D.L., Maryland Heights, Md
Mar 10, 2013
I adopted three kittens that were roaming outside my unit, probably under my deck, in 1997. They were part of a litter of six.
There were three orange tabbies, two mixed colors and one white cat. I caught the white one in October. I wanted another for a playmate, so my neighbor caught the tamest one. I thought he was dumb to let us pick him up, but I was the dumb one and he turned out to be the smart one. He adjusted almost immediately to his new home.
One orange tabby showed up on the far corner of my balcony about a week later -- he probably knew two of his littermates were inside. I went out on the balcony thinking he would see me, but he didn''t. He just kept looking out, and he didn''t even hear me coming. I bent down and grabbed him. He got mad, but I just put him in my living room, where he acted like he didn''t like me. He changed his mind pretty soon.
The smart one pushed a small screen out in the basement in 1998 and went outside, and the others followed. They all just wanted to go outside, not run away. I knew I could get the orange ones back in, but the white one was a different story. It took me about 11 days to get him. The smart one pushed the screen out again about a year later. I don''t know how he did it, since he didn''t tear the screen at all, just pushed it out. It was very secure in the slot. He did it upstairs in the bedroom also. Anyway, they liked going outside, especially the smart one, but I wouldn''t let the white one out.
The smart one disappeared in December 1999; I think a coyote got him. I don''t think he ran away, and I looked all over for him for several days. The other orange one was in a hurry to come in when I got home, which was unusual. The white one would go to the screen door the next few days and yell out.
After that, I didn''t let them out except for when they go out with me in the morning for five or 10 minutes. Don''t let your cats roam! Not only will you prevent them from killing wildlife, you''ll also stop something from happening to your pet.
D.L., Maryland Heights, Md Mar 11, 2013
Readers will appreciate your feline saga, and hopefully adopt your protocol of allowing them outdoors if they wish, but only under strict supervision. I wish you had caught and found good homes for all the kittens. Many cats are taken by coyotes who are in many communities across the U.S. Eagles and other large birds of prey take some cats. Several cat owners tell me that they now walk their cats wearing a harness around the body, and they love it!
D.L, Maryland Heights, Mo
Tags: cat MO diet food Maryland Heights
Oct 28, 2012
I have two littermate cats whom I adopted as kittens in 1997. One was diagnosed with chronic renal failure (CRF) last March when he stopped eating dry cat food. He didn't eat much at all through April until I gave him Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Frozen Diet chicken. He ate one to two medallions per day along with some Temptations treats and a little milk. He tried to eat high-quality canned food by licking the liquid, but he always went back to the raw. Now my non-CRF cat also prefers frozen raw.
Are my cats showing that frozen raw is a better cat food, especially for the CRF cat? Is it better for the kidneys?
D.L, Maryland Heights, Mo Oct 29, 2012
You can thank your cat for showing you what will help improve his health. He is exercising what I call his "innate nutritional wisdom," which is so often thrown off when cats become addicted to certain manufactured cat foods, especially dry kibble. Dry food has been implicated in some kinds of CRF and lower urinary tract problems. For more details, see the new paperback edition of "Not Fit for a Dog."
I have long advocated whole foods for cats and dogs, and that includes frozen raw and freeze-dried raw foods. Always give your pet probiotics, and transition him or her slowly over a seven- to 10-day period from conventional diets to the better ones, like those on my website, DrFoxVet.com.
Some believe that because of its close ties with some of the big pet food manufacturers that see the raw food movement as a threat, the American Veterinary Medical Association, of which I am an Honor Roll member, has come out in opposition to raw food diets because of alleged public health concerns over bacterial contamination. But the fact is that cooking does not kill all these potential pathogens, and most pet food recalls due to salmonella and other bacterial contamination are with dry foods and treats, and rarely with the frozen raw foods!
S.M., Maryland Heights, Mo
Tags: cat MO diet food Maryland Heights
Apr 28, 2012
I have a 2-year-old neutered male tabby cat who has a bad yowling problem, and I don't know how to fix it.
I feed him twice daily, as that was the way the people fed him before I got him. I have had him for a year. I feed him 1/2 cup dry food (Purina One) morning and night. If I put the food out at once, he eats it all. Then, when evening comes, he thinks he needs more. He will sometimes throw up because he has eaten too much.
He yowls loudly if I don't feed him the minute I step out of bed and continues until I feed him. He does the same thing at about 9 p.m., though I try to make him wait until 10.
He is a very lovable cat, and he loves to sit on my lap and cuddle. He does not cry except when he wants food.
I would like to know how to break him of the yowling problem or if I just have to deal with it. I would like to be able to put all the food out at once, as sometimes I go away for a few days, and I have to have someone come feed him.
S.M., Maryland Heights, Mo Apr 29, 2012
I think your main problem is your feeding schedule, but you might not be feeding him enough. He cries because he is ravenous! Feeding twice a day is OK for dogs, but four to six times a day is better for cats. Feed him smaller portions, and weigh him to check if you are giving him too much or too little.
Some people complain because their cats never "speak." My first cat, a Siamese named Igor, would yowl for attention and when he was hungry. My solution was to talk back, play with him and take him for walks in a harness on a leash.
Your cat may be much happier with a companion cat, so consider a healthy, young neutered male or spayed female from your local shelter. Check my website for the best steps to take to introduce a new cat -- and for some better brands of cat food.