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What is a Tiffany?

STORYTIME with Carolyn!

Let’s talk about Jade! But first.. let’s talk family background! Chocolate Chip (second picture) was a CCA registered Sable Burmese male we had the pleasure of owning. Kona *now named Shug, and 18 years old* is a Natural Mink Tonkinese (3rd picture). Pretty babies!

Jade (first picture) was the first Tiffany *now called Tibetan* Tonkinese Michelle had ever seen! How cool is that? She would now be 15, and she was one of my favorite cats when I was little!

Our Tiffany’s are few and far between, but definitely a favorite around here! They are just so cute! Because we all love to have a daily “Awe” – I have attached a picture of one of our current Tiffany kittens who already has a home. CUTE!

Have a purrfectly marvelous day everyone!

Carol

What is the right food?

Good afternoon, cat lovers! We get questions all the time about what the best diet for your cat is. We are always looking for the best thing for our kitties, and Michelle wanted to write about what she had read up on this past week! It is a long post, but settle in! *It is worth taking the time to read!*

A quick update about nutrition and potential threats to your pets’ health from feeding grain free and boutique diets. I regularly read Clinicians Brief, a journal for veterinarians. The May issue has an article by Dr Pierce, DVM, DACVIM at Colorado State university Veterinary teaching hospital reviewing the case of a very well cared for pet, Nora, with diet associated dilated cardiomyopathy, DCM (heart failure). She was in respiratory distress and had a cough with poor appetite, loss of muscle, and avoiding exercise.

Dr Pierce reports that the US FDA released a notice in July of 2018 and has since updated their investigation into diets of concern including diets containing peas, lentils, fava beans, tapioca, barley, chickpeas, other legume seeds, and potatoes and/or exotic ingredients like kangaroo, bison, venison, etc. The FDA warns that pet foods from boutique companies and small manufacturers with these ingredients or claims to be grain free are suspected to be linked to hundreds of cases of diet associated DCM. Furthermore, studies of pets with heart failure demonstrate poorer outcomes when fed grain free diets.

Kittens and cats will only reach their full potential if they eat great, fresh food. The analysis on pet food labels is a calculated estimate. Only feeding trials really establish that a food is suitable. Your cats require specific nutrients, not particular ingredients or a certain percent dietary protein or fat.

We feed Purina because Purina carefully sources and stores their ingredients, maintains a cat colony for real world food testing, does cutting edge research, and has control over their manufacturing process. In contrast, many so called premium brands actually are produced by another manufacturer whose profit depends only on fast production. This leads to poor quality and recalls in spite of premium sounding ingredients. 
Fortunately, the veterinary cardiologist was able to treat Nora, and after transitioning to a commercial , non-boutique, non-exotic protein diet, Nora did recover and is leading her normal life! Way to go Dr. Pierce! ~ Michelle

We hope this helps all our fellow kitty loving friends! What do you think about this health post? What does your furry friend eat at each meal? We would love to hear feed-back! *WINK WINK*

Please see our recommendations for our current foods here: Kittentanz Store

See you soon!

Catman!

RIP Grumpy Cat!

RIP Grumpy!

The world lost another Icon this week!  Grumpy Cat has passed away.  She was a cat that had the dwarfism gene and was prone to have urinary troubles.  She passed away from complications from a UTI. 

It is good to remember that an important role in maintaining your cats’ health is avoiding and managing urinary troubles. Whenever I hear of changes in a kitty’s litter habits, I first advise to see your vet for urinalysis, blood work, and physical exam to rule out health problems such as obesity, impacted anal glands, diabetes, urinary tract infection, or crystals, thyroid disease, and high blood pressure. Some cats simply find cattery life stressful, and these cats need to retire from breeding.

If your vet finds no physical problem, consider litter box basics: boxes should be large, immaculately clean, far from noisy appliances, and safe from toddlers or litter box bullies. Be sure your big cat has a really big litter box, too! Older cats need low sided, easy to find litter boxes located in areas without physical barriers such as steps or tall pet doors because old joints may become stiff and painful and old bladders may not have much control.  Look for my in depth tips in Chapter 9 “Litter Box Woes.”

In some cats, anxiety can lead to Feline Idiopathic Cystitis, FIC, and even obstructions, FLUTD. Why? If another pet or child or even changes in routine frighten your kitty, kitty may respond by hiding with decreased drinking and/or holding urine which in turn may lead to discomfort urinating, crystals, or infection. We request antibiotics when no cause is found because sometimes the cat’s infection escapes detection. If antibiotics improve symptoms, there was infection, so be sure to prevent recurrence by flowing up with a recheck at your vet and making sure your cat gets plenty of fluids.

If your cat is straining and crying in the litter box, this is an emergency. Hours count. See your vet ASAP. Cats that are unable to pass urine for as short a time as 36 hours are in serious trouble. These cats may need surgery and will need substantial vet care to recover. We do not use such cats in our breeding program, and we recommend retiring your breeders that have health troubles.

Urinary Tract Infections, UTI, cause pain and difficulty urinating. Your cat may have blood in the urine, visit the box frequently, and/or urinate in places other than the litter box including on furniture and beds. Age matters. Infections in younger cats are often resolved with antibiotics and/or change in diet and environment, while UTI in cats over 10 years with no prior history of UTI is frequently secondary to another medical condition.*citation*

Some cats will have kidney or bladder stones or crystals without a detectable infection. Your vet will analyze the sediment and prescribe suitable diet to prevent the specific crystals your cat forms. Kittentanz recommends selecting suitable canned food and then adding more water because diluting the urine also helps to dissolve crystals and prevent future problems.

Once your cat has been diagnosed with a UTI or crystals, we strongly recommend changes in your care. Switch to a canned food diet with added water to help your kitty recover and to decrease the chance of another infection. Use Pretty Litter which turns red if there is blood in the urine and blue if there is UTI https://prettylittercats.com/

Consider your cat’s physical fitness. Fat, out of shape, cats can have trouble fully emptying their bladder, which predisposes to crystals and infections. Canned food diet in controlled portions and increased playtime will help these cats flush out their bladders and reach a more healthy weight.

Starting at 7 or 8, senior cats need to be screened every year for Chronic Kidney Disease, CKD. Many vets screen geriatric cats twice a year starting at about 12. One in 3 cats over 15 has CKD. If your cat hates going to the vet, then find a vet in your area who makes house calls. A simple way to monitor your elderly cat’s kidney output at home is to use Dr Elsey’s Health monitor everyday litter.

https://www.chewy.com/dr-elseys-health-monitor-everyday-cat/dp/120092

CKD in older cats is not cured, but good vet care and proper diet may extend the length and will improve the quality of your senior cat’s life. Once again, we recommend canned food diet because maintaining higher water intake will help your older cat feel better.

Your vet can recommend suitable foods. If your cat does not like one food, ask for others. There are many, many options, and you can even order a wide variety of prescription canned and dry foods online.  Here are links to several flavors of a non-prescription canned food for young cats with recurring UTI:

Chicken https://www.chewy.com/purina-pro-plan-focus-adult-urinary/dp/52846

Ocean whitefish https://www.chewy.com/purina-pro-plan-focus-adult-classic/dp/121427

turkey & giblets https://www.chewy.com/purina-pro-plan-focus-adult-classic/dp/121429

Salmon https://www.chewy.com/purina-pro-plan-focus-adult-urinary/dp/129813

Beef & Chicken https://www.chewy.com/purina-pro-plan-focus-adult-classic/dp/121425

However, some cats and owners prefer dry diets, so here are a couple options.

https://www.chewy.com/purina-one-urinary-tract-health/dp/33830

https://www.chewy.com/purina-pro-plan-focus-adult-urinary/dp/52836

Easter Lillies are beautiful but, deadly to cats!

It is Spring and the Easter lilly is going to be a common flower on tables everywhere this weekend. Lillies are beutiful but they pose great dangers for cats!

Lillies are a member of the lilium family and are really dangerous for our feline Family members.

Here are some tips from the Pet Poison Hotline!

Sources of poisoning: Many plants of the Lilium and Hemerocallis species are very poisoning. Commonly known as the Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter, or Japanese Show lily, these plants result in severe acute kidney failure.

Mechanism of action: The exact toxin has not been identified, but is known to be water soluble. All parts of the plant – the leaf, pollen, stem, flower are considered poisonous. Kidney damage (specifically, renal tubular necrosis) occurs within 24-72 hours of ingestion.

Common signs of poisoning: Signs of poisoning often develop within 6-12 hours of exposure. Early signs include vomiting, inappetance, lethargy, and dehydration. Untreated, signs worsen as acute kidney failure develops, and signs of not urinating or urinating too frequently, not drinking or excessive thirst, and inflammation of the pancreas may be seen with lily poisoning. Rarer signs include walking drunk, disorientation, tremors, and even seizures.

Antidote and treatment: There is not antidote for lily poisoning. That said, prompt veterinary attention is necessary. The sooner you bring in your cat, the better and more efficiently your veterinarian can treat the poisoning. Decontamination (like inducing vomiting and giving drugs like activated charcoal to bind the poison in the stomach and intestines) are imperative in the early toxic stage, while aggressive intravenous fluid therapy, kidney function monitoring tests, and supportive care can greatly improve the prognosis. IV fluids need to be started, ideally, within 18 hours for the best prognosis for your cat.

Threat: Just 2-3 leaves, or even the pollen groomed off the fur, can result in poisoning in a cat. If untreated, acute kidney failure will develop and be fatal. Thankfully, lily poisoning doesn’t cause kidney failure in dogs, but if a large amount is ingested, it can result in some gastrointestinal signs in our canine friends.

What about other types of lilies? Other types of lilies like Peace, Peruvian, and Calla lilies don’t cause deadly kidney failure, but they also can be mildly poisonous too, as they contain oxalate crystals which result in tissue irritation to the mouth, tongue, pharynx, and esophagus – resulting in minor drooling. If your cat is seen consuming any part of a lily, bring your cat (and the plant) immediately to a veterinarian for medical care.

Kittentanz owner, Michelle, discusses urinary troubles in cats:

Whenever I hear of changes in a kitty’s litter habits, the first advice I give our customers is to see your vet for urinalysis, blood work, and a physical exam to rule out health problems.  There are many health reasons for a cat’s litter habits to change, such as obesity, impacted anal glands, diabetes, urinary tract infection, or crystals, thyroid disease, and high blood pressure.

If your vet finds no physical problem, consider litter box basics: boxes should be large, immaculately clean, far from noisy appliances, and safe from toddlers or litter box bullies. Be sure your big cat has a really big litter box, too! Older cats need low sided, easy to find litter boxes located in areas without physical barriers such as steps or tall pet doors because old joints may become stiff and painful and old bladders may not have much control.  Look for my in depth tips in “Litter Box Woes.”

Image titled Prevent Urinary Tract Infections in Cats Step 4

 

In some cats, anxiety can lead to Feline Idiopathic Cystitis, FIC, and even obstructions, FLUTD. Why? If another pet or child or even changes in routine frighten your kitty, kitty may respond by hiding with decreased drinking and/or holding urine which in turn may lead to discomfort urinating, crystals, or infection. We request antibiotics when no cause is found because sometimes the cat’s infection escapes detection. If antibiotics improve symptoms, there was infection, so be sure to prevent recurrence.

If your cat is straining and crying in the litter box, this is an emergency. Hours count. See your vet ASAP. Cats that are unable to pass urine for as short a time as 36 hours are in serious trouble. These cats may need surgery and will need substantial vet care to recover.

Urinary Tract Infections, UTI, cause pain and difficulty urinating. Your cat may have blood in the urine, visit the box frequently, and/or urinate in places other than the litter box including on furniture and beds. Age matters. Infections in younger cats are often resolved with antibiotics and/or change in diet and environment, while UTI in cats over 10 years with no prior history of UTI is frequently secondary to another medical condition.

Some cats will have kidney or bladder stones or crystals without a detectable infection. Your vet will analyze the sediment and prescribe suitable diet to prevent the specific crystals your cat forms. Kittentanz recommends selecting suitable canned food and then adding more water because diluting the urine also helps to dissolve crystals and prevent future problems.

Once your cat has been diagnosed with a UTI or crystals, we strongly recommend changes in your care. Switch to a canned food diet with added water to help your kitty recover and to decrease the chance of another infection. Use Pretty Litter which turns red if there is blood in the urine and blue if there is UTI https://prettylittercats.com/

Feline Urinary Tract

 

Consider your cat’s physical fitness. Fat, out of shape, cats can have trouble fully emptying their bladder, which predisposes to crystals and infections. Canned food diet in controlled portions and increased playtime will help these cats flush out their bladders and reach a more healthy weight.

Starting at 7 or 8, senior cats need to be screened every year for Chronic Kidney Disease, CKD. Many vets screen geriatric cats twice a year starting at about 12. One in 3 cats over 15 has CKD. If your cat hates going to the vet, then find a vet in your area who makes house calls. A simple way to monitor your cat’s elderly cat’s kidney output at home is to use Dr Elsey’s Health monitor everyday litter.

https://www.chewy.com/dr-elseys-health-monitor-everyday-cat/dp/120092

 

CKD in older cats is not cured, but good vet care and proper diet may extend the length and will improve the quality of your senior cat’s life. Once again, we recommend canned food diet because maintaining higher water intake will help your older cat feel better.

Your vet can recommend suitable foods. If your cat does not like one food, ask for others. There are many, many options, and you can even order a wide variety of prescription canned and dry foods online.  Here are links to several flavors of a non-prescription canned food for young cats with recurring UTI:

Chicken https://www.chewy.com/purina-pro-plan-focus-adult-urinary/dp/52846

Ocean whitefish https://www.chewy.com/purina-pro-plan-focus-adult-classic/dp/121427

turkey & giblets https://www.chewy.com/purina-pro-plan-focus-adult-classic/dp/121429

Salmon https://www.chewy.com/purina-pro-plan-focus-adult-urinary/dp/129813

Beef & Chicken https://www.chewy.com/purina-pro-plan-focus-adult-classic/dp/121425

However, some cats and owners prefer dry diets, so here are a couple options.

https://www.chewy.com/purina-one-urinary-tract-health/dp/33830

https://www.chewy.com/purina-pro-plan-focus-adult-urinary/dp/52836

Stress and the “Dog like” Siamese and Tonkinese!

The personalities of Siamese and Tonkinese are special and make for unique and wonderful companions but are sometimes accused of being loud or grumpy….

Siamese and Tonkinese cats and their relatives are very affectionate and talky. Not all affectionate cats are clingy or loud, but they may be, particularly when feeling stressed.  One of the major reasons of stress in a cat’s life is separation anxiety.  Cats can be much stressed when they feel that their “people” are leaving them!

You can reduce separation anxiety and increase kitty’s confidence and independence using the following tips:

  • Leaving the radio or television on when you go out provides the illusion of company and masks frightening noises.
  • Don’t make a fuss when leaving, and have keys ready for a quick exit.
  • Giving kitty a favorite toy or treat before you leave distracts kitty and associates your departure with treat time.
  • When returning home, ignore kitty for a few minutes, especially if kitty is demanding. Give attention only after kitty is calm.
  • Providing a hideaway such as kitty condo, carrier, or box with a door gives kitty a safe retreat when alone and anxious. Add a piece of your clothing that has your comforting scent.
  • Consider adopting a second kitty, but handle introductions properly.

To help needy cats become more confident and independent:

  • Engage in interactive play rather than cuddling.
  • Ignore demanding behavior.  Set times for affection such before eating breakfast & evening during TV, and stick to your routines.
  • If kitty begins to knead or suck on your clothing or earlobes, gently remove kitty from your lap, get up, and leave the room.
  • Calming products such as Feliway help some kitties.
  • Is needy kitty bored? Provide an enriched environment with plenty of toys, a cat tree, and a bird feeder view. Consider taking kitty with you on a leash to do fun things. This might help kitty relax when traveling to the vet.

Siamese and Tonkinese are very social and “dog like.”  This means that, like dogs, they can be upset when their owners are gone unexpectedly. So, if your kitty is stressed about your leaving, try to use these tips above and try to use positive reinforcement to help your kitty to be “The Best Cat, Ever!.”

Why we feed Purina Products – Michelle Harrsion AKA “The Catwoman”

I often must defend my choice to feed Purina to my cats, yet my customers and friends are usually surprised to hear that one third of my actively breeding cats are technically senior or geriatric cats.  Furthermore, our vet has just examined these older cats and found no diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease, etc.  We do select our cats from lines that are long lived and healthy with superb temperament and good teeth, but there is more to our healthy cats than just good genes.

Kittens and cats will only reach their full potential if they eat great, fresh food. The analysis on pet food labels is a calculated estimate. Only feeding trials really establish that a food is suitable. Your cats require specific nutrients, not particular ingredients or a certain percent dietary protein or fat.

We will be adding links to purchasing these foods to our Shopping Page soon!

We feed Purina because Purina carefully sources and stores their ingredients, maintains a cat colony for real world food testing, does cutting edge research, and has control over their manufacturing process. In contrast, many so called premium brands actually are produced by another manufacturer whose profit depends only on fast production. This leads to poor quality and recalls in spite of premium sounding ingredients.

Purina offers many choices to match your cat with just the right food for life stages and special concerns. I will touch on some of these over a few weeks starting today with life stages.

We feed Purina Cat Chow Complete to our kittens, young cats up to 6 years old, and pregnant or nursing queens.  This is great food that is widely available and offers excellent value. We buy ours at Sams, but here is a link to get it online.

Purina research clearly demonstrates that feeding cats a high quality diet including antioxidants, prebiotics, and poly unsaturated fatty acids both extended life span by a year and maintained better health throughout this longer life. Kittentanz feeds our breeding seniors aged 7 to 10 Purina One Vibrant Maturity adult premium dry cat food 7+ and our breeding geriatric cats 11 and more years old Purina Proplan Focus 11+ chicken and rice formula. Our alteredretired geriatric cat, Tango, eats Purina Pro Plan focus 11+ indoor care turkey and rice in controlled portions as he is overweight. We order these products online.

We also feed to maintain healthy weight, manage hairballs, urinary problems, etc . I will cover those topics soon.

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