October 19, 2011

Vintage Illustration and a Cat Update

I have received a few requests for an update on our sneezing cat. First of all I really, really appreciate all of the responses and advice that was given. You all are very kind! I looked at all of your solutions and researched them on the web to see if that was the problem.

He wasn't feeling any better a few days after that last post so I took him back to the vet. We saw a different vet this time and she really looked him over- in the ears, nose, mouth and we even ran a few tests. The good news is that he doesn't have Feline HIV or leukemia. I was really worried about these two diseases because we have another indoor cat and didn't want to spread those to her. On the other hand the vet thinks he has feline herpes (to which my boyfriend at the vet replied, "see I told you I got the herpes from the cat." He was kidding of course, he doesn't have herpes, but the vet thought it was funny.) Feline herpes is spreadable too but since the two cats don't share anything or get too close to each other, I'm not too worried at the moment.

I guess there isn't a good test available for the herpes and there isn't a whole lot you can do for it anyway. But if he does have it, it compromises the immune system so it will take him longer to get well. Actually, I think herpes is a pretty good guess because all of the symptoms match this link.

The vet gave us an antihistamine to try to dry him up so I gave it to him over the weekend. It made him super sleepy so after 3 days, I stopped the meds to see if it was any better. It seemed to work- the sneezing was quite less and he wasn't coughing at all. A couple of days ago he started really sneezing again, so I gave the meds to him and he was better. His appetite has improved tremendously and before the second trip the vet, he wasn't really wanting to eat- now he wants food every three hours which is great because he is underweight. It looks like this isn't curable but since I work from home, I able watch him closely to monitor any changes and then treat it right away.

I somehow came upon a website that says that you can improve a cat's well being with a raw meat food diet. I would like to try the Nature's Variety food and was wondering if anyone out there has their pet on a raw meat diet. Any likes or dislikes about raw meat for pets? Thanks! -Sarah


Susan At Glen Oaks Primitives said...

Hi, Sarah,
I'm sooo glad kitty is better. The appetite increase is a very good sign,
and it sounds like he could stand to put on some weight so that's good, too.
I am so sorry that he has herpes and it
isn't curable. He's a beautiful cat with those adorable mittens. I haven't heard about the raw meat diet, we by The Good Life Kibbies and Friskies canned food for our two. They would eat 5 times a day if we fed them that many times!
Good Luck, oh, what did you name him?
Warm Regards,

Anonymous said...

I am so glad your kitty is doing better! I have never heard of feline herpes. I don't think your cat would get the vitamins needed on a raw meat diet that he would get on a commercial diet. I like Purina brands and I have never been using one on any of the recalls for other brands, thankfully.

Renee said...

That's a darling picture, and I am so glad to hear your kitty is feeling better. It's always so much easier working with a diagnosis. I have heard of the raw meat diet for dogs with certain conditions, and cats are more carnivorous. It certainly couldn't hurt - if they will eat the raw meat :)
Best of luck to you and your furry baby

Linda w said...

So pleased for you that he's improving. I'd also read that raw meat is best for cats, it is their natural diet isn't it. It would certainly be worth a try to give him a better chance. I'd be interested to know how he goes on. Hugs lin

Jan 4 Insight said...

Best wishes for your kitty! You asked about the raw meat diet - my kitty eats regular ol' cat food, but I've been following Daisy the Curly Cat's blog at http://daisythecurlycat.blogspot.com/

for a few years now, and I believe she & her big bro Harley are on a raw meat diet. You may have search through the posts because it was about a year or so ago that they switched diets, and that's when most of the diet writing was done.

Good luck!

Maria said...

Such a beautiful cat! I'm so glad he's feeling better. Maria x

Anonymous said...


I just happen to catch this post on your kitty! I have 6 indoor cats and I highly encourage you to go the route of the holistic diet (ie- raw meat or miminally processed cat food). I swear by a brand called Wellness! The meat source used is not raw, but a high enough grade for human consumption. It is minimally processed. YOu will end up with a very healthy kitty and his coat will be superb! I have been feeding this which comes in both can and dry ( I use both) for years and my cats have incredible energy, no health issues, and lots of energy. I recommend supplementing with raw meat and finding a holistic vet in your area who can also be a source of info for you on raw meat do's and donts and other holistic advice. Its a great cat food and Im not getting any compensation for saying that! Good Luck! ~Janice

AlyshaJane said...

Glad the medication is helping your Kitty!

I am in the process of switching my two cats to a raw meat diet. We lost our 14 year old cat earlier this year to inflammatory bowel disease which developed into cancer.

Most commercial, processed food for cats is full of grains, and that is the problem with them. Cats are obligate carnivores - they can't easily digest grains. Their system is made to process meat.

Pet companies use grains as a filler to make production cheaper. Grains, especially corn and wheat are very bad for cats and can cause inflammatory bowel disease.

The site I am using, which has recipes and advice (written by a vet) is: http://www.catinfo.org/

A new tinned food we came across is Ziwipeak - organic meats and no grains or preservatives. My boys loved it! http://www.ziwipeak.com/nzl/home.shtml

Sorry, I appear to have written an essay! lol! I am very interested in this topic after losing our beloved Max, so am currently reading a lot about it.

Hope it helps! :)

Birds and Blossoms said...

Hi there. So sorry about your kitty. My cat was diagnosed with feline herpes 3 years ago. He got really bad and I ended up having to put him down, and now our other cat is showing the same symptoms. I read through your posts and I didn't see anything mentioned about L-Lysine. My vet suggested giving it to my cat every day to prevent flare ups. I got mine at Whole Foods Market. It seems to help with the sneezing. I found a website you might want to look at... http://www.holisticat.com/uri.html
I wish you luck with your sweet kitty :)

hoptownracer1 said...

I did notice that the article you posted did mention the L-Lysine. They even sell treats made with L-Lysine now. One of my two outdoor kitties who I believe probably has herpies loves them; my indoor cats could care less for them. I would have brought the outdoor cats inside, but we got them after they were outside for a bit (neighborhood cats), and I have one cat inside who is highly sensitive to vaccines (severe allergic reactions), so she cannot have vaccines, therefore, I don't want to expose her to too much.
So glad that your kitty is feeling better! We've got another neighborhood kitty (comes to eat here a lot) at the vets now with upper respiratory. All of ours are on Royal Canin food from the vets, because we've had two males that developed that urinary problem male cats sometimes get. O.k, sorry, didn't mean to write a book. Just so happy your kitty is feeling better!!!

antikva said...

We feed our cats raw meat, we get rabbit, kangaroo,chicken & beef minced as well as diced sized chunks and the pet food shop here puts them in meal portion bags [or whatever size you want] so you can freeze them & then let them defrost overnight for the next day. She also adds pasta & veges to some of the raw meat if you ask or you can add it yourself. We get a variety so the cats don't get bored eating the same thing :) It's usually much cheaper than canned food and our cats are all bright eyed and bushy tailed.
I live in Australia but I'd think you could get the same kinds of raw meat [ except kangaroo maybe] over there or buy cheap cuts at the butcher and ask if they can mince it for you or just cut it into chunks yourself. I also give our cats raw fish I cut up at home.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah, Your cat is beautiful! I have three cats that have been on a raw diet for over two years now. I highly recommend it. My 14 year old cat started acting like a kitten again after about 6 months or so of eating raw food supplemented with a high quality holistic dry brand. Now I have them all on 100% raw. My advice is don't give up. Sometimes cats refuse to eat the raw food at first. It took me about 2-3 months to get all 3 cats on the raw diet but it was well worth it. Their coats are shiny and soft and their digestion is much better too. Good luck!

Sarah said...

Hi Susan- we ended up naming him "Sneezy" but I also call him "Peanut" My boyfriend and I are obviously horrible at naming animals. It's a good thing we don't have children. They would end up as "Girl" or "Baby" or "One who cries too much." lol!

Wax Beach Artist- Thank you very much! I wasn't familiar with it either until this happened.

Renee- Thanks! Yeah we might have to introduce it slowly.

Linda w- Thank you! I will post any follow ups.

Jan 4 Insight- Thank you for that blog link! I will check out the archives. From the first look at the website, the kitty coats look so shiny!

Maria- Thank you! I am relieved that he is better so far.

Janice- I will check out that Wellness food. Gotta be an upgrade from the Friskies we are using.

Alysha Jane- Hmm... I have read that so many of the cats food brands have those fillers in them as well. It would be really interesting to see how they change just by changing the diet. Let me know how it goes for you!

Birds and Blossoms- I'm so sorry for your loss. It is so hard to lose a pet. :( Yes, our vet gave us the L-Lysine treats as well. It even looks like the same brand is on Amazon so if they work well I will purchase them from there.

Hoptownracer1- Wow! I didn't know that cats could be allergic to vaccines! Yes, we are using the L-Lysine treats. All of the cats seem to love them here. But boy are they smelly! (The treats not the cats lol) Yes, our outdoor cat had a urinary problem and took him to the vet. Who knew that the males should be on canned food at all times? This cat ownership is a big learning experience.

antikva- Wow! That would be amazing to go to our local pet shop here in the US and pick up some fresh meat in meal portion bags! That would be so easy! I will explore the butcher option here but I think there are a couple local shops that have some meas specially made for pets that are frozen.

Bayazid said...

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Tarnished Rose said...

So glad Sneezy is better. You must be a wonderful person to take a stray in and then decide to keep him with the problems you now face to keep him healthy.

I don't know anything about the raw food diet as all the cats I've had have eaten dry food all their (long) lives, but I can't see the harm in giving them raw meat. Cats are carnivorous animals and if they were let to run wild, that's what they would eat - raw meat. It probably wouldn't hurt to supplement with the animal version of vitamins, just to make sure he's getting all the nutrients his body needs.

Good luck and he sure is a cutie!


hoptownracer1 said...

Oh wow, you got different advice than we did. They had us put our cats on the Royal Canin Urinary SO dry food and have discouraged us from feeding them canned, because they said it was bad for their teeth. Although, we do give them the Friskie's Special Diet canned food (better for urinary probs)at times and haven't had any problems with that. We also boil them chicken several times a week, and they love that. We try to stay away from the fish and seafood canned food, and give them chicken and turkey. I have a friend with a cat with stomach probs, and she said watch out for liver in canned food if they have digestive issues, as it will upset their tummy (and it is in a lot of them). So glad your sweet kitty is feeling better! Do cats on raw meat diets have to take supplements (or eat fish)? I just wondered, because I was told that they have to have taurine, or they will go blind. So much information, it gets confusing. Give your sweet kitty a pet for me!

Passione Helena said...

By chance I come to your blog and was shocked by the same image, of our recently deceased cat! The look in his eyes and so thin, are very familiar to me. Our cat had kidney failure ... Have they ever looked into the kidneys? If the animal vomits, you can of course look to understand.

But of course I hope the raw meat diet, your cat will make fully fit. I know how much it hurts that your animal is ill.

A warm hug for your cat.


Elizabeth Johnson said...

Hi. I'm so glad you are there to help this sweet and beautiful kitty. I have some friends that use the raw diet and they have had great success at strengthening the health of their pets with it. I do not use the raw diet at the recommendation of my vet due to some health issues of my own. For my cats I do use Go! canned food. It has no grains and is a high quality food without any of the trash that is in so many. I also supplement with Missing Link supplement. My Siamese male is a rescue that had some health issues, although not the feline herpes. His health improved greatly with this food and then we also saw a significant change with the addition of the Missing Link. Whatever you feed him I would not suggest dry food. It is hard on their kidneys.