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How come your cat is picky when it comes to food ?

You generally find that changing your dog’s diet is one of the easiest things to do in the world dogs just seem happy with what is fed to them, the grateful loyalists that they are.

Enter the cat….Try change his or her diet and you will probably be on the receiving end of a rather haughty, arrogant and somewhat insulted response.

Cats seem to have an instinct for what is food and what isn’t, and they also seem to know what nutrients their bodies need as is evidenced by a number of studies on cats and cat nutrition.

Cats from when they are kittens,  seem to associate certain shapes and colours, with what is identified as food, this is a survival instinct, but not that necessary for today’s cats in modern homes.

Sometimes it becomes necessary for various reasons to change your cat’s diet, but in doing so, the survival instinct kicks in, and the difficulty of changing the food arises. Your cat thinks you are trying to feed it plastic or something when you offer him or her an alternative type of food.

So what do you do?
The trick is in offering two types of food to your cat, the food you are wanting your cat to switch to and the food that your cat normally eats, the food you are wanting to switch your cat too should be offered first, and left for up to an hour and monitor whether or not the cat eats, if your cat doesn’t then switch back to the food he or she normally eats, generally a few days of doing the switcheroo described above should be good enough, if this does not work, well then we need to switch to plan B.

Plan B is to place the new food on top of the old food and let the cat get used to the smell and look and taste of the new food, it is not advisable to mix the new food in with the old food because this will just create confusion and the cat will never really get used to the look and smell of the new food.

Over time the new food should form a larger portion of the total meal, moving from a topping to half the meal and eventually to the full meal, this takes time and planning and patience.

Swimming cats

Swimming cats

We all know the story, as soon as the water comes, the cat disappears, there are a plethora of cat videos on You Tube showing cats that have fallen into a bath or any water containing vessel and the scrambling hysteria that ensues.

Why is this ? Watching a documentary the other day on an animal channel I noted that the likes of Jaguars and Tigers are excellent swimmers and actually hunt in the water at times and then there is The fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) is a medium-sized wild cat of South and Southeast Asia.

Another water loving feline is the Turkish Van cat, who actually loves a good dip in the water, so you should, invest in a little paddling pool if you own one of these lovely creatures.

The above are examples of cats that absolutely are great swimmers and have no problem with water.

What about our beloved pets, why is it that our domestic cats are so anti – water?

Well part of the reason is nature and the other part is nurture. Cat’s in general were desert dwelling creatures, so water in general is foreign to them. On the nurture side….. the answer lies in the way they are raised, we protect our kitties from the water, they have warm dry shelter from the rain and storms and any water sensation is new to them, now and then you get a curious kitty who loves the water and will place their paws into the running tap water out of sheer curiosity.

It’s best to expose your kitty slowly while they are kittens to water, and see the reaction and be sensitive to their response.

If your kitty enjoys the water and seems intrigued then you can progress with water exposure, if not then we don’t suggest progressing with water exposure as you will just stress out your kitty.

 

Decisions You Should Make BEFORE You Get a Cat

Hi Danielle Salmon,

Bringing a cat into your family is a huge responsibility. When you adopt a feline companion, you’re promising to care for them for the rest of their lives. That’s a pretty big commitment, so you would figure that a lot of thought would go into the decision, but veterinarians commonly see well-meaning pet parents who get a cat without much (or any) forethought. Sometimes we wonder what (if anything) was discussed before these owners decided to get a cat.

Many behavioral problems we see could have been solved if the pet parents had thought a little about what they want in a cat, or even considered some general rules for having a cat, BEFORE actually getting one. It’s usually situations like this that end up with the poor animal being surrendered or abandoned because “things just weren’t working.”

Please, PLEASE don’t put an animal through this kind of experience. It is very important that you don’t rush into getting a pet. In the interest of creating well-prepared pet parents, we put together a list of 10 things you should really decide, discuss, or think about BEFORE you get a cat.

If you have a minute, please take a look at this article (even if you aren’t looking for a cat). Who knows, it may help you help a friend that is looking for a cat or prepare you for future cat ownership.

With warm regards,

Dr. Debra

P.S.: Remember, your vet can be a great source of advice when you’re considering adding a cat to your family. The next time you give the subject some thought, why not ask your vet what they think? It could be a great way to get tips and recommendations from someone who already knows you and your lifestyle.