Green Little Cat

Cat Health

Recent Study Raises Serious Concerns About Bacteria in Pet Food

What's in your cat's food?
What’s in your cat’s food?

Here’s some disturbing news that should come as no surprise to Green Little Cat readers. It came to my attention from our friends over at The Conscious Cat:

“The Association for Truth in Pet Food (ATPF), an advocacy group established by Susan Thixton, the publisher and founder of The Truth About Pet Food, recently published the results of an unprecedented pet food testing project conducted by U.S. labs late last year. The results reveal serious concerns for pets and for the human families that purchase and handle the pet food.

Testing results show that some of the most widely-purchased brands in the U.S. and Canada contained high levels of dangerous mycotoxins, problematic nutrient concerns and/or numerous bacterial contamination risks, including antibiotic resistant bacteria the FDA terms as “qualifying pathogens”. Funding for the project came solely from consumers, who raised nearly $16,000 via an Indiegogo donation campaign.”

What’s interesting to note is that 75{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} of the foods tested positive for bacteria that has been linked to rotten meat. What’s even more interesting to note is that the study results are being questioned, so it’s turning a bit into a “he-said, she-said, they-said” type of debate.

You can read more about the study and the ensuing questions at The Conscious Cat.

With a therapeutic dosage, may not cause drug addiction, but the problem arises with the slightest overdose.

So, as a concerned cat lover, what can you do to keep your cat safe?

  1. If your cat is eating any of the foods listed in the study, the first thing you can do is call the manufacturer. There’s usually a 1-800 number on the package or you can visit their website to find contact info. Ask them directly about the study results and voice your concerns. Manufacturers want to provide safe food for your pet as much as you do because of huge liability issues and lost sales if there’s a problem with the food.
  2. Consider switching to locally made pet food from family-run businesses. I’ve written tons of articles reviewing different brands of foods and even reported on changes in ownership of companies too. You’ll find reviews in the Food category of this website.
  3. Consider switching to an organic cat food. While it certainly costs more, there are higher accountability standards for organic meat and produce vs. the conventional variety. The way I see it, I can fork out $50 for cat food every month or THOUSANDS of dollars in vet bills in a few years because poor quality food leads to more health problems. You just have to look at a human diet to see that people don’t thrive eating fast food alone. Which would you prefer? Pay a little more each month or shell out a huge amount in a few years? What’s best for your cat?
  4. Make your own food. This is a big commitment, but it depends on your lifestyle and how much you value your cat’s health. You also have to value your mental health too!

Alternative Healing Methods That Really Helped Furball

Furball has been living a green lifestyle for his entire life. By all means, he should be healthy as a horse…err..a cat :). However, my cat is extremely sensitive to stress. While there are many natural products for calming stressed cats, unfortunately Furball is still susceptible to the impact of stress on his health. Most often, stress tends to affect his digestion and/or his bladder.

Furball, happy and healthy 🙂

When he does get sick, I’ll take him to the vet for acute care and then I’ll look for natural healing methods to help him recover. I shared some of these in detail on a recent article I wrote for Catster on “5 Alternative Healing Methods That Help My Cat“.

I shared some of Furball’s experiences with acupuncture, Bach flower remedies, akashic record reading, probiotics and energy healing. If you’d like to learn whether these might help your cat, please check out the article on Catster.


Natura Pet Products – Huge Dog and Cat Food Recall

Shame, Natura Pet Products, was once highly renowned for their green practices and for providing quality dog and cat food.  In fact, they were the winner of my Natural Cat Food Throwdown a few years back.

Then, success got to them. It was announced in May 2010 that Proctor & Gamble was purchasing them.  As a result, I promptly revoked the winning title that I had awarded Natura Pet Products for environmental stewardship.

Unfortunatly, it didn’t take too long for a fall in quality to occur antidepressants under P&G’s cost-driven leadership.  The FDA found salmonella contamination in one of their products and now ALL of their pet food, from dogs, cats and ferrets, is being voluntarily recalled.  This includes the following brands:

  • Innova
  • EVO
  • California Natural
  • Healthwise
  • Karma
  • Mother Nature

I guess you can’t buy your way into pretending to care about Mother Nature or food quality.  Karma’s a bitch, huh?

For more details on which foods are being recalled and what you can do if you have some, visit the FDA website.

Cat Health Advice to Avoid a Flabby Feline

Furball’s been battling the bulge and on a diet since January. The results are stellar as he’s much more active and playful now. I’d have to say that weightloss for an overweight cat is one of the best natural ways to improve your feline’s health. That’s why I’m delighted to share this guest post from David with tips to keep your cat trim and healthy. Here it is:

The health of our cats is always an issue on a very fundamental level. For most of us, there are obvious concerns, such as what food to give them, what facilities we provide them and what to do if their health becomes an issue. Well, I thought that everyone did, but it appears some pets’ health issues expand at an uncontrollable rate.

Source:; Bournemouth News/Rex / Rex USA/Bournemouth News/Rex / Rex USA

I found Ulric Mitchell last week. This Norwegian Forest Cat weighs around 12.65kg (two stone), when his ideal weight is 6kg. That means he is 111{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} overweight. According to the PDSA he had been an adept food thief since kittenhood, regularly pinching his siblings’ dinner and anything else lying around. I assumed this was an anomaly and, in a way, I suppose he is, but then I saw he was part of a scheme called the Pet Fit Club, which is a group of twenty one obese animals, including cats, dogs and rabbits, who embark on a six-month diet programme to try and reduce their weight and, ultimately, save their lives.

The health effects the extra weight can have a massive impact on the animals’ lives, including heart disease, stomach problems and psychological problems caused by the uncomfortable living conditions when they have to lug all the extra weight around.
They released some facts along with the contestant information from an Animal Wellbeing Report from 2012 showing the human psychology that can lead to obese pets:

  • 48{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} of owners give their pets regular treats because they think it make their pet happy, but 29{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} say it’s because it makes themselves feel happy.
  • 71{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} of owners know that food for humans isn’t good for a pet’s diet (I wonder how many do it anyway)
  • 93{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} of owner know that pets are susceptible to the same overweight conditions as humans

What the stats don’t say are how many owners adjust their pet diet in knowing these figures.

So what are the steps that can be taken to stop your cat’s health falling with weight gain?

  • Play together for around 20 minutes every day.
  • Get your cat used to only two meals a day. If they like to graze at their food bowl, take the bowl away after a set meal time of 30 minutes or so. Just make sure it’s the same time every day so you don’t disturb their sense of routine.
  • Use high quality cat food. Cheap and light foods can have less nutrients in which are essential, especially when the cat’s diet is being changed.
  • Monitor the cat’s weight weekly. If it rises or drops more than 1-2{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} over the week, there could be something seriously wrong.
  • Seek veterinarian supervision. When the cat’s health is at stake, you don’t want to make any bad decision that could affect them. If you’re putting them through an intense diet, or you’re unsure of anything, consult your vet.

After the lifestyle improved, the need for gradually disappeared. Well, sometimes I take medicine. And I think that it’s not worth abusing any drugs.

Scientists: Ubiquitous Household Chemical Could Be Killing Cats

For your cat’s health and happiness, please go as green as you can. I recently came across this article about a government study that found a “significant association” between hyperthyroidism in cats and certain flame retardants.

Basically, the flame retardant that’s sprayed on your furniture, carpet and CHILDREN’S CLOTHING is linked to the death of cats from thyroid issues.

To learn more, read the article on, Scientists: Ubiquitous Household Chemical Could Be Killing Cats.

I know it’s tricky and sometimes even overwhelming to be green and find alcoholism what’s best for you and your pet. Let’s face it. No matter what chemical cesspool may be lurking in our homes, it’s simply not realistic or feasible to toss out the sofa or rip out all the carpet.

So instead of feeling overwhelmed and doing nothing, what I recommend is to start making small changes so that you can find a balance that works for both you and your cat. For some great greening ideas, check out my 30-Day Green Cat Challenge.

People suffer from nightmares, is afraid to be alone. Addicts have hallucinations, which makes taking the next dose, instead of euphoria, you will feel paranoid and manic mental condition.

The Honest Kitchen: Review of Prowl Cat Food

If you’ve been thinking of switching your cat to raw cat food, but are looking for a more convenient option, here’s my honest review of The Honest Kitchen’s Prowl cat food.

Honest Kitchen Prowl cat food review

My cat, Furball, had been on the same diet for about two years. Because he had a history of struvite crystals, I had him on the prescription cat food from the vet’s and supplemented his diet with organic turkey baby food.

I know, I know. The natural solution would have been to put him on a high protein diet, and I did explore this in great depth in my Natural Cat Food Throwdown. However, Furball also had a sensitive digestive system where he would vomit if he was stressed and the high protein cat food was particularly difficult for him to keep down. I don’t remember exactly what triggered it, but at some point, he experienced another struvite crystal scare and when the vet told me to get Furball on a prescription diet or else, fearing the worst, I followed the vet’s instructions.

So, for two years, my little cat ate the prescription diet. I noticed right away that his fur wasn’t as nice on the diet and that’s when I added the organic turkey baby food (easy to digest). I always felt slightly uneasy about feeding him the factory food, but I let myself listen to the “expert” and thought it was best to keep Furball on the anti-struvite diet.

A few months ago, I looked into Furball’s eyes and noticed that they were starting to show flecks of gold and brown in the irises. In iridology, it is believed that the eyes reveal one’s health and that muddy splotches are signs of disease. My cat’s eyes had always been a pure minty green and now, they were starting to turn brown and splotchy.

I could have chalked it up to age as he is heading into “middle age cat years”, but I suspected it was his diet. If you eat processed crap, it affects your health. It seemed to me that the same would hold true for cats.

That’s when I began searching for a raw meat cat food for Furball. However, I also had to factor in my curious son who was old enough to know not to touch the cat food, but that didn’t mean he always listened. I wanted something that was convenient and safe and that’s where the Honest Kitchen’s Prowl cat food came into the picture.

The Honest Kitchen originally began making raw dog food, but they’ve since branched into producing both cat and dog foods gastrointestinal from human-grade ingredients. Because their pet foods are made from human-grade ingredients, the meats are steamed and dehydrated so they’re technically not raw. Only their fruits and vegetables are technically ‘raw’, so this makes their foods safe to have in the home even with small children who might be a little too curious.

The Honest Kitchen is also very eco-friendly. Based out of San Diego, many of the Honest Kitchen’s employees commute to work by bicycle. The packaging for their pet food is made from recycled materials and is also recyclable, even the plastic bag inside. As well, because the food is dehydrated, it’s very light (for cat food) and this helps to reduce the amount of resources needed to ship the food to stores or your home.

The Honest Kitchen also has supported hundreds of organizations over the years such as Heifer International through their Pawlanthropy program.

The Honest Kitchen was kind enough to send me a sample of Prowl dehydrated cat food. Prowl is an all natural cat food made with free range chicken, eggs and produce like sweet potatoes, spinach and cranberries. And, it’s made up of almost 70{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} meat.

When I first received the sample, I was surprised to see that Prowl in its dehydrated form, is actually a powder. I was expecting chunky pieces or dry slivers. Because it’s a powder, it was incredibly easy to measure and mix up a batch of Prowl for my cat. All you need to do is measure food out in a 1:1 ratio of food to water. Pour it in a bowl, stir and allow it to hydrate for 5 minutes. Then, voila! Dinner is ready. Prowl cat food expands to 4 times its original weight when hydrated.

The true test was whether Furball would eat it. I started out only adding a teaspoon to his food. Furball left it for last, but then gobbled it up. I then gradually increased the proportion of Prowl until after about 2 weeks, he had completed the switch to Prowl cat food.

See these eyes so green. It’s the Prowl cat food!

It has been almost 2 months since I switched Furball to Prowl dehydrated cat food and I’m happy to report that I do notice a difference. When I look into his eyes, I see the brown muddy splotches are clearing up and his bright green eyes are shining brightly once again.

Prowl Cat Food is available online and at specialty pet stores.

Just for Fun Cat Facts and Interesting Tidbits on Cat Health

Every so often, something fun lands in my inbox that I can’t resist sharing. A few weeks ago, I received this cute Cat Anatomy illustration full of interesting cat facts and fun trivia on cat health.

I couldn’t fit the full size graphic on my blog, but I did cut out a this fun drawing to share with you. The Cat Anatomy graphics were created by Matt Beswick for Pet365 and he’s given his blessings to share them with Green Little Cat readers.

You’ll learn some really cool cat facts such as how many mice make up one cat meal. And this cheery infographic also gives some interesting comparisons between cats and humans. We all know how much better a cat’s hearing is than a human’s, but exactly how much better can a cat hear? Did you know there’s one sense where humans reign supreme? It might just surprise you to learn which it is since cats are so finicky about their food. That’s a hint!

More fun cat facts include, just how many cat years equal one human year? When you find out, you’ll gain insight into your cat’s life expectancy. And where on earth do the most cats live? There are also some fun tidbits on cat health like what’s good to feed your cat and what’s not. To read these and more fascinating cat facts, visit the Pet365 blog.

Cialis Generic will act weaker over time, but Viagra will act in exactly the same way as before. You just need to get used to its effect. You can alternate them at short intervals and choose the best one for you for a permanent foundation.

Calming Stressed Cats – Reviews of Three Natural Ways to Calm a Stressed Out Cat

It doesn’t take much for a calm cat to turn into a kitty suffering with anxiety. Even the most innocuous thing such as moving the cat bed can freak out cats. Furball’s a high-strung cat who gets sick when something stressful happens.

Moving houses led to pancreatitis. An earthquake combined with an accidentally dropped cutlery tray a week later led to urinary problems. Most recently, we discovered that his new feeding routine was stressing him out.

This resulted in vomiting and three days of refusing food. The holistic vet diagnosed Furball with stress-induced gastroenteritis causing vomiting. She said it was a catch 22 since the vomiting was stressing him out more. So what to do to calm a stressed out cat?

Calming Stressed Cats: Natural Method #1

Well, first we took Furball to a holistic vet who gave him acupuncture. There’s one point called Yin Tang that is really effective at calming not just cats, but also people. Furball has had a few calming cat acupuncture sessions before and they really worked. If you’re interested in learning more about holistic vets, check out these posts:

Calming Stressed Cats: Natural Method #2

In addition to giving Furball a cat calming acupuncture treatment, the vet prescribed calming herbal supplements. The supplements are made by a company called Resources and it’s got a really long name: Resources Feline Anxiety & Stress, Calming Support Formula. If you’re interested in learning more, the supplements are available at the Only Natural Pet Store.

Ingredients include magnesium asparatate, passionflower, oyster shell, kava kava, unicaria, ginkgo biloba, zizziphus, licorice, schizandra, Dan Shen, biota, melatonin and more. I recognize a number of these herbs from Traditional Chinese Medicine and they are known to have calming effects.

The tablets need to be given daily so I have to balance how stressed Furball is vs. how stressd he’ll be from having a large pill shoved down his throat. If you decide to try the Calming Support Formula for your cat, you should consult with your veterinarian first.

Calming Stressed Cats: Natural Method #3

One of my favourite natural remedies for calming a stressed out cat is Rescue Remedy. This is a homeopathic tincture for humans that also comes in a version for pets. It really works! For people and pets. I gave Rescue Remedy to Furball when we flew him across the country. After the flight, I expected to see a freaked out cat, but instead found a very mellow cat.

Furball also likes to lick this stuff off my finger and considers it a treat, so giving him this natural remedy is really easy. You can find it on Amazon here:

Furball’s holistic vet also recommended Rescue Remedy Cream. This is the human hand cream version. The vet suggested that I dab a small amount inside my cat’s ear to help calm him down. I’ve done this a number of times and find it helpful too. Between the liquid tincture and the cream, we’ve got things under control for calming our cat. Please consult with your vet before giving this to your cat.

So, there you have it, my reviews of three natural ways to calm a stressed cat. Hope you find what you need for calming your cat! Hmm, maybe an exclamation point after that sentence isn’t very calming?

Natural Ways to Promote Cat Urinary Tract Health

Given Furball’s latest bout of blocked bladder, I felt it would be a good idea to summarize everything I’ve learned about natural ways to prevent urinary problems in cats. The primary focus of this blog post is on managing crystals in cat urine, specifically struvite crystals as this Furball’s primary issue when it comes to cat urinary health.

This is the second time he’s had a completely blocked bladder, the first occurence was 7 years ago. I attribute the second case to the water he was drinking. Long story short, he was getting stale water that had been sitting around for months. My fault for giving him the “emergency water” when we should have just used it for watering the garden. Anyhow, let’s move on to the positives.

Many cats with struvite crystals and feline urinary tract problems tend to have recurrences and according to the technician at the vet, it happens much more frequently than every 7 years. In light of this, I’ll keep Furball on his current plan to promote cat urinary tract health. The problem was we deviated from the plan and I’ll make sure this never happens again.
In general though this has been very effective to help calm me down with Buy Valium no real adverse side effects.

So, here are six natural ways to prevent cat urinary problems if the cat has struvite crystals in their urine.

  1. Feed your cat wet cat food instead of dry to promote a healthy urinary tract. This advice was from Furball’s holistic vet. She explained that the prescription diets usually add ammonium chloride to the food to increase the acidity (decrease the pH level) of the cat’s urine, which helps to control struvite crystals. I found a study published by the American Veterinary Medical Association in 2003 that concluded, “Our results indicate that compared with dietary supplementation with NH4Cl, the high-protein diet is preferable as a urine acidifier for the prevention of struvite crystal formation in clinically normal cats.” The regular vet also recommended wet cat food over dry cat food and said that studies have proven that this reduces the struvite crystals in the cat’s urine.
  2. Ensure your cat is a healthy weight. Being overweight increases a cat’s odds of getting a recurrent blocked bladder.
  3. Give your cat lots of water. This advice was given to me by Furball’s first holistic vet. She said that increasing his water intake kept things flowing through his system to help reduce the concentration of struvite crystals in his urine. I added water to Furball’s food as he wouldn’t drink it normally. A caveat to this advice is that Furballs second holistic vet said that cats should get their moisture from their food as opposed to drinking water, otherwise it would cause a strain on their kidneys. Talk to your vet about what’s best for your cat.4
  4. Feed your cat a low grain, high protein diet. The second holistic vet we took Furball to explained that a high protein diet would increase the acidity (decrease the pH level) of the cat’s urine. This contradicts some common advice out there which suggests that high protein diets (especially fish) will increase the level of magnesium in the cat’s urine, thus increasing their risk for struvite crystals. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine has an article which states, “Previously, the ash content-and more recently, the magnesium content-of the diet was thought to be a primary cause of struvite formation in the urine. However, researchers have found that urine pH is a more important contributing factor”.
  5. Feed your cat several smaller meals a day as opposed to one or two large meals. Cats fed this way tend to produce a more acidic urine.
  6. Minimize stress in your cat’s life. Stress affects cat urinary tract health just like it does human health. If there’s a stressful event, be sure to give your cat extra attention and reassurance for several days.

If you’re looking for suggestions for high protein, low grain cat food, here’s a list that was recommended by our holistic vet:

Please Send Positive Energy to Furball – He Had a Blocked Bladder Again

It’s been 7 years since Furball had a blocked bladder. Unfortunately, it happened again just a few days ago. I noticed the signs early (straining, constant walking in and out of his box trying to pee, but nothing coming out, trying to pee on the floor, etc.) and got him to a vet straightaway. This is one of those times where the allopathic vet is definitely preferred over the holistic vet. A blocked bladder can be life-threatening, so this is not the time to be fussing around with acupuncture points and herbs. It’s time for western medical intervention.

The vet inserted a catheter in Furball and gave him subcutaneous fluids as well as some medications to help relax the smooth muscle of his urethra. That seemed to do the trick, but when I went to pick Furball up, he had blocked up again. This resulted in round 2 of sedation and catheter insertion. Fortunately, he unblocked again and I was able to take him home the next day, but mainly because it was Saturday and the vet was closing for the weekend. They quite happily showed me a small vial of what looked like white powder, but was actually the struvite crystals that they had expressed from his bladder.

Today, Furball looked like he was straining again so I whisked him to the emergency clinic. They examined him and said that his bladder was empty and told me to just take him home and watch him. I’ve been watching him closely and do see small dribbles of urine in his box, but he visits his box every few hours without being able to urinate. As long as I keep seeing some urine, I’ll hold off on taking him to the emergency clinic and will wait until tomorrow morning to take him to the regular vet.

If the problem persists, the recommended treatment is surgery. I won’t get into the details here, but the abbreviation for the surgery is PU, which sounds a lot like pee-ewww (like the sound you make when something stinks). This would be an appropriate description.

I’m hoping Furball continues peeing even if it is in small dribbles. I’ve been rubbing his Back Shu points for the kidney and bladder and even have tried to guess where the reflexology point for the urethra is on a cat.

I don’t take it all the time only when I have consistent anxiety and it does help the awful closed throat, heavy heart feeling I get before Buy Valium I have an anxiety attack.

Please wish him well. Thank you.

Furball, happy and playing in this pic
Furball, happy and playing in this pic