The Cat-ologue is a comprehensive guide for new and old cat parents.
As a foster parent as well as a member of the Bangalore Cat Squad, I find myself screening and educating a number of people about how to look after cats. Yes! This list includes both the fist time cat adopters as well as people who have had cats as pets before. The amount of time spent educating everyone is extensive especially since there is no comprehensive guide to managing cats. All the information is scattered through various different sites.
That’s why I put out a poll on Facebook and hounded my friends to find out what were the most frequent questions that they are asked. Let’s take a look at the top priorities that were brought up by Bangalore’s experienced animal rescuers. I started compiling the information together and I’ve started a series titled the ‘Cat-ologue’.
CATS ARE NOT DOGS
Woah! Yes! Cats and dogs belong to two very different species. They are entirely two different kinds of animals so stop mixing them up! I hope you don’t need the Cat-ologue to tell you that. The knowledge that cats and dogs are different species is the key to understanding that you need to treat both species differently.
Unlike dogs, cats do not slobber you with a wet tongue nor do they hop around on leash and demand a walk. (There are a few exceptions to that rule though). Yes! Cats may lick you but the tongue of a cat has more in common with sandpaper than it does with the drooling mouth of a dog!
So if you are confused about how cats behave I would recommend reading the article had written a while back titled ‘The Cat-troversy‘. (Please note that you can access the article by clicking on the link).
The article is a humorous account about the notions that the so called cat people and dog people have. I’m sure you will enjoy it!
Cat food is another subject that is highly debated. In the one year that I have been boarding cats, I have realized that every individual has their own views about what they should and shouldn’t feed their cat. That however doesn’t solve the problem. What does a cat really require in its diet? That is what every cat owner should be concerned with!
I’ve written a few articles about cat food and I’ve decided to try and answer a few of the most frequently asked questions in the Cat-ologue. For this Cat-ologue post let us deal with a cat’s diet!
Can Cats Be Vegetarians?
Unlike dogs, cats are strict carnivores. This means that they can’t exist and lead a healthy life on a vegetarian diet. A cat’s body derives its nutrients from large amounts of animal based protein. It cannot metabolize vegetable based protein easily. That’s why it is important to analyze the contents of the food you are giving your cat. This is especially true for that of dry food.
Many people force their own views upon their pets without realizing the harm that they are causing. That’s why I decide to include this as one of the first questions in the Cat-ologue.
Wet Cat Food
Only dry food isn’t advisable. That’s why people are advised to add wet food into a cats diet. This wet food can be in the form of prepacked packets that are available in the markets. These products are specially designed for cats but bear in mind that it contains a lot of preservatives. It is a good option for those people who do not have time or are vegetarians and do not cook meat at home.
Any long standing cat rescuer will tell you that home cooked meats are the best. Since we have a lot of new cat parents out there, the inclusion of home cooked meals in the Cat-ologue is extremely important.
You can provide your cat with all kinds of meat as long as it is cooked well. The most commonly used meats are chicken and fish. Some people also choose to add red meats into the mix. Eggs are another popular substitute but bear in mind that egg yolk contains a lot of cholesterol. It may not be wise to give the cat too much.
Cooking at home isn’t the only option. A large number of different companies provide a number of varieties of wet cat food. Choosing between the different variants can be a hard choice to make.
The following articles can act as a great guide to getting your cat’s wet food diet right.
1.Wet food: What does it contain?
This is a comprehensive guide to the different wet cat food products that are available in the Indian market. The companies that are included in this article are Me-O, Whiskas, Royal Canin and Sheba. It also explains the contents of each of the variants that each company has to offer.
Click on the link below to access the article.
2.On Cat food Recipes: My version of the truth
Few people realize that a cat needs a proper diet too. This article talks about the harm we can do if we force our beliefs on our pet.
Click on the link below to access the article.
Dry Cat Food
You have to admit that dry cat food has its advantages. It is easy to store and easy to feed. Cats love it! Does it have its downside? Yes! It does! Most companies choose to use a large amount of plant based proteins and starch rather than animal protein. This means that you are feeding your cat a high calorie mix which isn’t exactly good for her.
I’ve written in depth articles about some of the brands. Including them in the Cat-ologue helps you navigate and find the information you need. Take a look at the articles to get a better understanding of the commonly used brands of dry cat food.
1.Why Royal Canin Is The Best Choice
I’m a big fan of the Royal Canin dry food. It’s not just because of the brand but because of the components that are made available to the cat. This article gives you an in depth understanding of the composition of the different diets that Royal Canin has to offer. You will find it quite enlightening.
2.A Look At The Whiskas Product
Among the range of the cheaper cat food, I find that Whiskas is the best. A lot of people have complained about the quality of Me-O and Drools. Quite frankly I don’t trust Me-O and Drools dry food at all.
This article helps you understand what the Whiskas dry food products have to offer.
FOOD ITEMS THAT YOU SHOULD AVOID LIKE PLAGUE
When I was toying with the idea of starting the Cat-ologue I asked around for a few opinions. One of the important suggestions that I got revolved around the need to educate people that not all food is cat friendly… In fact, there are some items that are harmful and poisonous. Let’s take a look at them.
We all know the damage that this can cause to our bodies. The effect on a cat’s body is far more pronounced. While a tablespoon may seem like nothing to you, it is enough to cause liver and brain damage in your cat.
Caffine related products:
Caffine related products like tea, coffee and energy drinks aren’t meant for your cat’s body either. Not only do they make your cat irritable but they also cause heart palpitations, muscle tremors and rapid breathing.
Most people don’t even know that their cats are lactose intolerant. Not all cats suffer from it but a large number of them do. Lactose related products like milk can induce vomiting and diarrhea in your cat. That’s something you may want to avoid!
Cat’s can’t process excess fat in their diet. It causes diarrhea, vomiting and even pancreatitis. The commonest sources of fat include fat trimmings, using the fatty portion of raw meat, egg yolks etc. It is always wise to be conscious of how much fat your cat consumes. Lean meat is the best meat!
Luckily there has been a growing amount of awareness in the world and a large number of people are aware that chocolate is bad for cats. Chocolate contains a substance called Theobromine which causes seizures, muscle tremors and heart problems.
When we talk about grapes we are also referring to their dried form: Rasins. These are said to cause kidney failure in dogs and not much data is available about its toxicity in cats. In my opinion, it is best to avoid it.
Garlic and Onions:
Garlic and onions are said to affect the digestive tract. Frequent consumption can cause anemia.
Vetsnow has a really insightful article in this respect. If you have the time do browse through it!
A CAT’S NEED FOR HYDRATION
Like all creatures cats need to remain hydrated. That’s why I just had to include it in the Cat-ologue.
Did you know that a cat’s body is made up of 80 percent of water. I find it a little ironic because cats hate water! Jokes apart… The high content of water in the body means that a cat requires a constant external source of water to maintain a healthy life.
According to WebMD, a cat must drink the same amount of water (measured in ml) as the amount of kilocalories of food that it consumes everyday. This may sound simple to your ears but it isn’t always easy.
Cats who consume dry food and dry food alone have higher hydration requirements. This is because the dry food is dehydrated. Don’t believe me? Then do the following test… Take a little dry food and add a little water to it and wait. The food will absorb it. Continue doing this until the food stops absorbing water. You will be amazed at how much water you have poured into the bowl!
Cats should always have access to clean and fresh water. Remember that cats are very finicky. That is why you should change their water frequently.
OFF THE TOPIC
Moving a little off the topic, I just wanted to talk a little about the hardships that some cat parents face when it comes to feeding. The problems we face is the reason why the Cat-ologue was born in the first place!
Many of us work and are not at home through the day. This makes it very difficult for us to maintain constant meal times for our cats. Some cats get extremely greedy and wolf down the food as soon as it is placed in their bowls. What do you in such situations? Though we may want to, we can’t leave our jobs and stay at home with our feline friends.
That’s why I thought I would link the following articles that I had written before to the Cat-ologue. They may or may not help.
1.AUTOMATIC CAT FEEDER: A Revolution In Pet Feeding?
This article talks about the advancements that have been made in automatic pet feeders. It gives numerous examples of the Automatic pet feeders that are available around the world. Sadly our Indian version is not so varied.
2.AUTOMATIC PET FEEDER: The Indian Scenario!
This article deals with the facts that are closer to home. We don’t have many options available here. It’s sad but true! The article lists a few that may interest you.
Click on the link below to access the article.
My journey in developing the Cat-ologue has just begun. My aim is to provide reliable information to cat parents across India. You don’t need to scour through loads of web pages and break your head over what is right and what isn’t. Yes! The internet is filled with tons of information but the Cat-ologue will cater to the Indian situation.
As always… I’m open to suggestions. These Cat-ologue posts are meant to help you on your journey as a cat parent. Help me help you!