ProActive Cat Care: Not All Talk

By Garry White

Here are some of the details, routines, and issues that we do:


A new vet: I’ve found a nearby vet that will handle any situations that may arise, and as I advised you to do, I went there cats with me. We talked, we established workable ground rules with a firm understanding that (a) I’m not going to flood him with supposedly-authoritative research I’ve found on the Internet, but. (b) I’m in charge all the way; nothing will be done to my cats without my full understanding and without my prior approval. It’s a nice shop and well-equipped, they’re affordable, it’s nearby, the folks were pleasant and accommodating. And like you, I didn’t hit pay-dirt on the first try.


Keeping records: I have 3-ring binders for each of the kitties, and already I’m tracking Wilbur’s food preferences, eating habits, and his first vet visit. I’m trying to get Clarkie boy into a partial canned-food diet, which isn’t working out real well, and I’m tracking that, too.


Vaccinations: My two will get only those vaccinations required by law which, here in Connecticut, is rabies only. There is controversy over whether or not the full package of shots may be inducing other ailments and conditions, but it is happening, and even the vet-world is at loss in explaining it. My two guys are strictly indoor cats, so I cannot justify exposing them to the risk.


Feeding routines: Because of the age difference and nutritional requirements, Wilbur and Clark shouldn’t be eating the same foods. To accommodate this, we’ve developed a routine that works well. Clark’s food is placed atop a dresser (where Wilbur cannot climb but Clark can reach easily), which allows Clark to maintain his life-long eating routine of “grazing”. Since Wilbur is a baby and is just now establishing habits, he’s being taught the routine of meal-feeding; with a small amount of dry left out for grazing. It’s not a perfect system.sometimes Clark gets a bit of Wilbur’s food, and I know this routine is only effective until Wilbur finds a way to get up on that dresser. But essentially it works; for the most part, these two are getting the appropriate diets.


Wilbur: Like all living creatures, he will become a product what he is taught, and I’m setting the stages now for his behavioral development. As with all kittens, he’s nothing short of a fireball: raw energy, loves to play until he drops from exhaustion. It’s to be expected, but he’s being taught that biting is not allowed, and already he responds to a stern voice and a stern face. Also, he’s learning that Clark doesn’t always wish to play.Clark and Wilbur have developed their own language, and Wilbur knows when Clark wishes to be left alone. Also, I’m doing my best to develop an affectionate rapport with Wilbur early on.


Clark: Him I watch with a different eye. First of all, I’m extremely careful to let him know that he’s the king here.this is his home, we cater to Clark’s long-established routines first. Last thing I want to do is bring stress to an older cat. So when Clark wants to do some “Dad ‘n’ Clark” stuff (like play with his favorite string, go for a walk, whatever) I put Wilbur in a room by himself so that he doesn’t take over.which kittens will do, because they want to be a part of everything. And he can be, but gradually, so as not to alienate Clark. Also with Clark, I’m more wary of things like.watching his litter-box activities occasionally, how he’s eating, and so on. With multiple cats (and especially if one of them is a kitten who just has to do whatever big brother does!) it’s impossible to monitor things unless you separate them. I thought I had noticed Clark being a bit moody and spending more time at the water-bowl more than I was comfortable with (excessive drinking=possible onset of CRF, remember?), so I did just that; I separated them for a full day. Oh, I let them play together several times, but food and water-bowls (and litter-boxes) were out of reach until one of them seemed to need something, then I monitored it closely and put it away again when they were done. And when I slept, they were separated. It wasn’t fun: those two adore each other, and Clark let me know he wasn’t real nuts about being away from Wilbur. But it was livable, and now I have the facts: Clark only consumed about 5 ounces of water (well under the 8-ounces that would flag me for further investigation), his stool was normal, and he ate about what he normally eats. So Wilbur was a little miffed, Clark was a lot miffed, and I’m a happy guy.nothing is wrong with my cats. I’ll make it up to them. Besides, they forgot about me the instant I turned them loose.what a pair! Bottom line is that I had concerns and I pursued them. It was a minor inconvenience for all, but not horribly so, and at least I know where we stand. Will I do it again periodically? You bet I will, and you know what? Next time won’t be such a shocker to them!


Oh.speaking of making-up; try this in advance sometime: I made up a dozen of my world-famous glazed donuts (better than Kr-Kr, just so you know), topped them with every sweet thing in the house, and took those gooey things.along with both the new vet’s office, for no other reason than pure politics. And it worked. They loved Clark & Wilbur, devoured the donuts, and tolerated me. I can live with that.


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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.