|Tia in summer|
We took her for her yearly overhaul at the vets in November, as the date got closer for her appointment I was filled with dread. She ate little and often brought it back up and I could see her getting thinner - this happens every late autumn/winter as she goes into near hibernation. Tuna fish to the rescue.
I could tell the vet wasn't happy when he started feeling her abdomen then decided to fetch the scales to weigh her, she had been weighed before so he knew she was generally a lightweight. I explained that she'd been sick a couple of times over the weekend and he agreed that this could be the problem. Everything else, except her weight was fine.
After this I decided to cruise t'Interweb to see if it'd be OK for her diet to be largely made up of tuna fish as she couldn't resist it ... oh heck! It isn't, apparently it's bad for them. I searched further and also discovered that ALL dried cat food, including the most expensive ones are a load of crap as they are mostly made up of vegetable protein - no good to cats at all - and not meat, therefore the missing important vitamins and stuff [taurine], they put in after.
Cats cannot ever be vegetarians, they would die. So why do we force feed them vegetable protein and carbohydrates. We only have dry cat food for our convenience and not for the health or well-being of the cat. Hmm, did you know that in the 1980's dry cat food was responsible for cats going blind and many also died from heart failure. Not to mention damage to their bladders and kidneys - even now - through lack of water/dehydration, because cats have a low thirst drive, in the wild they would naturally get their fluids from their prey/victims - yuck.
Though very interesting, this was not helping in my quest to get Tia back up to her summer weight. Hmm, raw meat ... there's places on t'Interweb I can buy it from especially for cats, but it's mostly rabbit - which when I've bought it tinned, she doesn't like, so is it worth trying? Chicken, she's not over-fussed, she does like beef ... expensive taste, my cat.
I also discovered that most tinned cat food is fairly rubbishy too as they contain meat derivatives ... translated, the sweepings off the floor, I have to look for actual meat in the ingredients, oh joy. I had a look on Asda's shelves ... interesting.
While I was doing all this research for my bulimic pussy cat, I thought I may as well go the whole hog and look at cat litter, just to see which is the best kind. Although she's not a house cat, such is her lack of territory confidence, that even on the occasions she does venture out - weather permitting - she comes back in to use her litter tray.
My preference has always been the wood pellet stuff, it always seems clean and rarely smells ... although that could be down to the frequency it gets changed, and every 'number two' is removed immediately, upon the cat's insistence. She runs around the house like a loony until the offending item is removed.
I had noticed that even after only two days of fresh cat litter, she'd be looking at her tray and cocking her nose up, even though I could smell nothing. Time for a change.
Hmm, clumping litter - although unsafe for kittens and positively deadly according to one person on the internet [all references point to the same person] - might be worth a try.
Off we went to Asda - yes it was the same visit where I spent an age reading cat food ingredients and slamming tins back on the shelf - where we rummaged among the choices of litter and came across Catsan clumping litter, but, ouch the price for the size of the bag ... until I lifted it. It was heavy for the size.
Oh heck, I've just drifted off into the blow by blow style of writing, haven't I?
We got home, disinfected the litter tray and put in half a ton of cat litter ... the moment of truth. Her pussyship inspected it, stirred it around, decided that it'd do and proceeded to use it. The look on her face when she turned around to bury the wee was priceless, it had vanished [to her].
Can you believe that watching a cat use her tray was more interesting than watching the telly? And we were fighting over who was going to scoop out the 'dumpling' of wee. There wasn't a trace of it left behind.
Then we became aware of something we hadn't expected. Tia was meowing for food, which is fairly normal, but she ate it - which isn't. She mostly sniffs it, licks off the jelly - at a push - and stalks off. But then she wanted more and she kept using the tray ... up to five times a day.
Our regime now, is that we remove all 'dumplings' and 'sausages' immediately - because we have no choice, her pussyship sees to that - then empty out the tray twice weekly and disinfect everything, because a big pussy wee tends to hit the bottom, although not enough to wet it or stick. We then put the litter back in because it's still relatively clean [madam is happy with it] and top up with fresh.
In my zest for trying to find something she may eat - and keep down - I had already spent a small fortune on micro-tins of the choicest cat food. After less than two weeks, she's back up to her summer weight, so I will now go and buy the more ordinary stuff and gradually wean her off [or certainly down] the budget busting variety of food she's become accustomed to.
No, I didn't suspect any connection between not eating/vomiting and - a cat's - litter preference. Although we have a very happy cat now, I think we've made a rod for MY own back. As not only am I annoyed out of bed to empty all offending items from the litter tray, she has now taken to rousing me from my slumbers to watch her in pooing action. I suppose it serves us right for praising her every time she used it during daylight hours.
Talk about potty training ...