Tag Archives: myth

Overweight Cats & Why Owners Should Stop Being Offended

Owners of overweight cats need to hear this, and hear it without any type of sugar coating or euphemisms.  When I tell you your cat is overweight, it’s because your cat is overweight.  I’m not calling you fat, I am not picking on you, and I am not saying you are a bad person.

I can’t stress this enough – it’s not about you.  When I make a recommendation for your cat to lose weight, it is only because of the high number of risks associated with overweight cats, much the same as for a human.  It’s also because your cat is far too heavy.

People hear these risks so often that I think they’ve become desensitized to it, and therefore complacent when it comes to actually changing it.  Even if it may not be something that you take into account for your own daily life, at least do your cat the courtesy of helping them. They depend solely on you for it. A cat doesn’t understand the risks and complications of obesity so it is up to you as their sole caregiver to help them lead a happier, healthier life.

From: http://charlotte-harris.net

How can you tell if your cat is overweight?  Look at his head.  If it looks tiny in proportion to his body, your cat is too fat.  If your cat is over seven kilograms (ish), chances are they are overweight.  If your cat can’t lick it’s own ass, it’s too fat.   If any of these things apply, you need to take a good look at the way you’re feeding.  What may seem like a miniscule amount of food to us can actually be a normal meal for your feline.

It seems that people think that treats and a buffet of food is the key to keeping a kitty healthy and happy.  Oh look how cute he is, meowing because he wants more food.  Oh look, I’m feeling sad so I am going to get some love from my cat by feeding it some more treats.  This is not OK.  If you do these things even though it is making your cat rotund, then you should re-think being a cat owner.

You are not making their lives better by giving them all of the food and treats they want – you are contributing to a poor quality of life.  You are shortening that life, and making what they have left of it more and more uncomfortable with each pound they gain.  Outward signs that your cat may be uncomfortable or feeling effects of obesity are:

  • Panting (this is NOT normal for a cat and indicates distress)
  • Unwillingness to climb or jump
  • Inability to groom properly causing scalding around hind end
  • Itchy, scaly skin
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Inappropriate urination

By inappropriate urination, I mean urinating or defecating outside of the litterbox.  Maybe he just can’t fit, or maybe he’s trying to tell you something.  A common misconception I hear of on a constant basis is that urinating outside the litter box happens because the cat is unhappy with you, the owner.  This is silly and you need to stop thinking this way.  While it may seem like they have the capacity for vindication sometimes, this is false.  Inappropriate urination is understood to be a behaviour indicative of stress or urinary tract disease.  Don’t believe me? Here’s a University who has also said it:

http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/health_resources/brochure_housesoiling.cfm

Something in your cat’s world, be it a new person, thing, or even renovations, can trigger these behaviours and getting to the bottom of which one it is can help.  It is heartbreaking to see cats being brought in for euthanasia for something like this because the majority of cases can be helped with a little guidance from the vet and effort from the owner.  If you have a situation like this, please ask your veterinarian for information first.

http://www.petobesityprevention.org

People need to realize that what you may think is a good weight for cats is actually much too high.  It seems like it has become a social norm to have a chunky cat at home.  If your cat doesn’t have a defined waist or it takes more than a light touch to feel ribs – your cat is too fat.  Here’s a little comparison to help this sink in – 1 pound gained on a cat is like 15 pounds on an average adult woman.  Click here for the full chart.

Injecting your cat after every meal probably doesn’t sound like your idea of a good time, does it?  Approximately 0.5% of cats will develop the disease due to obesity. This puts the numbers IN THE MILLIONS.  I don’t think it’s fair to these animals to feed them the way people do.  Let’s face it, there’s probably a solution and the onus needs to be put back on the owner to seek it out and make change.  Your cat is not mad at you, not getting back at you because you left, your cat is stressed.  It is your job to help.

Here’s more information on feline diabetes: http://www.vet.cornell.edu/FHC/health_resources/brochure_diabetes.cfm

See the bottom of this post for websites with statistics.

From: http://blog.petflow.com

http://www.canadianveterinarians.net/

http://www.petobesityprevention.org/

 

Feel free to shoot me an email with questions.

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Found This On The Internets Today – Worth A Read!

Top 10 Myths About Raw Meat Diets

by: Queanbeyan Veterinary Hospital Blog

This is a topic that I’m also passionate about and I found this list to be wonderfully concise and factual.  It challenges and disproves many of the myths surrounding raw diets.

http://www.queanbeyanvet.com.au/Media/Blog/tabid/2438/EntryId/266/Top-10-Myths-About-Raw-Meat-Diets.aspx

Common Pet Myths: Busted

There are so many ways people care for their pets and so many old wives’ tales that really need to be put to rest.

First and foremost is something I hear almost on a daily basis and it drives me bonkers. When I ask if their pet is on flea or parasite protection, I’m often met with, “Oh I don’t need that. My pet only goes out in the backyard with me”. Is that right? So your presence alone scares all those little critters away? You’ll have to patent that magical force-field that keeps parasites off your property, you sly devil you. Just put it in a pet food commercial, people will believe anything in those.

Fleas in particular are crafty little jerks and can hitch a ride on anything that comes in contact with the outside environment. Then that person/thing heads on inside and voila! A flea infestation has begun. Stop being so naive.

I understand that not everyone has the same knowledge and education when it comes to parasites but let’s exercise a bit of common sense here.

Another belief that threatens to make me snap on a regular basis is the one where people think over-the-counter flea products are just as good as the ones you can purchase at the clinic. This truly bothers me because I have seen what these products can do to pets, cats in particular. Cats come in having seizures, twitching, and completely incoherent. Dogs more often present with chemical burns. All because they’ve been poisoned by these products and if you had actually seen one of these cases you would wonder how any pet store could sell them in good conscience. See the bottom of the page for statistics.

This isn’t the place the cut corners. These products are dangerous as well as utterly ineffective. The difference between these and veterinary products is that the pet store versions are simply pesticides. The ones carried by your vet clinic have been thoroughly tested for safety and effectiveness and are a no-brainer for anyone with the sense of a billy goat.

I’ll limit myself to one more. It has become apparent to me that people have come to trust commercials for nutrition information rather than people who actually have your pet’s health in mind, instead of trying to sell you second-rate food. They have this annoying habit of bragging that their pet is on a corn-free food with no chicken by-products.

The simple fact of the matter is: there is NOTHING wrong with either of these things. Chicken by-products are merely things like hearts, livers, etc which actually have a lot of nutritional value. The same goes for corn.

I invite you to do your own test at home. Pay attention to the amount of stool your pet produces while on a food from the grocery story versus a food purchased from your clinic. They will be smaller while on the one from the vet. Why? Because your pet’s body is actually using what’s in it, instead of defecating all of the useless bits in the crappy food.

Yes, there are animals who develop sensitivities. Here’s a fact – they can develop sensitivities or allergies to anything they’re exposed to for long periods of time. Stop allowing yourself to be brainwashed by a commercial just because they have a cute kitty telling you he loves it. Leave it to a professional.

If you have a myth that you’d like me to touch on, feel free to leave it in the comments section or shoot me an email. I will do my best to give you an educated, articulate response.

http://humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/flea_tick_OTC_pet_products.html

http://www.hartzvictims.org

http://youtube.com/watch?v=DdG9mcsP21M