CAT NUTRITION: THE DEBATE OVER A DRY FOOD ONLY DIET

As I life long cat guardian, I have had a few felines who preferred to eat only dry food. One, my beloved Siamese Bubba, developed stones and a urinary obstruction that required emergency surgery. Here at St. Francis Animal Rescue, we have several cats who are dry food addicts. There are concerns over this diet as the water content is low and the carbohydrate load is too high. The dry food protein is often from more plant based grains than animal based source. We all know cats are obligate carnivores and not the best water drinkers. They will drink some water from their bowl but can get considerable moisture from eating wet, canned food. Again, the danger of too little water is urinary tract infection or the formation of stones and possible fatal obstruction of the urinary tract. If at all possible, a dry food addict should be slowly to eat small amounts of wet food daily.

FELINE IMMUNODEFICIENCY FACTS

FIV stands for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, a condition that was only discovered about 15 years ago. It is a slow progressing virus that gradually may affect a cat’s immune system. It cannot be spread to humans and is not easily passed between cats. For example, it cannot be spread in litter boxes, water or food bowls and when licking or playing. Rarely does a mother cat transmit this virus to her kittens. FIV can be spread through serious bite wounds or from a kitty with badly infected gums. A neutered cat is unlikely to be aggressive and spread the virus to to other cats. FIV positive cats are euthanized in many shelters, even some of those that are “no-kill.” At St. Francis our FIV cats who are placed for adoption mingle freely with the other shelter cats. We may recommend that this kitty be an “only child” if an adopter has concerns. FIV positive cats should be kept indoors and fed a high quality diet. If health problems arise, a Vet should be consulted immediately. We have placed several loving FIV positive adult cats in homes where they are treasured by their caretakers.