Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Cat Tract

The canned food we've been giving the cats for the past year and a half has been changing its formula more than New Coke recently. The latest incarnation has been as a watery glop that left them unsatisfied, making a frightening number of trips to the litterbox and grabbing food frantically off our dinner plates.

So last night on the way home I picked up a bag of one of those "premium, natural" dry foods that's fortified, chelated, electroplated, etc. Chico and Ashley attacked the bag before I had it open, and I doled a cup into each of their food bowls before sitting down to read my e-mail.

About a half-hour later, I hear this gurgling noise. My neighbor's sink must be on the fritz again, I figured. This kept up for four or five minutes until I figured I'd better investigate an alternative source. It turned out to be Chico, who was sprawled on the kitchen table emitting the loudest borborygmi I'd ever heard in my life.

I awoke my napping husband and we scrambled for shoes, jackets and the number of the emergency vet. Then we happened to notice that Chico was looking perfectly fine, and regarding us with an expression that said, "What?" So we took off the jackets and put down the phone and just sat there watching him for the next ten minutes, waiting for him to explode out one end or the other. Chico stretched out and went back to sleep, and never did explode. His midsection soon stopped gurgling.

At last headcount, both felines were just fine, exhibiting the restful and relaxed poses of people who had just come off diets. So far, so good.

I'm glad they're okay. Cats have sensitive digestive systems and can get very sick if their diet is changed suddenly, especially when changing from a wet food to dry. The trick is to introduce the new food over a period of a week or so, by mixing increasing amounts of the new food into the old. The dry food can be moistened to help it blend with the canned.
Anonymous--we're doing that now. Thanks.
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