In case you missed any, here are the stories we discussed in April (to join in the discussions, click “like” on CatCentric’s Facebook page!):
2 April: Did you know…
Another look at the FDA’s absurd – and mind-boggling – policies allowing pet food manufacturers the use of some pretty nasty, plainly unhealthy ingredients.
Two of my favorite persons, discussing a very important topic. With HyperT coming in at number 4 on the top 10 list of feline medical conditions, this is something to which all cat owners should be paying attention.
Of course, HyperT is *not* a disease you would expect to see very often in raw-fed kitties. However, since there have been multiple studies linking hyperthyroidism to more than just commercial foods, it can still happen and we should know how to recognize it.
Watch! Share! ♥
And here they are – the Top 10 Medical Conditions as analyzed by VPI, the nation’s largest pet insurance agency.
CatCentric’s focus is feline nutrition and health, but every now and again, I think we can take a break for “Very Cool Stuff”. Like this video of an amazing – and beautiful – Bengal kitty.
Have you taught your cat any tricks? Tell us about it, or post pics and videos!
3 April: Feline Resorptive Lesions
Cats are shockingly good at hiding pain, and paying close attention to their dental health should be a priority for any good pet parent.
That said, studies have shown that both canned and kibble contribute to dental disease, while diets that require active chewing (such as frankenprey and whole prey) promote dental health. The effort involved in eating these diets icreases blood flow to the tissues in the oral cavity, and the scraping and rubbing encountered in slicing and scissoring through meat, tendons and bones keeps the teeth clean.
Many raw feeders start off offering ground diets, but eventually switch to frankenprey and whole prey. Which methodology are you using for your kitties? Has your cat’s dental health improved?
Always make changes to a cat’s diet at the kitty’s own pace; don’t push, try to force, or try to starve a cat into eating something new. If the cat is overweight – as so many commercial-fed cats are – and stops eating for more than a day or two, he runs the risk of hepatic lipidosis.
Here’s a solid look at this disease by Ingrid King, via The Conscious Cat.
Feline behavior modification advice from one of the preeminent experts in the field today: Jackson Galaxy, host of Animal Planet’s “My Cat From Hell”
Well, of course they do!
Instead of spending money to properly dispose of this waste, they get to *earn* money by dumping it into that all-purpose pet food garbage bin…. oh, excuse me, rendering vat. And day by day, our pets pay the price.
7 April: Coke, Pepsi and Pet Food
Another unhealthy ingredient in pet food, and this one is present in our food chain, too.
A good article discussing the ins and outs of gently restraining your cat.
Have you had to pill your cat? On occasion, a kitty will take the pills as nice as you please, but for the most part, pilling a cat is a sweaty, anxiety-inducing effort.
In this article, Dr. Pierson illustrates the proper way to pill a cat, and discusses a few of the things that can happen if it’s not done correctly, as well as several pilling alternatives. (Tip – ALWAYS give your cat water, or canned or raw food to help move the pill along!)
17 April: Cost Comparisons – Raw Feeding vs Hill’s
Here’s another commercial raw food cost comparison, this one done by Raw Essentials, a raw food manufacturer located in New Zealand, and comparing their products with the popular but very species-inappropriate Hill’s Science Diet.
The results? The same as CatCentric’s! The costs of feeding a raw commercial diet are no higher – and can often be LOWER – than standard commercial diets!
Combine lower feeding costs with the enormous savings of a healthier cat (fewer vet visits and complications!) and what’s not to love about feeding raw?! ♥
18 April: *BIG Cat Toys!
A fun video showing big cats playing with big cat toys!
A closer look at rendered meals, one of the pet food industry’s mainstay ingredients.
Don’t read if you have a sensitive stomach.
On the other hand, if you’re still feeding kibble to your cat (rendered meals are seldom found in canned products), read this anyway. It’s making your cat ill, so you might as well share in the experience.
20 April: Unprecedented Pet Food Transparency
Seven pet food companies have created, or are in the process of creating, “Pledges” that publicly list and guarantee the quality and country of origin of every ingredient in their pet foods.
This is the kind of information we’ve been pushing for, brought to you through the efforts of hundreds of letters and emails, the still-growing court of public opinion, and Susan Thixton of TruthAboutPetFood.com.
The seven companies who have offered full transparency into the quality and origin of their pet food ingredients are: Honest Kitchen Pet Food, Lucky Dog Cuisine, FreshFetch, Nature’s Logic, People Fud, Raw Health, and ZiwiPeak.
If you’re one of the many struggling to decide what to feed your kitties, the pledges offered by these companies should give you some definite “food for thought”!
21 April: ‘Why are vets so expensive?’
An interesting look at veterinarian costs, from the other side of the counter…
This is GREAT news! Kudos to everyone who’s ever done anything to help change this dynamic; keep up the good work!!
Ticks can carry more diseases than you might be aware of, and some of those pathogens can be deadly. Thankfully, keeping your cats indoors is a great way to protect them!
Of course, we also have veterinarian researchers working hard to combat these diseases. :-}
26 April: Pet Food Lawsuit Brings Questions
“In other words, although Plaintiff National Feeds initiated a $3 million law suit to recover damages because of tainted mink feed and dog food manufactured by United Pet Foods, it appears they themselves never issued a FDA recall on the dog food or mink food.”
If true, the cold-blooded audacity of this pet food company suing its own manufacturer for lost revenue while completely ignoring any responsibility whatever to the pets who ate their product and were actually sickened and killed by it is… almost beyond comprehension. And thoroughly revolting.
This is an important topic for anyone with multiple cats, especially if they share a small territory or don’t get along well.
Understanding feline behaviors and needs (I recommend Pam Johnson-Bennett’s “Think Like A Cat”), and making every effort to accommodate them – vertical space, multiple litter boxes and food dishes, for instance – will go a long way toward managing feline stress levels. ♥
Pierce Brosnan: good-looking, intelligent AND compassionate!
Did you know that a warm, dry nose is NOT always indicative of a sick kitty? In this article, Dr. Becker shares some very helpful nose facts.
28 April: Does Your Pet Have a Dirty Mouth?
“Seventy-five percent of dogs and cats over the age of three have periodontal disease.”
That’s a scary statistic! Even more so when you note that oral health has a strong impact on overall well-being, especially heart disease.
There are two primary methods of keeping your kitty’s mouth in good shape – daily brushing, and feeding a raw, frankenprey / whole-prey, species-appropriate diet. Guess which one I use? (Hint: I’m not risking life-altering scars!)
An excellent overview of the commercial pet food manufacturing process and why feeding a diet of whole, fresh raw meats, bone-in meals and organs is so much healthier for our beloved felines.
Share this with your cat-loving friends who are not yet feeding raw!
28 April: Top 20 Causes of Pet Poisoning in 2011
Here’s a guide that will help you become familiar with the list of foods, plants, meds and other common household items that are toxic to your cats. And don’t forget such things as lotions on your skin or chemicals brought in on your shoes!
28 April: First Aid for Cats
A short primer on feline first aid and preparing for emergencies. Eventually, CatCentric will have a page devoted to this topic, but for now, read on! ;-}
A powerful message from another disillusioned veterinarian.
Frequent hairballs – as in, more than one every several weeks – is a blazing red flag that something is wrong with the kitty’s digestion. A diet change to something more species-appropriate – like a balanced raw diet! – or at least a low-carb, canned food product will usually eliminate or substantially reduce the cat’s difficulties, and is a far better option than simply trying to make the symptoms disappear with petroleum jelly.
As Ingrid says, “The next time someone tells you that species-inappropriate diets high in fiber, malt-flavored grease, and regular brushing are the only ways to help prevent hairballs, think again. “Hairballs may be more than just a stinky mess for you to clean up,” says Dr. Crist. “They might well be a sign that your cat has a real health problem, and should see the veterinarian. And your cat might be telling you that her gut would be happier with “mouse” than with breakfast cereal.”
Titer testing is the alternative to annually (over)vaccinating your adult cats. Here, Dr. Jean Dodds explains what they are and why they’re so useful.
If, like me, you have chosen not to give your cats any further optional vaccines (mine are indoor and I no longer foster or work directly with rescues), you won’t have much need of titers. For avoiding the state-required rabies vaccine, however, titer testing may come in handy indeed!
Not one of our usual topics, but humorous and cat-centric enough to share.
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