Vol. 2, No. 9

Table of Contents
Feline Nutrition: 
Feeding a Sick Kitty
Assist Feeding: 
Tweaking the Feedings and Tube Flange
Kitty Potpourri: 
Felix the Cat, Most Famous Cat Ever
Best Cat Food: California Natural
Caring for Cats: Proactive Plan: Step-5

Feline Nutrition
Feeding a Sick Kitty
by Garry White


This is Kathy’s doing, just so you all know.she suggested I call it “Chicken soup for sick kitties”. Actually, she suggested I do something on this particular topic because.(A) My research for last week’s article is still incoming, and (B) Clarkie boy is having some problems, which of course is keeping me pretty busy, and (C) I’m currently feeding a sick who better, right? That lady just never stops thinking!


Anyway, feeding a sick cat is a world all its own, and most often the situation requires us to toss standard conventions in the toilet. What’s right and correct for a normal, healthy cat rarely applies to one who’s under the weather, and we have to think in those terms. However, one of the conventions we cannot ignore is adequate nutrition; that’s a must, and particularly with a sick cat. So we have to assure they’re getting nutrition enough to not only keep the immune system operating normally, but better than normally, to help fight whatever is causing the sickness. And of course, sick cats –like sick people– simply aren’t interested in food, so our work is cut out for us.


A key thing to remember with our patient, is that their little systems are already upset by whatever is going on; the last thing we want to do is upset their applecart even further by “doing what we know is right”.lots of food in that belly. Yes, they do need the nutrition, but we have to be crafty in how we make that happen, and there are as many solutions to that as there are cats. Here are a few tips to consider:


  • Many people jump quickly to syringe-feeding when a cat won’t eat, but I’m not one of them. Nothing wrong with the procedure, mind you, but I consider it a later procedure, not the first thing I try. Reason? Syringe food has to be significantly diluted in order to work with the syringe, and the already-busy digestive system now has to adapt to this new consistency of diet.kitty doesn’t need any surprises right now. I try spoon-feeding first, with regular canned food, even the store brands, which aren’t the best but taste great. I’ve tried a variety of feeding tools, and after getting food everywhere but inside the cat, I ended up with this: A cheap, plastic spoon that I heated in boilingwater, then bent into a sort of like a dream!s
  • The food: Whatever they like. If it’s chunky stuff, I may smush it with a fork, but I try to keep the consistency what it would normally be. 
  • Tricks: Have a small bowl of tuna-juice nearby, and dip the spoon into it before loading with food for the next bite. Always feed from the side of the mouth, not the front. Keep the head elevated just barely higher than level.too low and they’ll spit it out; too high and they could easily choke on it. Talk excitedly after each them, let them know how much fun that was. Biggie: Scatter the feedings over several times, rather than try to do a lot of food at one sitting.

Bottom line with feeding a sick cat: Feed them what they like, do it incrementally and slowly, and remind them constantly of how proud you are.

Assist Feeding
Tweaking the Feedings and Tube Flange
by Kathy Fatheree


Last Week. we were oh so happy to hear that Bert’s jaundice was fading fast! This means that his liver is starting to ‘unclog’ and that it starting to work as it should. Regular feedings with the proper food is the cure for Fatty Liver Disease (Feline Hepatic Lipidosis (FHL)).


A Few Adjustments are Needed
At first we were feeding Bert 20cc’s every two hours and then 53cc’s every four hours until we worked our way up to 80cc’s every six hours. The problem that we were having was with vomiting. At first we assumed we were going too fast for him. We backed down to only 2cc’s a minute (at 80cc’s a feeding, this was taking a while). He did okay with the slower feeding and almost seemed to enjoy it. He would sleep and purr but as soon as we finished he would vomit.


Between Friday and Monday morning he had vomited five times after his feedings. Two times really stood out though. The first of the two, I had fed Bert his 80cc’s and he did fine. He slept the entire time and had no issues with the amount. After about 45-50 minutes we finished and we capped his tube. Bert got up and stood between our pillows and kept looking at the door. We took this to mean he needed to use the litter box and since he was having some issues with being wobbly when he walked I picked him up to take him in to his box. In fact the only time Bert had used the litter box since he got home was when we took him in there. I sat him down and my poor little guy stood for about a half a minute and vomited all 80cc’s. I felt so bad for him. Ironically after he threw up he *did* have to use the litter box!


The next day practically the same thing happened again. I fed him his 80cc’s and he did wonderful, slept the entire time. I capped him off and pet him for a few minutes and he purred and was very relaxed. He stood up and yawned, stretched and moved to adjust his position and fell over. He stood back up and his entire body was wracked with heaves, again he vomited all 80cc’s.


I called Dr. Smith right then and let them know that we needed to come in. I didn’t think that Bert was having a problem with the feeding tube but just looking at the little guy you could see that he was so nauseous he couldn’t see straight. He had his head hung low when he would lay on the bed, he was wobbly and getting lethargic. I swear that baby just looked green!


Dr. Smith examined the tube site and thought that perhaps the flange might be on too tight (the piece on the outside of the body holding the tube in place). He also suspected that Bert was having issues with the amount of protein in the CliniCare. So he cleaned up the tube site (which he said looked great, btw) and loosened the flange. We were given instructions to dilute Bert’s CliniCare by 50% with warm water. If Bert did okay on this for two days then he would be switched to a renal diet formula of the CliniCare, the same amount of calories just half the protein.

So we bring Bert home and within an hour you can see he is doing better. He is less wobbly and just looks better. I know it sounds ridiculous for me to say that I could *see* that he was nauseous, but honestly I could! It was in his body language!

Now here we are two days later and Bert hasn’t vomited one single time. He is getting up to use the litter box on his own as well! I don’t know if it was the loosening of the flange that did it or the change in diet or both but he is doing sooo much better! He is still having a little trouble with the 80cc’s being too much at one sitting for him (we were supposed to eventually work our way up to 106!) so we really watch him for his signs when he’s full. He’ll sleep throughout the feeding but he lets you know immediately when he’s full. He’ll wake up and look down at the tube and start to get up. If we don’t finish and cap him off right then he starts with the excessive drooling and mouth smacking. So we’ve really been able to work out a system with him. Dr. Smith said that we may never get him up to the 106 at a time and if we actually have the time to do it, 80cc’s four times a day is the same thing. Most people move up to the 106 because it’s more convenient time wise. Well I’m home 24 hours a day with him so I totally don’t mind the extra feeding. Especially since he seems to do so much better with it.


…Be sure to check in next week to follow Bert’s journey!

Kitty Potpourri
Felix the Cat, the Most Famous Cat Ever
by Dan Malenski


This week’s article will be devoted to Felix the Cat, who is likely the most famous cat ever, and next week, we will tell you about the virtual Felix the Cat who will delight you by performing for you on your PC. I originally did not plan to devote an entire article to Felix, but the girls insisted that I do so after uncovering a treasure trove of information about the early Felix and how he succeeded in every one of his endeavors. By this time, you all know who rules this household by now.


Felix made his debut in the “Feline Follies”, a short film created in the early 1900s, and by the early 1920s, he became the star in the syndicated comic strip, “Felix the Cat”. According to most literature, New Jersey cartoonist Otto Messmer created Felix, the curious and mischievous cat, but other sources claim that Australian cartoonist Pat Sullivan was the real creator, who employed Otto Messmer at the time. Felix’s popularity quickly soared and he became so famous that he was chosen by Charles Lindbergh to be his mascot on his historic transatlantic flight. In later years, Otto’s protégé, Joe Oriolo, created new characters and gave Felix a new image, which is the delightful, round-faced Felix most of us now know.


A fact that most of us don’t know is that Felix was the first image broadcast over the airwaves by the folks who created television at RCA Research Labs in the year 1928. When television was in its creation, it was necessary to constantly monitor and make adjustments in order to maintain picture quality and a search was on for the perfect actor. Felix fit the bill perfectly because he was the right color (black and white), did not mind working long hours, and did not demand a high salary. Felix was in the form of a 13-inch figure made of paper mache and the first images broadcast consisted of sixty lines, and had a whopping height of two inches! The photograph imbedded in this paragraph is the first television picture ever, and the ones beneath were broadcast later during television’s development.

Over the years, Felix became increasing popular, with his face on clocks, balloons, cards, toys, jewelry, and in films and television. Late in the 1950s, Joe Oriolo produced a total of 264 five-minute television episodes for Trans-Lux TV for first run syndication. They were a smash hit that ran continuously for twenty years! Joe’s son, Don Oriolo, who loved Felix as much as his father, assumed the task of taking Felix into the next century. In the mid 1980s, Don single-handedly wrote a full length feature film titled “Felix the Cat, the Movie”, which was a smash hit as his other films, which entertained people throughout the world. The Disney channel played the film in steady rotation over the next ten years. Beneath this paragraph are just some of the faces that Felix had over the years from the earliest.


Since the late 1980s, and especially into the new millennium, licensing and merchandising exploded under the leadership of Don Oriolo, with 50 new licensing deals occurring in the year 2003 alone. Melissa is now shaking her paw at me, warning me not to be carried away and allow our readers to continue reading the

wealth of information accumulated on Felix on their own, as we can easily continue to write about him into the next millennium! Below are two links where you can continue to read about Felix. The first contains some good historical data but appears to be focused on merchandising, and the second is for the more serious reader who prefers to read everything there is about Felix without the glitz. It is an excellent resource, with an abundant number of links, which covers every facet of Felix’s career.


Welcome to Felix the Cat

The Classic Felix the Cat Page

Next week, we will focus on just one company licensed to use Felix’s image, and that is the virtual Felix, who will be happy to entertain you right on your own PC, so be sure to visit with us next week!

Best Cat Food
California Natural
by Garry White


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: California Natural
Product: Venison & Brown Rice
Type: Canned

Our Rating:   

Kitty Rating: 

Kitty Comments:
Oh, a-hunting we will go, a-hunting we will go.”


Our Comments:
Clark, put the shotgun away; you’re scaring Wilbur! If you want venison again, go fetch that green can off the kitchen counter.” It’s understandable, though, why he’d take such desperate measures for venison again, after tasting this California Natural stuff. I mean; it even smelled good to me! Of course you know that before I brag about a food to all of you, I take a pretty serious peek under the hood, and WHOA! The list (and order, and source) of ingredients will dazzle you to pieces. Somebody put a lot of thought into this food; for example: They use fish-broth as a moistener, instead of just water. Plenty of calories to help maintain weight and keep the cat immune system running on all cylinders. Ground brown rice; one of the friendly carbs and something they need, and which also enhances the aroma and flavor. As always, I ran the nutrient profile through my trusty calculator, and this food falls very much inside the parameters of something I’d recommend for a normal, healthy cat. In fact, I found it to be delightfully shy of the booby-prizes, such as: Sodium, phosphorous, and manganese! Something else they pointed out on the website, too, and I nearly missed it: This is an excellent alternative for cats who have problems digesting chicken and lamb. I classify California Natural as a best cat food. Give it a try, folks; you won’t be sorry.

Manufacturer Says:
California Natural canned venison formula for cats provides a nutritious and tasty alternative to the typical canned cat food. 100% natural, with NO nasty meat by-products and NO artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors, California Natural canned venison proves that a healthy cat food can excite your cat’s taste buds!


With whole Venison meat as the primary ingredient, California Natural canned Venison for cats also provides an excellent alternative for cats who may be sensitive or allergic to Chicken, Lamb, or Beef, or just want to try a great new taste.


This excellent natural formula is balanced with properly managed levels of magnesium for urinary tract health, a complete daily vitamin program, and added Taurine for feline health. The addition of ground flaxseed and herring brings essential Omega 3 fatty acids to the diet for beautiful coats and a healthy immune system. Try California Natural canned Venison risk free- Natura Pet Products gives consumers a 100% satisfaction guarantee! Available at thousands of independent pet supply retailers (no national chains, grocery, or mass merchants)- see our website for stores in your area, and call ahead for availability.



Phone: 1-800-532-7261

Caring for Cats
Proactive Plan: Step-5
by Garry White


Basic nutrition summary

Well, I may have to steal a few ideas from the Feline Nutrition article of this newsletter, but hopefully the author of that article will understand that I mean well.

First and foremost, we’ll glaze over the absolute importance of clean dishes (glass, not plastic) for food and water; no need to remind you that these are natural places for bacteria to multiply exponentially.


Secondly, let’s touch on the finer elements of presentation. Does that really matter to a cat? Would it matter if I served you a great the bathroom, on a paper towel? Of course it really matters to a cat. There are guidelines, but that’s all they are; guidelines. Some say flat-white-plates. Many say food should be at room temperature. Heck, I’ve said these things myself, because they are the mainstream, the norm that seems to work for many. But unless your cat’s name is Norm, then you need to do the other thing I profess above all else: Watch your cat and do what he/she prefers, and forget about Norm! My Angel Lewie, for example.would not touch warm food, but cold he loved! So the bottom line with presentation is simple: Determine where they like to eat, what they like to eat from, and their preferred temperature of the food. And then do what your cat wants, not what I or anyone else tell you is the right thing to do!


Food.well, you know I’m gonna tell you to “Go Holistic”, if you haven’t already done so. But with a mild caution or three: One, holistic foods are made with pure, human-grade ingredients, and they’re not laced with preservatives. Whooppieee! Yes and no: Of course pure food is better than preservatives, but the absence of preservatives means.what? Holistic foods will spoil quicker than those loaded with preservatives, so we have to be extremely careful about that. Two, if your kitty has been living on a diet of general, commercial foods, you want to make the switch slowly and gradually; let their systems adjust, the same as you and I would have to with a totally new diet. I’m a classic case in point: As you know, I’m fond of good Scotch, but if Kathy doesn’t give me a raise soon, I’ll probably have to switch to Thunderbird Wine, and I don’t expect the transition to be an easy one!


How much food; what is adequate nutrition? Here we go back to the books, and again I caution you to understand that the numbers are guideline only. The books say that the standard for a normal, healthy, middle-age cat 27.5 calories per-pound-of-cat, per day. So a 4 year old,10-pound cat, needs 275 calories a day. Does that mean a 14 year old, 22-pound cat, needs 605 calories? Of course not, and the numbers also don’t apply to kittens who need much more than their weight would dictate. We use the standard values and adjust as our own situation dictates.


Good food, clean dishes that attract they eye, served where they prefer to eat, and at a temperature they find desirable.what else can I say?

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.