What started all this was I took Misty to the Vet for an eye issue on Sept. 14,2008. She had scratched her eyeball and the vet gave me an eye ointment to treat her. She has been fine until about two weeks ago. Misty has been "snoring" at night. Then she started wheezing last week during the day. As her care giver, I used her visit to the vet as a starting point to back-track what had changed in her life.
The first thing I did was wash her "blanky" that was in the cat carrier that accompanied to the vet. My first step was to put the cat carrier and her "blanky" in the closet where she could not access it. Three days passed but the wheezing was increasing. So, I went back and thought about what else I had changed in her life. I bought the same food, but I had run by a local convenience store and picked up cat litter. AWWWW! The cat litter.
For the last 7 years I have used the same brand of cat litter. Three weeks ago I picked up a different brand- I admit only because it was convenient for ME, and guess what! The cat litter was the only change in her life that I HAD MADE ON HER BEHALF. Man do I feel bad!
My husband and I started researching cat allergies on the internet at 3:00 in the morning. WHO KNEW- cats can have allergies just like us!. The first advice was to take a wash cloth soaked in hot water and wash her down from head to toe. Meanwhile, Steve-my husband- was conducting his own experiment in the bathroom. He had taken the cat litter I bought and stuck his hand in it. It came out covered in DUST. Running into the living room, he said "look at this!" I thought OKAY, if Misty is in the litter box and stirring up the "dust" by covering her business, she's not only breathing this dust in, but her paws are covered in it and when she grooms herself; she's licking her paws and swallowing the dust as well.
The solution was not only to change her cat litter to a NON DUST cat litter, but I took a wash cloth, soaked in warm water and washed her down from head to toe. I figured if my husband stuck his hand in the bag of cat litter and it came out covered in dust; then, when Misty washed herself not only was she breathing in the dust, she was also licking it to clean her paws to clean herself.
Man- do I feel like a fool, going for cheap, and convenient on my cat's behalf I may have harmed her. Good news is she's fine now and on the road to recovery.
I guess the point of this article is what's best and convenient for us is not always best for our cat family members who have no voice, and can't tell us what's bothering them. We have to be their guardians and care givers.
Karen Mckee-proud pet owner of Misty