“I want to tell you that I feel better now than I have for a while. I’ve been through some rough times. A few weeks ago I really had problems going to the bathroom. One morning I just sat in the litter box and tried to go, but couldn’t get rid of much and still felt like I needed to go again. This just kept on. I kept cleaning myself, too.
“Fortunately Mom noticed me sitting for long periods in the litter box and checked when I got out to see if I had actually peed. I went to the bathtub. It was cool to sit in there. I was able to leave a few drops and they had a little blood in it.
Mom knew right away that I needed to go to the doctor. So, away we went to the Vet. They drained my bladder and gave me some antibiotic. My bladder and urethra were inflammed. I went home and the next couple of days were not much fun. It still was painful to go to the bathroom. There was plenty of red in the urine I left behind. Eventually the medicine kicked in and I could go without as much pain.”
About a week after I had been to the Vet she called to tell us what was going on with me. She said I had cystitis. I have had this in the past and so I am more likely to have problems. I needed to have only canned food with some water mixed in. I can take medicine, too. Well, we started to make the switch to only canned food. Then I was back to having problems going to the bathroom again. It was a holiday weekend and no Vet available in the area. So, Mom did everything she could think of to help me keep from having a blockage. It was tough for a few days, but finally things were better.
You probably wonder what she did. Well, I still had a good appetite so I got a lot of water with my canned food. The canned food I have been getting for at least a year is Purina Pro Plan for urinary health. She gave me a few drops of water with apple cider vinegar mixed in, too. That is a holistic treatment for urinary problems. She also gave me some cranberry extract. You can read about our path to finding the best food for our cat family in this post. You can read more about urinary problems in cats here.
After a few days I was feeling so much better. About a week later I have more energy and interest in my world than I have had for awhile. We made the necessary changes to help me avoid having another episode. I get “soup” for my meal. No more dry food for me. And, I’m surprised that I like my meals! Mom tries to be better about fresh, cold water in all of the water bowls. We get RO water. She puts clean litter in the boxes everyday. She also washes them often.
WHAT IS CYSTITIS IN CATS
Feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC)
This is one of many Feline urinary lower tract diseases. Designated as FLUTD.
This problem occurs more frequently in male cats who have been neutered. If they have had a problem at a young age it will probably occur again. Food affects the problem. The dry food with so much filler is not good for us. The dry food with more meat products, chicken, etc. is a better option. But, with my problem I need canned food, because there is more moisture in it already. It is important that we drink water, cold, clean and fresh water. Stress can bring on this problem as well. And sometimes there is no definite reason for this problem. There can be a problem with the lining of the bladder or even the way your cat reacts to stress.
This problem can be common in a multi cat household and if there is any conflict between any of the cats. We haven’t added any new members to the family and we all seem to get along pretty well. Our human family feeling stress can bring us stress as well. So, even that could trigger an attack. The truth of it seems to be they really aren’t sure what causes this problem.
One good piece of information we came across is that it should get better as I get older. I guess things won’t bother me so much, I will be calmer.
To get more in depth information on this condition we recommend you read this article.
Table scraps? The cheapest bagged cat food you can find? Only canned food? Only dry food? The top of the line most expensive food available? Special food for indoor cats? Special food for senior cats? On and on it goes. There are so many options available it is hard to make a choice about what to feed your cat family. The only thing for sure is we need healthy cat food.
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In our household we have had a fairly inexpensive dry cat food and then a spoonful of canned food twice a day. We recently made a change. When researching our post about Urinary Problems we discovered one of the causes is the filler in dry cat food, it is grain based. We decided on a different path, grain free cat food. Even our kitten, Bug, was changed to a better dry cat food. Can you notice a difference? We all think there is evidence that this food is better. I especially see a new silkiness to Bug’s coat that wasn’t there before. Scamper seems to have more energy. Rusty would throw up occasionally and since the new food that isn’t happening as often. Me, well, I am satisfied when I finish my food. We clean our bowls. We each get a spoon of canned food too, that is for urinary health.
How Can I afford Special Cat Food?
This food is definitely more expensive than what we had, but it will balance out in the long run. First, we were probably being overfed with the inexpensive food. Mom would give us a good healthy serving and what we didn’t eat at meal time we nibbled on until the next meal. Now, when she read the serving size on the bag she has stuck to that. There is nothing left to nibble on, but we haven’t noticed that. No one is losing weight with this new meal plan. So, a bag goes further. The largest savings with better cat food is fewer emergency calls to the Vet. Those vet bills can take a big chunk of money but if we eat healthier we will avoid that.
How to Properly Change
Your Cat’s Food
“What do you mean, properly?” Well, our tummy can be sensitive to change and we are “finicky” right? If you dish us a new food all of a sudden we just won’t eat. Probably eventually we will, but not at first, and then you get all concerned and upset. So try it this way, introduce the new food a little at a time with our old food. Eventually the proportions will go the other way, more of the new food and less of the old. That worked well for us.
And don’t forget our spoonful of canned food with each serving!
How many times a day should I Eat?
In our home we eat twice a day. This means our humans are on a regular routine because we certainly are! We get up around 5 AM and expect shortly after to have food in our bowls. Then our evening meal is a little less structured. It is around 4:30 or 5 in the afternoon. Scamper is the most vocal about it. She starts “meowing” just when it is time to eat. The rest of us are glad to have her speak for us.
What Do They Put In Cat Food?
The Best Ingredients
That Should Be In Our Cat Food
Have you read the ingredients on a bag of cat food or just looked at the price? Don’t feel guilty. Finances are a factor in taking care of us. We know you do the best you can. And, for some cats just having some dry food is a blessing. For those of you that leave food out for feral cats, a huge “Thank-You”! Back to what is really in the food you buy.
We made the decision to change to a no grain dry cat food. We came to that conclusion after researching our post about urinary tract problems. The research indicates the cheaper cat foods with grain and fillers can be part of the cause for urinary tract problems. We have had several of our male cats, me included, who have had to go to the Vet for this problem. We also like the idea of “No Artificial Colors, Flavors or Preservatives”. * The first ingredient listed on the bag is the primary ingredient in the food. Our choice in food has turkey listed first.
Common Ingredients in Less Expensive Dry Cat Food or
What Shouldn’t Be In Our Food
We recommend grain free cat food
Don’t feed us grains – in any form, foods with gravy or sauce because of what they use to thicken these. Stay away from foods that list soy as one of the ingredients. We shouldn’t be having that. You can read an in depth article at www.catinfo.org/Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM. She recommends a diet of canned food only to increase the water intake for us.
The first ingredients are corn, soybean meal, wheat middlings and then chicken, tuna meal (what is that??) So, there is a real difference in the ingredients used in dry cat food. Real meat is far down the list of ingredients. Joe Boo Boo is the hunter in our family, like our ancestors. He likes the hunt, but I’m not sure he goes for the fresh meat. Of course, we are well fed in our home so the need to catch our food is not a priority. We are hunters, though and are meat eaters. So, our food should have meat, not so much grain. I can live with that and so can my cat family.
Cat food comes in so many varieties that you should be able to find something that your family will eat. There are many brands, flavors that will appeal to us and to you, our human caretakers. You do realize that they market this food to appeal to you, the buyer, rather than for us, the consumers. I suggest you pay attention to the different catagories offered, kitten, young active cats, indoor cats, outdoor cats, mature cats, pregnant cats, lactating cats, cats with special nutritional needs.
Buy Healthy Cat Food Online
We have found a good selection of cat food at Amazon and Chewy.com. We invite you to visit either website and explore all of the products available. Good nutrition for your cats is so important. We will have fewer health issues and have enough energy to have a good and rewarding life if you are diligent about what you feed us. Thanks for taking good care of us!
If you would like more in depth information there is an interesting article here (http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/Health_Information/brochure_feedingcat.cfm) about your cat’s nutritional needs.
It was such a nice morning, a cool morning, 6:30 AM. The wind wasn’t blowing and the grass was dry. I wandered around the yard, checked my favorite places and cut through the hedge to our neighbor’s yard. I really like checking their bushes and going to the far side of the yard where I can lay in the caragana hedge and watch the street. Sometimes there is traffic. I don’t like the sound of engines, but I like to watch them move along the street. Sometimes I can see people across the street. I wonder if they have cats like me. It would be a great morning to play with other cats.
“Oh, there’s Joe Boo Boo. He’s trying to hide in the tall grass. Not doing so good, though! Hey Boo, I see you! You’re IT!”
“This tree and brush looks like a good hiding place. The neighbors don’t seem to mind that I come over to visit. I do clean up after myself, if you know what I mean. I’ll sit here quietly and see if Boo Boo realizes where I am.”
“I don’t know what happened to Joe Boo Boo, but he hasn’t found me yet. So, guess I will go to the front of the yard. This tree should give me a good hiding place. I don’t really think Boo’s sight is all that good anyway, he’s getting older so even if I am a larger white cat he won’t notice me against this dark tree trunk. Besides, from here I can watch what’s going on across the street. Sometimes I see a cat wander from the park over to a yard.”
“I’m still hiding from Joe Boo Boo. He didn’t find me behind the tree so I moved to the tall grass. I’m sure he won’t see me here!”
“I have been looking everywhere for that white cat! I don’t know how he does it! He isn’t all that small! I’m tired of this game..
“I think I’ll go take a nap.” And Joe Boo Boo found his favorite place to go to sleep.
Sapphire realized that Boo Boo must have given up looking for him. Then he heard Mom calling. “Sapphire. Sapphire. Come on. It’s time to come in.” She was using her coaxing voice. It didn’t work! I wasn’t ready to come in. Then she started walking to check my favorite places to hang out. She walked all the way around the block. She even crossed the street to the park to see if I had gone there. (I did go there a couple of times, but she scolded me about going across the street so I don’t do that anymore.) She went back in the house and then after a little time she went looking for me again. This time she walked around a little further. But she didn’t find me. I could hear the concern in her voice. “Sapphire? Where are you? Come in now.” I know she loves me a lot, and would be heart broken if anything happened to me. But, I am safe and I know where I am. This morning I was just playing hide and seek with Joe Boo Boo. We stayed close to home.
Then she got crafty! She knows how to get to me! She shook the treat can. Our treats are Purina Dentalife, available from .Chewy.com. When I heard those treats rattling in the can I galloped to the back door. I didn’t want to miss out on treats! She picked me up and scolded me lightly for not coming when she called, then she gave me a few treats. When I finished them she picked me up again and hugged me and told me how much she loved me and was a little scared when I didn’t come as I usually do.
I’ll try to do better next time, Mom. I am glad you let me be outside for a time each day. And I Love You, Too!
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By Jacky Sapphire
Strings hanging from the couch. The wooden frame is exposed on the upholstered furniture. It is obvious there are cats in our household. Do we just have to live with it?? Is there anything you can do to STOP us from sharpening our claws on your best furniture? Let’s explore the possibilities.
NO DECLAWING ALLOWED…AND WE DON’T HAVE TO FIND NEW HOMES!
Let me make it clear – declawing is NOT the answer to this problem. It is cruel and inhumane. How would you like to have your fingernails removed because you were seen picking your nose or scratching inappropriate places in public? You would have problems picking up some tiny things that only your nails will grab or adding to your beauty with fancy painted nails.
WHY DO CATS SCRATCH ON FURNITURE?
We need to keep our claws sharp for protection. There are many places we could do this especially if we go outside. Inside we just choose the most interesting place and if it has already been used it is even more appealing. The corners of our couch look ragged I will admit. We also have a carpeted tower that works great, too. AND it gets used. I will admit that it is a way to scent various places in the house so the other cats know I’ve been there before them and maybe they need to find another piece of furniture to call their own! On the tower you can see the shredding is up a little higher. When I use this I get a good stretch for my body. Scratching helps us get rid of the outer layer of our claws, too.
HOW CAN YOU TRAIN US TO USE APPROPRIATE PLACES FOR SCRATCHING?
Around our cat home a spray bottle is an effective way to encourage us to stop our bad behavior. I think everyone has experienced a chilly shower when in the midst of blissful enjoyment. It isn’t so bad really, but a shock to the system at first. Nearly everyone just has to see the bottle now and they stop what they are doing. Bug hasn’t learned it yet, but she will!
“No” is effective at our house, too. A stern look included helps drive the point home. It may take a few times but we eventually realize we shouldn’t do what we are doing. Generally that “NO” is accompanied with being gently picked up and removed from that particular spot.
Dedicated Scratching Post
We have the carpeted tower that shows evidence it has been used for a scratching post. There are many options available. Take a look at Amazon for all of the products available there. This would be perfect for our cat family!
You can even create your own with some carpet squares.
Various Scented Sprays and Double Sided Tape
Give us some positive reinforcement to encourage us to use an appropriate place to scratch. I would suggest a catnip spray. That would be heaven! I suppose you can find many sprays that would discourage us to use the furniture. You know we really aren’t too crazy about any citrus smelling sprays. I’ve heard that some humans have used double stick tape or even purchased “Sticky Paws” and put it on an area we have been known to use for scratching. I know I don’t like any sticky stuff on MY paws. So, if that had been used here I wouldn’t have helped make a mess of the corner of our couch. “Sorry Mom!”
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS
There are really nice furniture slipcovers available at Amazon and elsewhere to cover up those shredded furniture corners. This slip cover would look great in our home and with a print the cat hair may not show up so clearly!
It is interesting in our cat household that not all of our members spend time scratching the furniture or the scratching post. I like to use the carpeted tower. I don’t notice Joe Boo Boo scratching much, but he spends so much time outside he can take care of it there. Oscar has been disciplined a few times. Rusty uses my tower. Suzy Scamper hasn’t been in trouble for quite awhile. And Bug has not discovered scratching yet. I imagine she will get the water bottle a few times. She is a Very Busy Girl!!
So, remember that declawing is NOT the answer to this problem. Neither is finding new homes for us. You humans do not need to live with ragged furniture if you implement a few changes to encourage us in new directions.