Cats In Need of Human Care
Fullerton Chapter
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Did you know that you can help prevent
the suffering and death of millions of animals?

Spaying Female Cats

Spaying a female (removing the ovaries and uterus) is a veterinary procedure performed under general anesthesia and usually requires minimal hospitalization. The ASPCA strongly recommends spaying your pet as early as possible. Besides preventing unwanted breeding, spaying a female cat:

  • Reduces overpopulation in communities and shelters
  • Reduces the killing of unwanted cats and kittens in shelters
  • Decreases the risk of breast cancer
    • Breast cancer is fatal in about 90 percent of female cats
  • Eliminates the risk of pyometra (a pus-filled uterus)
    • Treatment of pyometra requires hospitalization, intravenous (IV) fluids, antibiotics and spaying
  • Eliminates the risk of ovarian and uterine cancer
  • Reduces feral cat populations which struggle daily to survive
  • Eliminates the heat cycle

    • Females will yowl and urinate more frequently, sometimes all over the house, advertising for mates. Often, they attract unneutered males who spray urine around the females' homes

Neutering Male Cats

Neutering a male (removing the testicles) is a veterinary procedure performed under general anesthesia and usually requires minimal hospitalization. The ASPCA strongly recommends neutering your pet as early as possible. Besides preventing unwanted breeding, neutering a male cat:

  • Greatly reduces aggressivness
  • Decreases the risk of feline leukemia (FelV) and feline autoimmune virus (FIV)
  • Prevents testicular cancer and prostate disease
  • Reduces the urge to fight and therefore suffer of abscesses
  • Reduces the urge to escape and roam
  • Reduces the urge to spray
    • Males mark territory by spraying strong smelling urine on all surfaces
  • Decreases the risk of mammary cancer
  • Reduces allergens
  • Decreases the chance of stud tail which is caused by overactive tail glands for scent marking

Almost everyone loves kittens, but some people lose interest when these animals grow up. As a result, millions of unwanted cats of all ages and breeds are euthanized annually or suffer as strays. Many of these are the result of unwanted, unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering. Rarely surviving for more than a few years on their own, strays die painfully by starvation, disease, freezing or being hit by cars.

Just the Facts, Please

Myth: A female cat should have a litter before she is spayed.
Fact: The sooner you spay your female, the better her health will be in the future. As long as a kitten weighs more than 2 pounds and is 2 months old, he or she can be neutered or spayed. Many veterinarians practice perfectly safe early sterilization. The longer a female goes unspayed, the greater the likelihood of developing mammary tumors or uterine infections. In fact, a female spayed before her first heat (6 to 9 months of age) has one-seventh the risk of developing mammary cancer as an intact female.

Myth: Spaying or neutering (sterilization) will alter my pets personality.
Fact: Any slight changes will be positive. Regardless of the age when spayed or neutered, your pet will remain a caring, loving and protective companion. Neutering will reduce the need to breed, and that has a calming effect on many animals. Neutered male felines tend to stop roaming and fighting, and they also lose the desire to mark their territory with urine.

Myth: Companion animals will become fat and lazy if they are neutered.
Fact: Absolutely not! Lack of exercise and overfeeding make pets fat and lazy not neutering. Your pet will not gain weight if you provide exercise and monitor food intake. Neutering is good for your pet, since sterilized pets tend to live an average of two to three years longer than unsterilized pets.

Myth: Sterilization is a dangerous and painful surgery for my pet.
Fact: Spaying and neutering are the most common surgeries performed on animals. With a minimal amount of home care, your pet will resume normal behavior in a couple of days.

Myth:
Children should witness the miracle of birth.
Fact: Countless books and videos are available to teach your children about birth in a responsible manner. Letting your pet produce offspring that you have no intention of keeping is teaching your children irresponsibility. Anyone who has seen an animal euthanized in a shelter for lack of a home knows the truth behind this dangerous myth.

Choosing the Right Food for Your Cat  

What you feed your cat is the single most important factor in his overall health. Putting a little thought into the food you feed your pets can pay off big time over the long run in lower vet bills and better quality and quantity of life for your cat.

Dr. Lisa A Pierson, DVM states in her article posted to the Veterinary Information Network that "An increasing number of American Veterinary Medical Association members, including board-certified veterinary internists, are now strongly recommending the feeding of canned food instead of dry kibble."

Why is canned food better for my cat than dry kibble?

Cats are Obligate Carnivores. This means they require an animal based high protein diet to be healthy. A cats ideal diet consists of muscle meat, organ meat and fat with only trace amounts of plant based foods consumed. Kibbled cat foods are higher in plant based protein sources, like soy, and low in actual animal based proteins. Dry cat foods also tend to by high in carbohydrates like corn, wheat and rice. Cats don't digest and utilize carbs like humans, dogs or other omnivores. High levels of carbohydrates in dry cat foods lead to excessively high blood glucose levels in cats leading some experts to refer to kibble as "diabetes in a bag.".

Carbs, not fat, are what makes your cat obese

A cats digestive system is highly evolved to efficiently break down and utilize proteins and fats, but cannot break down carbs into anything that can be immediately utilized. Thus carbs are stored as fats in the cats body. A high protein, low carb diet, the "catkins" diet if you will, is most ideal for maintaining health in cats. Cats require only 3-5% of their total diet be made up of carbohydrates. Most kibbled cat foods are 35-50% Carbohydrates, with some brands even higher.

What makes canned food better than dry?

Canned foods are not only lower in carbohydrates than dry foods, but they are also much higher in moisture. In nature, a cat would derive most of his water intake from his meals and not through drinking. Most cats dont' drink enough to maintain hydration. On top of that the high fiber content of kibbled foods cause further dehydration of the cat during digestion.Dry cat food contains only 7-10% moisture, while a cats natural diet would be 70-80% water. The majority of canned cat foods contain approximately 78% water, making canned food the more natural diet. Feeding a canned food increases water intake which positively influences overall health. Most vets will agree that cats with Kidney disease and Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), as well as chronic constipation and hairballs benefit greatly from the added moisture of a canned food diet. In the case of FLUTD, many times simply switching from dry to canned food will greatly reduce or even eliminate what was a chronic condition.

But isn't canned food bad for my cats teeth?

This is a myth, as is its corollary, that dry food cleans your cats teeth. Dry food, even dry food formulated and marketed as a "dental diet" shatters when it hits the tip of the cats tooth, completely missing the gum line area where most tartar accumulates and leads to gum disease. Also, very little of the kibble a cat eats is actually chewed, with most pieces being swallowed whole thus having no impact on the teeth at all. Studies have shown that canned food allows no more buildup of calculus on cats teeth than dry food diets. The best way to protect your cats dental health, is to brush your cats teeth, and take them to a qualified veterinarian for routine dental care.

If dry food is so bad for my cat, why is it sold?

The answer is easy really; because grains and plant proteins are cheap, and feeding kibbled food is more convenient for owners; cheap and convenient sells! Just because its cheaper and more convenient doesn't mean its what is best for your cats health. It is true that feeding a canned food diet is somewhat more expensive than feeding dry food, and the required meal feeding schedule that comes with a canned food diet can be inconvenient, but both are well worth it in the long run.

But I just can't afford to feed a 100% canned food diet

If you can't feed a 100% wet food diet, then replace just one meal a day with canned food instead of dry to start. Some canned food is better than none at all. Also most experts would agree that a lower quality canned food is better than a higher quality dry food. Even a grocery store brand canned cat food will have the 78% moisture content, fewer carbs and more meat products. Fancy Feast even has several grain free varieties available for just pennies a can.

I want to feed my cat a high quality canned food diet, where can I go?

The demand for higher quality pet foods has been met in recent years by an increased supply of pet food companies using human grade, higher quality ingredients, setting the pet food industry to a new standard of excellence. Some chain pet supply stores have started carrying these higher quality foods. Most chain stores now carry Blue Buffalo and Wellness brand cat foods. It is, however, the local pet supply stores that are leading the way in the pet food revolution.

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