Self-taught dog training expert Cesar Millan once said, “At the age of 13, I wanted to be the best dog trainer in the world. That was my wish.” Like the Dog Whisperer, at age 13 I had my own wish but it had nothing to do with canines. I wished for my very own pet cat!
After months of non-stop begging, persistent pleading, and other forms of cajoling my parents finally relented but they had some conditions. The cat had to come from the local animal shelter. The cat couldn’t be too old or too young. And most importantly, I had to promise to assume all responsibility in regards to feeding and the litter box.
Upon arriving at the shelter I was overwhelmed. I fell in love with every cat I saw! But one young calico loved being held. She was so cuddly, and every time I put her on the ground she kept purring and rubbing against my legs. I named her Patches and after filling out some paperwork, we took her right home.
Lazy Teenagers Cause Big Problems for Little Felines
Like most young teenagers, I lived up to all of my newfound responsibilities – until the newness of having a cat wore off. Oh sure, I was happy to fill up her food with dry kitty kibble, pour her a saucer of milk, and slip her a slice of bacon at breakfast. But emptying the litter box? Forget it! Even though I didn’t have to touch the clumps of sand with my fingers, the smell was disgusting.
Eventually I stopped cleaning the litter box. But then I noticed a problem with our new family member. She wasn’t acting right. She often cried out for seemingly no reason. She paced the floor, showing obvious signs of distress. Her stomach began to swell and those stinky piles of poo showed up in the litter box with less and less frequency.
A Happy End for Constipated Cats
In the end, Patches wasn’t using the litter box at all. A trip to the vet revealed that my poor kitty was constipated, but with a few simple changes she was feeling purr-fect in no time.
Here are some things he suggested.
- Alter Your Cat’s Diet – Switch from dry to wet cat food. Cats drink far less water than other pets, such as dogs, which means they often lack the moisture necessary for adequate digestion. Dice up some pumpkin, add in a handful of green beans, or even try mixing in some cooked fruits and veggies that are safe for cats.
- Use Herbal Supplements – Herbs aren’t just beneficial for humans. Take for instance the milk thistle. First used more than two millennia ago, its seeds treat gallbladder and liver disorders. However, veterinarians use milk thistle for cats and dogs to treat those same conditions in our pets!
- Clean the Litter Box – A clean litter box means a happy cat. You probably don’t care to use the facilities in a bathroom that reeks of filth, and your cat is no different. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to clean the litter box a couple of times per day, consider investing in a litter box with automatic or self-cleaning features.
Of course you should always consult your local veterinarian, cat groomer, or other pet professional before making a drastic change in your pet’s diet or lifestyle. Even if your cat shows no problems right now, you could be making a mistake that will lead to problems later on in your cat’s life.
The Importance of Healthy Pet Food
We love to pamper the things we love, and this includes our pets. One popular way to show affection is through gifts – especially edible ones! Treats and snacks are both extremely affordable and widely available. But according to www.pets.webmd.com, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention reported findings from a study that revealed that about 57% of the cat population is overweight!
If you or I were overweight, we wouldn’t recommend snacking on pastries and potato chips that are loaded with high calories, trans fats, and other things that aren’t good for our bodies. So why would anyone consider doing the same to their pet? Fortunately today’s pet food industry offers a wide range of choices.
Food Ingredients and Healthy Cats
Veterinary professionals recommend using canned food over dry, because dry food doesn’t have enough moisture to sustain a healthy feline diet (www.catinfo.org). When looking at the ingredients list, something to keep in mind is that items like potatoes, grains, and peas mean a higher level of carbohydrates than brands without these ingredients.
Canned cat food not only seems to stay away from the high calorie ingredients, but it also contains proteins that are animal based, not plant based. This is important because proteins that come from animals have a better amino acid profile. The main thing to remember is that when looking at ingredients on your cat’s food, give it the same attention that you would your own grocery items. Your cat deserves nothing less!
Freelance author Sophie Evans is a self-proclaimed Disney addict. Of course, her favorite characters are cats like Rufus from the Rescuers and Si and Am from Lady and the Tramp. When it comes to her own cat, she uses sites like www.1stpetnaturals.com for tips about keeping her fluffy friend happy and healthy. When she’s not working on writing a new article, Sophie enjoys spending time with her husband and their two children.SHARE