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My Awesome Cat Sam

brandonmc84
January 19th, 2009, 07:33 PM
Hello, and thank you for accepting me for membership. Me and my girlfriend have a cat named Sam (who we call "Kitty"). He is about 3 years old. He has a few unfortunate illnesses, but he is not in pain. He runs around playing happily.
Kitty is allergic to 20 things, according to his $300.00 blood test. For this, we need to administer shots ourselves every 30 days. The next one is in 2 days. He also gets crystals in his bladder, so we have to feed him only special veterinary food. My father suggested that we trade him in for a new one, and my girlfriend's mother strongly encourages us to give him up as well. But Kitty is happy, so no way. He is a great and adorable cat.
(Edited by admin - no promotion please)
Kitty is sitting in the chair next to me right now, like it's his own chair. He loves to play with everything, except for the toys we buy for him :thumbs up I would be happy to answer any questions you have for me in this forum. Thank you for reading.

Mat&Murph
January 19th, 2009, 07:45 PM
Hey and welcome!! Kitty is too cute!!!! Good for you guys in keeping him. As Long as he is happy and in no pain there is no reason why he can live a happy life!!!!! There are lots of kitty people on here and they might even have some advice for you.
Welcome to pets

Dee-O-Gee
January 19th, 2009, 08:00 PM
Welcome to the forum! We have a pure white cat and her name is well....Kitty. I love the website of Sam. You could finish painting the left side under his nose and he could have a complete mustache! He's beautiful. I think it's great that you have chosen to hang onto him--way to go :thumbs up

krdahmer
January 19th, 2009, 08:22 PM
Welcome! Many of us have 'special' pets who need extra care...this is a great place for advice and even just to vent and share stories and pics (we love pics.... must have more pics!!!)! Kitty is adorable and I love that debonaire half-stache! :lovestruck:

dustybird
January 19th, 2009, 08:59 PM
Hello and welcome!

Kitty is just adorable:lovestruck: and yes the half stache is just awesome. I to have a cat that after being pet for awhile nips and likes to use his paws, so I know what you mean about the paw to paw fighting...lol. Love the pics and the website.

hazelrunpack
January 19th, 2009, 09:58 PM
Welcome to the board! What an adorable cat!!! I love Kitty's markings. :D

Hand-to-paw fighting! :laughing:

And I hear ya about the vet bills...it's not unusual for us to drop a grand a week at the vet :rolleyes: But what are ya gonna do? We love our furkids. :cloud9:

sugarcatmom
January 20th, 2009, 12:07 AM
Kitty is allergic to 20 things, according to his $300.00 blood test. For this, we need to administer shots ourselves every 30 days. The next one is in 2 days. He also gets crystals in his bladder, so we have to feed him only special veterinary food.

Aww, what a cute kitty. Very unique looking.

Just out of curiosity, what is Sam eating right now, and what did he eat before? I have to tell you that prescription veterinary food is a total scam and Sam would probably do much better on a more natural diet. Crystals are usually synonymous with dry food, as are allergies, so many times just switching to a species appropriate wet food is enough to help with both issues. Here is more info for you to check out on the topic of feline nutrition: http://www.catinfo.org/

Oh ya, and welcome to pets.ca!!

growler~GateKeeper
January 20th, 2009, 01:04 AM
Sam Kitty is adorable :lovestruck:

Welcome to pet.ca :D

Love4himies
January 20th, 2009, 07:31 AM
Welcome to pets.ca

Very, very pretty kitty, brandonmc84. :cloud9: :lovestruck:

BTW, I trust Sugarcatmom and Growler 110% with nutrition advice and would try the advice they give you, may save you $$$ in vet bills ;)

14+kitties
January 20th, 2009, 07:36 AM
Welcome brandonmc84. Sam is indeed a handsome dude. :cloud9:

Sugarcatmom is a great kitty guru. She has done tons of research over the last six years or so in a quest to keep her kitty alive (successfully). I also think it's a great idea to change cat foods. Unfortunately vets do not get much of an education in cat nutrition during their schooling. Read the site SCM has given you. I can guarantee it will open your eyes and help mend the wound to your pocketbook with the money you pay for that expensive "food".

bds1960to
January 20th, 2009, 08:11 AM
Great markings. A unique looking fella. His 'stache reminds me of 1970s baseball player Rolly Fingers, famous for his handlebar moustache.

47160

catlover2
January 20th, 2009, 08:28 AM
How adorable she is! Just gorgeous. I looked at your other pics as well. Thanks so much for looking after so well this special-needs girl. A word of caution tho. U mention she likes to play with dental floss & shoe laces. Dental floss, thread, strings & shoe laces should be a no no. If swallowed can end up blocking the intestines or worse, which could result in a very expensive surgery. Just a heads up! :cat:

brandonmc84
January 20th, 2009, 02:03 PM
Thank you to everyone who views this post! Yes, I get alot of jokes about his 'stache! I welcome all advice, but right now I don't plan on changing his food. Crystals are life-threatening, and the food is working. Sugar- he eats Urinary-SO dry and wet food, if you're familiar with that. Catinfo.org is a very long site, and I'm not sure where to look for urinary food info, so if you can tell me, I'll definately look. Catlover- I don't very often let him play with floss, and I'll take your advice and not do that anymore.
Edited by Marko ADmin - NO self-promo

sugarcatmom
January 20th, 2009, 05:36 PM
Crystals are life-threatening, and the food is working.

Oh I'm very aware of that, trust me. I had a cat many years ago, before I know anything about feline nutrition, that required perineal urethostomy surgery (basically, penis removal) because his urinary tract was blocked so badly.

Sugar- he eats Urinary-SO dry and wet food, if you're familiar with that.

Yup. Here are the ingredients of the dry:

Chicken meal, rice, corn gluten meal, corn, chicken fat, natural flavors, wheat gluten, powdered cellulose, salt, dried brewers yeast, dried egg powder, potassium chloride,anchovy oil, sodium bisulfate, calcium sulfate, soya bean oil, taurine, choline chloride, DL-methionine....

A bunch of grain with an acidifier added (because eating plants results in alkaline urine, which can result in struvite crystal formation) and extra salt to make a cat drink more water. Completely illogical. How about feed cats a meat-based wet food diet instead? That's what they were meant to eat in the first place.

Here are the ingredients for the wet:

Water, meat by-products, chicken by-products, animal fat (preserved with BHA/BHT), natural flavors,....

By-products (and un-named "mystery meat" by-products no less), which are then preserved with known carcinogens (BHA/BHT). There is nothing magical about these foods, and in fact they can be quite harmful in the long-run. Many cats actually end up developing calcium oxalate crystals eating these over-acidified diets.

At the very least, I urge you to stop feeding the dry food. No cat that has urinary tract issues should be on kibble, no matter what type of kibble it is.

Catinfo.org is a very long site, and I'm not sure where to look for urinary food info, so if you can tell me, I'll definately look.

You really should check out the whole site, it's quite informative about a lot of issues. I'm just on my way out the door but perhaps later I can give you a synopsis.

rainbow
January 20th, 2009, 07:29 PM
Brandonmc84, welcome to pets.ca :highfive: .....Sam Kitty is one very handsome boy :lovestruck: and I love that moustache. :D

I just wanted to say that sugarcatmom is one of the cat gurus here and has helped many people with their kitty problems. She gives excellent information and her advice is second to none. :thumbs up

14+kitties
January 20th, 2009, 09:29 PM
Brandonmc84, welcome to pets.ca :highfive: .....Sam Kitty is one very handsome boy :lovestruck: and I love that moustache. :D

I just wanted to say that sugarcatmom is one of the cat gurus here and has helped many people with their kitty problems. She gives excellent information and her advice is second to none. :thumbs up

I second that rainbow! Sugarcatmom could teach vets what cats should be eating. Vets get their info from high pressure sales people who want them to buy their crappy food. Then vets push it on the patients because they have been told it's such a great, fantastic food. Of course they are going to push it. They make a profit on it! Too bad they haven't figured out yet that it's the food they are pushing that is making the cats sick! We all know that crystals are life threatening. That is why we are telling you about better nutrition for your Sam.

brandonmc84 - you should really take the time to read that site SCM sent you. It would open your eyes and could give your kitty many added on years of quality life.

sugarcatmom
January 21st, 2009, 11:34 AM
Kitty is allergic to 20 things, according to his $300.00 blood test. For this, we need to administer shots ourselves every 30 days.

Allergy testing in cats tends to be rather unreliable, but just out of curiosity, what are these 20 things that Sam is apparently allergic to? Is the shot you give him a steroid, by any chance? This works to lessen symptoms by suppressing the immune system, but does nothing to address the source of the problem. Steroid use also has some pretty serious consequences, not the least of which is diabetes. Honestly, a better diet would go a long way towards helping Sam with his allergy issues as well as his problem with crystals.

Catinfo.org is a very long site, and I'm not sure where to look for urinary food info, so if you can tell me, I'll definately look.

Some highlights from the site:

With regard to overall kidney and bladder health, I cannot stress strongly enough how important WATER, WATER, WATER is in both the prevention and treatment of diseases involving this organ system.

When a cat is on a diet of water-depleted dry food, they produce a more highly concentrated urine (higher urine specific gravity - USG) and they produce a lower volume of urine which means that a higher concentration of crystals will be present in the urine. This increases the chance of these crystals forming life-threatening stones. The concentrated urine and the lack of volume production can also be very irritating to the lining of the bladder wall predisposing them to painful cystitis.

Please keep in mind that a cat has a very low thirst drive and is designed to get water with their food. A diet of canned food will keep a proper amount of water flowing through the urinary tract system and help maintain its health.

Many of the so-called feline lower urinary tract diets are formulated to make the urine acidic but it is thought that these low magnesium, acidifying diets may actually exacerbate painful cystitis. Also, these acidifying diets, which are so often prescribed, may end up promoting calcium oxylate stones and hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood).

With regard to dry food and urinary tract health, aside from the lack of water in this type of diet, there is also a correlation between the consumption of a high carbohydrate diet and the formation of struvite crystals as shown by this study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14974568?dopt=Abstract).

Veterinarians often prescribe Science Diet dry c/d and x/d for urinary tract problems but again, these diets are only ten percent water and contain a high level of species-inappropriate ingredients and questionable preservatives. They are also very high in carbohydrates with dry c/d containing 42 percent of its weight as carbohydrates. Please note the first few ingredients in c/d while remembering that your cat is a carnivore:

Brewers rice, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, pork fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), chicken liver flavor, taurine, preserved with BHT and BHA

Diet is not the only issue involved with cystitis but it is an important one and one that we can control. Stress is also thought to play a very significant role in cystitis and even cats that are fed a 100 percent canned food diet may experience bouts of cystitis. This is a very frustrating disease to deal with and one that the veterinary community does not have all the answers for. What we do know is that decreasing stress and increasing the water content of the diet are the most important management issues to address. The water content of the diet is easy to control. The stress issue is another matter and is not always easy to address since cats can be very sensitive and are often 'silent' in their stress.

Some additional info from this excellent site: http://maxshouse.com/feline_nutrition.htm

The food's caloric density, digestibility, and urine-acidifying properties should all be considered when selecting a commercial cat food for the prevention of struvite urolithiasis. Constituents of foodstuffs exert major effects on urine pH. Sulfur-containing amino acids, phospholipids, and phosphoproteins naturally found in a carnivorous diet naturally acidify the urine, whereas salts of organic acids alkalinize it. Salts of dietary organic acids, which come primarily from plant material and found in high quantities in dry food, have an alkalinizing effect.

Cats increase voluntary water intake when fed dry food but not in sufficient amounts to fully compensate for the lower moisture content of the food. In a recent study, cats consuming a diet containing 10% moisture with free access to drinking water had an average daily urine volume of 63 milliliters (ml). This volume increased to 112 ml/day when fed a canned diet with a moisture content of 75%. Urine specific gravity was also higher in cats that were fed the low-moisture food. Decreased urine volume may be an important risk factor for the development of urolithiasis in cats. Diets that cause a decrease in total fluid turnover can result in decreased urine volume and increased urine concentration, both of which may contribute to urinary tract disease in cats. Several studies have shown that dry cat foods contribute to decreased fluid intake and urine volume.

Homeostatic control of water balance in cats differs in some important respects from that of dogs Cats make less precise and rapid compensatory changes in voluntary water intake than dogs in response to changes in the water content of their food. Similarly, their compensatory drinking response to dehydration due to increased environmental temperature is less effective than dogs. This apparent weakness of the cat's thirst drive to respond to changes in her state of hydration has led to the conclusion that feeding canned food assures adequate hydration at all times.

In addition to ensuring adequate hydration, a high water turnover helps eliminate crystallogenic substances before they grow to sufficient size to interfere with normal urinary function. This is a very important consideration for male cats. Cats that cannot urinate for more than 24 hours due to urinary tract obstruction can die from acute renal failure and/or severe damage to the urinary bladder. In addition to the removal of crystals, benefits of increased water intake include dilution of any noxious substances in urine, and more frequent urination to decrease bladder contact time with urine that may reduce the risks of urinary tract disease. For that reason, canned diets are usually prescribed as the first-line therapy for feline lower urinary tract disease.

brandonmc84
January 21st, 2009, 01:13 PM
Thank you everyone for all the helpful advice. I read over all of your comments, and it sounds like what I really should do is try to increase Kitty's water intake. He sometimes likes when I change his water, which at this point I have only been doing once a day. We give him cold water out of the fridge, which is the same water we drink. It's tap water, which I don't believe is all that bad. I will definately increase this to at lease twice a day. On a different, sadder note, I had to give Kitty a shot today. I had to draw out 1.0 mL of medicine from the bottle with the needle, making sure there were no bubbles. Then, my girlfriend Tiffany had to get the blanket ready to wrap him up in. Then, I had to pick him up from where he was comfortably laying, place him onto the blanket, and wrap him up tight enough so he couldn't get out, but loose enough not to hurt him. Once wrapped up on Tiffany's lap, I had to lift the skin between his shoulderblades, stick him with the needle and quickly start emptying the medicine into him. He jerked, and the needle hurt him. The needle hit something hard because when I finished pumping the medicine and took the needle out, it was bent. We let him go. He didn't get scared for too long though, and he's friends with us again. I hate having to do that to him, at least it's only once a month though. Sugar, I don't believe Kitty isn't getting steroids in the medicine, though when his symptoms come back once in a while he gets prescribed steroid pills. Thank all of you for reading and commenting, I'll post again soon!

sugarcatmom
January 21st, 2009, 01:48 PM
it sounds like what I really should do is try to increase Kitty's water intake.

What you really should do is read the info I've given you ;). In a nutshell:

cats evolved in the desert

there is very little water in the desert

cats evolved getting all of their water requirements met through their diet of juicy mice, birds, lizards and insects, thus they have a very low thirst drive

cats eating dry food are chronically dehydrated, even when they drink plenty of extra water

this dehydration results concentrated urine that is more prone to crystal formation

best way to ensure a cat gets enough moisture in their diet: FEED WET FOOD!!!


, I don't believe Kitty isn't getting steroids in the medicine, though when his symptoms come back once in a while he gets prescribed steroid pills.

If you can tell me what the name of the medicine is, I can tell you whether it's a steroid or not. On a related note regarding diet, if you were to change Sam's food to something more appropriate for a cat (one that doesn't contain the highly allergenic ingredients that the Urinary S/O food does), there would be a much better chance that his allergies would diminish, if not go away completely.

growler~GateKeeper
January 21st, 2009, 09:19 PM
I had to lift the skin between his shoulderblades, stick him with the needle and quickly start emptying the medicine into him. He jerked, and the needle hurt him. The needle hit something hard because when I finished pumping the medicine and took the needle out, it was bent.

Were you shown by a vet or tech the proper way to check for needle placement?

What brand and size needles are you using?

There is no reason a needle should bend while dispensing meds even if you hit the shoulder bone -the needles are not flexible.

I give my kidney failure cat subq fluids every other day, she calmly lays on my lap with no restraint.

sugarcatmom
January 22nd, 2009, 07:16 AM
There is no reason a needle should bend while dispensing meds even if you hit the shoulder bone -the needles are not flexible.


Actually the finer gauge needles (like 29-31) are pretty flexible and will bend if they encounter resistance.

brandonmc84
January 22nd, 2009, 07:22 PM
Hello again everyone! I got up and checked to see what size Kitty's needles are, and all it says is 1mL. It might be size R, if such thing exists, because the box says Sterile|R. I can't find anything else. The brand is Kendall Monoject. Sugar- the name of the allergy fluid is Spectrum Labs, Inc. I don't see any other specific name on it. The vet said the medicine was just the stuff he's allergic to, so as to build his immume system and give him tolerance to his allergies. And it's working quite well. I really want what's best for Kitty, and I don't know who to trust. I'll definately talk with the vet about all of this, but I'm really worried that his bladder crystals will come back. I hope you guys can forgive me for that. He is stable and doing well, happy and playful, and that's all I ask for. News of the day- Kitty was actually playing with one of the toys we bought him. Usually he just plays with everything around the house except his toys.
Edited by Marko - NO SELF PROMO

14+kitties
January 22nd, 2009, 10:44 PM
I really want what's best for Kitty, and I don't know who to trust. I'll definately talk with the vet about all of this, but I'm really worried that his bladder crystals will come back. I hope you guys can forgive me for that.

If this is truly the case then please take the time to read through the link that sugarcatmom gave you. It will open your eyes. I promise you. If your vet has told you that the food you are feeding now is the best for your cat do you really think he will tell you any different if you say there is something better out there? After all, he/she is making a profit off of the meds/food that you are buying on a regular basis. Why ruin a good thing.

The best defense is education. There has been multiple tests done on the need for cats to have sufficient water. They simply do not get it when they are eating grain and corn filled dry food. Not even if you give them fresh water. It's that old saying...... you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. You can provide the water. Doesn't mean Sam will drink more. :shrug: So, educate yourself. Google wet versus dry foods for cats. See what comes up. Just don't read the reports done by pet food companies. You KNOW how those will end up!!

As for forgiving you. We don't have to forgive you. Sam does. Please educate yourself for Sam's sake.

sugarcatmom
January 23rd, 2009, 07:47 PM
I got up and checked to see what size Kitty's needles are, and all it says is 1mL.

That's the capacity of the syringe barrel. If you have the box or bag they came in, it should also list the length of the needle (eg 5/16" or 1/2") and the diameter of the needle (listed as "gauge", as in 29g, 30g etc). The higher the gauge number, the thinner the needle (so 31g is thinner than 28g). Depending on what gauge syringe you have, you may want to ask your vet for a thinner one so that it's more comfortable for Sam.

the name of the allergy fluid is Spectrum Labs, Inc. I don't see any other specific name on it.

Ah, okay. I get it now. You had the SPOT testing done by Spectrum Labs and now you're giving Sam hyposensitization treatments that they designed according to the results. If it seems to be working, that's great. But I'm still going to give you my spiel on nutrition :D.

You see, cats have rather narrow and very specific nutritional requirements, and unfortunately all commercial dry foods have bypassed these requirements in favour of convenience to their owners (and profits to the companies that make it). There are absolutely no benefits to the millions of cats forced to eat this stuff everyday. Not only are most of the ingredients in dry foods bad for cats (they were never meant to eat corn or wheat or soy or rice), but the very nature of dry food being DRY, is bad for cats. It's dry food that is almost entirely responsible for male cats suffering life-threatening urinary tract blockages in the first place.

So here we have pet food companies making our cats sick (and not just with FLUTD, but also diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, dental disease, kidney disease, ALLERGIES .....etc), and then guess what? They respond by making yet another crappy food that is supposed to treat these various conditions, that they created in the first place!!! Only these ones cost waaaaay more and can only be purchased from the vet.

So you're probably thinking that the vet knows a little something about nutrition, and if they say these prescription foods are good and necessary to save your cat's life, then it must be true. Wrong on both counts. What little nutrition education vets get in school is from representatives of the very pet foods they then sell in their clinic. Conflict of interest? I should say so. Honestly, the last person you should be asking about Sam's diet is his vet. You could save yourself a great deal of money by feeding him a good quality wet food that doesn't come from a veterinary office.

The other very important thing that the vet obviously hasn't mentioned is that these special urinary diets are not meant for long-term feeding. They can result in metabolic acidosis from ingesting artificial acidifiers over a long period of time.

Anyway, a couple of easy-reading links on why vets should not be prescribing food:
http://catnutrition.wordpress.com/2008/01/22/dry-food-and-vets/
http://naturalcathealth.blogspot.com/2007/08/for-many-years-like-majority-of-pet.html

growler~GateKeeper
January 24th, 2009, 12:59 AM
:2cents: I still think if the process of giving the shot and the needle going in is uncomfortable/painful and especially if you are hitting something with the needle, you need to have your vet show you again where & how to inject the needle to cause the least amount of discomfort to your cat. The needle should not be hitting anything under the skin.

brandonmc84
January 24th, 2009, 12:19 PM
Hello everyone and thank you guys very much for the helpful advice. I looked through both the comments from you guys and the links provided by Sugar. I do feed Kitty wet food. It does seem that dry food is not very healthy, but Kitty only goes through a bowl of it every 3 days or so. And it seems that everyone feeds their cats dry food, and most cats live long and happy lives. I know a lady who adopts pets and tries to find them homes, so she's the only non-vet I know who may possibly be an "expert", not to put down you guys. I see her on Thursdays, so I'll definately bring all this up for discussion. I am still afraid to change his diet because I'd feel terrible if his crystals came back. I realize the urinary food could be allergenic, but his symptoms haven't shown up for a while. Anyway I'm attaching some all new pics to this post for all of my viewers to enjoy.

brandonmc84
January 24th, 2009, 12:22 PM
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Kitty's needles are size 25 5/8. Let me know what you think of this.

sugarcatmom
January 24th, 2009, 06:20 PM
And it seems that everyone feeds their cats dry food, and most cats live long and happy lives.

And many cats don't. Sam is already an example of the harm that kibble can do because his past problem with urinary crystals is a direct result of eating plant-based, water depleted food. The facts are that cats are coming down with a number of serious illnesses at unprecedented rates, and these illnesses can all be linked to a dry food diet. Sorry to belabour the point, but this is something I feel very strongly about and have done extensive research on. I could give you links up the wazoo to read, or even to show your vet, if you're interested.

Not to mention, there's a big difference between merely surviving and thriving.

I know a lady who adopts pets and tries to find them homes, so she's the only non-vet I know who may possibly be an "expert",

Some lady that adopts out pets may indeed be an "expert" at finding them homes, but that doesn't automatically mean she knows the first thing about what they should be eating.

I am still afraid to change his diet because I'd feel terrible if his crystals came back.

I totally understand your fear and believe it or not, I do sympathize with your predicament. On the one hand you have the vet that you trust and respect telling you to feed a particular food, meanwhile a complete stranger is saying that you should feed something else entirely. It's a tough spot to be in and I thank you for hearing me out so far.

Anyway I'm attaching some all new pics to this post for all of my viewers to enjoy.

Totally adorable!! Keep 'em coming..... :)

sugarcatmom
January 24th, 2009, 06:42 PM
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Kitty's needles are size 25 5/8. Let me know what you think of this.

Yikes, that is a hefty size needle (both in length and thickness). I'm not sure if there's a specific reason for using it, but I would definitely ask the vet if it's possible to try something smaller. It might be that due to the volume of the liquid you're injecting, they chose 25g so that it goes in faster. Perhaps if you are able to use a thinner gauge you could give Sam the shot while he's eating a yummy treat and he wouldn't even notice (and you wouldn't have to restrain him with the towel).

Another thing to consider is warming up the contents of the syringe before you inject it. I have no idea if you store the Spectrum Labs vial in the fridge, but apparently it can sting quite a bit to get a cold injection. When I give my cat his insulin shot, I warm the syringe up in the crook of my elbow for a few minutes first to take the edge off.

marko
January 26th, 2009, 09:14 AM
brandonmc84 - You are welcome on our forum but any type of self-promo is against the rules no matter how subtle.
thx
Marko admin

brandonmc84
January 31st, 2009, 05:39 PM
Hi everyone! Sorry I haven't posted in a while, I've had alot going on, and not much Kitty news. Anyways, Kitty now likes to climb on the bed between me and Tiffany at night. It's so cool! Also, I am ordering more of Kitty's shots this month, he has 1 dose left for the 20th of Feb. He gets a shot every 30 days for allergies, for those who don't know. That's about all for now. Sugar, thanks for your continued interest in Kitty. His injections are 1mL of liquid, if that explains the thickness. The lady who adopts pets I know said she doesn't believe the food is that unhealthy, although she may not be so knowledgable in cat diet, as you say. She also happens to be my social worker, and advises me about trusting people on the internet for such advise. I have yet to talk to the vet about all of this, I'll ask when I pick up the shot liquid. Thanks for all of the advice sugar, and thanks everyone for reading.

sugarcatmom
February 2nd, 2009, 05:24 PM
She also happens to be my social worker, and advises me about trusting people on the internet for such advise. I have yet to talk to the vet about all of this, I'll ask when I pick up the shot liquid.

I completely understand about not believing everything you read on the net, and if I was the only one saying this stuff, you'd be smart to ignore me. Except that I'm only reiterating the info I've learned from others who have much more expertise in this field. These "others" are veterinarians who specialize in felines and have done considerably more research than your average general practice vet. They've published papers and written books and give lectures to other vets, and are well respected in the veterinary community. Perhaps when you do talk to your vet about this, you can give him/her these names and links to look up so they can do their own research:

Start with Dr. Debra Zoran's quintessential article published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Association: The Carnivore Connection to Nutrition in Cats (http://www.catinfo.org/zorans_article.pdf)

Then Dr. Deborah Greco has some stuff to say about obesity and diabetes on the Veterinary News (http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/dvm/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=110710) website:

Deborah Greco, DVM, Ph.D., a leading researcher in the field of feline diabetes and an internist, endocrinologist at The Animal Medical Center in New York, showcased the so-called Catkin's diet at the recently concluded American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine meeting in Minneapolis. Greco notes that in a cat's natural environment, mice would be a main staple and are composed of roughly 40-45 percent protein, 3-5 percent carbohydrate and 40-45 percent fat.

"Cats should have a diet that is high protein, high fat and low carbohydrate," Greco says.

Feeding cats any brand of canned food is better than dry, Greco says.

"High levels of carbohydrates in dry food, causes overproduction of insulin, increased hunger and weight gain," Greco adds.

Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins has a couple of excellent books out on cats and nutrition and was the only vet to testify at the Senate hearings in the U.S. regarding the massive pet food recall in 2007. A link to one of her websites: http://www.all-about-cats.com/long-life.htm

As recently as 25 years ago, there were few commercial cat food products and most pet cats still lived almost entirely on prey they captured on their own supplemented by human table foods, usually some type of meat. Only once cats began to be pets underfoot in the homes of their owners did commercially prepared, highly processed foods become a staple of the housecatís diet. Today, unfortunately, these packaged foods are in most cases the exclusive diet of our cats.

Even though they are popular because of their convenience, these foods are really little more than the equivalent of convenience foods we humans eat. Like our own boxed, bagged, or fast-food type foods, commercial cat foods lack the freshness and nutrient quality of the catís natural meat-based wild diet and, in the case of all dry foods, are full of highly processed cereals and sugary vegetables (like potatoes) which are extremely poor quality ingredients for the obligatory carnivore. When we feed these foods as our catsí exclusive diets, we subject them to health-robbing malnutrition.

I already gave you a link to Dr. Lisa Pierson's site: http://www.catinfo.org/

Dr. Jean Hofve is another cat expert who doesn't believe cats should be fed kibble: http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?action=library&act=show&item=whycatsneedcannedfood

And if that's not enough, here are links to several published studies on the role diet plays in urinary crystal formation in cats:

Effects of a high-protein diet on mineral metabolism and struvite activity product in clinically normal cats. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8950426?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=2&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed)
Effects of a high-protein diet versus dietary supplementation with ammonium chloride on struvite crystal formation in urine of clinically normal cats. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12926602?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=1&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed)
Evaluation of effects of dietary carbohydrate on formation of struvite crystals in urine and macromineral balance in clinically normal cats. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14974568?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=2&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed)

So ya, I'm not just some quack on the internet making this stuff up. And if your vet is outta the loop on feline nutrition, perhaps they would at least be open to learning about it.

7CatsRUs
February 3rd, 2009, 12:43 PM
Wow...what an intersting thread. I actually have a friend who is a vet and my SIL is a vet-tech, but both have recommended kibble for the kitties. I haven't read through the links provided on here, so I'm sorry for that. I don't have time to read them right now and just wanted to ask a question.

I had to take my husbands cat from childhood (15 yrs) to the vet last monday for a teeth cleaning (which of course involved anesthesia and a lot of money). His gums were so red and his teeth hurt so bad that he had stopped eating, even the wet food we had put him on after it seemed his teeth were bothering him.

At any rate, the advice given by the two above mentioned was that they should eat the kibbl to help keep their teeth clean and strong. My vet though, did say that Reiko prbbly just needed to be on a wet diet for the rest of his life. Since the tooth cleaning, he has been like a new kitty, but we are keeping him on wet food. But we have 5 other indoor cats (4 of them are just 8 months old) and I was wondering about the whole tooth cleaning thing. How do cats on wet diets kep their teeth clean? The vet did recommend AquaDent for the water bowl, and so I did get some of that. I am just concerned about tooth health on a wet diet. Thanks!

ancientgirl
February 3rd, 2009, 12:55 PM
I have 2 cats I've had since they were over 12 weeks old each. Except for a period of maybe 2 or 3 months straight, then sporadically for another 2 or 3 months, they have always had wet food. I give them treats now and then that are kibble like, and their teeth are perfect.

I have another 2, brother and sister, who I have had since they were a couple months old. I just took them to get vaccinated and they had their teeth checked and the vet's comment was again, "perfect." They have both been on wet pretty much the entire time I've had them, save for a couple of months of kibble.

I have a former stray who is about 4 years old who I took in June of last year. Her teeth and gums were very bad. I've been feeding her the same diet as the others along with sometimes sporadically adding Biotene to her water. The last time I took her in was in December for her rabies vaccine, and the vet told me her teeth and gums have much improved.

I still have to take her to have her teeth cleaned, since she'd been for so long with such a bad diet (only kibble), but for the most part all of my cats have had wet on a regular basis and their teeth and gums are fine.

So I don't think the whole kibble only gets their teeth clean argument is written in stone.

sugarcatmom
February 3rd, 2009, 01:45 PM
Wow...what an intersting thread. I actually have a friend who is a vet and my SIL is a vet-tech, but both have recommended kibble for the kitties.

Sadly, that is pretty typical of the veterinary profession. Unless they've taken a particular interest in feline nutrition and have done their own research, all they're doing is regurgitating the propaganda of the big pet food companies.

At any rate, the advice given by the two above mentioned was that they should eat the kibbl to help keep their teeth clean and strong.

This would make me laugh if it wasn't so sad. Ask them how well they think this kibble diet has been working so far for Reiko's teeth then? How come his gums were so bad if that's what he's already been eating? Then ask them if they eat pretzles and cookies to keep their own teeth clean. The truth is, dry food does nothing to clean a cat's teeth, and in fact can actually cause dental problems because of the high carb (ie sugar) content of kibble. When a cat bites into a piece of dry (if it's not just swallowing it whole), the nugget shatters and smaller sugary bits get lodged between teeth and under gumlines. Because cat's lack the salivary amylase needed to digest carbs, these fragments remain there, feeding bacteria and contributing to decay.

But don't just take my word for it. Read what veterinarian Shawn Messonnier has to say on the subject: http://home.ivillage.com/pets/cats/0,,p8ds,00.html

Or Dr. Jean Hofve: http://www.littlebigcat.com/?action=library&act=show&item=doesdryfoodcleantheteeth

How do cats on wet diets kep their teeth clean?

To keep a cat's teeth clean, you can either feed raw meaty bones like chicken necks and wings, or chewy gizzards and big chunks of meat that get them really gnawing; or you can learn to brush them yourself. Here is a video if you're interested in how: http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/pet/fhc/brushing_teeth

But just like with people, a large factor in dental health is genetics. So regular check-ups and dental cleanings when needed are your best bet.

7CatsRUs
February 3rd, 2009, 02:11 PM
Sadly, that is pretty typical of the veterinary profession. Unless they've taken a particular interest in feline nutrition and have done their own research, all they're doing is regurgitating the propaganda of the big pet food companies.

Well, having been harmed by the Big Pharma propoganda myself, due to my thyroid problem and years of anti-depressants, I totally believe this could and does happen in the vet world as well.


This would make me laugh if it wasn't so sad. Ask them how well they think this kibble diet has been working so far for Reiko's teeth then? How come his gums were so bad if that's what he's already been eating? Then ask them if they eat pretzles and cookies to keep their own teeth clean. The truth is, dry food does nothing to clean a cat's teeth, and in fact can actually cause dental problems because of the high carb (ie sugar) content of kibble. When a cat bites into a piece of dry (if it's not just swallowing it whole), the nugget shatters and smaller sugary bits get lodged between teeth and under gumlines. Because cat's lack the salivary amylase needed to digest carbs, these fragments remain there, feeding bacteria and contributing to decay.

I kinda figured it might actually add to it due to the carbs. But thanks for confirming that. Obviously it wasn't working all the well for Reiko. Hopefully, being armed with this information, I can save Elfy, Hermione, Luna, Lucy, and Fred from the same fates.

But don't just take my word for it. Read what veterinarian Shawn Messonnier has to say on the subject: http://home.ivillage.com/pets/cats/0,,p8ds,00.html

Or Dr. Jean Hofve: http://www.littlebigcat.com/?action=library&act=show&item=doesdryfoodcleantheteeth

Thanks for the links. I will take a look through them.



To keep a cat's teeth clean, you can either feed raw meaty bones like chicken necks and wings, or chewy gizzards and big chunks of meat that get them really gnawing; or you can learn to brush them yourself. Here is a video if you're interested in how: http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/pet/fhc/brushing_teeth

But just like with people, a large factor in dental health is genetics. So regular check-ups and dental cleanings when needed are your best bet.

How about the stuff the dentist sold me for their water? Is that something that can help, or is it just more propoganda? I'll have to probably do the bones, etc, because a few of my cats will probably have none of the brushing, but I will look at the video and see. I think the vet also sold me some stuff called OraVet for Reiko. Is that stuff any good. I get really cautious about putting all those chemicals in them, because Luna is really sensitive to medications...even FrontLine which is supposed to be very safe. So I just wonder about all this stuff.

I got struck with the "genetcially prone to cavities in the teeth stick", so I understand all about that. Hehe! Thanks for taking the time to respond, both Sugar and Ancientgirl. I appreciate it!

I thought I would put some pictures of my babies in here, since I'm talking about all of them:

Reiko

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l62/fairynanook/IMG_0041.jpg

Elfy (this was when she was preggers for the 4 kittens)

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l62/fairynanook/DSC02674.jpg

Luna

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l62/fairynanook/IMG_0913.jpg

Hermione (in front), Lucy (playing with basket), Fred (the red-head), and momma Elfy.

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l62/fairynanook/IMG_0859.jpg

sugarcatmom
February 3rd, 2009, 02:47 PM
How about the stuff the dentist sold me for their water?

I hadn't heard of the AquaDent before so I just went and looked it up: http://www.virbacvet.com/cet/product/cet_aquadent/

You're right to be cautious about the chemicals in this kind of stuff. Looking at the ingredients, I have to say that I wouldn't give this to my cat. For one, it contains Xylitol, which is proven to be toxic to dogs but may also be a problem for cats, we just don't know enough about it to say that it isn't. On a Yahoo group that I belong to, someone's cat is in liver failure and the vet treating it strongly suspects it may be related to a vitamin supplement she was giving it that contained Xylitol.

But even if Xylitol was okay, Sodium Benzoate is known to be toxic to cats in sufficient quantity. Plus, the AquaDent contains food colouring (like pets are going to care what colour it is :rolleyes:). But the biggest problem with water additives is that a cat eating wet food is not likely to drink very much, if at all. My cat hasn't had a sip from his water bowl in almost 3 years.

There is a gel product by the Biotene company that ancientgirl mentioned which is pretty good, but you have to apply it directly to the cat's gums. Here's a link for info on that: http://www.petkingbrands.com/products/bioteneMaintGel.asp

I think the vet also sold me some stuff called OraVet for Reiko. Is that stuff any good.

I can't seem to find the ingredients for OraVet online at the moment, so I'll get back to you on that.

Oh, and I have to say, your cats are absolutely gorgeous. :cloud9:

7CatsRUs
February 3rd, 2009, 03:06 PM
I can't seem to find the ingredients for OraVet online at the moment, so I'll get back to you on that.

Oh, and I have to say, your cats are absolutely gorgeous. :cloud9:

Thanks for the info on the Xylitol. I'll stop using it. Stinks, as I just paid $20 for it. Ugh!

I have the box for the OraVet so I'll put what it says. It is by Merial and comes in 2.5 mL treatments to be applied weekly. It is applied along the gumline and is a gel.

Contains: 5-amino-1,3-bis(2-ethylhexyl) hexahydro-5-methyl-5-pyrimidinamine(hexetidine), microcrystalline wax, mineral oil

Any of that stick out to you? I'm honestly not sure he'll even let me put it on him. He is a cantankerous old man.

Thanks for the kitty compliments. We think they are as cute as they come...but we are biased, I admit!

sugarcatmom
February 3rd, 2009, 05:29 PM
Thanks for the info on the Xylitol. I'll stop using it. Stinks, as I just paid $20 for it. Ugh!

Can you take it back to the vet for a refund? Some are good about stuff like that. Just say your cats won't touch their water with it in there, ;) or something.

Contains: 5-amino-1,3-bis(2-ethylhexyl) hexahydro-5-methyl-5-pyrimidinamine(hexetidine), microcrystalline wax, mineral oil

Don't like the mineral oil much (it is a petroleum by-product, after all - and can't be assimilated by the body), but for occasional use it's probably not the most horrible. Hexetidine is an antibacterial/antifungal commonly used in human mouthwashes, don't know much about using it in cats. I did find one single review of someone who used Oravet on their pug and found that it irritated it's eyes: http://www.epinions.com/review/Merial_Oravet_Plaque_Prevention_Gel_8_Pack/content_421254434436

I'm honestly not sure he'll even let me put it on him. He is a cantankerous old man.

My cat is the same way. I can do pretty much everything else to him except if it's mouth-related. I've been very gradually trying to desensitize him and finally got to the point where I can lift his lip for a few seconds without him freaking out. It's taken me almost a year. So ya, good luck with that!