Is the way I'm feeding my cats making them sick?
August 17, 2007 3:51 AM Subscribe
How can I avoid killing my friend's cats? I'm taking care of them and I'm terrified that I'm doing a very bad job.
posted by Deathalicious to pets & animals (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sorry for the length, but I want to give as much detail as possible. Clues and key facts are in bold.
Okay, so I agreed a month and half ago to take care of a friend's 9-10 month old kittens while he was away. Mostly they've been great, although they were serious scratchers for a while and still are occasionally.
The thing is, I am worried that I am doing something wrong when feeding them. I was trying to feed them kitten food since apparently they need different nutrition. However, they would not eat it and occasionally puked it up, so I gave up on trying to get them to eat kitten food and have been feeding them normal cat food instead.
About a week and a half or so ago, I bought a bag of high quality cat food that they seemed to like very much, and so I was able to go through the whole bag (on the kitten food I fed them 1/4 of the bag before I gave up on it. So, they seemed to really love it. The thing is, when I went back to the store to buy some more, the bag said it was supposed to last for 30 days. With the two cats, it lasted maybe 8 or 9 days so I think I'm overfeeding them? They poop a lot -- more than I remember my cat back home pooping. They can completely fill a kitty litter with poop in 2 days.
They really really love carob, so sometimes I add a few pieces of carob to their food (crushed pod pieces, not processed carob) to induce them to eat it I read somewhere that carob is what's used for pet treats, so I assumed it was okay, and they've eaten it in the past with no ill effects.
Okay, so now one of the cats is puking. I don't know if it's because of the new cat food (When I bought the new bag, I switched from "Active" to "Housecat" since they're indoors all the time), the bug spray (see below), or if the cat is just sick. His eyes look sort of red (as if they were irritated) and he seems unhappy.
There was an ant infestation (the ants decided that cat food was some kind of highly desireable commodity and both bowls were swarmed over by ants) so I washed out the bowls, moved them elsewhere, and I sprayed their old eating area with lots of ant killer. The spray floated a bit but the cats weren't close to it at all -- the one who got the heaviest dose was me, and I'm fine.
Another possibility is plastic. The one who's sick now loves to chew on plastic and is a master of finding it in the house, even when I put it inside of boxes high on shelves. Is it possible he's ingested plastic and this is what has made him sick? Again, he hasn't seemed to get sick from it in the past, and indeed recently I did a "sweep" of the apartment and threw away all of the bottles, etc littering the floor (I'm something of a slob, especially with the cats around).
Is heat a factor? I'm in Cairo and it's in the low to mid 30s C (Around 90-90F). But they're Egyptian cats and they've gone through much hotter days without a problem.
Finally, they have only ever used clay kitty litter without scent, and yesterday I put in Fresh Scoop kitty letter which is scented. I assume that they would make it safe for cats to ingest accidentally, right?
The other cat appears healthy and also seems to be a less voracious eater.
I will head to the vet tomorrow if necessary, but it's something of a risk since I don't actually know if the vets here (in Egypt) are any good, how much it will cost, or if they will be able to help or will just say I'm imagining things.
Please, hive mind! Help me regain my cat sanity.
I've lived with cats most of my life, but never had to take care of kittens. Maybe that's the problem.