The house cat and food related issues.

Welcome again to my blog my dear feline enthusiasts who love their spouses almost as much as their cat! I will now touch on the subject of food and related issues that might stem from improper usage or feeding of it to your pet. I will also give you some awareness about lifestyle and how it will affect how you should feed your senior feline friend differently than if they were younger or with more energy to give.

Firstly, I would want you to see if this is your cat type…

Obese cat

Or is THIS what your cat is like?

Active cat

A big difference between them, no?

Common issues related to nutrition:

As a cat ages, their basal metabolism slows down which means calories that are shed for regular body maintenance, repair, and temperature. This usually translates that they will either need to cut back on the caloric intake or we will need to get creative in keeping them active or even to supply them with foods that will rev-up their metabolism.

Direct effects of food on your cat:

Some are poisoning, choking, infection (gastrointestinal and parasitical), malnutrition, lack of energy, indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, intestinal occlusion, dental and gum problems, obesity, food intolerance, and allergies.

Indirect, more long-term effects on cats:

Morbid obesity, anemia, fur and skin issues, thyroid problems, renal insufficiency and failure, liver diseases, heart failure, cancer, arthrosis and definitely a shorter lifespan.

How to avoid all the above:

Be always ready to take your cat to the vet at a phone calls notice. Treat your feline friend as if a child and gather all the numbers, names, and addresses of emergency response for animals, the vet, the cat sitter, the store your buy your food at, the cats known allergies and medications, their specs (name, weight, age,etc.) put on the fridge or any place the sitter or family will easily see and access it.

Be wise enough to keep the instructions of the food packaging and read ingredients carefully before buying. Weigh your cat every so often to adjust the recommended food quantities and frequency of feeding.

Give much freshwater to your cat and try to habituate them to wet cat food and/or alternate between dry and wet but wet is best to prevent renal difficulties in your cat. If you can, to buy a distributor of water and food.

Let me elaborate! The water distributor for cats is like a mini-sized version of our blue 18-liter bottles that we have and it will distribute water ad-lib from source water. Some places that sell bowls for the water offer a low-cost alternative to the blue bottle. The bowl will come equipped with a place you can screw an ordinary source bottle (around 500 ml.), flip it and it will distribute water to your cat as they drink.

food and water distributor for cats

water dispenser for cats

The other option for hydrating kitty is the water fountain. It might be considered pricey with a filter to change but it might be worth it to keep your cat well hydrated!

water fountain with filter for cats

Another option is classical. To leave 2 or more bowls of water at their disposition. Why? They might not be able to get around as easily as before and can have pain that is present at times or chronically.

As for the food, it depends on the cats weight and condition. If they are “chubby”, I wouldn’t recommend the food distributor that is in a blue bottle like the water and you screw the top that is their plate and reverse it so the food goes down in the plate by gravity and as your cat is eating away at the food.

No, if your cat is obese, not only do you not want that (he’ll be looking at the bottle full of food and take it as a challenge, LOL!) but you’ll probably need to acquire a food plate that has a timer that you can program so the cat gets his food at appropriate times and doesn’t overdo it!

You can connect your phone to this feeder and adjust the portions and auto-feed times. See this link for more interesting details about this intelligent dispenser:

https://smartpetfeeder.ca/smart-pet-feeder-best/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMItpi20o_T5gIVUb7ACh2YmQeEEAQYBCABEgL1rPD_BwE

intelligent feeder

Still, another option is the toys, also called “puzzles”, to make them work for their food. It is thought to be the best way as cats are hunters by nature. If you find that too “cruel” for your fur-baby, just put the treats in there for them! But I can assure you that it can be very rewarding for your cat to “hunt” and “catch” their food and it should keep them fit.

I have found a website that just amazes me and takes feeding your feline to the next level! To re-think how you feed your pet, check this out:

https://www.rover.com/blog/best-cat-puzzle-toys/feeding puzzles and mazes catpuzzle feeder catelaborate puzzle feeder cat

For the cat owners who are more conscious of their cats intake and who contemplate making the food themselves, please make sure that there is enough protein as cats are carnivorous and check with the doc for anything that could warrant a limit to calories, proteins, or water intake and specifications on texture that is more appropriate for your cat to assimilate the nutrients in the food.

I am pondering whether I should write a totally separate post about feeding your pet with “real food”. It deserves that I lean in on the issue as it can be considered very polarizing in certain circles.

I found, however, another option for water: a cat activated water fountain that is attached to your sink called Aqua-Purr and is 129$ with free shipping… Don’t we love to treat them like royalty, eh?!

water fountain

Great practices to keep your elder cat healthy:

I don’t need to tell you what you already know about your elder cat, their ways and habits and what works versus what doesn’t, do I? The simple truth is that we don’t pay attention to changes in our aging cat enough. We must study our animal and search like a detective why they are as they are and why they act like they do.

I’ve seen some pins on Pinterest that make me cringe and frown! They posted pictures of their cats having done something “wrong” or “weirdly wrong or funny” and don’t analyze much out of it! I have given medical advice in my comments because some of them don’t know that certain behaviors are simply caused for alarm and to bring them to the vet.

Although there is this age-old wives’ tale that cats are independent-they are not! They are just more “choosy” and have more “class” when it comes to discern whom they want to socialize with and bond with because, after all, they ARE social beings! They need us and they must get our care and attention.

Another wives’ tale is that cats are low maintenance and that you can leave your cat alone all day or a few days with just water, food and a source of “presence”: TV., radio, another cat.NO! They are like kittens towards us and they need our interaction (talk, playing, “chilling” with us and on our lap, tending to medical needs).

Psychologically, they act like a kitten and stay that way with us because of the manner we have raised cats to become domesticated. So, they are needy little buggers! It’s been proven that it’s not good to leave a dog alone more than 4 hours at a time and cats are very intelligent and they got emotions and feelings and they too can get lonely and depressed and even…angry at our absences!

Responsible practices:

Playing with your cat at least 1/2 hour a day or by 5-minute increments if you can’t manage the former.

Giving interactive means for your cat to play and explore around the house and to look outside.

Sterilize your cat to avoid problems like cancer later on in its lifetime.

Register and chip your animal to make sure they don’t get lost if they wander.

Vaccines up to date, even if they are indoor as contamination can arise between an indoor and outdoorsy pet of the same household or if the cat wanders, they might get infected by wildlife that are living the “city life”.

Brushing your cat because it is like going to the spa for them and might relieve pain and comfort them and encourage circulation and nice shiny coat of fur. Good for the upping of endorphins and immune defense. It will prevent hairballs and constipation and cleaning up vomit-a bonus!!!

Not giving the same medication to them as for a human, unless you receive a special reference from your cat’s vet.

Brushing their teeth with a soft brush and “fish-flavored” toothpaste and get teeth tartar removed by your vet.

Helpful and nutritious to give meowsy:

In older cats, it can be a challenge for them to go do a bowel movement. Having some pumpkin mashed up can really help them get things moving. If they don’t like that, there are other options like this gel:

Gel for feline constipation

Oh, just so you can see what your cat is pooping and if you should take action:stool chart cat bowel movements

Things to consider as a source of constipation:

causes of constipation in cats.Note: It is not recommended having your cat poop/pee on a “human” litter box. They can fall in and the bacteria they leave us is not for a hygienic practice so don’t get too creative… Even if your cat can learn potty training before your toddler!

How food relates to psychological problems:

Are you aware that your bundle of fur can be a big pile of nerves? Cats love their routines and habits and how things don’t change. Creatures of habit! But when someone moves with their pet, gets a divorce, the owner dies or any other change like a new pet in the house (that wasn’t properly introduced), etc. They can eat emotionally, frantically in “survival mode” and overeat.

They, in my experience, have been seen vomiting and leaving poop as a sign of disapproval for something we did or didn’t do!

A bored or neglected cat is also a candidate for an unbalanced relationship with food that tends towards a cycle of eating and sleeping but in overdoing so, thus getting more fat and sluggish and…depressed.

Cognitive and physical limitations to eating and hydration:

Older felines that are “senile” can forget how to “cat” and Alzheimer’s is something cats get too. Known as “Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome in cats (CDS)”, they can lose their sense of what to do and forget to eat or where their food for example.

You can read about this and get tips for your aging cat here:

https://www.thesprucepets.com/senior-dementia-in-cats-3384896

 

And there are ways to stimulate your cat and transform your home into a feline-friendly place:

Steps on how to Catify your home with Jackson Galaxy.

Tips to catify your home

 

One final purr…:

I hope that I covered what is relevant to you in this post and I will probably elaborate on some above-discussed themes in the future if you need to clarify on a point or are interested or inspired to ask me about another one based on what you have seen and read today.

May you be living superrrrb holidays and looking forward to a promising and cozy new year with our little fur-babies!!!

cat in snow

Purrfectly at your disposal,

Elizabeth

 

Insurance for senior cats health.

Today,I will touch on the subject of getting health insurance or pet insurance to protect your senior cats health.

Get a plan before they get sick:

In this age, it is possible to do the same treatments and give similar medications to pets that humans have, albeit not the same dosages. Special diets, prescription medications, adaptive devices and surgeries cost a fortune for us humans that are without public or private health insurance-imagine now with our pets!

Moreover, it is advised to get health insurance for your furry companion early in life or as soon as you acquire your cat cause it’s easier to get them accepted and covered before they develop any ailments, diseases or disabilities that would cut your feline friend’s chance of getting covered or it can rack up the prices of premiums, deductibles and reimbursement rates!

HOW TO GET PERSONALIZED HEALTH INSURANCE FOR YOUR CAT’S NEED’S?

Now, we are aware that it can get quite expensive to treat and medicate a senior or sick cat. We must first of all start with a trusted Vet to get a physical check-up with all the usual blood tests to get a sense of where your pet is at in terms of needs.

Also, what are your cat’s particularities when it comes to your cat’s breed? Is it a full breed or mixed breed? What are the associated conditions and ailments related to your cat’s breed?

Has the cat been sterilized? Pre-existing or known diseases you’re aware of? Certificates and vaccines? What is your budget and what are you wanting the insurance to cover?

Reasons to get insurance:

Now why would you want to get insurance for your pet?Because it is way less costly than paying out-of-pocket the full amount of a treatment or an operation. God forbid you have more than one “fur-baby” to care of that has a chronic ailment which is highly possible and something to consider when keeping and caring for an older cat.

The tests alone can get very costly. Then there are the vaccines and medications… Well,you get the picture! What’s more, the insurance can assist you in counseling what is best for your cat for the age and condition that they are in.

Healthy and agile senior cat.

Where to find the right insurance:

A veterinarian would know some of them but you can check out the website of your local animal shelters and SPCA. They may give tips for finding one as well.

The consumer review sites (report,advocate,review,best,etc.) are a good place to go to get an overview of pros and cons of each and not falling into the same mistake as other people.

You should also call up your existing auto and home insurances because they might have a pet insurance that you can bundle and save on the pet insurance in doing so!

Of course there is word of mouth but why not take it up a notch and go on a pet message board and ask others on the forum for their experience and counsel you on which one might be best for your pet!?

You can check out these neats websites for starters!:

https://www.petforums.com/

https://www.policygenius.com/pet-insurance/

https://www.spca.com/en/category/tips-and-advice/

https://www.consumersadvocate.org/pet-insurance-canada

https://petinsurancefinder.com/

Cost versus covered by insurance.

Types of insurance:

There are a few types and sub-types to choose from and each with their limits to the benefits and payouts they give that are differential in that it rests on parameters like breed, conditions, age, how long you want the insurance to cover your pet and what deductibles-premiums ratio in the plans you choose to take-up.

In the first category, you can come across “wellness insurance” or named “preventative insurance” that goes for the regular stuff like vaccines and normal vet appointments, etc. This is thought to be not very advantageous and a waste of money. You might want to shop around and consider if your pet really needs this depending on frequency and intensity of preventative and maintenance care of your cat.

Next of, you’ll see plans that resemble accident only, accident-illness, full or comprehensive covered care that will include all of the above (routine care too). Mind you,there is a caveat to the full insurance:It won’t automatically cover prosthesis/artificial limbs, illnesses already present, abuse ( I suggest you can sue the one who would abuse your pet and report them to the ASPCA.,SPCA. or local policing agency), emergency transport and big surgeries like a transplant for example.

Thirdly,you’d need to pick one according to the breed of your cat because some have particularity of having diseases and conditions that are common to that specific breed.Some develop respiratory issues related to their build like Persian or angora cats that are flat nosed.Or,they are more stomach sensitive like the Siamese cat.

Forthly, do you want a yearly plan or for a lifetime?And in this plan, capped or no cealing to payouts from the insurers?It’s  all things to take in consideration when getting pet insurance. Not to mention that you can get plans that you pay per condition individually,that is pay a deductible for each condition your pet has, individually.

I recommend to get a lifetime insurance because it can englobe so many things that we don’t always think about! Cat housing,your cat’s liability if it destroys something or…someone!The cost of the animal if lost or dead and funeral and burial costs,not to mention that some places offer “perks” with their coverage such as help line,bereavement counsel,poison hotline,compassion care for pet’s with long time illness, a magazine,emergency care coverage and LOL.! a  “concierge” for your pet’s needs.

See for yourself:

https://www.petsplusus.com/insurance-coverage/blue-ribbon-benefits

https://www.comparethemarket.com/pet-insurance/lifetime-pet-insurance/

My own experience:

Don’t do what I did in the past.I payed out of pocket for anything cat and when I couldn’t afford treatments,I made the regrettable decision to put the cat to sleep.It had cost me once 500$ dollars for two 5 month old cats and I had to spend another 200$ for euthanasia a couple months after because the tests didn’t detect damage already done!They had 2 typeds of worms and probably from the womb.

They had all their blood tests for urine and feces and blood.They even had a worm treatment and their vaccine’s!Not to mention the food bought under Md. recommendations!

They both looked in pain and had symptoms of fecal and urinary incontinence.Had I taken an insurance I could’ve at least saved myself much problems and hurdles!

In conclusion:

In the end it is always better to be safe than sorry!If you have any medical questions or inquire about something in my article,I would be most glad to know what “inquiring minds want to know”.

Do remember this:If there is something you need me to write about,give me a heads-up so I may do the research and heavy lifting for you and find the experts and “exhibit A” as a top notch detective would!

In my next post,it will be a cats problems and symptoms related to food and lifestyle of the senior house cat.

Till then,play nice!

Purrfectly yours,

Elizabeth

 

 

Signs that your cat is aged.

In this post, I will discuss the signs and symptoms of a cat that is an aging senior. I will begin with this subject because I would like to get you on the right track to caring for Mister Meowsy. What to expect with an elder cat and also I will discuss one way-right off the bat, to secure your cat’s health and well-being before applying all the other measures to prevent disease and give a quality of life to our cat’s.

You must know where your feline companion is with their general health. It’s important not to guess and try to remedy a cat’s condition on your own without the baseline information about him. Also, the internet has info-like mine! But it is to guide and not diagnose! You are warned!

Here at senior feline foods, I will get to the eating part but what to give your cat if you don’t know he has diabetes or tummy problem’s, etc. ? There are different diets and types of food you could consider but it’s ultimately up to the vet’s OK…. and the feline’s tastes and limitations!

I will go through the natural supplement’s that you probably didn’t know that your cat will appreciate more than you if you took those supplements! I’ll want to get to it in another post to properly do the breakdown of each.

The Sign’s of cat’s aging=like human aging:

For starter’s, we all know and have seen seniors like our grandparents or our aging parents.

They shuffle on with their cane or walker and don’t see or hear quite as they used to and they don’t eat as much as they once did or they have changed in their taste for food because their taste buds and sense of smell have all undergone a silver metamorphosis in the declining category!

Sign’s of aging and disease in a cat:

Well, the same can be seen and said about our pets. They get some same ailments that we as humans get with the wear-and-tear of aging. Think arthritis/arthrosis (especially in the hind legs),glaucoma,diabetes,heart problems, etc.

Some breeds are more prone to some ailments more than others as well. Depending on the breed, the genetics are kind or unkind and it can affect the lifespan of the cat. It is an important part in considering your pet’s diet.

Considering the built,structure,tolerances and daily requirements of your type of cat are factors to implicate as well.

See this  table of breeds and corresponding lifespans to get a better idea:

BREED  AVERAGE LIFESPAN (YEARS):

Abyssinian

9-15

American Bobtail

13-15

American Curl

15+

American Short hair

15-20

American Wirehair

7-12

Australian Mist

14-19

Balinese

18-22

Bengal

12-16

Birman

12-16

Blue Chartreux

12-15

Bombay

15-20

British Short hair

12+

Burmese

16-18

Burmilla

10-15

California Spangled

9-16

Ceylon

~15

Chantilly-Tiffany

14-16

Color point Short hair

12-16

Cornish Rex

11-15

Cymric

8-14

Devon Rex

9-15

Domestic

12-14

Egyptian Mau

13-16

European Short hair

15-22

Exotic Short hair

12-14

German Rex

9-14

Havana Brown

12-15

Himalayan

15+

Japanese Bobtail

15-18

Javanese

10-15

Korat

15+

LaPerm

10-15

Maine Coon

12-15

Manx

8-14

Munchkin

12-14

Nebelung

15-18

Norwegian Forest

14-16

Ocicat

10-15

Oriental

10-15

Persian

15+

Pixiebob

~12

Ragdoll

12-17

Russian Blue

15-20

Scottish Fold

~15

Selkirk Rex

10-15

Siamese

15-20

Siberian

11-15

Singapura

9-15

Snowshoe

12-15

Sokoke

9-15

Somali

10-12

Sphynx

13-15

Tonkinese

10-16

Turkish Angora

12-18

Turkish Van

12-17

Source:

https://www.petcarerx.com/article/the-average-lifespan-of-a-cat-breed-by-breed-chart/1698

How to discern if your cat is a senior:

The most natural and most obvious way would be to see your cats vet! The doctor can tell the average age of a cat by the amount of tartar amounted to the aspect of the teeth. The more tartar, wear and yellow on the teeth=the older the cat will be.

Another fun way to know is by their ears. The ears of an older cat will be pointier than a younger cats. The fur will be thicker and may go grayish.

Your cat’s epidermis will do like us when older.LOL! It will sag. The eyesight won’t be as sharp, and the lens might cloud up because of cataracts. They won’t move around as swiftly and might have difficulties jumping and climbing to their usual spots.

You might notice changes in bowel and peeing frequency too as their appetite and activity level’s change. They might not want to groom as often because of arthritis or even memory problems.

Some cats tend to get more vocal when they age. One culprit is thyroid problems. If no health problems;it might be due to a change in the household like a move or death, separation, etc. But if your cat is not listening to you, it could actually be hearing problem’s and not a hard-headed pet!

Finally, the cat that sleeps more and is less say “feisty” could be in their senior stage!

Changes in how your cat relates to food:

We are all aware that with age there is less activity and with that less appetite for food.

Digestion is transformed too. Slower and more difficulty to assimilate the nutrients. Chewing problems and tooth issues and a slower intestinal transit time that will lead to constipation. One thing that is dangerous but not that uncommon is Mega colon.

Cognitive and mental issues can affect  a cats ability  to eat and drink. Included in this is the will of the animal to eat/drink.

Pica, which is a condition where the cat will eat anything because of a nutritional and/or mineral deficiency. The cat can be seen eating rubber bands,plastic, textiles or licking you for need of salt.

 

So that’s how it is folks!:

We go through stages and seasons in life and so do they! Our feline puurrr-babies get old and transform and get the same ailments as us.

But just as we go to our doctor, looking for the “fountain of life” or at the very least, some extra years with quality in our life;let’s give our pet’s the same consideration! To give them more quality in their life if quantity is not possible!

If you have any questions, suggestions or comments;please freely write them in the comments section.

It will be my pleasure to get your feedback and answer any questions or even go on a “hunt” for all the topics you want me to write about!

Purrfectly at your disposal,

Elizabeth