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raskel
Yea, wet food keeps their teeth cleaner and their breath won't be nearly as stinky on dry food. It's also easier to maintain a healthy weight on dry food; wet food tends to be high in fat. But if you're only feeding dry food you have to pay more attention to how much water your kitty is getting to prevent urinary tract infections, etc. (You can test the elasticity of their skin to make sure they're hydrated. Pull up the skin on their back to see if it snaps right back. Or push on their gums and see if it turns pink again right away.)
amilita
My vet just said her collegue went to a conference where they said that new research is showing that dry food is making our cats unhealthier...that it is very high in carbs, whereas an ideal cat's diet is rather low in carbs. And that this may be causing higher rates of diabetes and other diseases.

Also, like raskel says, there are the hydration issues...and urinary tract issues.

She is also encouraging me to try to get my arthritic cat to lose some weight by switching to a high quality wet food...she says that because it has such a high water content, you can feed them less so they may lose weight without feeling hungry. I'm gonna try it.

It's easier for me to do the dry food, but I'm willing to try just using wet...I feed them a restricted amount of dry food, but my big kitty won't lose any poundage!

ETA: I probably should start brushing their teeth if I do the switch! That'll be fun.
raskel
I have actually read some about the issues with the dry food. I am reluctant to just switch to wet food though. I guess I could consider a combination of the two.

I have a question. My new kitty Tosh is a 4 year old Ragdoll that came into the shelter a couple of months ago because her owner passed away. We took Tosh to the vet because she lost all of the hair from her neck. The vet didn't actually know what was wrong with her. Everything he tested for came back negative. He gave me Tresaderm drops, which is a topical antifungal, antibacterial. That helped to get her hair growing back fast, but she was only allowed to be on it for a week, and once it was stopped, she got another bald spot on her neck. I made an appointment for her to go back to the vet, but does anyone have any ideas as to what this might be??

sixelacat
*de-lurks*

Iams makes a "lowfat" type of catfood that is supposed to help them lose weight healthily/gradually. Unfortunately, of my two cats only one is overweight, and I'm not home enough to give them seperate meals and make sure that they eat their own foods. My vet told me they should ideally eat 5 small meals a day (oddly, a dietician once told me I should do the same lol). My neighbor had luck with her overweight cat trimming down on the dry Iams, though.

With my two boycats only on dry, I got them a drinking fountain thingy that has running water constantly-they *love* running water, and I did notice that they've been drinking more since I got it.

sorry, raskel, I have no idea what the bald spots are about
pollystyrene
i just saw a commercial for Iams MultiCat for "combination households", where one cat is overweight and the other's not. it's got stuff in it to help the overweight cat burn fat and not under-nourish the other one.
bilka
I hope no-one takes offense at this, as I understand that not everyone feels the same about animal testing, but I feel like I have to say that Iams are quite bad for invasive animal testing, and in some cases animals have been killed in the name of product research.
auralpoison
Hmmmmm... interesting. I had one fat cat & a fit one. Now the fit one is fat & the fat one is fit. I started a feeding schedule so they only knoshed at specific times of day, but now they've just switched places. My active, healthy fuzzy is rotund now.

First thing in the morning when I tinkle, the Monk (Wif his lost toof.) demands that I turn on the bath sink that he may drink deep. They also seem to like elevated glass containers like beer pitchers.

Raskel, I dunno if it helps, but our dog used to get that & had to be on oral steroids for quite a while, but she was chewing herself bald because of allergies or some such.
doodlebug
My boy cat never liked wet food, from the minute he moved in (4 months old). Carmella would love me to feed her wet food, but I'm tired of being a "short order cook" to my cats, so it's dry all around, and no mooching. Weaning Carmella off wasn't too bad. It took about two or three weeks of giving it to her every other meal, then every other day, and so on. She was more confused than anything, because she didn't know when the wet food was coming, so she'd always be in the kitchen whining...but other than that, she's over it. She won't, won't, won't eat Eukaneuba dry, though, even though it's the highest in meat content.

I change my cats' dry food around from time to time, to keep them from getting bored, but I do stick to the higher quality ones from the pet food store, like Nutro Naturals and Royal Canin. The vet is pretty happy with these choices. I prefer not to feed Iams, and will usually only buy it now for "emergencies"...if I don't make it to the pet food store in time. (Everyone should be open till midnight, durn it!)

I do find it's true that they eat less of the higher quality stuff. And their health is ridiculously good. Of course, they are both young yet. They are the first cats I've had that eat an exclusively dry diet, though, so I guess time will tell.

I change the water twice a day, plus I've seen Georgie drink out of the toilet, or a puddle on the balcony...or my drinking glass! I have this little ledge beside my desk where I put my glass...he'll actually wait beside the empty glass for me to fill it back up!

Giving your cats five meals a day is ridiculous! Who lives that kind of life? You'd have to be a shut in!
doodlebug
Sorry for the double post.

raskel, is the bald patch on a spot where the cat can lick the fur away? Maybe she's having pain or itching there...maybe even phantom pain, because of stress? I had a cat once that licked her tummy bald, and it turned out she was having digestive problems....
raskel
The hair loss is around her neck, all the way to the back. There's no way she could lick it, but she does rub her neck on everything she walks past. So maybe she did rub it all off. It very well could be stress related with her owner dying and ending up in the shelter. Or I suspect maybe it was allergies. Or possibly a hormonal thing?? I don't really know. I am just hoping it's something that can be easily fixed and he won't come back and tell me it's something worse.

Bilka, I bite my tongue every time someone mentions Iams....I certainly do not buy it for any of my animals. Science Diet costs the same as Iams, it's supposed to be better quality food, and they don't test on animals like Iams does.
sixelacat
I had no idea Iams did that. They were sort of rescues when I got them (a friend has a large farm way out in the country, and she keeps 10-15 "working" cats as outside cats to keep the mice down in the barns, and 3 indoor-only cats as pets. The outdoor cats have a relatively short life span due to predators and such. Mine were from an outdoor cat litter) and the friend feeds her indoor pet cats only Iams, so I've always just fed them that.

Do any of the other foods y'all mentioned (Science Diet, Nutro Naturals) have a multi-cat type of food? They've been on the multi-cat Iams formula for a couple of months, but poor chunky Chicken's still, well, chunky (20lbs).

I'm afraid the only way to slim him down is to give them meals instead of just free-choice feeding, but my schedule changes weekly and they wouldn't get fed at any kind of regular time. I'd feel kind of bad if they didn't know when their next meal was coming!
raskel
I know Science Diet has a huge variety of food for cats. Indoor, Sensitive Skin, Sensitive Stomach, Oral Care, Advanced Protection, "Meat is the #1 Ingredient" foods....It's worth looking into.

If anyone is interested in the facts behind Iams, all you have to do is google "Iams animal testing"
dusty
Oh! My doctor prescribed a cat food, I think it is from Science Diet, for my Minou. Its prescription only, not the diet stuff they sell in the pet food store, and she actually *leaves some* in her dish. It is great stuff. The vet says its ok to feed them both this stuff, but it is kind of expensive.
rainarana
I feed Bliksem Science diet lite. Bliksem really likes it, but she's a pig. I've considered feeding exclusively dry, but not sure how she'd react, although she'd likely get used to it.
sixelacat
Do most of you guys do meals for your cats or leave out bunch of food and let them eat at will? I'm thinking maybe leaving out just enough food for each one for the day, but I'm kind of worried about one finishing his own food and starting in on his brother's. It seems like most of the light foods have an estimate chart on the package and directions for how much to give/day according to the cat's weight, but I'm kinda hesitant....
raskel
I don't do meals for the cats, but I don't leave "a bunch" of food either. I leave about 1/2 cup per cat. That's about all they should eat in a day anyway. They seem to work it out between them. If I notice one hasn't been eating much, I'll put their portion of food and water in a separate room and let them eat alone for a bit.
raskel
Tosh went to the vet again today. They decided that she was allergic to something in the shelter, so now that she's away from that, she should be just fine.
doodlebug
raskel, how is Tosh doing now?

sixel, I leave a bunch of dry food out and let them free feed. May not be the best solution, since Carmella is getting a bit hefty...though she seems to have levelled off. I am worried about measuring their food, since Carmella is a bit of a bully (like any cat with post-shelter issues!) and I don't really want to monitor who is eating or not eating. It's possible that I may have to, depending what the vet says at the next check-up, but that won't be till December or January, so I'm not gonna sweat it for now!
raskel
doodle, I think she's doing good. Her hair is almost a half inch long now on her neck, and the one little spot where she lost her hair a second time didn't spread. It looks like she has a mohawk now.

She's so cute, she behaves like a little dog. She runs to greet us at the door when we come home, and then follows me everywhere. She won't jump onto my lap. If she wants up, she'll stand on her hind legs and rest her front paws on me. The funniest of her doggie behavior is that if she hears someone outside the front door her ears perk up and she stands all lion-like and growls at the door. It's the first time we've ever adopted an animal that wasn't still a baby. Mr. Raskel was skeptical, but she is really a lovely cat. And so social!

doodlebug
That's good to hear, raskel!

Carmella has spiky hair on her head, down her neck, and along her spine. It's more like a "fauxhawk" than a mohawk! :-)
msgoofball
we just got back from camping over the weekend...the grandmas got to watch jake for us...i swear, even after giving him a bath and cleaning his ears, you have never seen a more contented cat to have his owners back. silly kitty.
zora
I have a weird cat question. You know how sometimes cats follow you into the bathroom to watch you pee? Mine vies for attention when I'm on the toilet and I often pet and rub him. If you use the same hand to wipe yourself, can that cause infections? Is it a bad idea to pet the cat when your on the crapper?
lucizoe
ha! zora! one of ours does that...why DO they do that? I have no idea about the infection risk thing, though...

I had a nightmare last night. I dreamed that Klyde was outside for some unknown reason, in some suburban set-up. I bent over to pick him up and he darted into traffic and was immediately flattened by some woman in a minivan, who then stopped her car, went back, picked up his body and stole it! Dream me was freaking the fuck out...

What the HELL does that mean? I hate nightmares involving my animals
laurenann
that is a great question, i never thought of that. i'm not much of a germophobe, so i would guess that the risk of getting an infection from petting the cat and then wiping yourself is pretty small.

my roomate is adopting a cat from the mspca this week - i am so excited!
treehugger
lucizoe..I've always heard that cats in dreams represent female sexuality. And that dreams also in general represent your impression of YOU. So, are you suffering from a lack of sexual desire lately, (dead cat) which you feel is caused by society's pressure on you to be the "traditional" (minivan) woman?

Just a shot in the dark here.

Back to our kitty discussion.

Zora, I can't say it *can't* cause an infection, but I pet my cat all the time and I don't wash my hands between petting the cat and using the toilet. I've never gotten an infection. Ever. In twenty years of owning cats.
raskel
We have one cat who *always* races into the bathroom to watch me pee and get some pettins. He doesn't do it to Mr. Raskel though. We have another cat that always shows up when were having sex. I just figured our cats were some sort of perverts.
lucizoe
ha, raskel, klyde does that to me...it's so funny to see him come trotting across the floor as I'm closing the bathroom door. I usually wait for him to get there. He also likes to watch the toilet flush. He's pretty gross like that.
sixelacat
Not only does my cat run into the bathroom with me, but when I *stop* petting him he actually tries to jump into my pants when they are around my ankles! It was cute (but weird) when he was a kitten, but at 20lbs it just ain't happenin! Strange, silly cat....
doodlebug
I just killed a pair of wasps with the flyswatter, and Georgie ate both of the carcasses before I could get a paper towel.

Cats are so weird.

zora, I do the pet 'n' pee thing all the time. I've never had any problems! Of course, my cats are indoor cats, so the chance of them having any diseases or worms is pretty slim. Georgie does love to come into the bathroom when I'm on the toilet - he doesn't understand the concept of a closed bathroom door. I never close it when we're alone, but if I have company...he will wait outside the door for whomever's in the bathroom come out. Sometimes he'll be doing something else, and then he'll realize I'm on the toilet and come racing down the hall!

ETA: sorry, I'm not sure what the dream means...I'll think about it for a bit though!
lucizoe
Meh, personally, I think the dream is just another of my generalized anxiety dreams. Likely featuring Klyde because he was halfway out the window the other day when I grabbed him. The idiot.

I agree. Cats are weird.
msgoofball
jake loves to get pettins and tries to sit on my lap when i am in the bathroom...he probably figures.."hey, here's a lap..."

but yesterday as we were chillin on the couch..his head jerks up, eyes wide and dark,...i ask him 'what do you see?' and follow his gaze to a big fat spider on the wall....after a quick smash with a shoe, the adventure is over and we go back to watching old movies...my kitty loves bugs - which is great cuz i hate spiders....
rainarana
Ahhh, toilet kitties. Bliksem follows me into the bathroom first thing in the morning, and if my legs aren't covered she walks back and forth and licks them. If I close the door when she is in the vicinity she'll claw at it. If it's not all the way closed she'll open it with her paw and give me a dirty look that conveys a message of, "How many times do I have to tell you??? No closed bathroom doors!" She doesn't come in. Just stares.
aquagirl2
My kitten is driving me insane. She will not stop attacking. I try clapping loudly, and removing her from the area, and saying NO, but any other suggestions??? I'm ready to get rid of her.
raskel
aqua - Kittens are sometimes just like that up until about 5-7 months, then they'll usually start to calm down. She's just a playful kitten. If her claws are bothering you, they make "soft paws" in a kitten size. We have a seriously overactive and rambunctious kitty (he's a year and a half old now and still hasn't calmed down) so we ended up buying him a harness and a leash and we'll wear him out with a walk. The best thing to do is keep her occupied with toys and such. We have toys on bungee cords hanging in doorways, and have even gone as far as to tie a laser pointer to the ceiling fan and let him run circles while I'm busy doing other things. She's just exhibiting normal kitten behavior, and you can't fault her for that.
sixelacat
aqua, maybe the training method I used to keep them from scratching furniture/doorposts (I never could make myself get them declawed) would help? It's just the standard squirt bottle thing, you know, keep a squirt bottle of water handy and give her a spray when she's doing something "bad". Although, if she doesn't have any playmates besides you, she might just be bored. They learn how to "play nice" when they are kittens (how not to bite too hard or scratch to hurt) by roughhousing with other kittens. If so, what raskel said.
amilita
aqua, kittens are just spazzy! Mine sometimes goes after my ankles like crazy, but just like a toddler, they are easily distractable. If I grab a toy and throw it, he darts off after that.

And I trim his nails, so when he jumps on me it hurts less. Although his new trick is to jump on my back and climb up on my shoulders. Ow!

They do calm down eventually.
zora
I didn't think it would cause an infection, but I was curious. Thanks for all your input!
lucizoe
Ha, my former roommate's kitten used to crawl up my legs right up my back and onto my head while I was doing dishes. Poor kitty, that one. His mommy was n-u-t-s. But yeah, that just sounds like regular kitten behavior.

Poor Klyde doesn't take thunderstorms well. We had a doozy last night and we spent most of it under the covers, him huddled up on my chest, face stuffed under my chin, grunting and drooling and breathing hard. It wasn't terribly pleasant. He slept really soundly from working himself up like that, though.

It's raining again, now, and he disappeared. When I called him, I heard *scratch scratch scratch* from the open dresser drawer and then he snaked his body up from behind it. He was hiding inside the dresser. How do they DO that? So oddly flexible.

He's such a short-bus sort of cat.
raskel
Clue gets in drawers too. He managed to find the drawer of pot holders in the kitchen and, well, now pot holders are his favorite toy. He throws them all over the house every night after we've gone to bed.
sixelacat
Poor Klyde! Mine get into kitchen cabinets during t-storms. I tried putting child-proof latches on the doors so they couldn't open them, but they just scratched up the woodwork trying, so I took them off and resigned myself to re-washing some pots and pans after every storm. Sometimes it's like living in the Poltergeist house, I turn around and all the kitchen cabinets are open!
zora
Aquagirl, try getting a can of air, you know, the dusters for electronics. You can spray the kitten when she does bad things and eventually she'll see that there's no fun in attacking you. I found also, that after they know what the canned air sounds like, you can just make the same noise with your mouth and they'll think it's the same thing. It worked wonders for Geoff. He used to climb on the kitchen counter at night and lick grease off the stove and knock things over and be gross. Now if he's doing something he's not supossed to (say, eating styrofoam) I can just say "sssssssst!" and he stops right away.
treehugger
So my cat did something weird tonight. The boy has a dog that he brings over to the house every now and then.

My cat (Mojo) is a pretty laid back cat, but he is still spunky. He's always been pretty tolerant of the boy's dog (Joe). Joe has walked up to mojo before and sniffed him and mojo is sorta tense but lets him. And then when Joe's not looking, Mojo will creep up behind him and sniff him.

But today...geesh, I don't know what got under Mojo's skin, but he was awful! Growling, lashing out at Joe, just you name it, Mojo was just a little a-hole about the whole thing! Really out of character for him.

Mojo wouldn't even let Joe within ten feet of him, and that's unusual.

I don't know what could have caused it. Food's all the same, no major upheavals. It was just....weird.
pollystyrene
Hee hee, zora- I used to do that at my parents house. Some nights I just wouldn't want a cat sleeping with me, so I'd close the bedroom door. They'd wake me up at about 3am, scratching, pawing and howling at the door. I didn't even have to open the door, I'd just stick the spray tube under the door and pull the trigger. They got the hint!
doodlebug
I love the canned air idea. I'm pretty lucky with the cats I have now, though. Georgie was a tiny bit wild when he was a kitten, but mostly that was chasing bugs. I lost a couple of lamps to his kittenhood. He wouldn't hear any form of "no" then, and if you picked him up and physically removed him from doing something, he'd go right back to it. I just wound up removing forms of temptation (like turning off bug-attracting lights) till he got over it. He's much better now. :-)

treehugger, maybe the dog smelled like something odd. Dogs like to do weird things, right? Like roll in dead animal carcasses so they can bring back the scent to their pack. Ugh.
zora
You know how when you scratch a certain part of your cat, usually by the tail, how they lick and kind of freak out? Anyone know why?
luleey
hi there! just got a kitten and he is a total spaz but super cute. i do want to trim his claws, tho--what kind of trimmer can i use? just nail scissors or a clipper?
doodlebug
luleey, you can buy special clippers for animal claws at any pet store. Ideally, you should have the kind that surround the claw when you clip it. Ordinary scissors and human nail clippers can damage the claw by crushing it. You should be able to find a pair for cats for under $10.

I trim my cats' claws all the time - let me know if you need some tips!

blanche, I sometimes get "doodieberries" (love that word) too. I always figured they just got stuck to their legs or ass end, and then dropped off away from the box. If they are pooping in a certain area away from the box, there would probably be a pile of it, rather than a "berry." If it's incontinence...it would probably be very messy and mushy, I would think? ETA: also, I have noticed that big George very occasionally misses the box and gets some on the floor (that's why I have an old rug underneath)...and that the one or two times he's barfed (most notably after eating something stupid, like a wasp), Carmella has rushed to "cover" it like she would something in a litter box...so now I'm wondering if she is the one who kicks the doodieberries away?

zora...I always wondered if they got aroused or something when you scratch near their tail! I don't know what it is...
lucizoe
luleey! congrats on your kitten! what does he look like...what's his name?? *pry pry pry*
raskel
Here's Tosh hanging upside-down. She turns into a real turd as soon as I get a camera out; I can't get a good picture with her batting at the camera the whole time.
http://img392.imageshack.us/img392/8886/toshie1rj.jpg
gardnerella
My cat killed a little ducklette the other day. She still has mad killing skills. I kind of like that.

How do cats kill like a vampire? I know she punctures the neck and leaves no blood behind. Is she piercing the spine or something?

Sometimes late at night when she's laying on my chest she gazes at me and I wonder, am I next?
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