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Adventures of the Jovial Orangekin

FLUTD and hopeful food prescribing vet.

October 11th 2012 1:47 pm
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I went to a new vet for a rabies shot. The vet gave a talk about feline urinary tract blockage and then gave me a prescription for cat food that he sells for $30/6 lbs. I found out a similar food is available without a prescription for waaay less. Is feline urinary blockage a scam?

And the prescription was entirely preventative, neither Logan nor I have any health problems.

We eat original Iams with chicken. This meets the AAFCO guidelines for complete and balanced nutrition for adult cats. Our vet in Michigan, recommended feeding us either Iams or Hills Science Diet. The vet here in Florida blamed Science Diet for killing his dog with cancer.

This allegation is pretty crazy, how would he know that Science Diet was to blame--he had a tell when he said this, his eyes shifted to the side and there was a look of concern that passed his face very quickly showing he was not sure of what he said.

Iams he compared to eating Haagen Dazs--which is also kind of crazy considering that it meets nutritional requirements and is not some kind of snack food, it's not like the mommies are feeding cheese puffs to us.

When he prescribed Royal Canin SO for Urinary Tract without a diagnosis, he went too far as there is no actual illness and the illness is not imminent.

While the particular food is labelled for prevention of FLUTD, which means it also meets complete and balanced guidelines and can be fed without an actual diagnosis, the vet could have done more to figure out if a prescription food was really necessary considering that Logan and I are healthy and have no complaints. For example, what about figuring out the ph of our urine first. True, we are both neutered males (gibs) and I am overweight, but these are risk factors, not predictors.

The vet said that he used to see many more FLUTD cases in the past and that they have significantly decreased since he worked in an emergency veterinary clinic. He did not say this, but the decrease in FLUTD cases has to do with changes in how cat food is made--it is now made to address the issue of overly alkaline cat urine which leads to FLUTD. There is not pervasive prescription of his food.

So, unless the cat is struggling with the already acidic urine inducing food, it does not need a different food that might cause other types of mineral imbalances and maybe even a different type of urolith (kidney stone). Certainly hydration is important, and if one is worried, an OTC urinary tract food is probably fine. And when a cat gets older, it also makes sense to feed a senior cat food that addresses biological changes.

But, it seems that the vet crossed some ethical boundaries and his flippant assessment of Iams and Science Diet along with a prescription to treat a non-existent illness makes me want to run the other way. My issue is not only about money. We already feed our cats a good quality food. I suspect that if we fed Meow Mix or one of its many generics there would be a real problem.

An all natural pet store I visited recently also made a sales pitch on feline urinary tract blockage. Apparently this is a good way to sell expensive stuff.

I'm convinced that this urinary tract thing is a good thing to watch out for. So, I'll be looking into the cheaper alternatives to the prescription diet. For example, since obesity is a risk factor, I might try some weight control Iams. But since there is nothing wrong at the moment, we'll finish the food they still have remaining. Maybe some day we'll have enough money to buy the prescription stuff if it is worth it.


New Tags

April 1st 2010 3:52 pm
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Today, mommy 2 got both Logan and me new and updated tags. My tag, that I got when I was just adopted, was a psychedelic hippie tie die colored tag. Mommy 1 thought this looked dorky and didn’t really like it. It was the only thing the mommies could find at the time. Perhaps it was good for a small child’s animal.

Yes, it was OK for a kitten too, particularly one that was not the sharpest needle in the pin cushion, one that was clumsy, wacky, and always getting into things. I was a funny cat.

I’m still much happier and happy go lucky than my brother, Logan (who is the brooding, serious, intellectual type), but at almost 11 lbs., a psychedelic tag is not quite my cup of tea.

Logan got an updated tag as well. Now, our tags are both silver colored (stainless steel, really) and have identical information except our names. The mommies wanted to put more information that might help them get us back if we are ever lost—such as the fact that we are both microchipped.

Since mommy 2 was working on making us safer (particularly now that there are open windows—with screens of course), he also decided to update our info on the microchip registries. He found just a couple things to add or change and added a picture of me on my registry profile. Logan already had a picture there.


Open Windows

April 1st 2010 3:51 pm
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Last night, the mommies opened the living room window for the first time this spring. Of course, there's still a screen on the window. I was so excited!

I sat in front of the open window for many hours into the night. My head darted back and forth looking at birds, people, cars, and insects. At one point, a moth flew in through a crack. I saw it fly into the kitchen and above the oven.

I followed the moth and wanted so much to jump up on the oven. I reared up on my hind paws and stretched up. I'd look once in a while at mommy 2 who was sitting at the kitchen table and meow at him. Oh, I so wanted to go up there.

Meanwhile, mommy 2 watched the moth fly out of the kitchen and into the semi-dark living room. He pointed his finger at the moth and told me to go get it. I came up to mommy 2, knowing that he was telling me something important, maybe where the moth had gone.

I even looked where he was pointing and meowed, asking him to show me better where the moth had gone. I didn't find the moth, but I continued looking for it about two hours after I had lost it.

Later in the night, a group of wild college kids (drunk?) were on the lawn. This was fascinating!

Today, the mommies opened the window again, and I was so happy to go back to it. It is so much more exciting and stimulating after having been inside in the quiet all winter. Yes, I could see out the windows, but it’s so much more alive when there’s just a screen between me and the world outside.

Mommy 2 likes to see all the cats in the nearby apartments’ windows now that they are open also. He likes to see what kind of cats live where. It is fun to live in a place with many cats.

Sometimes, we hear the sounds of our neighbor’s cats. Once, a neighbor’s cat greeted his owners very loudly when they came home. I ran to our front door inquisitively trying to figure out what was wrong. I think he may have been hungry.

Recently, Logan went very crazy carrying around a stuffed frog toy and yowling the same way he had done with the snowman after he returned from boarding May 2009. Mommy 2 wonders if it had something to do with the sounds of neighboring cats or all the new birds coming into the area outside.

Mommy 2 took the frog away. Logan looked surprised and stopped yowling and hasn’t yowled since. Taking away the snowman worked earlier. He hadn’t yowled since the snowman was taken away.


Battle Tactic Training with Logan.

November 23rd 2009 11:01 am
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Last night, mommy 2 was watching Logan and me fight. Now, I don't learn things very quickly (but that's part of why I'm so sweet), so mommy 2 was watching me try to pounce Logan from the ground when he was on a seat. I kept jumping up at Logan and Logan swatted me down. I'm very persistent and I do things over and over even if someone stops me. Mommy 2 was wondering why I didn't go around the chair and pounce logan from a different angle. Being a fast little kitten, this is no problem for me. After about three attempts, this is what I did, for the first time! I jumpted on Logan's back and bit him in the back near the shoulders and the neck. Of course, Logan got me back down on the ground and I tried going around again to try the same angle. This time, Logan was ready. The funny thing is that I didn't figure out that the variability of the angle was what threw Logan off, not just that particular angle. Anyway, I'm a slow learner, but I'm learning a little bit.


Cat books don't know me!

September 2nd 2009 12:25 am
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Who says cats sleep most of the day? I'm always awake and want to go go go!


Tumble with Logan, I just want to play.

September 2nd 2009 12:19 am
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Today was the second time the mommies put Logan and me in the living room together. I was really happy to see him and I wanted to play. He wanted to play, too. So we rumbled and tumbled for a bit and at moments it was pretty intense. But then, Logan wanted to go to sleep. Sleep! Who would sleep when there is so much fun to be had!

So, I went and swatted him in the face and he got really upset. We tumbled a lot more until I was exhausted and Logan was on top of me and I couldn't hold him up any longer. I started to squeal and mommy 2 grabbed me and took me to my room for safety.

Then, mommy 2 petted me, fed me off his hand, and I drank lots of water. What tough work it is to play with my lazy big brother!



September 1st 2009 7:52 pm
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The first two days at home, mommies gave me IAMS wet kitten food. The people at the Humane Society said to give me both that and Science Diet dry kitten food. Mommies were worried that I would be addicted to only eating wet food and they would have trouble getting me on dry food.

They spent the first two days mixing dry and wet food together. It was difficult figuring out the portions and they accidently put twice the amount of food on my plate. Of course, if I didn't eat it all within a day, it meant that the wet food was becoming dry (and maybe even rot) and the dry food was becoming stale. They threw away what was left and gave a clean dish with only dry food on it.

After a bit, I was eating lots of dry food and I even finished my first portion. They plan to give me dry food twice a day (half the recommended amount each time so it stays fresh). So, now they have nice dry food they can give me each day to grow to be a strong kitty and they don't have to worry about buying wet food for me forever.

I was even eating entire snackies of some 15 kibbles from mommy 2's hand.

Anyhow, it wouldn't work when I get to meet Logan more as he slipped in my room twice yesterday and each time went straight for my wet food. They'd have to feed both of us wet food if we can hang out together.


I'm home!

August 30th 2009 11:51 pm
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I've been home for only two days and I've already worn out Mommy 2 completely!

The mommies came to pick me out from a Humane Society in a big city. At the shelter, there were a lot of orange kittens. They wanted an orange male with stripes with a mellow personality if possible. They were looking for a kitten between 7 and 10 weeks, earlier the better so that I could be most bonded with and that I would learn the habits that mommy 1 wanted for me the most. That I might trust her, cuddle with her, sit in her lap for hours, let her rub my tummy and be all in all her very own friend. My big brother, Logan, had been traumatized by long car rides and almost a month at a bording facility and hadn't been very cuddly after that with mommy 1. On the other hand, mommy 2 had married mommy 1 (2 is a man) and so he moved in with us and for some odd reason Logan started preferring him.

Anyhow, back to the story. I was the only striped orange kitten out of many that was labeled "mellow." I was only 8 weeks old. I had been potty trained, microchipped, and had many medical exams, preventative deworming (although no worms were found), and even had my claws clipped so they wouldn't be sharp (I still have them though, they're important to me!). I also knew how to use a scratching post.

So, after filling out billions of paperwork, my mommies were able to take me home. The first day, the mommies wanted to make sure I would adjust well and the big street cat would not eat me alive, so they put me in the office. While all sorts of cat literature talks about fearful kittens hiding under couches for days, pooping in their mommies bed because they are too afraid to venture to the litter box and not knowing what to do with all the rooms in the house, I was different. I explored the office in a matter of an hour or so and then I wanted to bolt out the door as fast as possible to meet the other cat I smelled and see the other rooms.

When I ran out the door, Logan crouched down and started to wiggle his tail

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