Table of Contents
Feline Nutrition: Something old, Something new
Assist Feeding: Mr. I’m-never-going-to-eat-on-my-own-again
Kitty Potpourri: The Greatest Cat Collection on Earth!
Best Cat Food: FREE Cat Food Samples!
Caring for Cats: Meow-Meow-Meow
No, I’m not proposing marriage. I’m referring to the evolution of medical (specifically nutritional) science and the related terminology. As recently as a couple of decades ago, most of us (and even most vets) knew very little about.or gave little consideration to.feline nutrition. Oh sure, we knew that high ash content was responsible for urinary problems, and maybe a few other menial things. But basically, we fed them the good stuff as we knew it, and a seemingly healthy cat meant we must be doing something right.
But we’ve come a long way since then, Baby! We’ve learned much about how proper nutrition promotes a longer, healthier life, and now we challenge everything.
We split hairs now, because the average layperson has gained the knowledge to do so. Is this a good thing? Overall, yes it is. That is to say, it’s a good thing as long as we don’t let a few new buzzwords go to our head and fool us into thinking we’re doctors. For example, here are a few that I run across quite often:
Cutesy stuff that’s sure to impress our less-knowledgeable friends, but we have to recognize them for what they are: buzzwords.a catchy, new name for a meaning that’s been around since the beginning of time. Neutraceuticals, for instance, is simply a moniker for disease-preventing compounds fond in certain foods. Phytochemical is the plant source of those disease-preventing compounds, and Phytonutrient describes the compounds’ quasi-nutrient status (ranking). I suppose we’ll soon be insisting that Fluffy’s food be designed neutraceutically, with phytonutrients derived from proper phytochemicals. But there’s nothing new, here: All we’re really saying is that we want the ingredients to be pure, perhaps natural, and with strong consideration to what will (and won’t) damage organs. My fear is that many of us will become captivated by this new-wave terminology and follow a supposed path to euphoria, and I stress this reality: Wellness isn’t about syntax and language; it’s about common sense and proven science. The concepts behind much of this new jargon have been around forever; we’re just calling them something different nowadays.
I guess we do have an obligation to stay up with the times, but we have a stronger obligation to remember the roots and what these things really mean. Understand that my concerns (for you and for all of us) are born out of love and personal fear; I want my cat to live forever! So do you. When I see a new expression, I quickly assume (and I bet you do, too) that it’s a medical breakthrough. But then we discover it’s nothing more than a very old, established concept with a new name. In our crazy, confusing pursuit of a great cat food, we often learn that “something old and something new” are the same thing.
Bert, who was diagnosed in January 2005 with Feline Hepatic Lipidosis (fatty liver disease), is feeling more and more like his old self again and it’s time to start trying to wean him off of his feeding tube. Let’s check in and see how he is doing…
Mr. I’m-never-going-to-eat-on-my-own-again is doing fantastic. He’s gotten over his attachment to our room and has even taken to sleeping on the couch again! He doesn’t do it every night but on the nights he does its bliss!! We get the whole bed to ourselves without our little furnace to keep us company. He’s all over the house and even goes out on the patio a few times during the day. His favorite spot to sleep is still our bed, it always was, but when he gets done eating he’s out and about. He’s chasing Ernie every chance he gets and just overall is his old self! He’s still getting antsy when it’s time to eat but we’re trying to ignore him so he doesn’t feel like we’re tube feeding him when he DEMANDS it. We wait a little bit until he’s settled down and then fix it. It’s a complete battle of wills and Bert has more points so far. The worst time is his 6 am feeding. When he decides he’s hungry he makes it his mission to get us up. He’s walking across our head, meowing, pawing at the covers, licking our face. doing anything he can to wake us up. He drives me insane! 🙂
You Can Lead a Cat to Fish, but…
In regards to trying to wean him from his tube feedings and encourage him to eat on his own, we’ve decided instead of going 24 hours without tube feeding him, which really was a bit of a shock to him, that we’re going to slowly reduce his feedings. Dr. Smith is supervising us and we’re making sure to keep him weighed so if he loses any weight we’ll know. So far it’s actually going pretty good. We’re reducing by a little every two days or so and I think Bert is definitely feeling it. We increased him back up a bit this weekend to maintain his weight but we’re slowly working back down this week again. It’s funny because Bert is finally getting to the point where he’s not lovin‘ his feedings like he used to. He’s getting restless and won’t sit in one spot. It’s taking both of us to feed him again, one to feed and one to hold him down. He’s just not satisfied! It sounds bad but it’s actually a good thing! After we feed him his reduced amount he’ll follow me down the hall meowing. I know he’s telling me that he’s still hungry and to that we just put the food bowl in front of him. He sniffs it and walks away but I’m hoping one of these days he’ll finally get the picture.
Confidence in the Food Reduction Technique
Another cat at Dr. Smith’s office was doing the same thing that Bert has been doing, purring and the whole act during the tube feedings. They did the reduction in food too and got to the point where they were giving him half food and half warm water. Enough to make him think he was getting food but little enough so that he was hungry all the time. Well it worked! That kitty started eating on his own and very rapidly got annoyed with the whole tube process. I guess because he wasn’t getting the satisfaction that he wanted from it, he didn’t want to be messed with at all. While his owner was away, the cat ripped his tube out! LaLane said he’s doing fine and suggested the technique to us. Right now we’re sticking with just reducing his food but if he continues with the angst we might drop it even further to see if he’ll eat on his own.
Be sure to check in next week for more of Bert’s Journey!
Yikes! I know what some of you folks may be envisioning after reading the title of this week’s article, that is, hundreds and perhaps thousands of furry felines all in one place along with armies of volunteers to feed them and keep their litter boxes sparkling clean. No, not at all, as we are referring to a huge collection of printed material and art dedicated to our feline companions, all beneath one roof at the Glendale Public Library in Glendale, California. We will tell you all about its origin, its status, and its contents. An article in the Catnip© newsletter inspired this week’s article and research on internet provided additional information.
Private individuals start many collections, and this one was no different. Dr. Harvey Billig and his wife Roberta were avid cat fanciers who purchased everything that had “cat” written on it or were even remotely associated with cats. Over the years, the collection had become so vast, that it could no longer be kept in the house. Thus, Dr. Billig approached the Glendale Public Library and donated the collection in the early 1970s. However, that didn’t stop Mrs. Billig from acquiring additional articles and donating them to the collection, even after Dr. Billig passed away. Imbedded in this paragraph is one of my favorite paintings, that is, an oil painting with the title of “A Proud Mum”.
Over the years, The Cat Collection, as it is named, continues to grow with the help of the Jewel City Cat Club and numerous private individuals and is housed in the library’s Special Collections Room. The collection draws visitors, mail, and telephone inquiries from all parts of the United Stated and Europe and has the reputation of being the largest collection in the world.
Although the collections is geared for the most serious of cat fanciers and breeders, it contains enough material to cover our feline companions from head to tail and in levels of detail to satisfy a child to the most advanced individual. The collection of books consists of those that cover the history of specific breeds, genetics, and feline medicine. There are also books about cats in magic, music, fiction, and religion, in addition to recipe books for cats, poetry, and children’s books about cats. You will even be able to find photo books of cats and books that explain how to photograph cats. Do you wish to read about zodiac signs for cats? No problem, as a book exists for that subject also! Books in the collection range in size from a miniature collection of books that are a mere 1 ½ inch square to those more than two feet in height!
Books are not the only articles that may be found in the collection. The collection contains all sorts of printed matter that consists of pamphlets, newsletters, catalogs, periodicals, posters, and stamps, many of which date from the 1800s. Also found in the collection is a huge amount of artwork that consists of photographs, paintings, etchings, drawings, pottery, porcelain statues, and plaques.
For those of you on the East coast, another large collection is located at the Beneicke Library’s Rare Book and Manuscripts Library at Yale University in New Haven, CT. Like the collection in Glendale, it is much more than printed matter and contains a huge amount of photographs and works of art. Needless to say, the girls are strutting around like peacocks after going over all this material honoring our feline companions and likely will be demanding extra special treatment, as if they don’t get treated like queens already!
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.
A small request from Garry and the testing crew:
I’d like to ask for your help in recognizing the holistic food manufacturers that continue to make this article possible. Our first thought might be that it’s just free advertising for them, but it’s much more than that. Call one of the ‘Big Guys’, and you’ll get a talking-head that has been trained to answer your question. Call one of these holistic manufacturers, and you’ll also get your answer, but be prepared to stay on the phone for a while; they are all so excited about what they’re doing and their products, and let’s face it.they have a right to be! The difference between these pure foods, and those which we can pick from the shelf at Stop ‘N’ Go, is like night and day!
So. How can you help? Call them. Visit their websites. Email them. Ask for brochures. Ask, “What the heck is this stuff that Garry’s raving about, anyway?” Ask for samples. Yes, they’re in business to sell products, but more importantly they just want your attention. They’ll go the extra mile, but we gotta let ‘em know we’re out here, and that we appreciate their participation with us. You may think it’s “bugging them” to call, but believe me, nothing could be farther from the truth.these folks want to hear from us! So again I ask our readership: Let’s all kick in and let these people know we’re glad they’re providing such quality foods that offer a healthier (and longer) life for our kitties.
1-800-919-2833 Contact: Billy Bishop
Merrick Pet Foods
1-800-664-7387 Contact: Diane Smith
1-800-364-4863 Contact: Cissy
1-800-225-0904 Contact: Jay
1-800-532-7261 Contacts: Michelle or Tony
1-800-874-3221 Contact: Edward
1-503-244-5941 Contact: Beverly Storer
O&M Pet Foods
1-888-881-7703 Contact: Marie
“Not now, Clark; maybe later on.”
How many of you have caught yourself doing just that? Maybe a rub up against our leg, or a particular meow, a certain way they walk across the room, or maybe just a certain ‘look’.and you find yourself responding as though you’d been asked a pointed question. Well, you have been asked a pointed question, friend! Many non-pet folks observe our human-cat banter and think we should schedule a meeting with the local shrink, but to cat-people it’s simply a matter of communication. I’ve done a little research on this topic, and I’ll share with you some of what I discovered.
In regards to just meowing, European researchers have discovered that cats have a unique system of vocal chords, which can.unlike humans.produce “split” sounds comprised of multiple octaves, and even multiple intonations! One article showed that lab tests have recorded and identified as many as 120-some-odd different sound combinations. An interesting note I uncovered is this: Cats will “call-out” during times of stress: Male-male confrontations, extreme fear, a warning, and when calling for a lost mate. But other than that, cats do not vocalize with other cats; they communicate with looks and body language. Meowing is for communicating with humans. Check it out, and you’ll discover that even your very vocal cat will “talk” excessively to you, but not to the other cats in the house. Clever little critters, aren’t they?
That’s one side of the coin, but there is another: their ability to understand us, which is equally profound. Some say it’s a matter of repetition and association.they learn to associate the phonetics of, say, the word “OUT” with being let outside. I disagree, and I’ll use my Clarkie for reference. Clarkie has a “thing” about his water. I’m obsessive about assuring him clean water and a clean bowl, and he’s a snooty character who expects it. Often, he’s at the bowl and looking at me, expecting me to “do” something. That part of it I’ll attribute to habit and association, BUT.if I say, “Clarkie, I just washed the bowl and that water is fresh!” He’ll start to drink it! Or I might be busy and say, “Okay, Bud; hold on a few minutes.” And that’s exactly what he’ll do. There are times I forget, and he’s still sitting beside the bowl 15-20 minutes later, waiting for me. Same with going outside for some fresh air: He’ll beg at the door, and if I say something like, “Maybe later, Clark; it’s raining outside.” he’ll walk away and forget about it. If I say, “Okay, okay, give me a few minutes.” he’ll wait right there, expectantly! Point is, it doesn’t matter what words I use, or the inflection in my voice. Cats do communicate with us, and it’s a two-way street!
Okay, here’s a fun challenge:
I bet that many of you out there could recite similar anecdotes to support this cat-human communication theory, and I’m encouraging you to do just that! Keep it around 500 words or so, and get your stories to Kathy, and she’ll give you the whole Caring For Cats article to tell us about your own experiences and nuances in regards to this topic. Send articles to Kathy (at) AssistFeed.com Helpful guidelines are found at Write articles for AssistFeed.com
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.