Table of Contents Feline Nutrition: Awareness Assist Feeding: Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG Tube) Kitty Potpourri: Kitty’s Unique Language Best Cat Food: EVO Caring for Cats: Ah, It’s a Cat’s Life
First of all, a big “Howdy” to our latest Newsletter subscriber, Ken Wing, who hails from California and flew all the way here to CT to help me with a business project. That alone makes him my pal, but in chatting with Ken I discovered that he and his wife have a cat, and a little more digging prompted the juice for this article. As we waited for ink to fly and power supplies to blow up (or not), you can imagine (safely) that I nudged the conversation toward cats, and especially toward nutrition. I generally can’t remember where I keep my own feet most of the time, but I seem to recall their kitty’s name is Sassy –Hi Sassy– and as facts came to the surface one at a time, it became apparent that Sassy is pretty well taken care of, nutritionally. Is this unique? Doesn’t everyone take every possible measure to insure that their kitties are getting nothing but the best? Huh, Garry? No, we all don’t go that extra mile, sadly enough. Oh sure; us conscientious and informed folks do, but you know my song and dance about watching people at Stop ‘N’ Go load up the cart with whatever happens to be on sale this week.
What makes Ken’s story unique is that it displays random awareness, and that excites me! Through my research for this Newsletter.and in my reporting to you.we all know that the nutrient and nutritional quality of cat-food ranges from horrible to wonderful. We know that poor nutrition damages organs slowly and shortens the lifespan drastically. We know that some (if not most) of the Blue Chip manufacturers make food taste good so Fluffy (or Sassy) will want more, but it’s big-business and they’re in it for bottom-line financial gains, period. yada-yada-yada.
When I stumble onto a Ken Wing (which isn’t frequent, by the way; more often its people who are taking serious advantage of Acme Glop Dinner being on sale for $2.29 a case -what a deal!).but when I do stumble onto a Ken Wing, it means that more and more people are becoming aware of the difference between good and bad; the difference between quality food designed to help Sassy live a longer, healthier life, and food that was designed purely to make a buck. What does this all mean? It means that as we grow in numbers, things will change for the better, and it’s exciting to randomly discover that the numbers are growing. As we, the conscientious and aware, continue to “choose the better product”, we’re telling the Big Guys in language they understand ($$) that we don’t have to buy junk, and we’re not going to. Remember “Chrysler” some years back? Terrible cars: Cheap, falling apart before the ink was dry on the sales invoice. We griped and grumbled, we picketed, we stood on our collective ears.and nothing happened. Then we spoke to their wallet.we stopped buying Chrysler cars.and suddenly Chrysler cars improved drastically. And this, guys & gals, is what will happen to the cat-food industry. They can make good food if they want to, and when that bottom-line dips, they will because they have to.
So to Ken and all the other Ken’s.keep it up! Learn more about good food and proper nutrition. There’s a whole and expanding world of holistic/natural/pure foods out there for your kitty; explore it! Make your pet-friends aware! The bigger this train gets, the more impetus we have, and the more power we have in deciding where it ends up.
REMEMBER: Each assisted feeding option MUST be tailored to the individual kitty’s needs. Do your research, ask questions and explore ALL of your options, taking into consideration the particular needs of your kitty, before choosing any surgical procedure since surgery DOES have inherent risks and possible complications.
PEG is the acronym for Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy. The surgical procedure that places a feeding tube that goes through the skin into the stomach is called a gastrostomy or percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG).
The Max’s House website has great detail on how a PEG tube is placed and how it is removed. The following information is taken directly from Max’s House website.
PEG Tube Placement and Removal
The animal is positioned in right lateral recumbency and an endoscope is introduced. The stomach is insufflated with air so that the gastric wall comes in contact with the body wall and the spleen is displaced caudally.
The lighted tip of the endoscope will be seen pressing outward against the abdominal wall. A large-bore needle or over-the-needle intravenous catheter is inserted into the stomach adjacent to the endoscope tip.
Nylon suture is advanced through the needle or catheter until it can be grasped with endoscopic retrieval forceps. The suture material is pulled out through the mouth as the endoscope is withdrawn.
Commercial 20-Fr. Pezzer catheter assembly kits provide the most convenient materials for PEG tube placement. The catheter guide is already secured to the free end of the feeding tube in commercial kits.
The lubricated catheter is drawn down the esophagus as the suture exiting the body wall is pulled. A second “safety” suture is placed through the openings in the mushroom-tip feeding tube (insert) and exits the mouth. This safety suture is used to retrieve the feeding tube from the stomach if problems occur during the placement procedure.
Resistance will be encountered when the catheter tip guide contacts the body wall. Steady traction and firm application of counter-pressure to the body wall will allow the guide tip to emerge through the skin (arrow). A small skin incision (2 to 3 mm) at the point of exit may help.
Gentle traction is used to bring the stomach and abdominal wall into loose contact. A rubber flange is fitted down the tube and a piece of tape attached to prevent tube slippage. The tube is not usually sutured or glued to the skin. The safety suture is removed via the mouth (arrow) after the feeding tube is secured.
PEG tubes are usually removed by traction. The mushroom tip will usually collapse as it pulls through the abdominal wall. The resulting gastrocutaneous fistula usually heals rapidly.
Bert’s Mom sent this photograph of the end of the feeding tube that delivers the food into kitty’s stomach. Thanks Mom!
On The Net:
Vet Surgery Central, Inc. PEG (Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy) Tube
Last week, we talked about Blackie, the talking cat who had a run-in with the law and, unfortunately, lost. This week, we talk about the rest of the cats who do not have Blackie’s verbal skills, but communicate with us by other means. We will focus on how kitty uses his tail, eyes, whiskers, ears, and even licking to communicate with us. We will not discuss kitty’s ubiquitous “meow”, however, as it was discussed in a recent Newsletter article already and by itself is a complete subject.
The cat’s tail conveys a variety of emotions and the rapid wagging or waving tail means that the cat is not saying “let’s dance” or “let’s play”, but quite the opposite. Therefore, if you value the upper several layers of your skin and an unventilated body, that is, one free from several puncture wounds, beware; likewise, if the hair on its back and tail stands on end. The twitching of the tip of the tail usually signals minor annoyance; nevertheless, use caution when approaching the cat.
A relaxed tail indicates a relaxed cat or one that is submissive. Cats that hold their tails straight up in the “flagpole” position generally reserve this position for greeting their companions. Cats that arch their tails in a forward position indicate that they are on an interesting and fun mission and it means, “outta my way-here I go”! My Angel Mandy was always on interesting missions, as her tail would be arched forward every time she would move from point A to point B, and she would always do so very quickly in that manner.
The eyes of a cat may tell many stories. Wide open eyes mean just that the cat is wide awake and ready to go, and if one observes that special glint in them, it means that it is plotting mischief and is about to carry out the deed. Eyes half-closed merely mean that the cat is ready for a nap but if they remain half-closed when wide-awake, it may suggest an infection or illness. Pupils may also be used to determine mood. Pupils that appear as tight slits in the absence of bright light are a sign of aggression.
Whiskers are another telltale sign of a cat’s mood. Whiskers extending straight from the face indicate that the cat is contented. However, whiskers pulled back and close to the face or bristling indicate that this is not a good time to play with it, unless you want to risk losing a limb or two. Trying to remove the source of the displeasure will go a long way in restoring peace and harmony into the household.
The ears of a cat are for not only hearing but also can be another indicator of mood. Ears flat against the head indicate an agitated cat and if you observe a slight rotation in them, it is particularly agitated. If you observe twitching ears, you will have to look at other forms of body language also, as twitching ears can occur during any emotional situation from being aggressive to being extremely happy about something. Ears that are consistently drawn back suggest a cat that is trying to tell you that he is sick and a trip to the veterinarian is in order.
Finally, cats may communicate many things to us by means of their licking behavior. Cats licking one spot indicate anxiety or an ailment that they are trying to alleviate by licking that one spot. Other than normal grooming, cats sometimes lick their fur when they are confused about something; that is, if in doubt, wash. Licking may also be a sign of affection, whether directed to another feline or human companion. My Angel Mandy was a world-class “washer”, that is, one of her early morning rituals was to nearly “wash” my face nearly raw with her raspy tongue, which I considered the ultimate compliment-she remains sorely missed to this day.
Cats may be described as a symphony in motion, and teach us many things without ever uttering a word; therefore, do take the time to learn their language and open up another world for yourself and your feline companion.
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: INNOVA PET FOODS Product: EVO Type: Dry
Our Rating: Kitty Rating:
Kitty Comments: “I hereby formally resign my job as food-taster. This is the best cat food ever!“
Our Comments: “Oh, no you don’t, Mr. Clark! I know EVO is your own personal favorite, but lots and lots of kitties out there are depending on you and Dingbat to give them qualified (sic), unbiased (groan) evaluations of other foods!”
Almost had a mutiny to deal with, here, but we settled things amicably; they know how important their job is.
Anyway, here we are again with more discussion about the EVO food, and if you haven’t tried this one yet, you really should do so without delay. A direct quote from their website says, “Innova EVO Cat & Kitten food was created to supply the key nutritional benefits of a raw food diet in a safe and convenient manner” and it would be meaningless to try and top that. I will tell you that the food has only 7% carbs, and I’ve seen no food lower than that. It also has 50% protein, and it’s the right kind of protein; 22% of the right kind of fats. Okay, that’s enough of my chatter; get some EVO in your house, quickly, so I can move on and talk about something else! Innova says it’ll “Bring out the carnivore” in your kitty, and it’s true: Just yesterday I saw Clark (a very black cat) with another mouthful of orange hair. Wilbur is orange.
Gosh, that was a nice nap! I love naps, you know, and I take plenty of them! And who cares anyway, right? I isn’t like I have an agenda to keep up with, and I ignore schedules altogether. I tell you, life around here is flat out boring-boring-boring! Well, I ain’t hungry or thirsty, my human is gone for the day, and my brother-cat is asleep; maybe I’ll go wander by the screen door and see if anything’s going on outside. Hey, there’s another cat out there on the steps!
“Who’re you?” “Dunno.I don’t have a name, I guess.”
“WHAT? No name? Why, that’s crazy; everyone has a name!” “Call me what you want, then; I don’t care.”
“Okay. Well, you’re a girl, so I’ll call you.Missy. Where do you live, Missy?” “Out here.”
“Whadda ya mean, ‘out here’; don’t you have a home, like me…with a human to take care of you?” “Nope.”
“Man, that’s pretty awful! I bet it’s scary living on the whole outside like that, huh?” “Sometimes, like when that great big gray cat comes around, or them stupid dogs from around the corner. Few days ago, a big Raccoon had me trapped under some cinder blocks all night long; never slept a wink.”
“Boy, I couldn’t handle that! So what do you eat out there, if you got no human to set food out?” “Bugs, mice.sometimes a human will toss something in the dumpster that ain’t quite spoiled yet. Pickin’s do get a little thin sometimes.”
“Holy jumping smokes; it’s a wonder you’re still alive! So tell me, where do you usually sleep out there, Missy?” “Oh, here and there. Sometimes over in that woodpile, sometimes in the ditch down near the creek. On cold nights I try to find a car that some human just parked, and crawl up into the warm engine place. But you gotta be careful about that, though; friend of mine named Benji once.”
“STOP! I’ve heard enough! That living outside is for the birds!” “Birds ain’t bad, but they’re harder to catch than mice.”
“That does it! Listen, Missy, I have some things to do right now, but come back later, okay? I’ll have my human set some food out for you, I promise.” “That’d be appreciated; see ya later.”
I hadn’t lied to Missy. For one thing, I had to escape hearing about her sordid, miserable, frightening life. Then I needed to go find a quiet corner and do some serious thinking. Boring? A few minutes ago I thought my own life was boring? I bet Missy wouldn’t find it so boring! And now that I see the difference, I guess things ain’t all that bad around here, after all. I mean.My litterbox is kept clean most of the time, always fresh water in my bowl, plenty of food that seems to be keeping me healthy, far as I can tell. I’ve got plenty of toys, I get some great Catnip every so often, I’ve got a brother-cat to pick on when I’m feeling funky, clean places to sleep, a human who enjoys seeing me happy.yeah, things could be worse. Poor, poor Missy!
NOTE: Below is a picture of our ‘outside cat’ a sweet little Calico gal that visits our back steps nightly, and there’s always, always fresh food for her. Unless the big gray fellow gets it first, and then I usually set out some more during the night. By the way: We nicknamed her Missy quite some time ago.
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.