Today I went to Borders on lunch to get a book called The Natural Cat by Anitra Frazier to read. I learned about it from Martha Stewart Living Radio and then saw it mentioned again on Gabrielle Brick’s blog.
Five years ago our cat and only child, Noah, began pulling out his own fur. the first vet recommended steroid shots, so once every 8 weeks we would take him for a shot, and that helped. But the shots weren’t good for longevity, you all already know I hate drugs, and we spent $60 each time plus the stress of the vet visit.
We switched vets in 2007 and they recommended Prescription Duck and Pea food (grain free) to see if that helped. It helped like the shots, so we were relieved to end the shots and just work on diet. He still had “hot spots” on his belly. I called into “Mark the Pet Keeper” on Martha Stewart Living Radio and he said that the licking releases endorphins and that Noah gets pleasure from licking, it calms him. So he said cover the spot until it can heal completely and all the fur comes back. We did and once it healed (which took MONTHS) we took off his sweater and all seemed okay. That lasted about 2 months. Then last summer Noah was outside with us on leash and took off after a bunny. He scratched his tummy climbing through bushes while we chased him (I had a poor hold on the leash) and ended up with a cut on his tummy. The licking started and we resorted to putting him in a shirt again to stop it.
We are still dealing with that wound today. It gets all better, sweater comes off, and he is back down to bloody skin within a week. I need to break that cycle.
His skin is dry (the prescription food is dry) and I have learned that all dry food for cats is bad, so I decided to move him to wet food. Wet food seems to make him puke unless we feed it to him like one bit at a time (he eats too fast). Plus, the ONLY kind he will eat is IAMS and I have a personal problem with that company so I don’t want him to eat their food.
I decided first to get him into a healthier version of the dry prescription food. We have replaced the Duck and Peas with Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck formula, which he LOVES. I love it because it is cheaper, does not require a trip to the vet, and it has less by products than the other food.
Now, I need to get him off the wet IAMS. I was going to try the same duck food in wet from Blue Buffalo and see if that helps. I have to order it, though, so that is a huge risk. I have thrown away more wet cat food because he just won’t eat it.
So maybe this book will have the answers. I sure hope so. I am not really thinking I want to make home-made cat food… but I love this little guy and want him to have the best possible life.
He hates wearing a sweater. It changes his personality.