My faithful readers know that Seren-Kitty (aka “The Queen”) is a skinny old cat and has struggled for the past year or so with the “schnorkles” and “sneezles.” I’ve written about her increasingly scary bouts with URIs (upper respiratory infections) in this post. URIs is one of the major reasons that cats refuse to eat.
Thank goodness, Seren still has an appetite. Her sneezle-attacks began last Friday and alerted me to the potential problem. So early Monday morning, I called my veterinarian and got a refill on the liquid Clavamox that helped so much the last time. After just two days, she’s already breathing a bit easier. God bless veterinarians!
CELEBRATING SENIOR PETS
Old cats get sick quicker and take longer to get well. August happens to be Senior Pet Month–and both Seren and Magical-Dawg are senior citizen pets. So this post is doubly appropriate.
Nutrition is a huge issue for older pets, too. Seren has always been tiny and had trouble eating enough nutrition to maintain a good body condition. At her heaviest she weighed 7 pounds. This past winter, Seren had dropped weight to 5-1/2 pounds. Her fur looked unkempt, claws were overgrown so she “clicked” walking on the hardwood floor, and she just wanted to sleep. The dry therapeutic diet she’d eaten for the past several years became difficult for her to munch, and she asked to be lifted up to tabletops she’d previously scaled with ease–arthritis rearing its ugly head. Honestly, I feared my dear old girl might be ready for that final trip across the Rainbow Bridge…
ENTER THE KAMIKAZE KITTEN!
Then Karma-Kitten came home. Suddenly, the new-kid-on-the-block disrupted the household, adding stress to Seren’s life, and a wee bit of excitement.
Karma chased the dog, and Magic chased him. Karma chased Seren–she was not amused, and told him so. He continued to pester until she got off her furry nether regions to tell him off. I kept them separated when I couldn’t supervise, fearing the bruiser-kitten would hurt Seren.
Karma also ate EVERYTHING, including Seren’s food (the dog’s, too). So again, I had to supervise feedings so Seren wouldn’t starve when Karma cleaned out her bowl.
Seren’s food wasn’t appropriate for a kitten and when he showed up, all I had in the house were samples of dehydrated kitty ration I got at BlogPaws.com from The Honest Kitchen (You can get free samples here). He loved it! And as a plus, I figured that would keep him out of the other pet’s food. I really like not having to refrigerate leftovers, and mixing only the amount needed for meals ensured it was fresh and still warm when served. And when The Honest Kitchen read about Karma’s homecoming and how the food helped so much, they sent me additional samples of various flavors to try out (even some for Magic!).
Now, with kittens, you don’t want to limit food since they’re growing so fast. I think Karma wrote those instructions. He packed on pudge, and still tried to swipe the other pet’s food, and I feared Seren would shrink even more.
Instead, The Queen Seren took control, and she began to steal mouthfuls of Karma’s food. And chase HIM across the room!
FOOD & QUALITY OF LIFE
Now folks, I’m a huge proponent of feeding appropriate foods for pets. Seren had been eating the Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d from my veterinarian to support her kidney function since she tested in the borderline range for kidney insufficiency. Her teeth, though, weren’t handling the dry kibble very well so I listened to Seren–she really liked the warm wet ration she’d stolen from Karma. So I ran the Hill’s k/d kibble through my blender, and then softened each meal with warm water. Granted, I could purchase canned food of the same formulation (I’d recommend you do this and have it on hand from the beginning). But I’d just purchased a big bag of the dry food and figured this was better than wasting good nutrition.
Eureka! Seren loved it, and began eating better. But she still wanted Karma’s food, too.
And frankly, at age 17, I decided Seren’s quality of life meant any time she asked for food, I’d give her what she wanted. That means a mix of foods including tastes of lean meats from my plate if she asks; a scoop of Karma’s Honest Kitchen ration or a taste of plain yogurt; or even a sip of water from my glass. When the dry food ran out, I continued with the dehydrated diet, offering a teaspoonful at a time, many times a day.
These days, Seren still steals Karma’s food, which isn’t ideal since we’ve switched him to Science Diet Perfect Weight to slim down the pudge. He weighs 13 pounds or so, over twice as much as Seren, and the Perfect Weight seems to be working.
What about the dog? Well, Magic gets treats by cleaning up any kitty food leftovers, plus his own occasional treats of The Honest Kitchen. It’s a bit pricy to feed as routine ration to a 90+ pound dog like Magic, but for treats it’s ideal. I was just sent samples of THK Halcyon “Duck Recipe” and Magic can’t wait to try that, too.
THE KARMA CURE
Forgive me for a bit of philosophical musing. I truly thought Seren was near the end of her life, and then Karma showed up. Running away from him force her to get up and moving. Guarding her own bowl gave her reason to get up in the morning. Chasing after him keeps her arthritic joints lubricated and she now jumps up anywhere she wants. Wet food enticed her to eat more–she now wakes my husband at 3 am for a treat and, being the well-trained human he is, he accommodates her. I don’t limit her to a single diet and my veterinarian is fine with that. (Always check with your vet!)
Shortly after Karma arrived, Seren began grooming her claws again, so she could CHASE and chastise Karma. She began grooming her own fur better and caring about her appearance. Seren also now demands lap time in the evenings (to keep HIM out of my lap, LOL!). According to her last vet visit, Seren is back up to about 6 pounds. She’s active, interested in life again, and (I pray!) has at least one more of her 9 lives to spend with me.
Karma came unexpectedly, a clown-cat and snuggle-puss that makes me smile every day. Seren remains a serious, dainty Queen who wishes he’d go away–but when he came into her life, he shared with her the Karma cure.
She’s shared the sneezles with him. Ahem.
What about your pets? Have your fur-kids ever influenced the other cats (or dogs) to get healthy–or the opposite, do they teach each other bad habits? How do you manage feeding multiple pets? Do tell!
I am not being paid for this post. The opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I initially received free samples of The Honest Kitchen, as well as Science Diet Perfect Weight for Cats to try. The fur-kids did so well on both products, I’ve continued to purchase and feed them. I do have an affiliate relationship with The Honest Kitchen.
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