Sadly the most common form of death in cats is renal failure referred to as CRF (Chronic Renal Failure). Equally sadly most cat owners do not recognise the signs of this disease until it is too late. Lack of this knowledge has a direct link to your cat's longevity. Nearly 75% of kidney damage and loss occurs before the owner notices that something is wrong The purpose of this short article is to expose the link between diet and this disease. The most important lesson is to start your cat on a diet that keeps it healthy for a long and active life with you.
First, lets look at the signs and symptoms:-
1. Weight loss
2. Throwing up food
3. Becoming lethargic
4. Loss of appetite
5. Pulling out large lumps of fur from the coat, plus poor hair coat
Acting strangely as:
1. Seeming not to recognize you, eating litter
2. Increased thirst
3. Frequent urination
This is not an exhaustive list; however it contains the most common signs. Now let's look at what can be done to protect your pet before it is too late.
If you see these symptoms in your cat then clearly you should take it to the vet. Blood and urine samples will be taken for analysis as well as an X ray. This will often show that at least one kidney is enlarged, sometimes greatly. There can also be calcium deposits in both kidneys. Once the blood and urine tests are complete this will invariably determine a diagnosis of CRF. Sadly this condition often results in the cat's death.
In humans there is no cure for this and the treatment is dialysis or if one is lucky a kidney transplant. To do this for a cat would clearly be prohibitively expensive.
That, briefly, is CRF. But here is the real point. What can you do to ensure this does not happen in the first place? To digress for a moment, I was aware that the cats I grew up with lived to a great age, so much so that we felt they were part of the very fabric of the house! Fluffy, a big marmalade cat lived to be 26 and Sooty 28. The reason for their death was given as plain old age by our vet.
Why then, did I loose my first two cats so quickly, one at 7 and the other at 9 years? I seemed to have done everything correctly; from getting them the usual veterinary injections to buying what I thought was good quality food. The more I thought about it the more it hit me that my parents never bought ANY food for their cats. My mother prepared all her own food and fed them a mixture of raw and cooked food. Both thrived on it for a long and noticeably active life. Both cats hunted and returned with the usual "disgusting" mixture of live mice and dead rats! Needless to say, both had to be wormed from time to time. Strangely enough, I have since discovered that these rodents also contain some important ingredients! One of which is taurine, an essential dietary nutrient necessary for a healthy heart, good eyesight and immune system.
When I bought my first cat I, like most cat owners, headed for the pet store and bought the usual commercial brands thinking I was doing the right thing. After all, the cat ate the stuff it liked and left what it did not. There did seem to be a lot of waste, a far cry from my mother's cat food where she had two cats dancing round her feet and climbing up the kitchen units.
The latest research shows that commercial pet food is thought to have serious deficits in its nutritional content. This is often due to destruction by heat in the processing. Animal fats (mostly saturated) are added to make the food taste better along with colouring, preservatives and other chemicals. All this is a far cry from what a cat would eat in the wild. The result of this processed and unnatural food is a build up of toxins in the blood, lymph nodes and tissues of your cat's immune system, making your cat susceptible to disease.
The tide is rapidly turning against MRM (mechanically reclaimed meat) for human consumption. It is now thought that this sort of processed food seriously depletes our natural vitality and immune system. The same is true for cats. "You are what you eat" is a familiar phrase, and your pet is no different. Its natural diet would be raw red meat, bad in large quantities for us, but not for a cat, it processes and uses its food very differently. It is this lack of the correct food which includes raw red meat that can give your pet serious health problems.
In order to be healthy and active your cat needs the nutrients, enzymes and amino acids found in raw meat plus the fat. Without these a cat can develop such problems as skin diseases and problems with its coat. We all know that a dull coat is a sign that your cat is not well.
Back from my digression! Action, I banned commercial food, both wet and dry, and returned to my mother's way of caring for and feeding the cats. I now source and prepare my own cat food. To date our two new cats are both over 20 years old, happy, active and still hunting. My vet's bills are almost zero and I save money by NOT going to the pet store.
If your pet is ill already with renal disease your vet can help prolong its life with medication, and you can help by giving your cat food you can create easily and cheaply!
A renal diet should be designed to limit the intake of sodium and phosphorous. Protein should be high quality and restricted in order to try to decrease the waste products the kidneys have to filter out. The cat should have plenty of fresh water. By giving your cat what it would normally eat in the wild, many of the human-like health problems they suffer can be prevented. Our cats are not couch potatoes, and were never meant to be!
For more information and help please visit us at http://www.catfoodrecipes.com
Frank and Anne have lived with, loved and bred cats since they were both kids. Recent revelations of the horrors of the 2007 - 2008 pet food recall led Frank and Anne to totally re-evaluate how they cared for their pets. They now source and prepare all their own cat food. The change in both their cats have been dramatic, their health, energy and sheer vitality changed so much.
Check out this site and find out how you can improve your cats life.