If cat fed by commercial diet do not use supplements
Never give cats the dog food or feed them by human-type diets or table scrapes
Cats may become addicted to single-ingredient diet ( liver or tuna)
Excess amount of the same food may have harmful effect:
cat fed exclusively by liver may develop vitamin A toxicity
fish may produce excess of unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E deficiency (raw fish contains thiaminase, which destroys thiamine)
Cats need high-calorie and high-protein diet.
Cats cannot convert methionine or cysteine to taurine (taurine is amino acid, found only in meat) and deficiency of those can cause retinal degeneration and cardiomyopathy.
Cats need arachidonic acid (present only in animal fat) and linoleic acid (present in both animal and vegetable fats)
Cats cannot convert beta carotene to vitamin A (liver source of vitamin A)
Cats cannot convert tryptophan to niacin (niacin is vitamin of B complex, it is essential for carbohydrate metabolism. Most animal and plant products have enough niacin to avoid supplementation. In cats, the signs of niacin deficiency are diarrhea, emaciation and death.
Cats need arginine (this amino acid occurred in proteins). Nutritional deficiency of arginine results in elevated blood ammonia concentration. Cats are very sensitive and within hours of eating an arginine-free diet, severe neurological signs develop, leading to death.
If you love your cat do not try to make it vegetarian. Cat is pure carnivore and the best diet for cat is meat
It is very difficult to produce properly balanced and adequate homemade diet for cat
It is recomended to use homemade recipes if cat in poor health, not eating and for special medical problems.
Commercial cat food come can be dry (10-12% of moisture), semi-moist (25-30% of moisture), canned food (70-80% of moisture)
Dry food: most economical but may be low in palatability, quality of protein, caloric density, and quality of fatty acids. Dry food can be used for self-feeding, prevent eating too much and is good for teeth. Good addition to dry food can be pieces of raw beef/lamb meat, chicken, fish, liver. Raw additions can be up to 15% of daily meal.
Semi-moist foods are available in individual packs, patties, or bulk bags. Sometimes it is mixed with dry food. Semi-moist foods are palatable and highly digestible, it can lead to obesity. May contain propylene glycol, sorbic acid, and phosphoric or hydrochloric acid to prevent spoilage.
Canned food can be not complete, non-balanced. Balanced products are expensive, highly palatable, can not be used for self-feeding, and do not keep the teeth and gums in good condition.
Value of product depends not on the form of food, but on the ingredients used.
Most commercial diets have balanced components for growth, lactation, obesity, seniority and sold in grocery store. Premium-priced food and special food for cats with health problems are available at pet shops and veterinary hospitals.
TRAVELING WITH CAT.
The family cat may not like the camping or stay for a long time in the car or hotel alone.
Our cat went with us to every camping and tour because she was quiet and well behaved only with us. When we tried to leave her with relatives or friends she became a monster. She had bite, scratched everybody and everything around her. With us she was a very nice cat, never bite or scratched, even in unknown places, or in presence of other animals around. But our cat also hated to be left alone. So, we have to take her everywhere with us while we where on the tour.
Our another cat when became older needed special care and feeding. Also she became not active and slept all the time. Short travel was good for her. She was much more active and ate much better after travel.
When cat should not travel?
If cat is pregnant, not healthy, traumatized, very young, very old, biting, vocalizing or/and has a litter box problems it should not travel on regular basis.
If cat is not attached to owner very much or will stay alone in unknown place for significant time, leave the cat home with sitter or find the boarding.
Make detailed travel plan
There is excellent company CAA in Canada and AAA in USA that provide the information about travel with animals. There are a lot of hotels, motels and airlines which are pet-friendly.
If you travel by car make sure that reserved hotel or motel is allowed to have a cat. Ask about the policies, if the cat needs to be in carrier all the time, for a example.
If you travel by airplane, you have to investigate many things. Airlines have strong regulations for animals to fly.
The cat has to be in condition approved by Animal Welfare Act. For example, cats should not travel in poor ventilated cargo hold, you have to take cat to passenger cabin with you.Reserve the tickets in advance, because airlines allowed only limited numbers of pets per flight.
Some destinations require up to 120 days quarantine.
Make sure that all veterinary papers are done properly and in advance.
Select the carrier or crate according to airline regulations, it needs to be kept under the seat in front of you throughout the flight.
If you travel with the cat to another country contact the Canadian embassy and Embassy or Consulate of country of you destination about rules and policies
If cat stays home
Ask other cat owners, veterinarians and professional associations about trusted cat sitters and boarding. Never leave your cat with someone you do not trust.
The best option is to leave a cat with responsible, loving relative or friend, whom your cat already knows.
If you do not have this option, look at the local classifieds for pet sitting services or call National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (http://www.petsitters.org/) or Pet Sitters International (http://www.petsit.com/). The pet sitter has to provide you with contract outlining terms of service and what is included in the fees, show references to you and be insured for commercial liability. The pet sitter have be affiliated with pet care organization.
Pet Sitter needs to be experienced in cat care, be able to handle medical, weather or home emergencies, visit your home and establish contact with your cat.
You have to provide the pet sitter with written information about your cat health, with list of current vaccinations, medication schedule, feeding, toys, hiding places, behavior and problems.
You have to leave a key, food/water dishes, food, medication, phone numbers of yours and cats veterinarian. Animal should be inside the house when you leave.
If your cat is injured, recently sick or needs special medical care, the best option can be to board a cat at veterinary clinic.
If your cat is healthy but could not travel with you the kennels boarding might be solution. Usually kennels are running by professional people and they provide food and exercises to your cat according to your instructions.
But cat will be kept in the cage and will miss communications with you. Leave with cat her favorite toy and t-shirt with your smell. It will send a signal to cat about your presence here.
Ask about contract with written information about major things. What is included in their fees, where the cat will be kept, what animals will be around, how and how often they will communicate with the cat, what kind of exercise they will provide and how often, what will be done in case of emergency, how often they clean cage and room, ventilation/heating/cooling in the room, what kind of bedding in the cage ( it should be soft ), introduce you to the supervisor and staff who will care about the cat.
You have to provide the board with list of current vaccinations, medication and feeding schedule, any problems with your cat behavior, your telephone number and your veterinarian phone.
How to prepare a cat for traveling
Contact information for travel with cat
Check websites for cargo, programs and services, baggage or pets information. You may also call and ask for advice in your particular situation.
Air Canada, http://www.aircanada.ca
Alaska Airlines, http://www.alaska-air.com
America West Airlines, http://www.americawest.com/
Companies which accept only carry-on animals:
American Airlines, http:www.americanair.com/
Canadian Airlines, http://www.
Continental Airlines, http://www.flycontinental.com/
Delta Airlines, http://www.delta-air.com/
Northwest Airlines, http://www.nwa.com/
Southwest Airlines, http://www.iflyswa.com/
Canadian Animal Hospital Association
Canadian Boarding Association
Canadian Humane Society
Pet Sitters International
Transportation is important!
Stop feeding the cat 4 hours before travel and do not feed in the moving vehicle to avoid motion sickness. Stop the car every 2 hour to give water and exercise if possible. The cat should have a litter box in the car. The cat must be car, carrier and leash trained before travel. The harness must be tight enough to prevent the cat rolling out of it. if it is only driver and cat in the car, the cat should be locked in a carrier. Do not keep the cat without a leash in a moving vehicle. Do not open windows. Never leave a cat in the parked car alone, the cat may be stolen, and exposed to heat or cold.
You have to decide if this type of transportation is absolute necessity for your cat because it can be unsafe or too stressful.
If it is necessity to fly check The Animal Welfare Act, to determine whether your cat is fit to fly. Find out what policies airlines have about transportation and accommodation your cat during flight. get in advance the health certificate for the cat and call embassy in advance to learn rules for your travel with the cat.
Pets are prohibited on Amtrak with exemption for seeing-eye dogs and other service animals.
Cat are prohibited on bus lines except some special tour buses. Always ask company about their policies before buying a ticket. Never try to hide your cat at any public transportation. If the cat will be discovered, the cat may be confiscated and you will face the legal action or fines.
How to pack a cat for travel
A cat has to be tattooed or chipped
Carrier needs to have two label:
Live animal and
Your name, address and phone number.
Carrier for cat
The right secure carrier is the most important thing for your cat safety on the trip.
For airplane the standard carrier has to be 13″W x 9″H x 23″ D or 10″W x 16″H x 24″D.
It must fit the space under a standard airplane seat in a passenger cabin.
If cat is flying in the cargo hold the carrier has to be approved by USDA-APHIS.
Choose the airline that value pets and will treat your cat with care. The legal system of airlines assigns pets the same value as a piece of luggage. Do not choose an airline that does not provide you with pet insurance and pay attention to fine prints before buying any insurance policy. Also check what hospitals at your destinations the general health pet insurance will be accepted.
Cat on airplane, hazards
Most cats arrive to the destinations in good conditions, but you have to know risks of flying for cats. Cats on flight might experience severe respiratory difficulties, especially Persian and other flat-nosed. Causes: stress, excitement, poor ventilation, dry air.
If the cat traveling in a holder, the most dangerous time is in unventilated compartment when plane is on the ground. The temperature in the hold could not be adjusted when plan out of air. Cat can be exposed to extreme heat or cold in that time.
If heater disabled during the flight, the temperature could drop to freezing level.
Tranquilizing or not
Most cats do not need to be tranquilized when shipped on airlines. They feel secure enough in appropriate container. Even if cats tend to be nervous in container, they are better be not tranquilized in the situation of minimal supervision.
Cats are often very nervous when riding in cars and for safety of cat and driver must be transported in carriers. For very nervous cat is possible to use promazine tranquilizers, which also prevents nausea and vomiting. Excessive nervousness of cat may also result in severe salivation, which can be controlled with atropine.
Tranquilized cat must have a supervision, because in that status cat is more sensitive to heat, cold or could damage itself by hitting objects or walls.