WHY CANNED FOOD?
Canned food, because of the way it is formulated and prepared, is much higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates than dry cat food, regardless of the "quality" of the brand. It also has a much higher moisture content. Recent research is making it clear that it is nutritionally dangerous to feed cats diets that are too high in carbohydrates. This is because cats are obligate carnivores - they are designed to acquire their nutrition from meat sources. When you think of a mouse, what is it made of? A mouse is 45% protein, 45% fat, and less than 5% carbohydrates. It also contains a lot of water. That is the ratio of what we should feed cats. For years, we have been feeding our cats dry foods (in general 35 to 60% carbohydrates), primarily for convenience to the owner and because grain based carbohydrate ingredients are cheaper than quality meat ingredients. In fact, cats lack the necessary enzymes to efficiently convert carbohydrates into energy and storage. Cats are very efficient at converting protein. If fed too many carbohydrates, the resulting glucose produced lingers in the blood for a long period of time. It interferes with insulin production, lipid metabolism, and digestive system health. Cats also seem less satisfied by the calories they consume as carbohydrates. Their brains require protein by-products to get the message "I am full". If fed high carbohydrate diets, they are more likely to overeat and not be satiated. Pet owners and veterinarians are now facing an epidemic of obesity and diabetes in cats that has emerged over the last 15 years. Finally, cats are not big drinkers. Although cats on all dry diets will drink water, they generally take in about 1/3 less water than canned food eaters. This may well be contributing to the increased frequency of cats in our practice that suffer from urinary tract/renal disease and constipation.
What Brands Should I Feed?
First thing to know. Feeding any brand of canned cat food is probably preferable to feeding only dry food, even a premium brand of dry food.
As a general guideline, we would recommend feeding a canned diet whose first 2 or 3 ingredients are meat, meat broths, and not by-products or grains. Finding these ingredients at the supermarket can be difficult, so again we say that feeding any canned food is better than feeding dry food only. The very important exception is canned food with corn starch, food starch, or cellulose. Make sure to check the label so you can avoid these ingredients. We recommend that any diet chosen should have received AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials) approval; this should be noted on the label.
Fall and Halloween...my favorite time of year. But be careful, there are dangers lurking for your pets.
Chocolate! It seems so unfair that something so tasty can be toxic to your pets. A lick or two won't hurt them, but if your pet eats a large amount of chocolate, get him to a vet! Other dangers may include pranksters or other malicious people with beebee guns, real guns, poison and firecrackers. Of course, there are always rumors of Satanists looking for animals to sacrifice. I have not personally heard of any Satanists, but there are plenty of the other variety people out there that can hurt your pet. Some people don't like pets and they see nothing wrong with hurting them. It is your responsibility to keep your pets away from dangerous people, animals, and situations. You might not realize that your neighbor hates dogs or cats. Then one day your dog or cat disappears, or comes home sick or injured. That is your fault for not supervising your pet. Even if you can prove that the neighbor hurt your pet, the animal cruelty laws are not enough, and you will still have an injured or dead pet.
What about other dangers? Letting your pets outside unsupervised at any time of year will expose them to many other life threatening situations.
Traffic-your pet is no match for a traveling vehicle. Not only can your pet be hit by a vehicle, what if he jumps into an open car or truck and travels to parts unknown?
Poison- intentional or accidental, it's out there. Antifreeze is sweet and tastes good; it is particularly poisonous to all species.
Dogs-stray dogs can kill or injure your small dogs and cats. Even if you have a large dog, bite wounds will have to be treated by a vet. If your pet survives, it can contract a disease that the stray might be carrying. Yes, as a responsible pet owner, you vaccinate your pets. But some vaccines are not 100% effective.
Parasites-some are an annoyance, some can be fatal- Roundworms, tapeworms, threadworms, lungworms, heartworms, hookworms, ringworm(a fungus), fleas, giardia, coccidia, ticks, haemobartonella, lyme disease......the list goes on and on.
Hawks-hawks can pick up kittens, puppies, small dogs, and cats. Sometimes, they drop the pet and it is killed or injured. If they don't drop them, they will kill and eat them.
Racoons will kill kittens, puppies, and small dogs and cats.
Coyotes have learned how to live among humans. They have learned that near humans are tasty small dogs and cats. They are swift and efficient killers.
Ok, enough about the horrors and dangers of outside life to your pets. Keep them safe. Keep them inside, with you, or supervised when outside. Enjoy the fall and dress up for Halloween.
Excerpt from: Del Ray Animal Hospital, Alexandria Va.
I am continuously amazed at the number of people that take their cat or dog to a kennel or vet without using a carrier or leash. Yes, of course, your cat or dog is the calmest or sweetest one in the world and he or she would never run away... but everything changes under strange or "frightening" conditions. Incidents such as a sweet cat, carried in his owner's arms to the vet being killed by a leashed dog pulling away from his owner at the vet, a stray dog coming out of nowhere to attack a loose dog on his way to a kennel, a frightened cat leaping out his owner's arms while being carried into a strange place, never to be seen again.... These are all incidents that I know of or have seen happen. What about a car accident? Imagine what can happen to your dog or cat during an accident, or even if you have to slam on the brakes. If they are in a carrier secured with a seat belt or a special doggie harness/seat belt, there is less chance of injury. What if during an accident, the door to your car pops open and your cat or dog gets loose in a strange area? Don't take the easy way out. Think of what might happen if........... Always use and double check that your carrier is secure, that your leashes and collars are sturdy. You can never be sure of how your dog or cat will react in every situation. You have the bigger brain. Use it. Think of what you must do to keep your pets safe.
My fears for the planet subside
In spite of the struggle and strife,
When I see a man, big and brawny, who can
Find room for a cat in his life.
No knight on a prancing white charger for me,
The man I am seeking, instead
Was hugging his pet on the way to the vet
And planted a kiss on his head.
This is one of my favorite poems. I do not know the author. Do you? If you have any favorite poems, stories, or jokes about pets, please forward them to me.
Cats go to a groomer for many reasons. They may be matted, which is painful and can cause skin tears and infection. The owner may not like all the hair and want it shaved off of the cat. What ever the reason might be, it is a good idea to make sure that the cat is handled safely. Ask your groomer if you can stay while the cat is being groomed or ask if the groomer can come to your home. You can observe how your cat is handled and how he or she reacts to grooming. If the groomer will not allow you to stay, get another groomer. Cats are not dogs, and they should be handled properly.
Is the cat put in a groomers’ loop? A cat should NEVER be put in a groomers loop. Their necks are very fragile and they can easily break a neck or strangle. A figure 8 harness is acceptable.
Is the cat groomed in a quiet area that is free of loud noises such as force dryers and barking dogs?
Is the room secure? If the cat jumps off the table, is there a way for him to escape if a customer happens to walk in the door?
Is the cat ever left unattended on the grooming table? The answer should be “no”.
Does the groomer give any sedatives to the cat? A groomer should never administer any medication unless the medication is cleared by and provided by your veterinarian.
Are all products used on your cat labeled as “safe for cats”? Many products that are safe for dogs, horses, or even yourself are not safe for cats. Flea products must be labeled for cats and the correct dosage must be used. Alcohol, essential oils, tea tree oil, and dimethecone are products that often used for dogs, but are not safe for cats. A cat’s liver metabolizes things differently from other species. Every time an unsafe product is used, there is the possibility of immediate danger, or the possibility of slowly poisoning your cat every time these products are used. PineSol and Lysol should never be used near cats. In addition to licking off an unsafe product, the product may be absorbed through the skin or inhaled. Since there are so many products that are not cat safe, the best thing to do is check the label. If it does not specifically say “safe for cats”, do not allow it to be used on your cat. Interestingly, I have come across products that are labeled “pet safe”. When I have called the manufacturer, they often tell me not to use it on cats. I always check.
Unfortunately, some cats become too stressed to groom. Panting, drooling, loss of bowel control, dilated pupils, extremely elevated heart rate, elevated respiration, elevated temperature, or collapse are indications that the grooming should not continue. Extreme stress can kill your cat. It would be safer and kinder to talk to your veterinarian about having your vet groom the cat so that your vet can administer the proper sedation to get the job done. If your cat has kidney disease, diabetes, a heart condition, hyperthyroidism, or is old or fragile, please consult your veterinarian before scheduling grooming.
Master Cat Groomer
Professional Cat Groomers Association of America
Cats’ Inn 440 596 8347
So you are going out of town. What to do with your dogs or cats? Both boarding and pet sitting have their pros and cons. You will choose whatever is right for you. I have heard many "horror" stories about boarding and pet sitters. Do your “homework”. Observe, and ask the right questions. There are great boarding facilities out there, large and small. There are wonderful pet sitters that will go the “extra mile”. Here are some good questions to ask and things to observe.