Tabitha (Tabby) was our foster cat. She got adopted four months ago. Recently, the adoptive Mom called up the Rescue and asked to “take the cat back because she was peeing everywhere.” When the rescue called us back to ask if we wanted to foster her again, I was feeling two things:
1) Surprise because when we were the foster home for Tabitha, she was not peeing everywhere. She had a couple of litter boxes in her room and she was using them just fine
2) A little angry because this was a 15 year old cat. It took us a couple of months to figure out her diet and it took us another six months to help her come out of her shell. In my mind, if you weren’t going to give her everything you had to make sure she was comfortable in her last remaining years, why bother adopting in the first place? She is 15 years old and she didn’t deserve this much upheaval. She was adopted all of 4 months. When we gave her up 4 months ago, she was already walking around the house, weaving in and out of dogs and she was healthy. There was absolutely nothing wrong with her as she was eating and pooping properly.
The Pick Up
When I went to pick up Tabby after agreeing to foster her again, there were some signs that she wasn’t properly taken care of, her health wasn’t optimized.
- The poop in the cat litter was mush and I asked how long she had been pooping like that, she said, “ever since I got her,” which I know to be a lie because when we gave the cat to her, by the gods, her poop was perfect. I am a poop detective and proud of it and all my furry kids have good poop, its how I know that they are well.
- In her house, strewn around was the cat treat, Temptations. She had maybe 4 bags, all opened. Not the small bags mind you, the large ones. She even had the container and that was half way empty. I give my cats the same treat but you should really read the label in terms of how much to give your cat daily, its 15 treats daily per every 10 lbs of weight. We are guilty of giving this to our cats and have a large bag of temptations at home, its half gone but we’ve had it for over a month and we have 3 cats! By the looks of it this 15-years-old cat cat was probably getting fed cat temptations instead of proper food. Try eating McDonalds daily and see what happens to you. Here are other people’s experience with Temptations.
- I also asked about her food, and she said she was feeding her dry and wet food. She showed me a can of Friskies and a pouch, whose main content was fish and byproducts. I specifically remember telling her to feed Tabby only quality wet food so that she will thrive. I guess quality for her meant Friskies, a Purina Company. Here are other peoples experience with Purina, Cat Food and dog food. Kidney failure, Liver failure… to name a few. Imagine eating this crap for 4 months, I am beyond devastated for Tabby, my 15 year old foster who didn’t deserve this.
Granted, I know most people know nothing about nutrition so here are Articles on the Causes of Hyperthyroidism in Cats:
- Flame Retardant (PBDE) linked to Feline Hyperthyroidism — Japanese scientists found the link between PBDE and marine organisms. Its not so much eating of the fish per se but the quality of the fish. It is important to note that Whales and Gulls started developing Thyroid issues about the same time that Cat Hyperthyroidism was reported. It was in the 1970’s and thats also the time when Industrial pollution was at its highest. Since we haven’t totally gotten rid of pollution in our oceans, the fish that the cat food is made from seem to be the likely culprit of the PBDE’s found in their system. Its important to note that the chemical PBDE also comes from other household products and not just fish from canned food. But Friskies and the overall brand of Purina is not famous for their quality food. If they are using byproducts of fish in their canned food, I’m pretty sure the accumulation of the months she ate it, for a 15 year old cat, could have caused this issue.
- The truth about Commercial Cat Food — Personally, I would never feed my pets commercial cat food, all the common diseases of house cats can be traced to feeding them commercial cat food. These diseases are: diabetes, UTI, Chronic kidney disease, cardiomyopathy, hyperthyroidism, cancer, fatty liver disease (hepatic lipidosis). Yes thats right commercial cat food can cause hyperthyroidism because they contain too much carbohydrates and the iodine content may be too high as its not regulated. (Disclaimer on link provided, I loved this Vets advise on commercial cat good but I would recommend a more comprehensive diet for cats and not just plain human food, they need digestive enzymes and a few more minerals that human food does not contain as we are not carnivores and do not eat bone meals)
- Hyperthyroidism is the most common endocrine disorder of cats — in this post the Endocrinologist states, “…despite the fact that nutritional factors and cat food likely has a role in the etiopathogenesis of the disease…” meaning that commercial pet food could be and is likely the culprit of hyperthyroidism. In this article the Vet also states that he suggests feeding cats a high quality protein to improve muscle mass, strength and agility.
When we first fostered Tabby in March of 2015. She came to us with medication for anxiety. She was taking Prozac. We slowly weened her out of that. Over the course of a month we gave her less and less of the prozac all the while feeding her high quality canned cat food. Initially she didn’t want to eat wet, canned cat food. She was use to eating dry food. So we mixed in a little wet food at a time. We eventually converted her eating wet food only. When she had made the switch, we saw no obvious signs of anxiety in her, in fact she started getting more comfortable with the other dogs and cats in the house.
Our bodies, just as they are, can heal themselves from sickness and disease, same thing with our pets. But our bodies can only heal itself if has been fed an optimized, nutrition-packed diet. We need calcium for strong bones and teeth. We can get calcium from eating broccoli, kale, legumes, etc. If we don’t eat enough of these types of food that provide calcium to our bodies, we get osteoporosis. We need potassium to regulate the beating of our hearts (among other functions of potassium) and we can get potassium by eating fish, tomatoes, lima beans, cantaloupe, bananas. If we don’t eat enough potassium we are in a risk to develop the following: abnormal heart rhythms, abnormal glucose response, increase blood pressure, kidney stones. Our bodies need a variety of food groups in order to live a rich, healthy and full life. Cats and dogs also need the same kind of sustenance but their diet is more specie-appropriate but the same type of reasoning. They also need the same minerals so their bodies can process it to help heal their ailments.
Eating overly-processed food, junk food, food with no nutritional value such as fast food, will not help your body heal itself. Without proper nutrition your body will slowly succumb to disease. In this same line of thought, Food is medicine. You won’t be sickly if you eat a proper diet, same thing with pets.
Some people think that its ok to feed them whatever because they live long. But what about their quality of life? You see, even if you feed your dogs crappy commercial food, their bodies will adjust to it. Thats how amazing their bodies (including humans) are, we will adjust to every situation. But their quality of life is not great meaning they could need the vet often for yeast infections, poor skin conditions, joint discomfort — all these things that come with aging and hinder their quality of life. Your pet can actually have great joints up to their last breath, they could be yeast-free up to their last breath. Quality of life is so important, without it, its very hard to be happy and suffering, simply put, sucks.
Here is a list of food that we feed our cats. We hope it is helpful. Bear in mind that I am not a paid advertiser of any of these products. We use them for our own pets and we see the huge difference with them vs. a few years ago when we didn’t know anything about nutrition. Without further adieu, here are our favorite cat food that we use for our cats for optimal health benefits:
- Weruva Chicken: We love it because it is grain-free no GMOs, has no antibiotics and no added hormones. It also has no Careegenan, which is a major plus. Weruva also doens’t put kelp in their food so less iodine content, which is great for cats with hyperthyroidism.
- Blue Wilderness Chicken & Trout: We love it because its made from real chicken and trout. Free from chicken or poultry by-products. No artificial preservatives!
- Stella & Chewy’s Chick, Chick, Chicken Dinner: We love it because its got nutrient rich bone and organ meat! Rich in taurine and probiotics! All the good stuff basically.
I wish we could afford to just feed our cats with Stella & Chewy’s high quality food but because we take in fosters, its a bit too much for our budget so we spread it. We buy what we can with the budget that we have. We make sure that the food they are eating will not cause them to get sick and thats essentially our main concern. Food is suppose to heal and thats the kind of food that we buy for our pets.
Where to buy: Buying from Amazon is cheaper than buying from PetCo or PetSmart. In Amazon a can of Blue Wilderness is about $1.15 and in PetCo (Warrenton, VA) the same can goes for $1.79 — thats savings of $0.64 per can.
If budget is an issue, buy high quality, grain-free dry food and give them canned food once every other meal. Remember even if its called, “grain-free” it still has carbohydrates almost 30-40% of dry food is all starch. Canned food only has 10% carbs. Thats a food group that cats do not need and cannot process. Another important aspect of wet food is the moisture content. Dry food only has 10% water whereas the natural diet of cats normally contain up to 70% moisture. Also, the high heat used in processing the dry food kills all the nutrients in the food.
More information here about why cats need more than dry kibble.
Good food means less Vet visits
Tabby was returned to us with medicine tablets called Tapazole. Prescription is half tablet twice a day. We noticed though that she would stop eating with the meds so I have lessened the meds to just 1/4th tablet per day and will increase the dose as we go along. I will also get another blood test reading sometime soon so we can get a grip on this. Because of the upheaval, she’s in a strange place again so I took the liberty of putting Feliway in her room. Its helped calm her down and she’s slowly remembering.
When she first came to us, I thought for sure that we would have a foster who needed to go to the vet often since she was on Prozac. I’m glad the high-quality food was able to reverse the damage done in her previous life. We only went to the vet once in the 8 months that we had her.
I will update this article once she’s all better. Being 15 years old, I am hoping the damage is reversible and thats she’s able to get better from having hyperthyroidism.
Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian, I am a web developer, SEO professional and free pet-sitting Startup founder. I am a cat owner, well they would argue and let you know that they own me. I have had cats for over 10 years. SEO is essentially about research: findings and testing. I have applied my professional experience to my personal one and have done fervent research to support any of my material claims. Nevertheless, please note that everything you read here is subjective, it is my experience and you should find a holistic vet to verify treatment plans for your pet. Please note that I mentioned holistic vet because they will try to find the cause of the issue and address it, wholistically instead of prescribe an antibiotic.