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Mary Brotherton
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Inside my Brain

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

I have a Sick Cat

Kenwood came into our home about a month ago, and 3 days ago (or was it longer?) he started not acting like himself - like our Kenny Kat...he wasn't using his litter box properly, and when he did, it seemed that he used it too frequently, with almost no results. He started having 'accidents' and we started getting frustrated. It looked like a trip to the vet was imminent, and we really did not want to have to go that route. Traditional vets, like modern western medicine people doctors tend to like to prescribe, prescribe, prescribe! They like to push their antibiotics and their anti-whatever-the-current symptom is, and seldom get to the bottom of what is actually wrong with the patient. I don't believe in that. I used Traditional Chinese medicine to treat myself and would prefer something equally holisitic for the furry member of my family. Kenny deserves to live a balanced life, not one filled with "treatments".

Bearing that in mind, I decided to research the issue and determined, that based on the symptoms he was displaying, my precioius cat might have a urinary tract infection, and I cringed in pain just thinking of his discomfort. I learned that male, neutered cats are especially prone to UTIs, and that the slightest stress can cause the onset of these painful situations. How bad must it be for a guy, regardless of his species, to need to eliminate the waste water in his system, only to have it cause excruciating pain to his precious body parts? It's no less painful for a female, but guys tend to take these things much more personally than we do. I also learned that my indoor cat may very well have been reacting to all sorts of animals who are "trespassing" and perhaps marking our home as part of their territory. We know that a skunk walked down our street just about the time we noticed Kenny was not "himself", and we think that may have just spun him into his own personal stress tizzy.

As with people nutritional deficiencies often play a big part in an animal's health. Housepets do not have the pleasures of killing and eating their own prey; nor do they often have the opportunity to choose their personal favorites from a pet friendly menu. Poor Kenny was thrust into our home because he simply wanted to be the Alpha Male Cat in his previous home. The other 3 cats had been family members longer, so the adage "last in - first out" held true for this delightful little creature. Kenny fits into our home as if he had been sent from Heaven itself - until his unfortunate turn of events nearly got him exiled earlier this week!

I had no idea that of all the finicky cats in the world, this one thinks he is emperor! How was I to know that simply changing his litter box AND his litter would freak him out? No one told me that getting a different brand of cat food would make him go on an eating strike. How was I to know that he would stop drinking water when he smelled skunks passing through the city? Poor thing only came to us with a familiar feed bowl, and a tinkling bell on a blue collar. He had to leave his beloved Kitty Condo behind, his brand of food and litter were unknown to me. More importantly, what was I to do about all of this? Research online - that's what!

I found out which nutritional supplements might benefit him and went right out to fetch some, as well as some of the more "gourmet" canned cat foods. I knew he was dehydrating and he needed to get some liquids in him, so armed with all sorts of juicy morsels, I was determined to do what I could to help this vocal, communicative animal who could not tell me where it hurt - I had to rely on my own instincts and the signs provided for me in feline speak.

He loves his Brewer's Yeast tablets, which I bought strictly on impulse.
It is an excellent source of all the major B vitamins (except B12). It also contains other vitamins, sixteen amino acids and fourteen or more minerals. When I saw it, I remembered how rich my breast milk had been for my infants when I was taking it myself. In fact, I think I will share this bottle with Kenny, as it can't hurt to supplement my own nutritional needs a bit further with the richness of Brewer's Yeast. Kenny is not too crazy about the mixture of echinecea, cranberry juice extract, Fish Oil, Vitamin C, and Goldenseal, but these are the things he needs to keep his urinary tract healthy. Now, he does not complain about the yummy fancy foods I brought home, and is finally eating again for the first time in about 3 days.

For the past two days, he has wanted to do nothing but sleep - which is not uncommon for cats, but this active boy does not usually want to do that exclusively. After just one evening of TLC and holistic remedies, he is eating and drinking again, and more importantly, he is playing with us again! I know that he will need to stay on a regime of these supplements, but at least I can keep him out of the vet's office a little longer.