minute as to be almost insignificant. Not so with this one; the Senior food, for example, has lower levels of protein, fat, phosphorous, and sodium.and a little extra kick of Taurine and Potassium; exactly what we'd do if we were blending it ourselves!

Try it: If you've got a fussy eater in your midst, I'm willing to bet you something.maybe Wilbur.that your fussy eater will take to this food with glee!

Manufacturer Says:
"We believe that if you eat healthy... so should your pet !"

Lick Your Chops cat foods contain natural ingredients, plus all the essential vitamins and minerals necessary to provide 100% complete and balanced nutrition. Lick Your Chops products meet or exceed the requirements established by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).  All Lick Your Chops foods are free of wheat, corn, soy, artificial flavors, colors and chemical preservatives.  Human grade poultry, lamb and beef, brown rice, oils rich with essential fatty acids and chelated minerals promote superior nutrient bioavailability.  Vitamins (C & E) and spices insure stability and enhance palatability. Lick Your Chops products are available nationally in most health stores.

Website: http://www.integratedpet.com/lycfood.cfm

Phone: 1-800-542-4677



Caring for Cat
Proactive Plan: Step-7
by Garry White

Common Ailments and Symptoms

I hate doing this one, but unfortunately it is a crucial part of a good proactive care plan. So I go forward with a strong warning: Do not jump to conclusions if your kitty has one or more of the symptoms shown below; a symptom or sign by itself is rarely conclusive, and should serve only to encourage closer watching and further investigation, if necessary. Also note that many of the symptoms apply to a variety of ailments.they are general in nature, and intended only for informational purposes, not as tool for home-diagnosis.

Feline Diabetes
Most common in neutered male cats over six years old. Symptoms: Excessive urination, altered appetite (generally decreased, but not always), weight loss, poor coat condition, lethargy, depression.

Feline Hepatic Lipidosis (FHL)
Can occur in cats of any age, may affect more females than males, and is brought on by anorexia (loss of appetite/not eating). Obesity prior to the anorexia increases the risk of FHL. Symptoms: Weight loss, lethargy, vomiting, jaundice (yellow tinge to the skin inside ears and on gums). Also behavioral or neurological signs, such as excessive drooling, blindness, semi-coma or coma, and seizures.

Chronic Renal Failure (CRF)
Common to male and female cats of any age, but most prevalent in cats over 6 years old; early stages of CRF are hard to detect. Statistically, the Maine Coon, Abyssinian, Siamese, Russian Blue, Burmese, and Balinese are more likely to develop CRF than other breeds. Symptoms: Excessive drinking and urination, loss of appetite, depression, musculature instability.

Feline Anemia
Anemia is not a disease, but is a condition resulting in the bone marrow's inability to generate an adequate supply of red blood cells (RBC's); generally manifested by another disease, organ failure, and/or infection. Symptoms: Lethargy, loss of appetite, depression, seizures.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
Typically transmitted through bites from infected animals. Cats of any age or breed are susceptible, and the virus may stay dormant for extended periods. Symptoms: Gum and mouth infections, wound abscesses that don't heal, respiratory ailments that reject treatment, loss of appetite, weight loss, hair and coat dull and unkempt, dehydration, swollen lymph glands.

IBD - Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Common to cats of any age or breed, characterize by an increase in the number of inflammatory cells found in the lining of the stomach or intestinal tract. Often misdiagnosed as 'hairballs'. Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, defecating outside the litterbox.

Feline Pancreatitis
A somewhat uncommon disorder, but not specific to breed or age. Symptoms: Lethargy, anorexia, hypothermia (drop in body temperature), abdominal pain.

Feline Upper Respiratory
The virus is airborne and highly contagious to other cats, especially kittens and older cats. Symptoms: Sneezing and nasal draining, lethargy, depression, loss of appetite.

Feline Heart Conditions
Symptoms: Difficulty breathing, rapid heartbeat, lack of energy, weight loss, weakness or paralysis in the rear legs.

Feline Liver Conditions
May accompany other diseases; typically, extensive damage has occurred before signs are apparent. Symptoms: Anorexia, abdominal swelling, jaundice, weight loss, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy.

Feline Hyperthyroidism
Normally seen in older cats, H/T is not specific to any breed. Symptoms: Increased appetite with weight loss, dull coat luster, patchy hair loss, restlessness, palpable enlarged thyroid glands.

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)
Common to cats of any age or breed. Symptoms: Bloody urine, straining to urinate, urinating in odd places, urinary blockage.

Feline Asthma
Most common to kittens and older cats. Symptoms: Wheezing, lethargy, breathing through the mouth.

Feline Lymphoma
Generally believed to be related to exposure to the leukemia virus. Symptoms: Progressive loss of appetite, weight loss, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, difficulty breathing.

Feline Leukemia (FeLV)
Outdoor cats suffer the greatest risk of FeLV, males 1.7 times more likely to be affected than females. Symptoms: Bloody stool, anemia, loss of appetite, decreased stamina, depression, diarrhea or constipation, jaundice, fever.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)
Induced by a virus and highly contagious to other cats. Symptoms: Poor appetite, weight loss, fever. Depending on which organs are affected, other symptoms might include blindness and/or seizures.

 

 

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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.