Category Archives: Health

Service Cats: Why Cats Shouldn’t Eat Grains And Vegetables

Pet Food Ingredients Pt. 2

MeOW  Welcome to another installment of Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. We return today to our mini-series on Pet Food ingredients. It is our intention to present this in a way that everyone can understand it and to reveal the lies and misinformation pet pawrents are being “fed” by the pet food/feed industry, including the AAFCO. We intend to list as many ingredients as possible so that you will be better equipped to read labels and make the best choice fur your pets. It’s a shame that this topic has been so confusing fur so long. We hope to be able to shed a little light on all that confusion. Please remember, not all foods/feeds will contain every ingredient we will be listing. Ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in our Service Cat series, you can find them on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page. And remember to submit your questions and topic suggestions in the comments below or by sendin’ us an email via our Contact page. 

 

Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

 

 

 

The following post will be written in human English for reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Training Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal training, cats in purr-ticular. And to offer insight into your questions about Everything Feline. Always remember, successful Training is all about Repetition and Rewards.

 

Raena sits and poses in her new tiger harness

 

 

 

 

     Our first post in this mini-series talked about a cat’s need for Protein. Cats are Obligate Carnivores/True Carnivores (Those whose survival depends on nutrients which are found only in animal flesh and organs/meat protein. While Obligate Carnivores may be able to ingest small amounts of plant matter, due to their evolution they lack the necessary physiology required to digest and use the nutrients in that plant matter.) We’re going to try to break down a little science for you now. Digestion requires enzymes created by the body:

 

  • Protease: Necessary to break down Proteins 

  • Lipase: Necessary to digest Fat 

  • Amylase: Necessary to process Carbohydrates (Usually found in the saliva and pancreas)

Dezi and Raena eat out of their new dishesDid you know your food is already bein’ digested, Raena?

 

 

 

 

Digestion:

     Digestion starts in the mouth with enzymes created by saliva (spit). However, cat and dog saliva lack the enzyme Amylase; it’s only found in their pancreas. That means the pancreas has to work overtime to process Carbohydrates present in most commercial pet foods/feeds. There is some evidence that points to this as being part of the cause for pancreatitis, diabetes, obesity and other chronic illnesses in cats. Humans and other mammals have flat top teeth meant for chewing. Cats however, have sharp fangs meant for ripping and tearing flesh. That’s a crude way to look at it, but think about it; when was the last time you saw kitty gnawing on a cob of corn? Everything about a cat says it’s meant to hunt, catch and rip it’s prey to shreds. And yet, most pet food companies lace their foods with corn, peas and carrots. I had a garden a few years back; and let me tell you, it wasn’t the neighborhood cats digging up my carrots and eating them.

 

     We mentioned in our earlier post that cats do much better when they don’t have food available all the time. Grains and veggies are ideal for grazing animals such as cows, goats, etc., but typically when a cat eats grass, it’s followed by hurling/horking/vomiting or whatever you want to call it. Cats were never meant to graze or eat veggies. But, what about the vitamins and nutrients those vegetables could offer? First of all, they’re often cooked so long they no longer contain any of the nutrients originally present. The reality is that a cat’s natural prey animal, the herbivore, provides those nutrients in the form of previously eaten and digested grains and vegetables. While it sounds really gross to us humans, a cat in the wild would consume the whole animal (excluding bones, fur, feathers, beaks, eyes, hooves), including it’s stomach and the contents therein.

 

 

Corn with mycotoxin

 

Mycotoxins:

     Let’s talk a minute about Grains and their toxicity. Mycotoxins are mold and a huge concern often found in foods like corn, corn meal, peas, millet, nuts, and other grains and types of food. There are 3 main mycotoxins that the FDA has established rules for the following 3, but they are not the only mycotoxins of concern:

  • Aflatoxins:

  • Fumonosin:   

  • Deoxynivalenol  

     Mycotoxins can cause lethargy, anorexia, jaundice, intravascular coagulation, liver damage, weight loss, dehydration, renal and hepatic damage, gastrointestinal dysfunction and death.

 

 

Ingredients:

     Most pet food/feed is formulated without oversight by the FDA or even the AAFCO. The laws that are supposed to protect our pets are often ignored, broken, unenforced or completely non existent. Don’t be fooled by “voluntary” recalls. Those recalls are an “after the fact” and often the result of an animal getting sick or dying due to something in their food. Let’s look at some of the ingredients found in pet foods.  

  • Wheat: One of the top allergens in pet food, may contain mycotoxins, can contribute to canine obesity  

  • Corn: Totally useless. As discussed above, neither cats or dogs have the ability to process it and covert it to useable energy in it’s raw state, and it has no nutrients after being cooked at high temps. May contain mycotoxins  

  • Corn Gluten Meal: Even worse than corn. Patented as a weed killer in 1991. May include mycotoxins  

  • By-Product-Meal: Bones, blood, intestines, lungs, ligaments, heads, feathers, beaks, feet, hooves, etc.. Can be anything left over from processing, Not fit for human consumption. Most of these are things a cat or dog in the wild wouldn’t eat. 

  • Soy: Considered a Protein. However it’s totally useless for the obligate carnivore and can cause allergies and cancer  

  • Brewers Rice: Broken rice shells containing no nutrients 

  • Egg Product: Eggshells (not easily digestible), may contain rancid or spoiled eggs not fit for human consumption, may contain salmonella,  

  • Sugar: Completely useless addition of empty calories. Cats can’t even taste sweet things  

  • Peas/Pea Fiber/Pea Meal/Legumes/Lentils: May contain mycotoxins, may cause heart disease 

  • Potatoes: May cause heart disease 

  • Cellulose: Sawdust, floor sweepings, totally useless 

  • Carrots: Hard for cats to digest, no useable nutrients after cooking at high temps.  

  • Cracked Barley: Grain, may contain mycotoxins 

  • Garlic/Garlic Oil/Garlic Extract/Garlic Powder: Toxic to cats especially  

  • Oats/Oat Bran/Oat Meal/Oat Groat: Grain, may contain mycotoxins  

  • Chicken Meal/Fish Meal/Lamb Meal/Beef Meal: All Meals are the leftovers after processing and Not fit for human consumption. May contain parts from animals killed by means other than slaughter, such as road kill, illness, poisoning, natural disaster deaths (such as drowning), phenobarbital, culling, etc.  

  • White Fish/Ocean Whitefish: May be any number of fish

  • Cranberries: Typically not enough present to have actual health benefits 

  • Whey: Milk protein, used in lower grade foods, possible allergen, especially for cats 

  • Whole Eggs: Contains the shells which are not easily digestible 

  • Celery: Unnecessary, not easily digestible 

  • Lamb: Lamb meat is filled with water and therefore not as high in protein as other meats 

  • Beef: Natural source of Glucosamine (will define and expound on in future post) High in “water weight” (will expound in future post) 

  • Spinach: Unnecessary, not easily digested 

  • Basil: Member of the mint family, safe but unnecessary  

  • Blueberries: Not enough present to be beneficial, unnecessary 

  • Veal: Alternative to beef 

  • Beef Liver: Natural source of iron and flavor. However, in large quantities can be toxic. Best as a secondary ingredient  

  • Soybeans/Soybean Meal: Can NOT be digested by dogs and can cause bloating and death

  • Soybean Oil: Source of fat and good for coat, safe for dogs and cats

  • Ginger: Aids in digestion if listed high on label  

  • Carrot Powder: Cheap source of fiber  

  • Ground Flax Seed: May be lacking in fatty acids  

  • Sunflower Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols <expounded on in future post>): Cheap source of fat  

  • Sweet Potatoes/Yams: Alternative to regular potatoes 

  • Green Tea: Not enough to have any health benefits unless listed in the top 5 ingredients  

  • Wild Rice: Good alternative to white rice 

  • Dried Kelp: Accepted industry source of iodine 

  • Egg Noodles: Unnecessary, source or carbohydrates 

  • Rabbit: Great alternative Meat/protein source  

  • Duck: Great alternative meat/protein source, Less water weight than chicken 

  • Shrimp: Source of protein  

  • Cod: Alternative source of protein 

  • Catfish: Alternative source of protein and fatty acids 

  • Venison Meal: Alternative source of protein, in concentrated form, more protein availability than standard meats 

Raena bathes atop the liberty cat tree

 

     I realize this is a lot of information, but we haven’t even scratched the surface, so to speak. Most herbs listed on labels and found in pet food are useless and should be left out. There’s a lot of “gimmicky” ingredients these days and gimmicky names to boot. When shopping for our pet’s food, we need to remember to pay no attention to the photos on the packaging, as they’re not a true representation of what’s actually inside. Dry kibble is worse than canned or wet food in most respects since any natural nutrients have been cooked out of their original sources. But, this mini-series isn’t about making you choose one type of food or even one food over another. It’s merely to help you be better equipped at understanding what you’re buying and feeding your furry family member. We will be defining and explaining more of the terminology and ingredients in future posts, so if you have specific questions, please let us know. I’m going to turn it back over to Dezi to close us out. 

 

Dezi lays atop the cat tree selfie

 

 

Fanks mommy. Lots of big words and stuff us kitties don’t unnerstand ‘bout what goes on our plates. Anyways, remember, you can ketch up on any post you may have missed by clickin’ Training Tips and Everything Feline. We got a lot of great questions after Pt. 1 of Pet Food Ingredients, so if you have any just let us know in the comments below or send us an email. We purromiss, we will be answering them all. This is a huge topic and we’d rather take our time and cover it properly than to mislead you further. Other than the sources listed below, mommy also used her common sense, past experience as a V-E-T tech and information she got from some local V-E-Ts via chat.

 

Raena sits on table at vet-blooperI’s look purretty ruff, so we call this a blooper. MOL

 

 

Due to the holidays and Raena’s upcomin’ surgery, this will be our last Service Cat posty fur the year, but don’t worry, we’ll be pickin’ up right where we left off next year (a few months). We’re also linkin’ up today with Comedy Plus fur Feline Furiday. And, it’s also Blooper time with our pals the Cuddlywumps

 

Till the next time……………………………………………Be Blest!!!

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle 

 

 

 

Sources:
mycotoxins.info
petfoodindustry.com
Vetinfo.com
Truthaboutpetfood.com
Petmd.com
petsnmore.org
ivcjournal.com
ncbi.nlm.nh.gov

Service Cats: The Stoic Cat

Animal Pain And Suffering Often Go Unnoticed

Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

MeOW  Welcome to Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. Each week we tackle questions and topics you’ve suggested. If you’ve missed any posts in this series or want to re-read one or more, you can always find them on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page. If you have questions or topic suggestions, purrlease leave them in the comments below or send us an email via our Contact page. Last week we started a mini-series on Pet Food Ingredients and what you need to know about the food you’re buying and feeding your pets. You can read it here. It’s unfortunate that this has to be such a confusing topic and that money and not the health of animals are what drive the pet food industry. That being said, mommy’s had a very heavy heart this week and is hijackin’ today’s post fur another very ‘purrtant subject. Me will be back next week with Pt. 2 of our Pet Food Ingredients mini-series.

 

Please understand, this is not a pity me post. The point of this post is to hopefully help you understand how amazing and miraculous our furry family members are.

 

    

Raena sits in tiger kitty holster cat harness

 

 

 

     Hello everyone, mommy A here. As most of you know by now, Raena’s annual medical appointment didn’t turn out quite like we had planned. Altho’ I am certainly happy that we finally have an answer as to why her eyes have been bothering her for her entire life; I’m furious it took so long. After all, I’ve taken her in several times a year every year trying to find out why they were so irritated and trying to find a way to help her. Yes, I know it’s not my fault and I’ve done the best I could with the information I had. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t blame myself to some extent. That’s on me, but most of you loving pet parents totally understand where I’m coming from.

 

     Raena’s diagnosis is that she has a mild case of Entropion, which can be successfully treated with surgery. That means her lower lids fold inward causing the small hairs to scratch her eyes constantly. This is a very painful condition. I ought to know. I had an eyelash embed in my eyelid once and had to have surgery to remove it. Before it was diagnosed however, the pain was almost unbearable. You can’t stop blinking, which causes the cornea/eyeball to be scratched over and over again and the eyes to water. Wiping the discharge hurts even more, because the hairs are pushed into the cornea even more. I had only 1 eyelash scratching mine and it was found within 2 weeks of it embedding in the lid. But those 2 weeks were miserable. It affected my mood, and everything I did. I could barely see out of the affected eye, and everything hurt, sunshine, lights, sleeping, blinking, etc..

 

Raena in stroller

 

 

 

     Another issue Raena has is a mild case of gingivitis and plaque build up. We won’t know until she has a dental if there are other issues going on such as, tooth resorption or some other periodontal disease. Having been through my own dental issues recently, I know what that kind of pain can be like and how it can affect everything in your life. Both of these conditions are fairly common in both cats and dogs, and can and should be treated. 

 

     Basically, Raena has been in enormous pain her entire life. Why is that so remarkable you ask? Well, I love my girls more than anything in this world, and over the last few days I thought about how much they love me. And then I thought about all the furry family members out there, including the ones who are being abused by their not so loving families. Whether you believe our animals love us because we’re their source for food or because they choose too is irrelevant because the truth is, even when they’re in enormous pain and discomfort, they will still love us and try to please us.

 

Raena lays in mommy's lap

 

 

 

     Over the last 2 1/2 years of Raena’s life, she has endured Service Cat Training while living in constant pain. Never once did she get angry or refuse to train. As always, she’s willing to please and puts forth every effort to complete whatever task she’s given. Even on days when her eyes were so gunky she could barely open them, she was always right beside me doing whatever she could to make my life easier. She’s always there for a snuggle and purr. There have been many days when she couldn’t open one of her eyes at all, and still, she was ever present to alert or massage or whatever might be needed.

 

     It makes me so angry to think about, but an abused animal will show love and devotion to their abuser, the person who hurts them. With halloween approaching my thoughts race to those animals who through no fault of their own may be tortured or killed just because. My thoughts go to those animals who have been rescued from perilous situations and regardless of their physical pain still have the capacity to love and try to please us humans.

 

Dezi lays on scratcher with mouth openBe our voice. Take away our pain.

 

 

 

     Animals are so good at hiding their pain, we humans often take their medical conditions for granted. I’ll be honest and tell you that I feel horrible and disgusting for making Raena continue to suffer so that we can try to raise the money needed for her surgery; because when it happened to me, I wanted it fixed ASAP. I guess the point I’m trying to make today, is to stop thinking of these “common” ailments as trivial. The animal is in an enormous amount of pain. If it were you suffering, you wouldn’t want to wait and see, or put off procedures for weeks, months or years. If you suspect an animal is being abused, don’t keep quiet, please be their voice. And, keep your pets inside during the halloween holidays. You can read our halloween safety tips here. Remember, animals hide their pain, so if you’re given pain meds for them, give them as prescribed, don’t rely on your animals to tell you they need them. Didn’t they suffer enough before the procedure?

 

 

     Part of the reason Raena has these problems are genetic. Backyard breeders care more about the money than they do the animal’s health. But even respectable breeders can sometimes be at fault. Attempts to breed more desirable traits or appearances often come with a cost to the animal’s overall health. Yes, we need help paying for Raena’s surgery and dental. As promised, below you’ll find the vet’s estimate.

 

Raena's surgical estimate for entropion and dental

 

 

     Because Raena has a semi “smashed” face, blood work really isn’t optional, so we need the whole $261.58. This total doesn’t include any possible extractions, and we certainly hope and pray that she doesn’t require any. We also ask that you keep her in your prayers. Anytime anesthesia is used, there are risks. Certainly, those risks increase  for animals with the shorter noses (smashed faces). Her appointment is November 15th. However, if we get the money before then, we’ll schedule her in sooner. I don’t want her to suffer any longer than she has too. You can help by donating to our paypal at: lexi.dezi@yahoo.com. If you’d prefer, you can donate directly to our account by calling Carter County Animal Hospital at: 580-226-1001. The account is under Audra High. Please, hug your fur babies a little longer and tell them how much you love and appreciate them. And if you suspect they may be ill or having problems, see the vet immediately. Just because they don’t act like they’re in pain, doesn’t mean they aren’t. Don’t let them suffer.

 

Fank you mommy. Pain and Suffering come in many forms, and just cuz ya’ don’t see it doesn’t mean it ain’t there. We’re blest to have a mommy who cares and tries to do whatever she can to help us and make sure we stay healthy. We really ‘purreciate all of you and fank you fur your help. Me also wants to remind you that you can ketch up on any post in our Service Cats series by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page. Don’t furget to ask your questions and post topic suggestions by leaving a comment below or sending us an email via our Contact page. Fanks fur your patience and allowing us to deviate today. This is a topic that deserved attention. Me will be back next week with more food ingredients you need to know ‘bout.

 

Raena sits on cat tree with her carnival mask onPut on your mask and get ready fur sissy’s pawrty!!!

 

 

And don’t furget, Raena’s throwin’ me a Venetian/Rio Carnival Themed Birthday/Gotchaday pawrty on Wednesday November 14, 2018. Put on your masks and send your fotos to our email to be included in the festivities. We’re gonna have a contest fur bestest mask/costume. We’re also joinin’ Comdey plus fur Feline Furiday today. 

 

 

 

Do you know what signs to look for when your pet is in pain?

 

 

 

 

Till the next time………………………………………………..Be Blest!!!

 

Dezi: Vibrant Blue 

Mommy A: Black

 

 

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle

Service Cats: Pet Food Ingredients: Pt. 1

What You Should Know About Your Pet’s Food:

 

MeOW  Welcome to Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. We’re workin’ hard on exposin’ the truths behind the ingredients in your pet’s food. Who knew it could take so long to find definitions and reasons fur everythin’ pet food companies put in those bags and cans or pet feed. It’s fur sure nufffin’ like you humans walkin’ up to the butcher and orderin’ a grass fed steak as opposed to grain fed. Anyways, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series you can ketch up by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page. And don’t furget to submit your own questions or topic suggestions by leavin’ a comment below or sendin’ us a purrivate email via our Contact page.

 

Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

 

 

 

The following post will be written in human English for reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Training Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal training, cats in purr-ticular. And to offer insight into your questions about Everything Feline. Always remember, successful Training is all about Repetition and Rewards.

 

Raena sits posing in her tiger harness

 

 

 

     So, we thought we’d break things up a bit. There’s just too many ingredients in most pet feeds to list in one post anyways. We will be covering a lot of ingredients in this mini-series. Not all the ingredients we’ll cover are in every food/feed on the market. These posts are just to make you aware of what you need to look for and/or avoid. More than a few years back, the standard for label reading was to check for the first 3 ingredients listed. The idea was that those 3 ingredients made up the bulk of the contents of the bag or can. The problem with that theory is that you don’t often know where those ingredients come from, the quality of those ingredients or how they were processed.

 

Different meat cuts

 

 

 

Protein:

     Let’s talk about Protein. Protein is required for your pet to live. Cats being obligate carnivores must have Meat. We can’t survive, much less thrive without it. But, what kind of meat or protein is found in most pet foods? The truth is, you can never be completely sure unless you’re preparing it in your kitchen. Pet food companies want to put pretty pictures on their labels to make it appear as if top shelf meat is contained within the packaging. However, often the protein is comprised of meat meals and by products that you would never feed kitty or doggy if you actually knew the truth. Rarely do they contain anything that remotely resembles the photo on the package. Pet food companies are allowed to use not only appropriately sourced and rendered meats, but also diseased, and non slaughtered animals, such as those killed by lethal injection (phenobarbital), road kill, drowned due to acts of God, etc.. Not only are these animals used, but they also throw in the feathers, hooves, beaks and everything else.

 

     It’s then cooked at high temperatures, removing most if not all nutritional values, bleached/sterilized and then dried to be made into pet feed. At this stage it’s no longer called meat, it’s called meat meal. Now, pet food manufacturers would have you believe that meat meal provides a higher quality of protein for your pet than the actual meat does. If that’s the case, why don’t you humans eat meat meal? Why doesn’t the USDA (truthaboutpetfood.com) approve of these meats for human consumption?

 

Raena looks back from her dinner plateFanky fankfully, mine’s dinner is made with human grade meats

processed in a facility overseen by the USDA.

 

 

     Mommy says she remembers a time when all pet foods had a statement on the label that warned against using the same utensils for pet food as one would use for human foods, even though those utensils would be washed between uses. That’s when mommy got serious about looking into the food she fed. After all, if whatever is contained inside that package is so toxic that it can’t even be cleaned off a stainless steel utensil, then how could it possibly be safe for us to eat?.

 

 

Dezi lays on the floorTime fur a nap.

 

 

The reality is, that there are far more deceptive tactics and ingredients in the pet feed industry. However, Not every company or food is bad. The best thing one can do is to educate themselves, and know the products you’re buying and serving to Fluffy and Fido. We’ll delve into more ingredients in the coming posts. Until then, get your questions asked and topic suggestions in. Just leave them in the comments section below or send us an email. And don’t furget to check out the other posts in this series on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page in our menu. We’re joinin’ Comedy Plus fur Feline Furiday. Our purrayers go out to all affected by the weather and storms.

 

Till the next time……………………………………………….Be Blest!!!

 

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

Deztinee and RaenaBelle

 

Meezer's Mews & Terrieristical Woofs

I'm Dalton, a Rat terrier mix and I came here in Sept, 2017, I was rescued from Hurricane Harvey. My birthday is 8-20-2016. My Gotcha Day is 8-27-2017. And I'm Pipo, I'm a Siamese, my birthday is 12-26-2004; my Gotcha Day is 2-14-2005. We also have Angel MrJackFreckles, (2-5-2018); and also we have Angel Minko, (6-18-2017). There are also Angels Groucho, Simba, Suki, & Toki. We meezers used to be known as WeBeesSiameezers. We'e all from Michigan, Dalton came here from Texas.

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