Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Walk on the Ceiling Wednesday
Heeheehee! It's Walk on the Ceiling Wednesday!
From the OTW:
Pet Food recall: Check out the Cat blogosphere for the latest.
This is getting closer and closer to home for me. I get Jack special food for his struvite crystal tendencies that I get from the vet. Every cat around here eats it too because the vet said it was ok, and better than having Jack eat stuff that may cause him problems. A week ago, Hills Prescription Diet (which is the brand I was feeding them) recalled their M/D -that's the regular kibble. They ate the C/D, which is for struvite crystal prevention. But I decided, since we had just bought a great big new bag the week before they recalled the M/D, but hadn't opened it we were going to return it and switch to something else. Better safe than sorry.
I talked with my husband about switching Jack back to Medi-Cal Preventative which is like the C/D, and is what he ate for years. He sometimes eats the Dissolution when he actually has crystals. Now they're recalling Medi-Cal Dissolution. The good thing is this isn't 'regular' food even for cats with crystallization problems, because it's too strong to eat all the time. It's meant to dissolve crystals already there by radically acidifying their urine. It's actually bad to give it to them for too long. It may give them oxalate (I think that's the name) crystals, when their urine is too acidic. This means there aren't a LOT of cats who are eating this.
The bad news is, cats with this problem sure as <insert bad werd here> don't need any more problems. Crystallization is bad, and frankly dangerous enough. I nearly lost Jack the first time he developed crystallization, the day after he was neutered. He was back at the vet and home again 48 hours after his neutering. 72 hours after he was completely blocked and went back in the next day. Had I waited another couple days as advised, before 'bothering' the vet again (not the vet's word) he would be dead. He was that toxic at that point. Luckily he survived. After that, for the last 10 years, I hear Jack meow even once coming out of the box, and I stalk him for a week, trying to catch him peeing so I can determine if he's having problems.
I can't even imagine how much MORE dangerous this <insert VERY bad werd here> would be to a cat in that condition.
We didn't switch them to Medi-Cal. After the research I've been doing lately, I decided feeding them a food with grains is stupid. We decided on trying Orijen (which turns out to be a local Alberta company anyway-and luckily a new pet store opened just 3 weeks ago in our wee little town, that carries it!).
For those of you who want the quick run-down, it's 70% meat; grain-fed, antibiotic- and hormone-free, Alberta free-range chicken, whitefish from northern BC and Alberta lakes, and Alberta eggs; and 30% fruit, veggies and botanical formulas (formulated by certified holistic vets) ; flax, carrots, potatoes, kelp, tomatoes, spinach, black currants, apples and cranberries. The meat is certified fit for human consumption. They produce and package it themselves, too.
Ok, I admit, I'm curious about why fruit and vegetables and haven't yet gotten around to e-mailing and asking. It has to do with providing some vitamins, minerals and enzymes, that's as much as I understood. Why from vegetables and fruit I don't know, since most supporters and makers of raw food diets say they're completely unnecessary. Though I've lived with quite a few cats who enthusiastically and even insistantly share my fruit.
Now, I can't honestly recommend it at this point to anyone, as my beloved monsters have only been eating it a week, and are still finishing the last of the their Hills as I phase it out. I CAN say, I've never seen cats so determinedly snuffling through the bowl in an attempt to get one kind of kibbles rather than the other!
Sadly, their poops are currently pretty toxic (I believe the term 'plutonium grade' was used by my husband, Sniffs-With-Super-Sensitive-Nose), but I suspect that will clear up when their bodies have finished adjusting. At the very least, I can suggest you look into the brand. It's primarily available in most of Canada, but they also have it in stores in Florida (lots), Oregon (a few), Washington (lots) and Georgia (a few). They also have another brand, Acana (the link above will take you to the company's site where you can pick which brand you want to look at). You may have to contact them about a location if you want to try it. At least one place on the site says they sell to 40 countries, but mostly I can only find locations for Acana in Canada and the Czech Republic, and Orijen in Canada and and those 4 States.
There's also another company whose product I looked at. Feline Future is a company on Salt Spring Island (one of the islands in the Gulf between Vancouver Island and the British Columbian mainland) Their product is a dry powder mix (plus salmon oil capsules) that is meant to be added to raw meat purchased at the supermarket, so people can give their cats a raw food diet and make sure they have all the nutrients they need without having to spend hours making it. They sell online to individual consumers. I can't find a store listing on their site, but there's a link for wholesalers to arrange it, so I'm guessing there are stores that do carry it. You may have to contact the comapny to find out.
I was thinking about trying it, but am going to go with Orijen for now. Changing one food is enough stress. I may change their canned food to this mix or a pre-made raw food eventually. Jack gets really really whiny after a few days without his kibbles anyway. The other two? Frankly, those two little piggies will eat anything! Which I suppose is a good thing. One finicky cat with diet issues is enough of a worry for me. Sadly I don't have the patience of the Artsy Catsy or Forty Paws human servants......(and I'm still trying to figure out how to convince my husband that three isn't enough. I think I may have to wait until we get a house...)
I'll keep you updated.