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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-06-11 11:20 AM
Original message
Lethargic cat
OK, Kidley has never been a lively cat. When I first got him three years ago, I posted about his disinclination to play unless under the influence of catnip, but he used to be more active. For example, I had to train him not to wake me up before the radio came on, and I used to see him poised and ready to pounce if I happened to wake up a few minutes before the alarm. He also used to do the typical "kitty stampede" routine of suddenly racing back and forth from one end of the apartment to another. He also looked forward to his morning treat of about a tablespoonful of raw egg, which kept his coat smooth and shiny.

I've noticed him being a bit less active over the past few months, missing his morning alarm clock cues occasionally and not indulging in "kitty stampedes." Also, he no longer wants his serving of egg (I keep offering it periodically), and his coat is becoming more prone to matting, even though I use the wire brush on him at least once, sometimes twice a day.

However, now it's really noticeable. More often than not, he sleeps through the radio out in the living room, eats very little, and sleeps more than ever. When awake, he is more likely than ever to be super affectionate. He seems less interested in his dry food (Solid Gold Katzenflocken) but still vocally insists on his wet food. His "productions" for the litter box appear normal.

When I took over his custody, my cousin told me that he was five years old, although I don't know where she got that information. If it's correct, he is now about eight years old.

Any ideas? Does he need a trip to the vet? Or is he just aging?
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-06-11 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. He needs a trip to the vet.
An eight-year-old cat really isn't that old. Cats sometimes have thyroid problems, which cause some of the symptoms you mentioned. It's treatable, though. Haul his furry little butt to the vet; they can probably fix him up.

:hi:

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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-06-11 01:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. Katz-n-Flocken
:hi:
I was feeding my cats this food. I didn't realize that it is really not that great, esp. for older cats.

My tomcat was acting odd too - lethargic and sleeping in the closet a lot. His fur kept developing mats on it and he looked rather shoddy. Said cat also had some sores on the temples of this forehead (these turned out to be skin cancers).

I took him to the vet and had the sores burned off and his teeth really needed cleaning badly. He'd never had them cleaned before (he is now 10 years old).

After he got his teeth cleaned up and I got him off of that Katz-n-Flocken, he has improved dramatically.

The Katz-n-Flocken Gold has a fairly high phosphorus level and this is very bad for aging cats, esp. males, as they tend to develop kidney problems. This is also part of my tomcat's problem, borderline kidney problems.

More on this problem here: http://www.felinecrf.com/what0.htm

He is a lot better now.

I was feeding him Hills K/D which is for the kidneys and very very expensive (like almost $40.00 for an 8 lb. bag of it). I found out he wasn't eating it, the other older cat that is 18 was eating it.

More on phosphorus levels in dry cat food here: http://www.felinecrf.org/dry_food_usa.htm

As you see, Solid Gold Katz-n-Flocken has a phosphorus level of 1.31 which is quite high.

The food they are all eating now, Life's Abundance Premium Cat is at 0.93, which is about more that 1/3 less phosphorus than Katz-n-Flocken.

That said, I quit buying this expensive food (I so no real benefit much in it other than the fact that the old 18 year old cat was eating it) and have all of them back eating Life's Abundance health food for cats (a dry food). You get a 16 lb. bag of this for about $35.00 on auto-ship. It is a quality food and the phosphorus level is much lower than Katz-n-Flocken.

After my research on the food thing, I'd never feed any of my cats Katz-n-Flocken again. They have never eaten canned food as they don't seem to care for it.

Best of luck and I'd suggest getting your cat to the vet to have the teeth checked out (they likely need cleaning which will cost you!) and there may be other problems too. The fact that the matted coat is now the case is a big clue that something is amiss.

That said, my cat that is 18 years old is very active still and plays a lot with cat toys, etc. In fact, she is far more active than the other two oddly.

I hope this helps and again, I'd just say NO to Katz-n-Flocken, esp. after my experience with this food.

Nice bag and all, but that is about it!



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alstephenson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-06-11 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I feed my cats "Life's Abundance", too.
They love it.
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rox63 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-06-11 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
3. I also think a trip to vet is in order
One of my late kitties was like this right before she was diagnosed with kidney disease. I also have a friend with a kitty with thyroid problems, which are now controlled with medication.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-06-11 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
5. Thanks, everyone!
I looked up his foods at that link, and yes, they are very high in phosphorus. I think I'll go shopping for replacements tomorrow AND make an appointment for the vet. Kidley has not had his teeth cleaned, as far as I know.
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badgerpup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-07-11 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
6. Can only add...
...scritches for Kidley (love the name!) and hope that a tooth-cleaning and a change of diet will put him back to his old self really quickly.

:hi:

I switched to Chicken Soup For The Cat-Lover's Soul to try to prevent the rest of the clowder from having the same kidney issues that took Esme from us.
It got a 5-star rating (out of 5 possible stars) on a website that did a comparision and rating of quite a few dry foods, and the cost was comparable to Purina (two stars).

I pay $23 for an 18lb bag every 4-5 weeks (4 cats). Coats are soft and shiny, eyes are bright, kitties are active and at a good weight for their body types with lots of muscle mass. :thumbsup:
I've also noticed that their...um...end product isn't anywhere near as stinky as used to be.
Even Wimsey (who was notorious for his eye-watering farts) has had a reduction in both the frequency and the strength of the emissions. I think this is a good thing.

Ah! I knew I'd saved this somewhere...here's what's in it.

Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers Soul

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, cracked pearled barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), ocean fish meal, white rice, potatoes, oatmeal, millet, natural chicken flavor, salmon, turkey, duck, flaxseed, sodium bisulfate, egg product, methionine, potassium chloride, choline chloride, dried chicory root, taurine, kelp, carrots, peas, apples, tomatoes, blueberries, spinach, dried skim milk, cranberry powder, rosemary extract, parsley flake, yucca schidigera extract, L-carnitine, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation solubles, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, niacin, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, biotin, potassium iodide, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, manganous oxide, sodium selenite, vitamin D supplement, folic acid.
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-07-11 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
7. Question ...
Are you feeding Solid Gold in the can? It looks like tuna when you open it and it is a highly attractive food. However, it is not at all attractive when you read up on it. I bought a can of this to use with some medication I was trying to get my old kitty to take. You cannot fool her however -- she will chomp this food right down but if you put the medicine in it, she won't touch it.

Here is one review I found about it that seems to sum it up nicely: "Solid Gold Tuna is another of the organic cat foods that are supposed to make are cats healthier and happier. It is made primarily with tuna, tapioca and canola oil. Those are great foods for us, low in saturated fat and high in vitamins. However a diet high in fat is healthier for cats and there is a lot of mercury in tuna. That is as bad for them as it is for us. All of my kitties love the food, but then I like ice cream too . . . .". Very true ... it is like junk food for cats IMO.

This brings up another issue I failed to address in my prior post and that is the protein content of the food being fed. The lower the protein content and the lower the phosphorus content, the less stress is placed on the kidneys, which seems to be the goal if renal problems are the issue (I hope this is not the problem, believe me but is sounds awfully familiar to me :( ).

After learning more about the pros/cons of Solid Gold wet food, I'd only use this again in a situation where one of my cats simply would not eat. It is scary stuff and should only really be fed as a treat extraordinaire.

In any event, let us know what the vet says and keep us posted on Kidley!

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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-07-11 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. I've never used the Solid Gold wet food
:-)
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-07-11 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
8. Hope Kidley feels better soon.
It might be the food; it's worth looking into. My Gang of Fur were eating that stuff for awhile (the dry version, which they liked very much), then we switched to Wellness. More recently, Milo started having urinary tract problems so the vet prescribed a high pH diet specifically for that problem (which I have to buy at the vet's office). Although it's more expensive that would be fine except for the fact that it's really hard to feed different food to three cats. They all want to eat each others' food. So now they all eat the expensive prescription stuff. I have to figure out a different arrangement before they eat my bank account.

Do report back on Kidley. Do you have a good vet? If not I can recommend one not too far from you.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-07-11 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
10. Kidley has an appointment with the vet
(the Kitty Klinic on 36th and Lyndale) for Friday morning. I figured that since he doesn't seem to be acutely ill, I can meet my translation deadlines first.
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-07-11 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. I didn't know they were still in business.
The building looks so run down I guess I assumed it was no longer occupied. I used to take my cats there, many years ago, but I had a bad experience with them when I was cat-sitting for a neighbor's cat (this was in the late '70s). The cat had been sick with a urinary tract ailment (called Feline Urinary Syndrome in those days), and the neighbor said if he looked like he was getting sick again I could call the Kitty Klinic and they would take him back in and treat him. So sure enough, the cat started acting sick, so I called the Kitty Klinic. Their very rude, snotty receptionist told me they weren't seeing any cats that day. I said, tough, he's sick and I'm bringing him in right now. So I showed up and the receptionist was still rude and refused to take him, so I just stood there holding this poor, sick cat, and I told her I wouldn't leave until they took care of him. Finally she heaved an aggrieved sigh, got the vet and took the cat in, which was a very good thing because FUS can be very serious and he was pretty sick.

The neighbor's cat recovered but I stopped taking my cats there. I just didn't want to deal with any business that would keep such a rude employee around. Ever since, I've been going to the Lyndale Animal Hospital, about a mile north of there. I'm sure the snotty receptionist is long gone and the care they deliver is just fine, but once you have such a bad experience with a place you kind of don't want to go back.
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TuxedoKat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-07-11 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
11. Well
I brought my 16 year old cat to the vet earlier this summer and the vet thought his lungs sounded funny. She gave me antibiotics for him then I brought him back in again to get his teeth cleaned and a for a check-up to see if his lungs sounded better. Before they did the teeth cleaning they did an xray and discovered he had pneumonia! I don't know how he got it but right around that first time I brought him in I noticed that he had become lethargic, sleeping way more than usual and not going outside for his daily exercise as much. Anyway, when they discovered the pneumonia we put him back on antibiotics and I have to bring him back in again for a another xray to make sure it is all gone next week. He is doing much better, sleeping less, and playing and running around more like his old self. The vet said he may have gotten pneumonia from having asthma, which he may or may not have. Eight is still pretty young for a cat, hope you discover what is wrong soon.
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-11 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
13. How is he doing?
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-11 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. They've done blood work and ruled out all endocrine malfunctions
Edited on Fri Sep-09-11 02:55 PM by Lydia Leftcoast
(kidney, liver, thyroid,diabetes, etc.) and the real scary things like leukemia, HIV, and heartworm.

He is currently at the office so they can get urine and stool samples to check for infections and parasites. I'm supposed to pick him up soon.

If nothing conclusive comes up, I'm going with dietary changes.
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-11 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. That's good to hear. Doubt it's parasites if he's indoors all the time.
Maybe all he needs is some different food. Let us know what they say, and give him a little skritch on the ears.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-11 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Well, they're stumped
All the tests came back negative.

So I'm about to go out and see what the co-op has in the way of healthier foods for the little fur-face. If they're low on alternatives, I'll visit the store at 36th and Bryant tomorrow.

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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-11 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. I'm glad he seems to be OK. Maybe the food just didn't agree with him.
I read the other posts in this thread and apparently there can be a problem with high phosphorus content - news to me, but it's good to know. Before I had to switch to the prescription food I'd been feeding the critters mostly Wellness, and sometimes Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul, with no apparent ill effects.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-11 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. They had canned Wellness at the Co-op
so I bought a few cans, and we'll see how he likes it tomorrow.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. Went to the store at 36th and Bryant yesterday
and bought a variety of canned foods that are considered wholesome.

Unfortunately, they were out of the sample packets of dry food except for Felidae, so that's what I'm feeding him the time being, since I didn't want to buy a huge bag of something he might not eat. (Last time, there were samples that he refused to touch, although I can't remember which ones they were.) Maybe the store will have more samples next week.

However, after two days of good food, he seems to be perking up. He even jumped onto the bed and began nudging me when the radio came on this morning. He hasn't done this for over a week, so a change of food seems to be working.

Before I picked up the sample of dry food yesterday, I gave him half a can of Wellness turkey for breakfast instead of Katzenflocken. He gobbled (oops! no pun intended!) that right up, but when I tried to give him the rest of the can for dinner, he sniffed at it and walked away. He had to have something DIFFERENT for dinner. When I opened up a can of Spot's Stew, he went right for it and ate it up.

Prince Kidley will not be fed the same thing twice a day, no way!

I recall that when I was growing up, our dog was starting to act old, and the vet prescribed a daily dose of vitamins mixed into his food (he ate supermarket food mixed with table scraps). It was remarkable the way he perked up, and he lived to be 17 on that daily dose of vitamins.
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. I was over there yesterday, too.
I was looking for a different kind of (less stinky) cat litter. Did you meet the store cat?

I'm glad Kidley has perked up.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #20
24. Didn't see the store cat
Didn't know there was one.
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KC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. You may
want to check with your vet, but mine said to stay away from all fish and stick with just the land animals. I guess
because of the mercury in fish.
Also make sure their water is filtered water, too many mineral in regular faucet water.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. He likes fish, but I don't feed it to him because it
makes him REAL stinky, and on a previous visit, the vet said that's a sign of failure to digest properly.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
23. As of Monday morning, Kidley is a changed cat
Edited on Mon Sep-12-11 10:19 AM by Lydia Leftcoast
On Friday, I began contemplating his entire food line-up, and in addition to Katzenflocken, I was giving him what were supposed to be some of the better supermarket canned foods. (I know, I know) He didn't seem to be suffering any ill effects for a long time, but whatever wasn't good for him in them must have built up to a toxic level recently.

He's had nothing but co-op foods and real meat (his "emergency meal" of canned chicken for sandwiches) since Friday morning, and it looks as if this is doing the trick.

He came and woke me up both yesterday and today, and he's actively up and poking around and grooming himself instead of just lying on the couch and sleeping or staring into space. When he starts doing the night-time "kitty stampede" again, then I'll know that he's fully recovered.

The importance of good nutrition for both people and animals...

Thanks to all of you for your suggestions and good wishes.
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-11 07:37 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. glad to hear Kidley is better!!
That is great news! I think that damn Kat-zen-flocken was the culprit. Kidley sounded so much like my cat that was so sick, especially the part about the mats. It didn't take long for Kidley to get better once the toxic food was eliminated. :)

Again, glad Kidley is better! :D

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