Cat Health · Human & Cat · Nutrition

The Truth About Cat Food

I just watched the recent documentary on Netflix, “What the Health” where it exposes how bad processed meat is and how it contributes to diseases such as diabetes, all various cancers and more and I started thinking about where cat food comes from. We all know that cats are carnivorous and require all of the necessary vitamins and nutrients that come from animal-based protein. In our household, we feed our cats the highest tier of cat foods on the market, but we know that they are most likely the extras and all the bad bits from the slaughterhouses and processing plants. So what are the good brands? What foods on the market come from good, quality meat? Comment below on your thoughts and recommendations on what you think is the best cat food out there.

cats, cat food, pet food nutrition

Cat Fans · Human & Cat · Uncategorized

Cats Are the Best Alarm Clocks

Anyone who has a cat can agree that there is no such thing as sleeping in. Forget about weekends and holidays, cats will wake you up when they want you up. Whether they want to play at 2AM or breakfast at 6, cats are natural alarm clocks. There are literally times where I forget to set my alarm, but I know that in my peaceful sleep, someone will wake me up at the right time.

I am definitely not a fan of waking up early or the loud sound of an alarm clock, but if I had the choice of waking up and hitting snooze, I would rather wake up to a cat sitting on top of my chest, crying into my face. Cats are literally the best and cutest alarm clocks.

Cat Behavior · cat toys · Foster · Human & Cat · Multi-cat Household · Uncategorized

Foster Kittens : Playpen

I am currently fostering three kittens from a local rescue group here in Denver, CO. I have fostered in the past before and have always kept them in their own room, separate from the resident cats. In the past, the kittens would have full utilization of the room and that sometimes proved to be a disaster. I’ve had some kittens rip paint from the walls, others spew diarrhea all over the floors and litter stones everywhere! I decided that I would no longer allow them to have full run of the spare bedroom and keep them confined in a 3-story kitty condo and their own playpen. Not only would it keep the messes in one area, but it would also be safer for them. Kittens are notorious for getting into anything and everything!

The playpen is a mesh tent that I purchased for my cats several years ago when I wanted to have them spend time outdoors. I’ve used it several times and it works great and really easy to set-up and store away. It’s basically like a camping tent, but for kitties! I set-up the tent in the kitten room and laid down a blanket so that their nails wouldn’t catch on the mesh. I put several noisy toys and balls in there to keep them occupied. I placed the kittens into the playpen and it was a huge hit! Several of them used the restroom on the blanket the first two days, but later realized that it was not a litter box. The playpen allows them to run, play and stretch their legs and keeps them safely in one area. Here are a few pictures of their adventures:

Tabby kitten in playpen
Foster Kittens: Playpen
Foster kittens playpen
Foster Kittens: Playpen

 

Want to buy one of your own? They are pretty affordable and easy to clean if there are any kitten messes. Amazon sells it for $39.99 and it’s free shipping! Click here to get the kitty playpen.

 

Cat Health · Multi-cat Household · Veterinary Medicine

Diaries of a Tired Cat Mom

I’m tired. I’m really tired and I’m using all my leftover energy to write this post. I officially have five (I almost said six) sick kitties. I only have five (as of now).

First it started with Ginger who is being extra sneezy early last week. I didn’t think it was serious since she was only doing it a few times a day so I attributed it to allergies. The weekend came and then the babies got sick on their first birthday. They got pretty bad the next day. They were breathing through their mouth, lethargic and having sneeze attacks.

Several times this week, I woke up at 2am to check on everyone and so far, only the three cats were sick.

Ginger got better, the kittens received an antibiotic shot and got most of their energy back and now the two older white sisters are sneezing and miserable. 10 days and I have five sick cats. The vet said it was a virus and will run its course between 7 to 10 days. 7 to 10 days and overlap of sneezy cats, worried cat mom and sleepless nights. Oh how I wish we could turn back time and I have five healthy cats.

I need a double shot.

Cat Behavior · cat toys · Uncategorized

Cat Enrichment: Playtime

Today, I read a post on 10 ways to tell if your cat is happy. Showing belly, twitchy tail, and sleeping on your lap, just to name a few. Cats are very social animals and enjoy spending time with their humans, but they also enjoy active playtime.

Cats by nature prey, hunt and catch their kills. Yes, it may be gruesome to talk about our lovely feline friends killing another animal, but it’s their natural instinct and should not be frowned upon (no discipling!). Since we have domesticated the cat and brought them into our homes, felines have lost their natural way of play, which is killing their prey.

One way to bring the nature back to the cat is 15 minutes of daily, consistent playtime. By setting a schedule to play with you cat, you are providing the activity that is so natural to them, giving them exercise and also keeping them mentally and emotionally healthy.

Cats can be stressed, bored and also be depressed. By encouraging your feline friend to play with a “prey” like toy such as Da Bird cat toy,  you are enriching their lives and their environments. Catnip-filled toys also help prevent them from getting bored, but the best toys are the one where they mimic a real-life bird, butterfly, or small mouse. The movements entice the cat and activates all of their senses. Fifteen minutes of this will make a big difference in your cat’s mental, emotional and physical health.

If you’re cat is a littler older or pickier when it comes to toys, they might enjoy active window watching or some of my favorite youtube channel of up-and-close of gorgeous birds and hilarious squirrels. Paul Dinning Wildlife

What enrichment does your cat enjoy? Comment below!

 

Veterinary Medicine

Prednisone vs. Prednisolone


Disclaimer: I am not a licensed or certified veterinarian or medical professional. Any information taken from this blog post is purely meant for informational purposes for people who love cats. Proper medical care for your feline should be discussed with your veterinarian.


AHHH! I’ve always had a hard time trying to remember which drug (prednisone or prednisolone) my cats are on and the thought of even trying to pronounce them. Tip: Google the terms and there is an English lady teaching you how to pronounce each of them.

Apparently, they are almost the same thing. So I did a comparison of the two and this is what I found out:

Prednisone

  • It’s a synthetic corticosteroid.
  • It’s effective as an immunosuppressant drug.
  • Prednisone is used to treat the following:
    • Certain inflammatory diseases;
    • Some autoimmune diseases; and
    • Some types of cancers (when given at higher dosages).
  • There is a list of mild and serious side effects.

Prednisolone

  • It’s a synthetic glucocorticoid made from hydrocortisone (cortisol).
  • It’s a steroid medication.
  • Prednisolone is used to treat the following:
    • Allergies;
    • Certain inflammatory diseases;
    • Some autoimmune disorders; and
    • Some types of cancers (when given at higher dosages).
  • There is a list of mild and serious side effects when using this medication.

______

By looking over the two, it appears that they are very similar. So what’s the big friggin’ difference?

Well, prednisone is ACTIVATED by enzymes in the liver to turn into prednisolone. They have similar uses, but prednisolone is more readily absorbed by the body.

A study conducted several years back compared the effectiveness of prednisone versus prednisolone in cats and dogs. What they found was that oral prednisolone was more effective and preferred when it came to treating cats.*

So, if your veterinarian prescribes prednisolone over the later, you now have a better idea on why it was prescribed!

* Source: Prednisone or Prednisolone in the Feline Patient; http://www.vetcontact.com/dermatology/art.php?a=640;

Litter Time · Nutrition

Kitty Soft Poops

I’m going to talk about a topic that may be a little uncomfortable, but completely necessary in the world of cats and that is: soft stools.

When you look inside the litter box, what do you see? If you see soft poops (stools that are soft, almost diarrhea like and not solid), your cat’s health may be telling you something. So what are the characteristics you look for and what are the tall-tale signs of poor health?

The color, texture, smell, and the frequency is important to note when your cat goes number two. When I was a cat sitter, I would be amazed on the things that I would see when cleaning the litter boxes. Cow patties, a light brown hue, runny and on the side of the box, I would make sure to inform the cat parent that this was not normal. Cat poop should be a medium-to-dark brown in color, semi-solid, but not too hard because that could mean that kitty is constipated/dehydrated, and should not be offensive in odor.

If you see soft poops, there could be a variety of things going on. Firstly, I would suspect the food that kitty is eating. Poor food choices, especially those that contain high fillers such as wheat, soy, and corn, just to name a few, can cause the poop to be soft. A diet of limited ingredient protein or a raw food diet will allow the poop to be in it’s natural state. If it’s not the food, it could be an intestinal parasite or gut issue. Bring the kitty to the vet and have them take a stool sample and do a regular check-up to ensure that it’s not a more serious issue. From there, they may put kitty on a prescribed diet, provide medication and/or recommend healthy gut probiotics such as FortiFlora from Purina.

Offensive odor and very runny poop could be the food or an intestinal parasite, as mentioned above. Typically, recently adopted kitties from the shelter or rescue group can carry intestinal parasites (multiple cats living together type situation) so it’s a good idea to make sure to follow-up with a veterinarian after adopting kitty to rule out any giardia, coccidia, or worms such as hookworms or tapeworms.

Also, the frequency of bowel movements is important. Is your kitty going at least once a day? Every other day could mean a variety of things so if your kitty is not going daily, I would talk to the veterinarian. It could indicate a health issue.

If your cat has soft poops, this is NOT NORMAL. I cannot stress this enough. I put together a checklist below to help you determine if your kitty’s stools are a-okay.

img_6385
Kiki and Messi trying to use the bathroom at the same time. What did you think I was going to show you, a picture of poop!?

Cat Poop Health Checklist:

  • Color
    • Is it medium-to-dark brown?
      • If it’s another color, check for intestinal parasites or try changing foods to see if this is the culprit.
  • Shape/Texture
    • Is it long, short or in little pieces?
      • It should resemble tiny human poops or tootsie rolls.
      • Little pieces can indicate dehydration and/or current food.
      • Feeding dry food in the morning and wet food in the evening can give your cat’s poop the right flow. If you can do wet for both meals, constipation should not be an issue.
    • Is the stool hard, semi-hard, soft, or runny?
      • Normal poops are semi-hard. Not too hard, not too soft.
  • Smell
    • Does the smell stink up your house soon after your kitty goes?
      • If so, it could be the food! Try another brand and/or protein and you may see a difference.
  • Frequency
    • Is kitty going at least once a day?
      • Daily bowel movements means good kitty health. Anything less than that may indicate a problem.

Any insight, comments or tips on the above? Post below to join in on the discussion about Kitty Soft Poops!