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Nedda Wittels

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Read other stories and articles:
Nedda's Experiences with Her Animal Companions
Distance Telepathic Animal Communication
Animals in Spirit
Facilitating Intuitive Healing
living With Cats
Spiritual Awakening and Empowerment
Guest Articles

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Living With Cats

10 Keys to FELINE WELL-BEING
by Nedda Wittels
January, 2008

Love those pussycats!!!There maybe more than 10, but 10 will do for a start.

While I am neither a veterinarian nor an animal nutritionist, over the years I have sought to keep my cats happy, playful, fit, and healthy.  To accomplish this, I have gathered information from books, veterinarians, holistic practitioners, friends, and my own life experience with cats.  I share, here, what I have learned.  Please read with discernment.

Thank you,
Nedda

 

 

For information on raw food and healthy feeding of dogs, visit http://www.naturalrearing.com.

 

1- Feed a raw food diet.
  •  Cats do not naturally eat cooked food.  Whatever they catch they eat raw.
  •  Raw food is higher in natural enzymes and easier for cats to digest.
  •  Cats are not big water drinkers because their bodies expect to get water from the cells of the raw food they consume.  When you feed cooked food (moist, canned, or dry) cats need to drink more water.

 

  2- If you can't feed raw food, wet food is better for your cat than moist food or dry food. 
  •  Cats are not big water drinkers because their bodies expect to get water from the cells of the raw food they consume. 
  •  When cats do not get sufficient water from the food they eat, they need to be encouraged to drink water.
  •  Contrary to advertising, dry cat foods do NOT keep cats' teeth clean.

 


Powered enzymes should only be fed mixed into raw or wet food, since they can damage the lungs if inhaled.

There are enzymes available that are safe to feed with dry or moist food.  They are usually mixed with other nutrients.  Ask your veterinarian or search on the internet to find these.

3- If you feed cooked food (wet, moist, or dry), add some enzymes to your cat's diet.
  •  Heat (cooking) destroys the enzymes in raw food.
  •  Enzymes are used by the body to properly digest food and for many other metabolic functions.
  •  As cats get older, the reserve of enzymes in their bodies runs low if they have been feed a primarily cooked food diet.
  •  Feeding enzymes restores your cat's ability to digest food and stay healthy.

 

 

 

[1] IMPORTANT NOTE:  When you cook a piece of meat, the meat appears to shrink, e.g., the juices run out of the meat.  These juices are the water from within and around the cells. Cellular water is different from water that we get from the tap or even from a stream.  Cellular water is structured at the molecular level, which changes its surface tension making it easier for cells to take in nutrients and release toxins. Structured water also is easier for the kidneys to work with when cleansing toxins from the blood. 

If you search the internet for information about the importance of structured water for good health in humans, you will find a great deal of information on this subject.  The same information can be applied to felines. 

 

4- Make food available for your cat at regular mealtimes.  Do not leave food available 24/7.
  •  Cats are predators, not grazers.  Their digestive system is designed to handle infrequent large meals rather than frequent, small meals.
  •  It is stressful for a cat's digestive systems to have frequent small meals. 

Big cats and domestic type cats are not successful hunters every day.  It is quite normal for cats to have days when they don't eat at all.  This is not harmful to them, unless, of course, they are repeatedly unsuccessful, which can lead to starvation and death.

  •  You can prevent and even cure urinary tract problems in cats by feeding at regular mealtimes and leaving water available the rest of the time.

Instead of drinking water when they are thirsty, many cats will just eat more food.  Their bodies expect to get water from the food.[1]  This can lead to urinary tract problems in cats, especially when the food they are eating is dry food.

Donna Starita, a veterinarian in Washington State, insists that cats with urinary problems be put on a regime of eating only at regular mealtimes with plenty of water available in between.  She has found that this change alone can eliminate chronic urinary tract difficulties for the cats of her clients who follow this routine.   Of course, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

 

  5- Eating less often results in better exercised cats.
  •  In the wild, cats hunt, kill, and gorge. 
  •  When their tummies are full, they sleep and digest. 
  •  As their bodies continues to process the food, they become wakeful and play. 
  •  Eventually, they start becoming hungry, which is the body's signal to move into "hunter mode", which is when they get most of their exercise. 

If cats have food available all the time, they may play less and "hunt" not at all.  One key to keeping/getting your cat moving is to pick up the food dish between meals.  Another is to not feed them until you see them "hunting", which is a signal that the cat is hungry.

 

  6- The quality of the food you feed does matter.
  •  Read labels.  "Meat by-products" means the garbage from the meat-packing plant that is labeled "unfit for human consumption."
  •  Your cat deserves at least he same quality of food that you eat.  If you wouldn't eat it, don't feed it.
  •  Foods heavy in chemicals, artificial preservatives, artificial colors, and artificial flavors are NOT HEALTHY FOR CATS TO EAT.
    • Cats have small bodies and chemicals build up quickly causing liver problems, cancers, and other illnesses.
    • Artificial flavors are used by pet food manufacturers because: 
      • the food would be so unpalatable without them that the cat wouldn't touch it.
      • the artificial flavoring is designed to ADDICT the cat to the food so the manufacturer sells more pet food.

 

  7- Make fresh, clean water available at all times.
  •  Even though cats are not big water drinkers, they do need to drink some water, even when fed a raw food diet.
  •  The water you give your cat should NOT contain CHLORINE.

    Chlorine IS A POISON and since cat bodies are smaller than human bodies, cats should not be fed chlorinated water.

    If your cat is drinking from a running water faucet, it is probably because water from your tap is chlorinated.  The feline sense of smell is one of their strongest senses.  The human nose is handicapped by comparison.  Your cat is probably trying to drink water that doesn't smell like chlorine.

 

  8- Indoor cats need exercise for physical and mental good health.
  •  While you cannot "walk" your cat as you would a dog, it is still important to make sure your cat gets plenty of exercise.
  •  If your cat is overweight, the problem may be related to having food available all day and all night long.  If your cat only has to move from it's bed to the food dish and then back again, your cat is not getting sufficient exercise.  Cats are naturally more active and playful when they are hungry and go into "hunter mode". 
  •  Boredom is unhealthy.  An active, playful cat is a cat who is not bored
  •  Not sure how to entertain your cat?  The simplest and least expensive toys are often the best. 
    •  Cats love the sound of tissue paper which can be laid flat on the floor and toys or wands pulled under it. 
    •  Use tissue paper of a variety of colors to make balls you can throw and your cat can chase.
    •  Get new toys from time to time to keep things interesting.  Don't be disappointed if a new toy you buy isn't a big hit right away.  Sometimes it takes the cat awhile to take an interest.
    •  Play with your cat!  If the cat wants to be chased, play the chase game. 
    •  If possible, get a big, solidly build and stable cat tree that will get your cat climbing.  Cats generally like height (a power position for cats).

 

  9- Indoor/outdoor cats and outdoor cats need to be wormed on a regular schedule.
  •  Outdoor cats who hunt and eat their prey are getting the benefit of at least some raw food in their diet.
  •  Outdoor cats who hunt and eat their prey probably have parasites known as worms, which they ingest from the animals they eat.
    •  Adult worms lives in the digestive system; other phases of the life cycles of worms can live in other organs of the cat's body.
    •  Some symptoms of worm infestation are diarrhea or constipation, vomiting, ravenous hunger while unable to maintain normal weight.
  •  Some veterinarians have told me that stool sample tests may not always reveal the presence of parasites.
  •  Over time, parasites can kill your cat.

Set up a regular deworming program with the help of your veterinarian and be sure to stay on schedule.

 

 

Good sources of probiotics are:

Marina Zacharias, http://www.naturalrearing.com

RGarden, http://www.rgarden.com

10- If your cat is given antibiotics for any reason, probiotics will help your cat's digestive system recover faster.
  •  A cat's intestines needs friendly micro-organisms (bacteria also known as flora) in order to digest food properly and prepare waste for elimination.
    •  Many antibiotics are broad spectrum and kill friendly as well as unfriendly bacteria.  Even one series of antibiotic treatments can upset the floral intestinal balance.
    •  Once the friendly bacteria are wiped out, it can take 6 months or even a year or more for friendly bacterial colonies to rebuild.  Until then, your cat may have trouble digesting food and moving his/her bowels properly (both constipation and diarrhea can result).
  •  You can help by feeding probiotics.
    •  Probiotics are friendly bacteria that, when eaten, begin to build colonies in the cat's intestines.
    •  While yogurt contains some friendly bacteria, the quantity of these in yogurt is small compared to what your cat may need to restore his/her intestinal flora quickly.

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