Basic Cat Needs: Medical

This month, I’ve decided on a theme for my blog to follow. I wanted to provide this information from the very beginning, so why not do a mini-series on the topic? We’re going over Basic Cat Needs this October! I know it sounds like common sense, but many people are surprised by the things they didn’t know about their cats.

This week’s topic is Necessary Medical Needs! I’ll go over the basics of the necessary veterinary care over each of the cats life cycle to actually provide adequate attention to their health.

Young Cats

Kittens come first, of course! They will visit the vet about once every month until 4 months old to get their vaccines. You can ask what’s recommended in your area, if you don’t travel with your cat. Some vaccines may not be necessary while others will help prevent common problems in your local area.

Vaccines usually require a series of shots, thus requiring several visits to receive them. You may be able to buy and administer some of the shots yourself (or have a friend do it if you can’t handle their little kitten yells) for a cheaper cost.

You will want to research or ask your veterinarian when the best time is to get your pet fixed. I plan on writing about that in the future… I think it requires it’s own blog post!

Adult Cats

Cats are considered adults between 2 and 10 years old. Adults should visit the vet at least once a year, more if necessary–meaning, if your cat has a condition, it may require more frequent visits.

Senior and Above

After 10, your cat is a senior, and at 14 they’re considered geriatric. Once they reach senior age, you will want to increase vet visits to twice a year and pay closer attention to their well being as they age.

Cats age much more quickly than humans do, this shows especially in their later years. They can start to decline rapidly. Going twice yearly in an effort to catch things quickly will give you the most amount of treatment options.

But why should you go to the vet?

Here are a few good reasons from an article authored by a veterinarian:

Visiting the vet frequently will help familiarize your cat to the experience. It will help socialize your cat as well, reducing the amount of stress she will feel during these times. You will find anything that’s going wrong, faster… because even if you don’t see anything wrong, doesn’t mean your veterinarian won’t either. In turn, this can help you prevent emergency ($$$) visits!

A couple other things that people don’t know or may not think of: going to the vet often can also help catch parasites before they cause serious harm (to your cat AND to you and others living in the house!), and they can help you figure out how to correct behavioral problems by finding the real underlying cause of them.

What I really want you to take from this post is that this is a cost that you need to keep in mind when considering getting a cat! Companion animals are basically here for our entertainment more than anything else these days. We need to take the responsibility of owning a living creature seriously.

How often do you take your cat to the vet? Why? Tell me about it in the comments below, or you can message me here on Facebook or through my contact page! I would love to learn through your experiences.

Would you like to see more of Wynter and friends, or interact with us and her fans? Follow the Wynter Wants My Food Facebook page, and here’s my Pinterest! Where you can find the Wynter Wants My Food board that has all kinds of information, inspiration, tutorials and recipes for cats!

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Meow Monday 10/7/18 – 10/13/18

It’s Meow Monday!

I’ve decided that I’d really like to provide you with more cats! I want to use this weekly post to share something a little more “behind the scenes” here at Wynter Wants My Food (a.k.a. my home). Daily life with Wynter and my roommates cats is often quite entertaining, or heartwarming depending on the situation.

Here’s a little slice of my past week with Wynter, Dash, Skitz, Lagatha, and Royce, and maybe even some guest appearances from friends pets as well!

You May Have Been Wondering…

Why is it, “Wynter Wants My Food”? It’s because this cat ALWAYS wants my food…

That’s not even the half of it. I’ve stopped taking pictures every time… since she begs like a dog constantly!

I do not feed Wynter just anything she asks for. I give her small pieces of raw chicken most often. She will get cooked peas and carrots occasionally because all her life she’s loved those… When she was younger, she would jump on the table and eat any leftover peas and carrots off the plates!

Here’s some other pictures I wanted to share this week!

Royce the shy boy has been making appearances quite frequently. It appears he’s learned he enjoys getting attention!

Wynter refuses to use any kind of cat bed, but she does enjoy sleeping on piles. Blankets, pillows, clothes, it doesn’t matter. As long as she can climb it, she wants to sleep on it!

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Wynter likes to sit like a people. Really not your best angle, kitty!!

That’s it for this week! Check in next Meow Monday for your weekly fix of cats!

Would you like to see more of Wynter and friends, or interact with us and her fans? Follow the Wynter Wants My Food Facebook page, and here’s my Pinterest! Where you can find the Wynter Wants My Food board that has all kinds of information, inspiration, tutorials and recipes for cats!

Meow Monday 9/30/18 – 10/6/18

It’s Meow Monday!

I’ve decided that I’d really like to provide you with more cats! I want to use this weekly post to share something a little more “behind the scenes” here at Wynter Wants My Food (a.k.a. my home). Daily life with Wynter and my roommates cats is often quite entertaining, or heartwarming depending on the situation.

Here’s a little slice of my past week with Wynter, Dash, Skitz, Lagatha, and Royce, and maybe even some guest appearances from friends pets as well!

Cuddle Pile!

We had a major cuddle session with Dash and Skitz the other night. Even Royce came by for some head rubs!

MMBoysCuddle

Dash, Skits and Royce, and Dashes toe beans!

Saturday,

We spent quite a bit of time with one of my best friends and his dog! This is Drake. He’s very sweet and likes to cuddle, once he calms down!

MMDrake

Drake enjoys the ride! He enjoys enjoys using my lap as a pillow.

Here’s a few other photos I felt like sharing with you!

Dash and Skitz enjoy the free heat my lap provides on cold nights. Dash is great at cuddling, he will lay down and stay in one spot, happy as can be.

Skitz doesn’t know how to get comfortable unless you are petting him non stop. If you stop petting him, he gets up and starts head butting you and nearly falling right off!

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These two love naps! The vast majority of the day they are sleeping, or looking for the next new spot to sleep!

MMPinSleepy Kitties, Dash (Dark Grey) and Wynter (Light Grey)

Would you like to see more of Wynter and friends, or interact with us and her fans? Follow the Wynter Wants My Food Facebook page, and here’s my Pinterest! Where you can find the Wynter Wants My Food board that has all kinds of information, inspiration, tutorials and recipes for cats!

Basic Cat Needs: Food

First, A New Thing

This month, I’ve decided on a theme for my blog to follow. I wanted to provide this information from the very beginning, so why not do a mini-series on the topic? We’re going over Basic Cat Needs this October! I know it sounds like common sense, but many people are surprised by the things they didn’t know about their cats.

I am also implementing a brand new blog series soon! Keep an eye out for it next week.

Why are we talking about cat food?

One of the most basic needs you need to provide to your cat is food. So, what’s the big deal about it? You just grab a big bag of kibble, and maybe even a pack of wet food and you’re out the door, right? Well, I hope not.

First, let’s go over what the options are. Everyone knows about kibble and canned wet food… but did you know these aren’t the limit? There are commercially available freeze dried/raw, and even whole prey meals for cats.

What are the pros and cons of kibble?

Kibble is often the cheapest kind of food you can buy for your pets. It is also easy to use: you can just scoop some out and put it into whatever you want. It can be left out for long periods of time without spoiling.

Some people say another benefit to kibble is that it helps clean their teeth, since it is hard. However, if you’ve ever paid attention to cats eating or to the occasional cat vomit, you’ll notice the kibble is not chewed on. It is almost always in whole pieces when a cat pukes.

The problem with kibble is that it can be made with large amounts of filler ingredients. It generally includes a lot of ingredients as well, so it’s harder to eliminate a specific thing if your cat is allergic to it. Also, if your cat doesn’t like to drink water, it may become dehydrated on a steady diet of kibble.

What are the pros and cons of wet food?

Wet food provides much more water in your cats diet. If your cat does not drink water often, giving them wet food might help prevent dehydration, kidney problems, and urinary tract infections. This is the main benefit of wet food.

It is also soft, so older cats with dental issues may appreciate it.

However, it’s messy, must be refrigerated after opening, it’s hard to know how much you should give to your cat at once, it can’t be left out for long, and some cats don’t like cold food. It’s also more expensive.

Many people feed both wet and dry food to their cats.

What are the pros and cons of freeze dried/raw food?

Raw food is the second closest you can get to providing a cat a natural meal. Freeze dried raw food is simply easier to store and has a much longer shelf life because of the absence of water. Raw food that is not freeze dried or dehydrated must be refrigerated or even frozen.

Commercial raw food is not the only way to feed your cat a more natural diet. You can also research and learn about putting together your own raw food. This may be cheaper, but it is important to learn how to provide the right nutrients to your cat! You can’t just give them a chunk of raw whatever every day.

This article gives great insight in making your own raw cat food, from how much nutrients you need, what you need to be giving your cat, and how much to feed your cat. You should still do more research yourself before making major changes in your cats diet. A nutrient deficiency is very bad for your cat!

What are the pros and cons of whole prey?

Whole prey can be bought at online retailers such as RodentPro. Giving your cat an appropriately sized thawed prey (rat, small chicken, quail…) will allow her to eat exactly the nutrients and water her body needs.

It might be difficult to get a cat who has eaten kibble all her life to switch to whole prey. Whole prey is expensive to feed every day! I prefer to leave it for the snakes who only requires food a couple times each month.

However… Wynter, who has eaten kibble all her life, will not turn down thawed mice! It’s actually become a problem when we thaw them, since we thaw them for the sand boa, not for cats!

So, what is the best to feed to your cat?

It’s up to you to decide how you feed your cat. I personally recommend a combination of both high quality wet food and dry food or better, and feeding adult cats an appropriate daily amount to prevent obesity.

I hope to switch Wynter to raw food as soon as I can. I recently realized it might be possible sooner than I thought with what I find available at my favorite grocery store! However, because of my financial situation, I am currently feeding Wynter Acana kibble… One of the best kibble food you can buy for cats and dogs. She has allergic reactions to any other kibble.

What do you feed your cat? I would love to hear about you give your cat wet, freeze dried, or raw food, since I already feed Wynter kibble. Leave a comment below!

Would you like to see more of Wynter and friends, or interact with us and her fans? Follow the Wynter Wants My Food Facebook page, and here’s my Pinterest! Where you can find the Wynter Wants My Food board that has all kinds of information, inspiration, tutorials and recipes for cats!

Care Tips for Cats: Spider Bites

The other day, I saw a spider. I am not afraid of them, but it was in the house so I pointed it out to Wynter. She pawed at it for a while as it was stuck in a corner, and I suddenly thought of something I hadn’t considered: she is MUCH smaller than humans. Even if a bite from that particular spider wouldn’t do much to us, could it seriously harm or even kill a cat? I couldn’t believe this had never crossed my mind before!

False widow

A false window I found in my basement

Wynter is not a good hunter. As soon as the spider was out of sight, she forgot about it… So I felt free to sit down and start researching if common spiders are able to harm housecats!

Something to keep in mind is that spiders evolved to kill their prey; usually insects. Even the spiders we know to avoid usually aren’t a fatal threat to the average healthy human. However, those specific spiders ARE a threat to the young and to the elderly, and they are threats to our smaller pets as well.

In the US, black widows and brown recluses are the only 2 spiders that we need to worry about. Where I live, there are no brown recluse spiders. However, we do have black widows. Thankfully, the spider Wynter had just been playing with was certainly not a black widow simply based on its appearance and color.

What can you do to prevent spider bites?

Don’t let these spiders take up residence in your home, and keep your cat indoors.

What can you do to treat it?

A vet visit is necessary. Antivenin for black widows may be available, otherwise your pet will be given muscle relaxers and IV fluids to help them get through the effects of the bite.

Prevention is cheaper than treatment

Brown recluse bites do not attack the system like black widows do. Brown recluse bites will affect a local area (where they bit), causing necrosis. Cleaning the wound, bandaging it, and keeping the area immobilized as well as providing antibiotics if necessary will be enough unless the bite has progressed enough to be need surgery.

How do you identify the spider?

Female black widow spiders are black, with a large round abdomen on which there is a red or orange mark. They are much larger than males. They are pretty easily recognizable, yet there are several species of similar looking widows who don’t have a strong enough venom to cause concern. For example, I have false widows in my basement: they’re dark brown and have no red or orange mark. They look exactly like black widows otherwise.

Brown Recluses are harder to identify. They are large brown spiders, and it’s easy to confuse them with many other species. They have a round abdomen, 6 eyes, and often they will have a violin shaped mark on the underside of their “butt”. They don’t always have this mark.

Why can these spiders effect cats so much?

Because cats are small critters compared to us. The same amount of venom will hurt them much more than us, because it can get through their smaller system faster.

What to do if your cat has been bit?

Stay calm and figure out your course of action. If you can identify the spider, it will be much easier to get help, however these spiders do cause very different reactions.

If you suspect your cat has been bitten but you have not seen the spider, take your cat to the vet. The sooner they are helped, the better their chances and the cheaper the visit. Prevention is cheaper than treatment. Preventing things from getting worse is cheaper than intensive treatment.

Has your cat been bitten by one of these spiders? What happened? Share your story below in the comments!

Would you like to see more of Wynter and friends, or interact with us and her fans? Follow the Wynter Wants My Food Facebook page, and here’s my Pinterest! Where you can find the Wynter Wants My Food board that has all kinds of information, inspiration, tutorials and recipes for cats!