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

Vol. 2, No. 24                           

Table of Contents
Feline Nutrition: Choosing the Best Cat Food for Your Kitty
Assist Feeding: Proud Papa!
Kitty Potpourri: Here's Lookin' at You!
Best Cat Food: If You Stumble Onto a Winner
Caring for Cats: Favoritism



Feline Nutrition
Choosing
the Best Cat Food for Your Kitty
by Garry White

Seems like everyone (me included) has plenty of advice about cat food and nutrition, but more often than not it boils down to controversy, theories, and/or opinion.  I thought it would be cool to gather my gibberish notes and provide you with what you've probably wanted all along: A hard list of things to avoid and things to look for when selecting a good food for Fluffy.  So we'll do that today, with understanding that the forthcoming info is based on research from a variety of sources, and is not approved by any institute.  Well, Clarkie agrees with me, but he'd better if he knows what's good for him!

Anyway, let's start with things to avoid:

  • High moisture content (over 80%); this gives the appearance of "good nutrient values", which is erroneous.
  • No Wheat - No corn - No Soy
  • No by-products
  • No undeclared fat sources
  • No Copper Sulfate
  • No hormones or steroids
  • No foods with Ash content higher than 5%

Things to look for: (Note.the ingredients and nutrients below are simply desirable elements, and be assured they are but few of a very long list; please do not go out and look for a single cat food with all of these).  Also.some of the names may not be familiar, and with suitable interest we can cover them more thoroughly in future Newsletters.

Specific Ingredients:
Alfalfa, Apples, Argenine, Barley, Barley grass, Beta Carotene, Biotin, Brown Rice, Calcium Pentothenate, Carrots, Chelated minerals, Chicory Root, Choline Chloride, Cobalt, Copper amino acid complex, Cranberries, Egg, Flax Seed, Folic Acid, Garlic, Glucosamine, Herring Oil, Iron amino acid complex, Kelp, L-Carnitine, Lecithin, Lysine, Menadione Dimethylpyrimidional Bisulfate, Niacin, Oatmeal, Olive Oil, Pantothenic Acid, Parsley, Peas, Potassium, Psyllium, Pyridoxine, Roboflavin, Rice protein, Rosemary extract, Rye, Sage, Sodium Selenite, Spirulina, Sunflower oil, Sweet Potatoes, Taurine, Tumeric, Yucca extract.

In General:
We're faced with a couple of dilemmas that have (or should have) a great impact on how and where we shop.  One, who makes the stuff??  Is it one of the monster, global companies whom we fear may be in it solely for commercial ($$$) returns?  Is it a startup company, and we must rely on their marketing claims for integrity and purity and quality?  There's a middle-of-the-road here, and that's where I advise you to be.  We're noting with glee that some of the bigger, well-established companies are jumping on the wagon and providing us with extremely high-quality, pure, natural foods.and it's about time.  I say, in my infinite lack of supreme wisdom, that this is where we should be shopping.  In this arena, you'll find manufacturers who know that we're no longer going to accept inferior and mysterious ingredients in foods for our kitties, and they're responding to it. Stay inside this circle, folks, and you can be comfortable in knowing that most of the foods are way beyond much safer than what you can grab off the shelf at Shop 'N' Go.now it's simply a matter of finding one that Kitty loves.

Anecdote: I generally do a spell-check before I send these articles to Kathy for publication.Let me tell you; MS-Word's spell-checker imploded on this one!



Assist Feeding
Proud Papa
by Kathy Fatheree

Bert is doing fantastic. In fact he's doing better than fantastic. He is literally hopping about the house! It's like he's saying "I'M FREE, FREE AT LAST!!" He's running around, being frisky. He's out on the porch for hours at a time and he's slept on the couch a few nights in a row now. He's eating a few times an hour, again… he's more of a grazer than an eat at one time type of cat. He's drinking and using the litter box frequently as well. Basically we have Bert back 110%! He's been SUPER snuggly this weekend too. I swear you can look at him and see how much better he feels

Mitch is *so* proud of Bert! Bert has always been 'his' cat and Ernie is mine. We tried not to pick favorites when they were babies but that's how it worked out! There were two of them and two of us! Lately Bert has been the biggest love bug and Mitch is just loving him. He's so proud of how far Bert has come and how strong he was/is. He worked hard to get here. I am very blessed to have found a husband that shares so many of my passions, cats being one of them! I can't imagine having been with someone who didn't support me during this or who didn't want to spend the money. It wasn't ever an option to Mitch to NOT spend the money.

We've had such a great weekend with Bert. We look at him and can't imagine him with the tube in anymore! He's only had it out for a short time and already it seems so surreal, like it never happened! Looking at him now it's so weird to think of how sick he was. At the time I didn't think Bert would ever have his tube removed and in the end it only took four months. I know we were blessed with our support system and our veterinarian & technicians. We never could have done it without the help of everyone. Dr. Smith said it was us that saved Bert's life but I know in my heart it was a fabulous group effort.

Bert's tube site is almost completely healed now.

So yeah, life is pretty good lately. :)

~The End~

Kathy's Note: What an incredible journey this has been. I've learned so much from Bert's experience and I am so thankful that Jo, Mitch AND Bert allowed us to travel along with them. Thank You!

Next week, we will review the tube technique used to save Bert's life and in the following weeks, we will explore other tube options since there are several choices available.

REMEMBER: Each assisted feeding option MUST be tailored to the individual kitty's needs. If you have sufficient time to do research, explore ALL of your options before choosing any surgical procedure since surgery DOES have inherent risks and possible complications.



Kitty Potpourri
Here's Lookin' at You!
by Dan Malenski

Several months ago, we talked about living with cats that are blind and what we must do to make their lives comfortable and protect them from hazards they cannot see. This week, we will focus on the basic anatomy of the cat's eye and the differences between their eyesight and ours.

With respect to basic anatomy, the cat eye is quite similar to ours with a few exceptions. Think of the eye as a tiny camera. The colorful irisis the shutter that controls the amount of light entering the eye; the lens focuses the image onto the retina, the light sensitive area at the back of the eye, and light receptors in the retina transmit the image to the brain via the optic nerve. Now, we will point out how their eyes differ from ours.

Being that their colorful iris is so much larger than ours is, it allows a pupil size that is three times as large as the most enlarged human pupil. This capability allows the cat to see far better than we can in areas where there is only a small amount of light. The cat's pupil also differs from ours in that, when it gets smaller to reduce the amount of light entering the eye, it narrows to a vertical slit instead of a round hole. Take a peek at your cat's eyes in bright light and you will likely see only a tiny straight line; then observe them at night in a dimly lit room and they will be large and round. The reason for the "slit" in bright light is that it allows the cat to retain peripheral vision while protecting the eye from overexposure.

Cat eyes do have special features; one of them is their third eyelid, which is a membrane that slides across the eye to help remove fine particles and to shut out light during sleep. This membrane starts in the corner of their eye closest to the top of their nose. Another interesting point is that cat eyes have very little white area in them being that the surface is dominated by the vivid green, gold, or blue iris.

Being that cats evolved as nocturnal hunters, their eyes are most efficient in dim light due to their large pupils and sensitive light receptors in their retinas. They are able to see between 3 to 8 times better than we do in poor light. Cats also are adept in tracking small, moving objects. If you have any doubt, observe your cat dispatch any unfortunate insects that wander into their path. Our home is free of insects due to the vigilance of Amanda and Melissa, and every so often, I hear a loud thump, which is an indicator that they are on the job and that another insect had met its doom.

It was once believed that cats could not discern between colors, but detailed experiments show that cats, indeed, see colors, although not as well as the human species. It is difficult to determine how cats react to different colors because they seem to not attach any importance to colors. Amanda tells us that the reason why cats don't care much about colors is because the hue of a mouse is no indicator of its taste! I'm certainly not going to argue with her about that!

Cats likely enjoy the many marvels that surround us as much as we do, and maybe even far more because of their ability to see and track small objects. Their idea of true beauty may be the dangling of a cat toy, the fluttering of the wing of a bird, the movements of insects, or the wonders of the night that we are not able to see.



Best Cat Food
If You Stumble Onto A Winner
by Garry White

If You Stumble Onto A Winner.

Stick with it!  This will be a bit out of sync with our normal "Food" articles, but I'm compelled to share something with you.  Also, it's a bit of a foreword for an upcoming article, but before I delve into the mechanics of it, let me say this:  There is no such thing on this planet as a perfect food for all cats!  What I'm about to share with you is a discovery: A food that seems to be right for my guys.  Yes, I'll encourage you to give it a try, but if it doesn't work for your gang, move on to something else.  In Feline Nutrition, I said that we're safe selecting foods from most of these holistic manufacturers, and I meant it so keep trying until you find "The One."

Anyway, the good folks at Natura Pet Foods (you may know them as Innova) sent us some samples of a brand new Innova food called EVO to evaluate for this article, and things at this house went a-tumble in a big way!  We'll talk much more about the details of the food in the upcoming article, but basically it's equivalent to a raw- food diet, packaged and processed professionally.  Long story short except for the novelty of sampling a bit of this or that in their duly appointed jobs as lab-rats... er, I mean cats. The EVO cat food is all they'll eat! 

So, it seems that we have a winner here, but again I caution you that it's a winner for us; we'll continue to present new foods in hopes that you'll have the same success.  And when you do, stick with it!



Caring for Cats
Favoritism.
by Garry White

In a perfect world, all beings would be treated equally.  But we don't live in a perfect world.  We're human beings driven by emotions, and it's a simple reality that we prefer certain things over other things.food, housing, clothes, careers, music, cars.and people and pets.  The reasons we "choose", of course, are unique and individual to the person and the situation.  We can justify it with sound reasoning.logic.but the end result can be severely damaging if we aren't aware of the impact our favoritism is having on the less-favored party.  With people it's simpler, because the "scoundrel" already knows he/she is less than a perfect housemate.  But with pets (especially cats who are highly emotional to start with) it can be disastrous if we're not very careful in doling out the warm fuzzies.  The biggest problem is the basic mind-set of a cat, and their incredible ability to remember nearly forever.  I had a good friend who was frequently present during many of my Angel Lewie's younger years.  When Lewie was about 2 years old, he was sound asleep on the couch one day, and this fellow thought it would be funny to see him jump.so he got down close to Lewie and screamed.  I'm sure you can imagine my reaction, and Lewie took off like a bullet.  To the day we moved away from that area.just a couple of years ago.Lewie would hide when that fellow came around, even though there was never another such incident.  He remembered all those years.  And that's the point you need to be aware of if you have a "favored" cat among your gang (and I know that most of us do): By pouring love and affection onto the favored one only, the less-favored will feel left-out, and before long you'll be seen as a foe; or at least not as a friend.  And when that kind of alienation takes hold, it's nearly impossible to recover.because cats remember.  So when you're passing out those little treats, or doing some special act of kindness, please remember the ones who don't always stand in the limelight; they need your love too.

 

 

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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.