by Kathy Fatheree
If your vet has suggested that you syringe feed your cat, you probably received a 12cc syringe with a black rubber tip plunger. This is really meant to be a one-time use syringe for medication or irrigation (curved tip). If you are feeding a high fat food such as Hill’s a/d, that black rubber tip will quickly become gummy and will stick as your are trying to feed your cat and a potentially dangerous event could occur – squirting too much food into the mouth. Your cat could choke or worse yet, the food could go down the lungs (aspirate). If you are using this type of syringe, the best thing to do if the rubber becomes gummy is to throw it away and start with a fresh syringe. It’s not worth taking the chance. Yes, you may be paying up to 50 cents per syringe and they may only last a few days, but don’t tempt fate. Actually the best thing you can do is to buy a better syringe!
Silicone O-Ring Syringe
Lewie’s Tip: If you use a syringe with a black rubber tip, coat the rubber tip with a little Olive oil and keep the two pieces APART (plunger & housing) and in a Baggie.
Ask Your Pharmacy: Some pharmacies will give you free children’s medicine syringes. The pharmacies in my area only carry the black rubber tip syringe… stop in and see what your area carries.
I have been feeding my cats premium dry cat food for years. I pay dearly for this food and I assumed I was doing what was best for my cats. I started questioning my food choice because Phoebe is obese, has dandruff and itches like crazy… yet the vet says she is fine. Looking at the ingredient label of her Premium food, the 3rd and 4th ingredients are: Corn Gluten Meal and Whole Ground Corn.
So what is the purpose of the corn?
Since cats are obligate carnivores, they benefit most from protein derived from meat sources such as fish, beef and chicken, NOT a vegetable source like corn. Additionally, cats do not require large amounts of carbohydrates and what they do not use gets turned to fat. Corn Gluten meal DOES contain vitamins and minerals, however, many cat foods, especially dry, contain more corn than is really necessary. Quite a few people feel that corn is used as an inexpensive source of protein.
Read more here from veterinarians and cat lovers: Corn in Cat Food
Finally! Fluffy has a new vet that you’re both happy with; the first exam was a success! She gave up a little of her blood (and a little pee… how embarrassing!) at Doc’s request… and all is well. Your role now is to assure Fluffy’s good health and longevity, and it starts with knowing that you are her lifeline.
Our first real step will be to acknowledge (and avoid) complacency: Many pet-parents view an A+ report card with glee, and then relax until the next exam. But not us. Fluffy is in great health, so there’s a good chance Doc will schedule annual exams… and we know a lot can happen in a year. We know that Fluffy will hide an illness from us, and we know that felines cannot tolerate certain conditions for more than a few days. So we’re not going to wait for a crisis and then hope Doc can perform miracles, right? Right! So what do we do?
Well, assuming you can chew gum and walk at the same time (unlike this confused scribe), our proactive pet-parent role will have us embark on a journey that requires the use of several brain-cells simultaneously. And I tell you now: It’s the most intriguing, rewarding, and informative journey you’ll ever take!
Read Garry’s excellent article about 11 Steps to set up your Cat’s Medical Records
SIDEBAR: In reference to last week’s little used-car scenario at the start of the topic, one of our members (Petie Brigham) informed me that she might me in the market for a used, low-mileage Catillac. We’ll check for you, Petie…
I don’t even count calories for myself! But wait! Counting calories is actually easier for most our feline friends because their diet is pretty basic (and boring?). Do you leave food out all the time for your kitty? If you do…. they call this ”Free Feeding” and most nutritionists advise against it. I’ve heard it said that felines are “opportunity eaters” meaning that they will eat whenever they have the chance. Out in the wild, cats have to stalk and hunt their prey. Think of how many calories that adrenaline pumped chase burns up! Free feeding is convenient for us humans, but for most kitties… it can pack on the pounds. They easiest way to count kitty’s calories is to meal feed. If your cat is accustomed to free feeding, start off feeding 3 or 4 meals a day. Don’t worry too much about portion size the first week, just get your kitty used to meal feedings. At first, I put 3/4 of Phoebe’s daily amount out for breakfast because I was afraid she would get hungry! Now I feed her 1/2 in the morning, almost 1/2 when I get home from work, and the rest about 9pm. This works out great. We are not losing weight yet, but we have a good routine down and she is now accustomed to meal feeding! Amazing. Experts have also recommended leaving food out for 20 minutes and whatever is left over after 20 minutes – take it up. Phoebe might be ok with that… but I’m not there yet! 🙂
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.